Friday, June 24, 2011

Join the “Social Swamp” for SHREK THE MUSICAL, July 12th Only!

Eric Petersen, Alan Mingo Jr., Haven Burton. Photo credit: ©2010 DreamWorks Theatricals (Joan Marcus)

July 6 update: A new block of $15 tickets has been made available to sit in the Social Swamp at this performance! Visit the website below and use the promo code SWAMP.

Shrek The Musical is arriving at the Pantages Theatre in just three weeks, running July 12th through 31st, and how's this for a deal? For this show, the kind folks at the Pantages are providing a really unique opportunity for bloggers and our followers. For just $15 you can attend the very first performance and be part of the “Social Swamp” where you will be allowed to post to Facebook and Tweet mid-performance. How cool is that!

Seating in the “Social Swamp” is reserved ONLY for those who take advantage of this special offer and who will relish this very rare opportunity to actually be allowed to use your smart phone or wireless device to engage your social networking followers mid-event. As a blogger, I love this idea!

The Pantages will have a Wi-Fi access code for all those who take part in this very special one-night only event. It is absolutely the best offer in the market for this family hit so act now to get seats. A limited number are available.

Visit Must use promo code SWAMP when ordering. See you there!

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GROUP Evolves through the Fringe Festival

The last time I saw GROUP was during a press preview in December prior to its January 2011 run at the Powerhouse Theatre. Since then, it’s clear that a great deal of thoughtful consideration has gone into its continued development.

The writers have clarified the convention of “musical” group therapy in a way that is much more believable. Act I has found its rhythm with improved pacing, the relationships between the characters are stronger, and the actors have relaxed into their roles. Two performances in particular standout, Isaac Wade as Dr. Allen and Trevor Algatt as Phillip, however the work of the entire ensemble has become much more nuanced and natural.

Vocals are occasionally out of tune when several of the actors push the notes at the top of their register, which better breath support would help. The emotional engagement for the audience is high though as GROUP taps into our universal need to be loved.

It is nice to see the evolution of this promising new musical continue. Congratulations to all involved.

Only two Fringe performances remain for this run – tonight and tomorrow at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. For more information go to

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The Old Globe to Premiere A ROOM WITH A VIEW

Marc Acito
 Executive Producer Lou Spisto has announced that the world premiere of the musical A Room with a View, with a book by Marc Acito, music by Jeffrey Stock (Triumph of Love) and lyrics by Acito and Stock, will complete the Globe’s 2011-12 Winter Season. Scott Schwartz will direct the new work based on the classic novel by E.M. Forster.

A Room with a View blends a gorgeous score with the timeless story that inspired the Academy Award-winning film. Amid the golden sunlight and violet-covered hills of Tuscany, sheltered English girl Lucy Honeychurch meets freethinking George Emerson and for the first time glimpses a world of longing and passion she had never imagined. Upon her return to her corseted Edwardian life, Lucy must decide whether to yield to convention or give up everything she has ever known.

A Room With A View will run March 2, 2012 - April 8, 2012. Tickets to the Globe’s 2011-12 Winter Season are currently available by subscription only. For more information go to

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1776 Opens at Glendale Centre Theatre

Todd Nielsen will direct the Tony Award-winning Musical 1776 which will run June 23 – August 13, 2011 at Glendale Centre Theatre. It features music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, book by Peter Stone, and musical direction by Steven Applegate.

1776 is based on the events leading up to the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams, disliked by many in Congress, joins Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to bring forward a resolution for independence that will eventually set America free from England's tyranny. Powerful performances and an impeccably crafted script make 1776 as relevant today as it was when first written.

Regional musical theatre favorites Peter Husmann (as John Adams), John Butz (as Benjamin Franklin), Jeff Drushal (as Thomas Jefferson), and Victoria Strong (as Abigail Adams) lead a stellar cast which also includes:

Nathan Armstrong (Robert Livingston), Aldo Benalcazar (Leather Apron), George Champion (John Hancock), Mario DiGregorio (Col. Thomas as McKean), Clay Dzygun (James Wilson), Christopher Gomez (Dr. Lyman Hall), Kyle Kelley (George Read), Michaelia Leigh (Martha Jefferson), Jason Lewis (Dr. Josiah Bartlett), Hisato Masuyama-Ball (Dr. Samuel Chase), Patrick McMahon (Roger Sherman), Danny Michaels (Charles Thomson), Peter Miller (Andrew McNair), Jim Molinaro (Joseph Hewes), Michael Shaughnessy (Rev. John Witherspoon), Scott Strauss (Caesar Rodney), Adam Trent (Lewis Morris), Bryan Vickery (Richard Henry Lee), Andrew Wade (Courier), Jason Webb (John Dickinson), Don Woodruff (Stephen Hopkins), and Joey Zangardi (Edward Rutledge).

