A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Culture Spot LA readers can win free tickets to three plays: “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Walking the Tightrope” and “A Family Thing.” Please send an email to editor@culturespotla.com with the name of the play you are interested in seeing for a chance to win a pair of tickets; two pairs are available for each show.

Thursday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m.:
“Around the World in 80 Days” — Stampeding elephants! Raging typhoons! Runaway trains! Hold onto your seats for the original amazing race. It’s 1872 and Phileas Fogg has agreed to an outrageous wager that puts his fortune and his life at risk. With his resourceful servant Passepartout, Fogg sets out to circle the globe in an unheard-of 80 days. But his every step is dogged by a detective who thinks he’s a robber on the run. Danger, romance and comic surprises abound as five actors portraying 39 characters traverse seven continents in Mark Brown’s new adaptation of one of the great adventures of all time. Jan. 23 – Feb. 17; International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90802; $29-$45; (562) 436-4610; www.InternationalCityTheatre.org

Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.:
“Walking the Tightrope” — The West Coast premiere of a highly theatrical and stylized tone poem that is also appropriate for children 6 and up. How does one survive the death of a spouse? Stan is lost — until he rediscovers his will to live during a visit from his young granddaughter. Kids will tap into this moving exploration of adult grief through the character of Esme, who visits her grandparents’ seaside home, but can’t find Nanna. “Walking the Tightrope” continues the groundbreaking work that earned 24th Street Theatre last season’s national TCG Peter Zeisler Award for risk taking and innovation in the American theater. This play is part of 24th Street Theatre’s 2012-13 season of sophisticated and provocative theater that appeals to and is appropriate for kids while maintaining the look and emotional depth of adult theater. Jan. 26 – March 31; 24th Street Theatre, 1117 W. 24th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007; $10-$15; (213) 745-6516; www.24thstreet.org

Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m.:
“A Family Thing” — A felon. An addict. A writer. Three estranged brothers reunite to settle unfinished business in this darkly funny drama by Peabody Award winner Gary Lennon (“The Shield,” “Justified”). A comic, brutal and heartbreaking exploration of the way family binds us together — and can tear us apart. Feb. 16 – March 17; Echo Theater Company @ Stage 52, 5299 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019; $30; (877) 369-9112; www.echotheatercompany.com