Monday, July 4, 2011

Catching up on Musical Theatre News Around Town

It was great being on vacation and celebrating with family and good friends. I hope your holiday has been a time of fun and relaxation as well. Now that we're back, here's a recap of what's happening around town. Welcome to summer! 

Kritzerland at the Gardenia presents The Kander and Ebb Album Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 9:00 pm. The show stars Zachary Ford, Juliana Hansen, Damon Kirsche, Marsha Kramer, Lauren Rubin, and Melody Hollis with special guest Gregory Harrison, who starred in Kander and Ebb’s Steel Pier, and has played Billy Flynn in Chicago more than 1000 times on the road and on Broadway. Musical direction is by John Boswell.

Dinner reservations begin at 7:00 pm. Cover charge is $15 with a two-drink minimum. There is no drink minimum with dinner. The Gardenia is located at 7066 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For reservations call 323-467-7444.

The Classical Theatre Lab and the City of West Hollywood present an original musical version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, adapted and directed by Tony Award nominee, Tony Tanner. Light of heart, quick of step, and tuneful to a fault, this telling of Shakespeare’s play will tickle the ribs, touch the hearts and set the weariest toe a-tapping. Played in the round within a quiet courtyard, it is, if not in the forest of Arden itself at least in the embrace of some neighbor trees. It’s delightful, funny, and appropriate for all ages. Performances are outdoors and free.

The cast feautres Tad Atkinson, John Copeland, Geryh Curtis, Noah Gillett, Rachele Gueli, Matthew Henerson, Louahn Lowe, Jill Maglione, Brandon Massey, Paul D. Masterson, Jessica Pennington, Steve Peterson and Henry Selvitelle. Click Here for schedule and reservations.

The Mechanicals Theatre Group has joined forces with Ryan Scott Oliver (Disney’s musical adaptation of Freaky Friday) for the Los Angeles Premiere of Out of My Head, music by Ryan Scott Oliver, book by Kirsten Guenther, and directed by Jacob Harvey. Performances will take place July 29th – August 21st (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m.) at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles, located at 10508 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064. Click Here for tickets.

The cast will include company members Saro Badalian, Emily Clark, and Jeni Incontro as well as Robyn Clark (Broadway Gypsy with Patti LuPone), Anna Bowen (National Tour of 101 Dalmations), and Gary Brintz (National Tour of Fiddler on the Roof). A portion of the proceeds from this production go to Villa Esperanza Services to provide help to individuals who suffer from Mental Illness. Click Here for more information.

Busy working television and stage actor Michael Kostroff (HBO’s The Wire, currently touring in Les Misérables at the Ahmanson) is doing one last Audition Psych. 101 before leaving for his next tour stop. Join Michael as he de-terrorizes the audition process, from preparation to callback, in this funny, inspiring workshop, designed to help performers at every level deal with nerves and insecurities and learn to love auditioning. Monday, July 25th from 6:00 – 10:00 pm at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. The class is Pay-What-You-Can (suggested: $45). To enroll, email

La Mirada Theatre and Upright Cabaret have announced the performers for California Dreamin’ the final show of the season. Jake Simpson, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Julie Garnye, Nathan Shrake and Brooke Tansley will perform the music of The Mamas and The Papas, Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles. Todd Schroeder is the musical director for this one-night-only concert, which will take place on Sunday, July 10 at 8:00 pm at the new Cabaret Lounge at La Mirada Theatre. Click Here for tickets.

Cabrillo Music Theatre will hold two very special fundraising events in conjunction with its summer musical, The Sound Of Music. On Sunday evening, July 24th, bring a picnic supper and head down to Carpenter Park (in front of the Civic Arts Plaza) to enjoy the first night of Sundays In The Park With Cabrillo, entitled A Very Good Place To Start: Yesterday’s Children… Tomorrow’s Stars. Share an evening of music with some of the many young people who have graced the Cabrillo stage over the past seventeen years and see how well they’ve turned out! Nate & Al's Deli is offering a special box supper - contact them to book in advance!

Then on Monday evening, August 1st, the Cabrillo Monday Evening Concert Series takes flight with Our Favorite Things: An Evening of Music with Norman Large and Christina Saffran Ashford, an intimate and elegant evening of music in the Founders’ Room at the Kavli Theatre. Click Here for tickets to these special events.

Sterling’s Upstairs at Vitello’s presents Dennis McNeil in Me and My Big Mouth, an evening of spectacular selections from Broadway and the Great American Songbook on Sunday, July 10, 2011. Featuring Musical Director Ed Martel and the Ed Martel Trio. Dinner Seating: 5:30 – 6:00 pm. Showtime: 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Click Here for tickets.

Black Sun, a new musical by playwright Stephen Belber and Adam Duritz (frontman for the group Counting Crows) will be presented August 11 as part of the 11th annual Ojai Playwrights Conference. The show centers on eight New Yorkers who must deal with the sudden disappearance of sunlight from their existence. Tickets are available online at

It Must Be Him, a new comedy with songs will preview July 14th and run through September 4th at Edgemar Center for the Arts. The show is written by Kenny Solms, directed by Brian Drillinger, with original songs by Larry Grossman (music) and Ryan Cunningham (lyrics). It’s the story of Louie Wexler, whiz kid comedy writer from the heyday of variety television, who is now out of luck and out of new ideas. Louie searches high and low for one last shot at his own real-life happy ending.

Jake Schaeffer is the musical director and Alexandra Guarnieri produces. The cast features Veronica Alicino, Nick Cobey, Stephan Smith Collins, Michael Edelstein, Morgan Smith Feldman, Andy Fitzgerald, Beth Lane, Stephen Marshall, David Pevsner, Kim Shannon, Jim Shipley, Lani Shipman and George Wyhinny. Click Here for ticket information.

The new gospel musical Overcome, Overjoyed by Charlia Boyer will play three performances at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood July 29, 30 and 31st. Laugh, cry and find inspiration as you watch a woman, a man and a family overcome the pains of their past and find joy again. Featured in the cast are Angie Irons, Carlton Wilborn, Cedric Williams Jr., Tamina Johnson, Michaela Reed, Dajon Robinson, and Na'Kia Bell Smith. Musical director is Gail Johnson and choreographer is Reegan Haynes. For more information go to

Talent from more than forty countries around the world will participate in the 15th Annual World Championships of Performing Arts, July 17 - 22, 2011, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. Dancers, singers, models, actors, instrumentalists, and variety artists compete for the "gold" and $130,000 in scholarships.

The competition week commences with the Opening Ceremonies Parade and free public performance at the Nokia Center, Sunday, July 17, from 9:00am - 10:00am. A live global webcast of the event will be available at on July 22 at 7:00 pm PST. WCOPA is offering a limited number of tickets for the Finals Event to California residents. Click Here for information.

And in GLEE news, Chord Overstreet, who plays Sam Evans, will not return as a regular in the upcoming season although he may return as a guest star. Two other actors have been upgraded to full-time regulars; Darren Criss who plays Blaine and Harry Shum Jr. who plays Mike.

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