Glendale Centre Theatre is located at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale, CA 91203. Tickets are available by calling 818-244-8481 or online at

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Actor's Co-op Presents West Coast Premiere of MISS VULCAN 1939

Roman mythology and 1930's Alabama collide in the zany musical comedy Miss Vulcan 1939, which features book by Marian Partee, lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, and music by Jan Powell. The musical was originally commissioned by Red Mountain Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama to celebrate an actual historical event and is currently being produced by Actor’s Co-op June 23 - July 3, 2011.

The idea was born approximately four years ago when Keith Cromwell, Artistic Director of the Red Mountain Theatre crossed paths with the staff of the Academy for New Musical Theatre, a Los Angeles based organization that the three writers were associated with.

One of Cromwell’s board members had shown him a newspaper article about a beauty contest that took place in Birmingham in 1939, in which Evelyn Tully, a clerk at Kresses Five and Dime, beat out the City's elite in a contest to decide who would be crowned Miss Vulcan. Birmingham is a steel city and has a huge statue of the god Vulcan in Vulcan Park…thus the name of the contest, Miss Vulcan. The story was a perfect situation around which to create a musical and Donfeld, Partee and Powell were commissioned to write it.

A year later, Red Mountain Theatre and Vulcan Park premiered the show, which was so successful that it received a second production the following summer. Donfeld attended the premiere and even met Evelyn Tully, now a distinguished and still beautiful older woman, who was present for the festivities.

Miss Vulcan now receives its west coast premiere at Actor’s Co-op as part of its Co-op Too! Series, produced by Selah Victor and Laura Manchester. Victor previously participated in a developmental reading of the musical at the El Portal Theatre prior to its Birmingham production. Manchester will direct the show, Kelly Stables choreographs and Rob Bowers is the musical director.

The cast will feature Sal Sabella (Glenn Williams), Jean Altadel (Evelyn Tully), Steve Gustafson (Vulcan), Kevin Michael Moran (JC Inglis), Selah Victor (Ruby), Natalie Lander (Pearl) and Charleene Closshey (Opal).

Miss Vulcan 1939 runs June 23 - July 3 in the Crossley Terrace Theatre, 1760 N. Gower Street. For tickets and more information go to  

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Top of My List - The Trouble With Words

Ryan Wagner, Julianne Donelle, Josh Eddy, Sarah Phillips,
Christopher Roque, and Aimee Karlin
Photos by Kevin McShane

When a theatrical production gets it right; when its artists pour their collective heart and soul into the creative process and meticulously craft a work that fulfills its own prophecy…magic is born. It is beyond exciting to see the fulfillment of such a piece in a tiny theatre in the midst of the Fringe Festival where Coeurage Theatre Company’s The Trouble With Words has proven that it’s not the size of the theatre, but the quality of the work that leaves a lasting impression.

Categorized as a song cycle, The Trouble With Words by Gregory Nabours is a moving exploration of our relationship with words and how those words impact others. The evening is a series of “story songs” that are breathtakingly beautiful, filled with Nabours’ lush harmonies, complex progressions, and an artistic sensibility that transforms this piece into something extraordinary.

No other Fringe production can boast a six-piece orchestra – piano, violin, cello, reeds, percussion, and guitar, playing its score. Their location onstage may be dictated by the size of the space but it creates an intimacy with the audience that music lovers will adore. It’s a gorgeous effect with the musicians framing the stage; Nabours leading them up center in a soft light.

There is an inherent vulnerability in The Trouble With Words and director Patrick Pearson has found every nuance within it. Some of the images and sounds I can’t forget:

The picket sign and the pain in Aimee Karlin’s “Busiest Corner in Town”…thank you for your time (photo: above left)

Julianne Donelles haunting tale “Johnny” and the pin spot of light on her face as she sings in perfect stillness.

