Fall theater preview

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This is Anthony Byrnes Opening the Curtain on LA Theater for KCRW.

Okay, get out your calendars. Here's a short list of LA theater that's going to be worth the trip this fall.

Let's start up in Malibu next week at the Getty Villa. Each September the Getty welcomes a theater company into their outdoor amphitheater to produce a Greek or Roman classic. This year it's Euripedes’ Iphigenia in Aulis. Thanks to our tumultuous political times, the Greeks have a lot to say to us right now. But you don't need much of an excuse to spend a beautiful evening outdoors in Malibu so get tickets now, it always sells out.

Next, head downtown for Tarrell Alvin McCraney's Head of Passes at the Mark Taper Forum. You'll recognize his name as a co-writer on the film Moonlight and if you're lucky you saw Choir Boy at the Geffen or his Brother/Sister Plays at the Fountain. Don't miss this one, it's a remount of the Public Theater's production with Tina Landau directing. It opens in September and plays through October 22.

Next, let's think big and collaborative. An exciting trend among our presenting houses is partnerships with other arts organizations.

The Center of the Art of Performance at UCLA is partnering with LACMA for Helen Lawrence. The piece, conceived and directed by Stan Douglas, is a multidisciplinary technological feat that brings a noir film to life with live actors inhabiting projected film noir worlds. It sounds like one of those pieces that exist on a scale and scope we don't get to see often in the theater. It plays only one weekend October 13-14 so buy tickets now and block off the calendar.

Next up are partnerships that are making the most of Pacific Standard Time's LA/LA festival exploring our artistic connection to Latin America.

REDCAT is bringing Chilean playwright and director Guillermo Calderón's political piece Mateluna to downtown LA for one weekend - October 26-28. REDCAT has introduced Los Angeles to some remarkable theater from South America and my only complaint is that it’s here for just one week.

If you're looking for something a little edgier, you should check out the Los Angeles Exchange (LAX) produced by Los Angeles Performance Practice. This scrappy festival, now in it's fifth year partners with a different city each time and presents a range of works that span genres from music to art to dance to theater. This year they've chosen Mexico City and the slate of pieces runs from October 5-15. This isn't work for the faint of heart but it's vital.

Okay, November 9-12 head back to REDCAT for Keeril Makan and Jay Scheib's opera Persona, based on Ingmar Bergman's film. This is a partnership with LA Opera and again, won't be for the artistically timid. It's a single weekend so by the time people tell you how powerful it was, it'll already be gone.

Missing from this list, as always, is work in LA's smaller theater. To find out why and hear from some of the folks making that work. Subscribe to the weekly KCRW theater newsletter at KCRW.com/theater.

This is Anthony Byrnes Opening the Curtain on LA Theater for KCRW.

Photo: Canadian Stage: Helen Lawrence at UCLA. (David Cooper)