Theater scene LA & beyond, must-see March shows

Theater events that makes you celebrate, smile, laugh, think, and sing along are among the March shows that audiences can enjoy in Los Angeles and beyond–part of the vibrant Southern California Theater Scene.

The Scottish Music Tattoo & Parade (Photo: Tino Schulz)

Let’s start with the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University (at 415 North Glassell, Orange, Calif.,, close to Disneyland and an easy drive from Los Angeles.

The SCOTTISH MUSIC TATTOO & PARADE is being presented, March 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm, at the Musco Center for the Arts.

Break out your kilt for the spirited and uninhibited party that’s a stirring journey through Scotland. Direct from Scotland’s capital city and the renowned Edinburgh Tattoo, this ensemble consists of more than 55 bagpipers, drummers, singers, dancers, and other musicians. Under the leadership of members of the famed Black Watch, the performance includes beloved classics old and new, from “Scotland the Brave” to “Amazing Grace.” Nearly all the participants regularly perform in the Tattoo or compete in Glasgow’s World Pipe Band Championships.

The expansive program includes traditional Scottish lore and contemporary interpretations of music inspired by Scotland. Hailed as a “firework of Celtic music” by Germany’s Dewezet newspaper, the combination of traditional bagpipe playing and modern rock music “burns the house down.”

The fusion style program merges electric guitarists playing classics like Paul McCartney’s hymn “Mull of Kintyre” and Rod Steward’s “Sailing” accompanied by a full ensemble playing traditional Scottish instruments. Combined with precision-filled Scottish lilts performed by ensemble dancers wearing traditional costumes, the evening evokes a spirit of Scottish pride and tradition.

Tickets for March 14 are $45-65. Go to the Musco Center online at or call the box office at 844-OC-MUSCO (844-626-8726). All print-at-home tickets include a no-cost parking pass. Musco Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Chapman University at 415 North Glassell, Orange, Calif.

For more information about the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University and its upcoming events visit

The historic El Portal Theatre’s Debbie Reynolds MainStage in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood has several great shows to enjoy.

Producer Ron Kurtz and 3000 Miles Off-Broadway proudly present “Just Imagine,” on Saturday, March 16 at 3pm and 8pm. It is a show that puts the spotlight on the life and music of John Lennon, starring Tim Piper, at the El Portal Theatre for a special two show-only engagement on March 16, 2019.

Just Imagine is the extraordinary rock ‘n’ roll celebration of the life and music of John Lennon, starring look-and-sing-alike artist Tim Piper. Just Imagine intertwines John Lennon’s songs with the stories behind them to create a unique and electrifying multimedia concert experience. Backed by rock band Working Class Hero (Greg Piper on bass, Don Butler on guitar, Morley Barton on keyboards and Don Puncher on drums), Piper, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late rock ‘n’ roll icon, channels Lennon in this critically acclaimed tribute.

Just Imagine tells Lennon’s story in what I hope is an accurate and compelling way,” says Piper. “If you were there, it’s a trip back in time. If you weren’t, it’s a musical history lesson.”

A musician, actor and songwriter, Tim Piper has traveled the world performing music made famous by The Beatles and has distinguished himself as the preeminent “John Lennon” with roles in the CBS production The Linda McCartney Story, E! Channel’s John Lennon Story, Beatle Wives and as the singing voice of Lennon for the NBC-TV movie of the week, In His Life: The John Lennon Story.

With Working Class Hero, Piper has performed at numerous special events, including the only tribute act to perform at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a prescreening performance for the re-release debut of Yellow Submarine and the John Lennon 20th anniversary memorial gathering in Central Park.

For tickets and information call (818) 508-4200 or online at The historic El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the heart of North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District.

Another joyous show at The El Portal Theatre is “ABBA MANIA”  on Sunday, March 17. The band features James Allen as Bjorn Ulvaeus and Jeff Pike as Benny Andersson, plus Kirby Jo Long as Agnetha Faltskog and Amy Edwards as Anni-Frid Lyngstad.  ABBA MANIA is proud to end their 17-city tour at the El Portal Theatre in NoHo for the 4th time! Come see what the Mamma Mia fans are raving about on March 17.

Producer Ron Kurtz and his 3,000 Miles Off-Broadway proudly presents The Original ABBA MANIA, back by popular demand for the fourth time, The Original ABBA MANIA celebrates the music and style ABBA at this special two show-only engagement presented on St. Patrick’s Day—Sunday, March 17, at 3pm and 7pm.