A completely inspired and cynical “Ballerina’s Lament” with Sarah Phillips in a ghastly pink tutu

Ryan Wagner on his knees singing in desperation during “The Silence and the Rain”

Josh Eddy’s ballad “Never Let You Fall” delicately sung to an unseen child

The ensemble, from a distance all in white shirts, watching Chris Roque sing “Raincloud”

Josh, Ryan and Chris comically bemoaning that they “Gotta Get Laid” (still makes me laugh)

These artists have paid attention to every detail of the production and it shows.

I get asked all the time if I've seen anything that is good. What would I recommend? This show - The Trouble With Words. It is sophisticated, seductive, mischievous and an all-around satisfying experience. Go!

Remaining Fringe performances are June 23, 24 and 25th however there is already talk of extending its run. They have also been in the studio so a recording will be forthcoming. For more information and tickets go to

Photos above:
1. Julianne Donelle
2. Chris Roque (far right in group photo)
3. Ryan Wagner
4. Josh Eddy
5. Sarah Phillips

The Trouble With Words is part of the Fourth Annual Festival of New American Musicals. 

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Music Theatre of Los Angeles Presents its 2011 Musical Revue

Tickets are still available for Music Theatre of Los Angeles' 2011 Musical Revue. For more information go to

MTLA is an award winning, nonprofit theatre company whose mission is to bring outstanding musical theatre to the public, incorporating community arts education and youth outreach with musical theatre production. 

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

SUPER SIDEKICK, Fringe Family Entertainment

This year the Hollywood Fringe Festival has included family entertainment, along with its “fringier” fare, and young audiences will find Super Sidekick (book by Gregory Crafts, music & lyrics by Michael Gordon Shapiro) to be a fun one hour theatrical event just for them.

It’s the story of Inky (Scott Sharma), a mild-mannered super hero’s assistant, and his determination to rescue both his boss Blackjack (Noah Butler) and Princess Penelope (Hannah Nawroth) when they are captured by the evil Sorcerer Slurm (Shawn Cahill).

Crafts’ story contains the perfunctory lessons about believing in yourself and overcoming your fears, and Shapiro’s music is light and simple enough to keep the kids engaged. There are even some sweetly comic moments that work very well, especially when the actors speak directly to the children in the audience.

Unfortunately SS quickly loses its charm due to Jenn Scuderi’s overly-melodramatic direction and under-rehearsed actors. Dance steps are haphazard and scenes at times played out in the shadows by a hesitant cast not always able to find their light (one of the challenges of fringe shows that jump into a space without much prep time). Some manage better than others with the material but for the most part the characters feel clumsy in the hands of inexperienced actors. The lone exception is Cahill, who finds just the right blend of Snidely Whiplash humor and exaggerated performance style without pointing at himself saying – aren’t I funny?

Remaining Fringe performances are June 25 and 26 at The Actor’s Circle Theatre, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 90046. All performances are pay-what-you-can. For more information go to

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Friday, June 17, 2011

La Mirada Theatre Presents Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts presents its final children’s show of the season, The Disney Channel’s Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!” Performances are Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 1:30 and 3:30 pm.

The Disney Channel’s Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!” won the Parent’s Choice Award in 2007 for Children’s television and has performed across the country. Choo-Choo Soul is a fun, exciting way for kids to learn while having fun, while parents enjoy the current, soulful stylings of the accompanying music.

Train conductor Genevieve Goings drives her animated train through fantastical lands while singing contemporary, kid-friendly hip-hop songs about ABCs, 123s and being polite. The diverse and hip duo of Genevieve and DC, the beatboxing, break-dancing engineer, teaches children through music in this special live version of the favorite television show.

La Mirada Theatre’s Programs for Young Audiences is designed to give children exposure to a diverse mix of national and international touring stage acts.

All seats are $8 for children and $12 for adults. Tickets are available at or by calling 562-944-9801 or 714-994-6310. The theatre is located at 14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada, CA. Parking is free. Wheelchair access and Hearing Assist devices available.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

GROUP Cast Reunites for Fringe Performances

Trevor Algatt, Caroline Sharp, Melissa Collins
and Brook Baldwin. Photo: Jeremy Roush

The new musical GROUP is returning for three encore performances at the Hollywood Fringe Festival next week. Composer Adam Emperor Southard writes that they will be keeping the original cast together for one last hurrah as they share their work with Fringe audiences.

