In the last weeks of spring, Jewish-themed theater is busting out all over Los Angeles:
In his one-man show, "...But First, Sammy Shore," the eponymous Borscht Belt stand-up comic describes opening for Elvis; life with his son, Pauly; founding the Comedy Store with his ex-wife, Mitzi, and why being age 70 sucks. Through July 29, Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica, (310) 394-9779, ext. 1. $17.50.
Richard Krevolin's "The Lemony Fresh Scent of Diva Monsoon," a one-woman show starring Ruth de Sosa, revolves around a designer who visits her late mother's plastic-covered Miami Beach apartment and finds one last potato kugel in the freezer. Through July 1, the Rose Alley Theater, 318 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, (310) 535-7795. $12-$20.
Wendy Graf's semiautobiographical comedy "The Book of Esther" follows a woman who reclaims her Judaism after growing up with parents who hate "real Jewy Jews." P.S. The rabbi in the play is loosely based on the real-life Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben of Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades. Debuts with an opening gala June 16 (tickets for this performance only are $35-$500) at Theater East, 12655 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 788-4396. $18.
Jewish opera star Beverly Sills is the subject of Roberta Randall's one-woman show "Beverly," which includes details of the diva's interfaith marriage and her work with conductor Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic. June 20, University of Judaism, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air, (310) 440-1246. $10.
Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed "The Substance of Fire" tells of a publisher who is driven by guilt for having survived the Nazis by hiding in an attic surrounded by books, while the rest of his family perished in the camps. Opens June 30, Theatre 40, at Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive, (323) 936-5842. $15-$18.