Tween Time: Humor and Humanity Around Los Angeles for Teens

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles for Teens

The L.A. Opera’s “Candide” delivers an aria of hilarity. PHOTO BY KARLI CADEL

Arriving in Southern California this month are several thought-provoking theater productions just perfect for teens and tweens. 

“Candide” comes to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion courtesy of the L.A. Opera ( Leonard Bernstein composed the music for this colorful comic opera, and this production stars Kelsey Grammer (“Cheers” and “Frasier”) and two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole. Based on the novella by Voltaire, “Candide” (recommended for ages 10 and older) is a satiric tale about a young man who tries to stay optimistic as he encounters a series of setbacks. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3, 8 and 15, and 2 p.m. Feb. 11 and 18. Tickets are $18-$249. 

Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” is another story about a youth’s adventures as he makes his way through the world. This production of “Great Expectations” will be staged at the Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts ( Feb. 8-11. This adaptation (for ages 10 and older) is performed as an exhilarating and comedic one-man show by actor David Mynne. Performances take place at 8 p.m. each night, and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10-11. Tickets are $40.  

The mood is more serious for A Noise Within’s ( production of “A Raisin in the Sun” Feb. 25-April 8. This drama caused a sensation when it debuted on Broadway in 1959. It was the first Broadway play written by an African American woman (Lorraine Hansberry) and was named Best Play of 1959 by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. The emotionally powerful play, recommended for ages 9 and older, tells the story of a black family moving into a white Chicago neighborhood, providing a glimpse into racial issues of the late 1950s that remains relevant today. Tickets are $25-$64.

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