“The show has continued to evolve and grow since our December previews. Between our previews and our opening run in January I have made a substantial amount of rewrites and music adjustments. Following the January run I continued to work on the script and our actors have continued to think about their characters.

Perhaps the greatest thing to come out of this remounting of Group is watching our director Richard Tatum challenge the actors to look at their roles with fresh eyes. He has brought to the table so many great new ideas that make the show stronger, funnier and more powerful. I truly feel that it speaks to and for everyone’s need to love and to be loved.”

Group’s three performances will take place on June 23, 24, 25 at 8:00 pm at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd. $2 parking with validation at the Hollywood and Highland parking structure. To purchase tickets and view the trailer go to

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Sierra Madre Playhouse Presents TUNNEL OF LOVE

Tunnel of Love, a new musical by Lani Ridley Pedrini will have its world premiere at the Sierra Madre Playhouse on June 26, 2011 and play subsequent Sundays July 3, 10 and 24th at 7:30 pm.

The original jukebox musical is packed with favorite songs from a variety of genres (pop, show tunes, rock and country) spanning the 20s through the 80s (when American popular music was the most fun).

It’s the story of Abbey and Lenny, a couple destined for each other, as they meet, fall in love, break up, and find their way back to each other again in a musical that celebrates love and romance with all its ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs.

The cast includes Hoberleigh Phreigh, Mike Alva, Lani Ridley Pedrini, Charles Offenhauser, Denise Harvey, Michael Shaughnessy, Joahna Ruffin, Paula Montgomery, Jack Walsh, Pamela Feener, Al Timss, Joe Feeney, The TOVP Dancers: Nancy Sharrett, Patricia Stine, Sheryl Hunter, Viola Johnson, Marsha Berger, Ferne Hayes and Maria Pearson.

Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. There is ample free parking behind theatre. For tickets please call 626-355-4318 or go to

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West Coast Ensemble Brings GYPSY Back to Hollywood

Jan Sheldrick and Stephanie Wall in Gypsy
Photo: Carla Barnett

Performance update: Due to popular demand, the show has extended through July 31, 2011.

Stephen Sondheim, in his memoir “Finishing the Hat,” said that Gypsy is the show where he came of age lyrically. “It was the first chance I had to write lyrics for characters of considerable complexity… [and] Rose, was the dramatist’s dream, the self-deluded protagonist who comes to a tragic/triumphant end.”

When an audience knows more about the character than they do themselves, they wait in a kind of suspended anticipation of that inevitable point when the character will be forced to face the truth. In the case of Gypsy, Momma Rose’s moment of truth comes in a show-stopping eleven o’clock number, “Rose’s Turn.”

Jan Sheldrick is getting a chance to experience that moment of truth firsthand as she takes on the iconic role of Momma Rose in West Coast Ensemble’s production of Gypsy, now playing at the Theatre of Arts Arena Stage in Hollywood. Sheldrick hits the highs and lows of this desperately flawed character with everything she’s got and she’s terrific.

As her daughters, Stephanie Wall and Kaylie Swanson create sisters as different as two girls could possibly be – Wall as Louise, who goes on to become burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee, and Swanson as June, who would later star on Broadway and in films as June Havoc.

You will fall in love with these girls, I’m warning you. Swanson is a perky, blonde ingénue who will fool you into thinking she’s all smiles until you see a flash of the rage that June is hiding underneath, and Wall will just plain break your heart. Her “Little Lamb,” sung quietly to her stuffed animals, is simple and sweetly innocent and watching her dance behind Tulsa (a charming Eric Alan Smith) during “All I Need is the Girl” proves that the eyes really are windows to the soul. You’ll see in hers the yearning of a young girl aching to be seen, and knowing that disappointment is only moments away makes it even more poignant for us watching her.

Their younger selves are Kaleigh Ryan as Baby June, a smaller, spunkier, baton-twirling ball of energy in blonde curls, and Caitlin Williams as Young Louise, who I wanted to scoop up and say don’t worry, it will all be okay. The connection between the older and younger versions of Louise is very moving and director Richard Israel uses it to create some incredibly powerful moments. I don’t want to spoil any of them so that’s all I will say, but they added so much to the subtext. He has a way of bringing out all the layers underneath, and in a show like this, if you strip away all the showbiz of the story, it really is all about these people and who they are to each other, who they want to be, and who they can never be.