Get ready for the return of those crazy Swedes to help us celebrate the Irish with The Original ABBA MANIA from London’s West End, now on its 2019 U.S. Tour. This fun and high energy group plays all of your favorite disco hits – songs like “Take a Chance on Me,” “Super Trooper,” “Dancing Queen,” and “The Winner Takes It All.” The guys are fun and funny, the girls are beautiful and all sound fantastic! Don’t miss this ABBAsolutely fabulous show! Party down to all of the songs from Mamma Mia 1 and 2 in this greatest hits tour-de-force. If you have seen this high-energy show before, you will want to be back for more. And if you haven’t seen it, get ready for toe-tapping, booty-shaking disco!

For tickets and information call (818) 508-4200 or online at

“THE ELEPHANT MAN” is on stage at the El Portal Theatre, Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23 and Wednesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 14.

 The Elephant Man, a gift to theatregoers, is a must-see celebration of courage and compassion. It is noble in its portrayal of the power of humanity over cruelty.

This production, presented by the Thursday Night Theater Club’s co-producers, Tom Vitorino and Alice L. Walker, is a testament of their perseverance to obtain the rights to the show that is considered one of the most important plays to debut in the second half of the 20th century. It is directed by Robyn Cohen.

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance is based on the life of Joseph Merrick (played by Tom Vitorino), a grotesquely disfigured man rescued from a London sideshow by Dr. Frederic Treves (played by John Ralston Craig). The beauty of Merrick’s soul is revealed through the course of their friendship. A celebrated actress, Mrs. Kendal (Alice L. Walker), is also charmed by her memorable interactions with Merrick.

The story is very personal for Vitorino who explained that he faced sight-prejudice when in 2011 he contracted the Bell’s Palsy virus. He shares, “The left side of my face was severely paralyzed and drooped. It’s an odd feeling to know you look different than everyone else, but more so to feel people staring at your face. Most people were very kind when I went out in public, but some not so much. ‘Hey, it’s the Elephant Man,’ that comment stayed with me and ultimately lead to my re-discovering this powerful story. This play gives us the opportunity to consider how we treat others; maybe it changes the heart of one person, or maybe it changes us all.”

“The Elephant Man” plays Thursday, March 21 through Saturday, March 23 and Wednesday, April 3 through Sunday, April 14. For information and tickets go to or visit the El Portal Theatre box office at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the heart of North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts District. For information about Thursday Night Theater Club go to

At Hollywood Pantages Theatre is the Los Angeles premiere engagement of ‘CATS’ through Sun., Mar. 24.

Photo: The North American Tour Company of “CATS” on stage through Mar. 24 at Hollywood Pantages Theatre. (Photo by Matthew Murphy 2019)

Hollywood Pantages Theatre is presenting the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical, CATS, one of the biggest hits in theatrical history, direct from Broadway. CATS comes to Los Angeles for a limited four week engagement at Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

The performance schedule for CATS is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm. There’s an additional performance Thursday, March 21 at 2pm and no performance Sunday, March 24 at 6:30pm but 1pm is scheduled.

Tickets for “CATS” are available at and, by phone at (800) 982-2787 or in person at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre Box Office (opens daily at 10am). A complete list of cities and dates for the national tour of “CATS” can be found at

“THE GLASS MENAGERIE” is at Pasadena’s A Noise Within through April 26.

REVIEW: “The Glass Menagerie” is on ANW’s repertory theater schedule (visit, with Geoff Elliott’s great directing skills showcasing the classic play about a dysfunctional family and the pain they will endure the rest of their lives, just as the playwright Tennessee Williams did.

In the main role of Tom, the narrator and long-suffering son/brother who defers his dreams as a writer to provide for his mother and sister, is Rafael Goldstein, who subtly mines the anguish of his character—until he explodes. Perhaps channeling the unhappiness of Williams’ own early years, Goldstein’s performance is pure gold, worthy of the author.

The emotional thorn in Tom’s side is Amanda, his shrill, overbearing, living-in-the-past mother. Mama Amanda is brilliantly played by Deborah Strang, who goes through her histrionics as if she had been born and bred to receive “gentlemen callers” and offer Southern hospitality.

The sweet relief to the story is the keeper of “The Glass Menagerie,” the frail limping sister, Laura, who Erika Soto plays as a flickering candle that is fleetingly beautiful and inevitably tragic. Tom’s co-worker Jim becomes the unaware “gentleman caller,” and Kasey Mahaffy plays the character with a likable spirit that offers hope to Laura, only to dash that hope with harsh honesty. As Tom warns the audience at the beginning that this is “a memory play,” and the memories are dramatic and well told by all.

“The Glass Menagerie” is at A Noise Within theater complex at 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., in Pasadena, Calif., through April 26. It is on ANW’s repertory schedule along with “Othello” and “Argonautika.” For information call 626-356-3100, or go to


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.