Nowhere is that more evident than in the relationship between Rose and Herbie (Michael Matthys), two people who can’t quite seem to end up on the same page. Matthys has a likeable, everyman quality that works so beautifully for Herbie, especially when paired with the fast-talking, take-no-prisoners Sheldrick…and he’s got a great singing voice too! Those who know him from his many dramatic roles around town are in for a treat.

Larry Lederman and Tony Pandolfo (one very funny guy) are nicely featured in a variety of roles and you’ll get a kick out of Sara Stuckey as the gimmick-laden stripper, Tessie Tura. Stuckey has mastered the fine arts of tassel-twirling and talcum powder, and uses them both to good advantage in Act II.

Costumes by Zale Morris are spot-on and special mention goes to Anthony Gagliardi for the fantastic wigs. Put them up on Stephen Gifford’s great road-weary set, add Johanna Kent’s fine musical direction, and polish it off with John Todd’s inventive choreography, and you’ve got a Gypsy that is quite moving.  

West Coast Ensemble’s pared down version of Gypsy is a timely choice for 2011, especially with the recent passing of book writer Arthur Laurents and all the talk of a new Gypsy film in the works.

It's a story that never grows old; the desire to become a star. And whether you never get fame for yourself, like Rose, or you stumble into it because there is no other choice, like Louise, it always lies in wait for an opportunity. Richard Israel and company have taken their opportunity to make this ragtag Gypsy completely, and quite effectively, their own.

For tickets and more information go to

Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Jule Stein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee
Directed by Richard Israel

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Open Fist Theatre to feature new Shoshana Bean Musical in its First Look Festival

Open Fist Theatre Company is gearing up for its third First Look Festival of Plays which is a two month celebration of contemporary American theatre and music. Eight new works will be represented in production or in staged reading/concert format, including a workshop production of the new musical Dear John Mayer with music and lyrics by Shoshana Bean and book by Eydie Faye.

Produced by Shoshana Bean, Gregory Sieradzan, Scott Paulin, John LeMay, and John Bobek, directed by Martha Demson and featuring choreography by Eboni Nichols, Dear John Mayer will preview Wednesday, July 20 at 8pm, open Friday, July 22 and run through Saturday, September 3.

Stevie Steinman has a skill: she’s good at doing what people expect her to do. So when she finds herself divorced at 30, living in her childhood bedroom and styling old ladies' hair for a living she decides it is finally time to do what she has wanted to do all along: Sing. Not knowing where to begin, she turns on her computer and creates a video blog in the hopes of catching the attention of her muse, John Mayer. When a heavy-hitter from the music industry stumbles upon her videos, life changes very quickly for Stevie. The decision to follow her heart and enter the music game quickly reveals that the realities of the business are much different than the fantasies that play out in her bedroom.

Additional shows appearing in the festival include:

By D. Tucker Smith
Directed by D. Tucker Smith with Anjali Bhimani
Produced by Anjali Bhimani and Mark Atteberry

Life On This Couch
Written by Laura Richardson
Directed by Benjamin Burdick
Producer by Laetitia Leon

Neither Here Nor There
By Rebecca Sue Haber
Directed by Michelle Lema

By Philip William Brock
Directed by: BjØrn Johnson

An Ignorant Man
By Richard Manley
Directed by John Hindman

The Power and the Glory: The Tale of Phil Ochs (American)
By Jesse Bernstein
Directed by Martha Demson

She’s The Best
By Jim Bontempo
Directed by Andrew Dodson

The Festival will begin on Friday, July 15 and runs through Saturday, September 10 at The NEW Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd. (former home of The Actor’s Gang) in Hollywood.

For complete schedule, details about the shows, and ticket information, please call 323-882-6912 or visit

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Monday, June 13, 2011

THE START OF SOMETHING REAL Plays The Secret Rose Theatre

The Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood is presenting The Start of Something Real: short plays and musicals by Stephanie Hutchinson, on July 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.)

Featured on the bill are:

Car Wash; Or in this Town, You Are What You Drive
A top movie producer, a newly-arrived small town girl, a wannabe starlet and a colorful carwash cashier cross paths at an L.A. carwash, but which car is whose? And does it really matter? Comedy

The Stone Cat
Two neighbors, one isolated and the other overly friendly, test the boundaries of friendship and reality. Comedy

Super 8 Versus Bacara Resort and Spa
A Hollywood producer trying to relax is annoyed by his next-door hotel guest, a sweet small town Southern girl; but is she really just an actress trying to get a part? Romantic Comedy

More Precious Than Diamonds, the Musical
A single woman turning 40 can't wait any longer for a Tiffany diamond and visits Tiffany's Beverly Hills with her married friend, where they meet a handsome but nerdy salesman who encourages her to try on an $84,900 ring, which gets stuck; Romantic Musical Comedy

The Truth About the Trash in the Trailer
Two very different L.A. sisters fly to Arizona to help their Great-Aunt, a stranger, move into a nursing home-at least, that's the plan. Comedy

You Can’t Be Tony!/The Start of Something Real
A model home stager invents the perfect man (client) to gear her home decor to, but when he shows up and claims the house, fireworks begin. A Double Play

Museum Tour, the Musical
The Old West meets The Twilight Zone when a sophisticated Angeleno visits a Western museum. Comedy

The Secret Rose Theatre is located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd, N. Hollywood, 91601. For more information go to

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A Whole Lotta Laughs in THE MILFORD PROJECT

The cast of The Milford Project. Photo by Lawson Deming

Nothing beats playing your very first performance of a new show before a loud, excited, packed house. Opening night always has a special energy and when you’ve poured five years into your musical like writers Kevin Oeser and Nick Martin, it’s got to feel good. That it happens on the first night of the 2nd Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival makes it even better.

Martin & Oeser’s new musical, The Milford Project, takes place in small town Milford, Iowa in 1937. 13-year old science genius Richie is Milford Junior High’s best chance for a blue ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but before he can enter, he’s kidnapped by a government agent and forced to create a super-bomb that could destroy the world…or at least Milford…if anything goes wrong. And it certainly does. With the fate of the free world in his hands, Richie must defy the U.S. government, battle Nazi spies, overcome his own pre-pubescent hormones, and hopefully save his town.

I like a show that makes me laugh out loud and Milford delivers more than its share of fun thanks to Oeser, a comedy writer who has trained with Upright Citizens Brigade and created numerous video hits for Funny or Die. Martin's songs are bright and serviceable but at times I had to strain to hear the singers over the musicians. That’s unfortunate because Martin and Oeser’s lyrics are quite clever and it’s a shame to miss any of the jewels embedded within.

The cast is an enthusiastic group with good comic chops as a whole and an appealing commitment to the over-the-top style, although the singing is uneven. Matthew Boehm is very likeable as Richie and cast standouts include John LeMay as the power-hungry agent who kidnaps him, Desi Domo as one of Dr. Plumstead’s sexy minions, and Kelsey Robinson as Student #2. Hint: it’s all about the ants.  Jake Regal, as Richie’s gawky friend Gerald also turns in a hysterically funny performance. He’s got physical comedy down to, well, a science.

The one-act musical does seem a bit long at 90 minutes and could easily be tightened up. That said, The Milford Project is full of potential, has a great fun factor, and provides a whole lotta laughs.

Remaining Fringe performances are June 17, 18, 19, 24 and 25. For location details and more information go to

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Actors Co-op Announces 20th Anniversary Season

Actor’s Co-op announces its 20th anniversary season, which will begin with the The 1940’s Radio Hour by Walton Jones September 23 - November 13, 2011. The season will also feature two new musicals and a Christmas special that are part of its Co-op Too! Productions. These are free to 2011-2012 subscribers and are second stage productions with the purpose of developing new works.

Co-op Too! will include:

Miss Vulcan
Book by Marian Partee, Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Jan Powell
June 23 -July 3, 2011

The Devil and Daisy Jane
Music and Lyrics by Lisa Marinacci, Book by Lisa Marinacci and Jeremy Lewit
August 4 - August 14, 2011
Part of the Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals

The Freddy Wyatt Christmas Spectacular
from an original idea by Stephen Van Dorn

Also on the 2011-2012 season are the following plays:

To Kill A Mockingbird
Adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee
October 14 - November 20, 2011

Yours, Isabel
An American Premiere by Christy Hall
February 3 - March 11, 2012

Long Day’s Journey Into Night
by Eugene O’Neill
March 16 - April 29, 2012

The Learned Ladies
By Molière, Translation by Richard Wilbur
May 11 - June 17, 2012

And completing the Co-op Too! Series is:

Days of Wine & Roses
Adapted for the stage by J.P. Miller
July 14 - July 24, 2011

Season tickets are available at or by calling 323-462-8460 x 300.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Go Fringe! SUPER SIDEKICK to the Rescue

Super Sidekick: The Musical, by Gregory Crafts and Michael Gordon Shapiro, returns to the Hollywood Fringe Festival Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm, June 11 – 26, 2011. All performances are pay what you want and will take place at Actor’s Circle Theatre in Hollywood.

The one hour fun-filled childrens' musical is the story of an assistant superhero who must learn to act like a fully-fledged hero when his boss is kidnapped by an evil sorcerer. On his journey he meets monsters in the dark, a princess who's quite capable of saving herself, and a horde of ninja koala bears.

It was quite a success last year at the Fringe and I am looking forward to finally getting a chance to see it. The Actor’s Circle Theatre is located at 7313 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. For more info go to Go Fringe!

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Trouble With Words Premieres at The Fringe

Coeurage Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Gregory Nabours' The Trouble with Words, an exciting new song cycle for 3 men and 3 women that explores the relationships people have with words as well as with each other.

It is directed by Patrick Pearson and stars Coeurage Theatre Company members Julianne Donelle, Aimee Karlin, Chris Roque, and Ryan Wagner with guest artists Josh Eddy and Sarah Phillips.

Gregory Nabours’ musical direction credits include shows like The Women of Brewster Place (2010 Ovation Winner), Having It All (2011 Ovation Nominee), [title of show] (LA Premiere-Celebration Theatre), and A New Brain (El Portal Forum). Composer credits include Sequins! - The Show Choir Musical, SteamTowne, and The Trouble With Words. Gregory is the musical director for Ryan Black's 88's Cabaret and Ryan O'Connor Eats His Feelings, and is the proud Resident Composer for Coeurage Theatre Company, where he appeared as Frank ‘N Furter in last year’s hit production of Rocky Horror Show.

Patrick Pearson is an award-winning director whose production of William Finn’s A New Brain was remounted twice over a two year period, the second time at the Festival of New American Musicals (El Portal Forum) where it was performed for the author. His production of Altar Boyz at the Celebration Theatre in West Hollywood was the recipient of two LA Weekly Awards (Best Ensemble and Choreography), and a nomination for Best Musical. Other directing credits include The Diviners (Kennedy Center), Under Milk Wood (Dylan Thomas Boathouse, Laugharne, Wales), and Songs from an Unmade Bed (Celebration Theatre). Patrick also served as assistant director on Duncan Sheik’s new musical Whisper House at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

The Trouble With Words will pay selected dates during the Fringe Festival from June 10 – July 16, 2011. For complete schedule and tickets go to
Performances will take place at Actors Circle Theatre, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046. Tickets are PAY-WHAT-YOU-WANT. Opening Night Gala is $20.00 which includes gourmet food and beverages.

The Trouble With Words is part of the Fourth Annual Festival of New American Musicals.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Musical Group To Play Hollywood Fringe Festival

The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and It’s Right Here Productions present three encore performances of the musical GROUP in the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival. GROUP chronicles seven strangers’ path to love and acceptance. With heartfelt wit set to an indie-rock score, “you’re going to find your peace here."

Produced by Tom Burmester, Corwin Evans, Adam Emperor Southard and Danika Sudik, the musical will feature original cast members Isaac Wade (Dr. Allen), Brooke Baldwin (Liz), Michael Hanson (Paul), Caroline Sharp (Meg), Trevor Algatt (Phillip), Evan Wall (Chris), and Melissa Collins (Julia).

The three performances are on June 23, 24, and 25, 8:00 pm at the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets are available for $12 both at the door and online on the Hollywood Fringe official website: Parking with validation from the theatre is only $2 at the Hollywood and Highland structure.

Book, Music and Lyrics: Adam Emperor Southard
Additional Music and Arrangements: Josh Allan Dykstra
Original Concept: Adam Emperor Southard and Scott D. Southard
Directed by Richard Tatum
Stage Management: Danielle Lynnae
Music Direction and Sound Design: Christopher Moscatiello
Lighting Design: Sasha Venola
Costume Design: Danika Sudik

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