Friday, December 6, 2013

Musical News Around Town for Friday, December 6, 2013

OPENINGS: Cabrillo Music Theatre celebrates its 20th Anniversary Season by blending one of the original Plaids with four of musical theatre’s top talents to create the definitive Forever Plaid especially for the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. The fresh and funny musical opens on January 31, 2014, playing until Sunday, February 9th, at the 1,800-seat Kavli Theatre. Once upon a time, there were four guys (Sparky, Smudge, Jinx and Frankie) who loved to sing. They rehearsed in the basement of Smudge’s family’s plumbing supply company. It was here they became “Forever Plaid.”  Although rock ‘n’ roll was racing down the fast lane like a candy apple “vette”, they believed in their music. They devoted themselves to singing at nights and on weekends. Then, finally, they landed their first big gig at the Airport Hilton cocktail bar - The Fusel Lounge. On February 9th, 1964, en route to pick up their custom-made plaid tuxedos, they were slammed broadside by a school bus filled with eager Catholic teens and were killed instantly. Now, through the Power of Harmony and the Expanding Holes in the Ozone Layer, they are allowed to come back to perform the show they never got to do in life.

Cabrillo’s terrific cast will include Roger Befeler, Scott Dreier, Jeffrey Scott Parsons, and Kurtis Simmons. All are experienced in the world of Plaid, and their combined talents make Cabrillo’s production one for the ages. In addition, original “Plaid,” Larry Raben, returns to Cabrillo to direct and Alby Potts returns as musical director. Tickets: For more info go to

TELEVISION: Six By Sondheim, the final film in HBO’s Fall Documentary Series will debut on Monday, December 9th (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT). Directed by Tony Award-winner and frequent Steven Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, Six By Sondheim is a highly personal profile of a great American artist as revealed through the creation and performance of six of his iconic songs. Told primarily in Sondheim’s own words, this feature documentary weaves together dozens of interviews with the composer, rarely seen archival material spanning more than half a century (including newly discovered footage of Ethel Merman performing Gypsy) and re-stagings of three songs produced especially for the film.

Showcase performances by Broadway and Hollywood stars such as Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess), Darren Criss (Glee), Jeremy Jordan (Newsies) and America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) are interspersed with archival performances of Sondheim standards by stars like Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, Dean Jones, Yvonne de Carlo and Larry Kert. Additional HBO playdates: Dec. 9 (5:25 am), 12 (9:30 am & 6:30 pm), 15 (11:45 am), 17 (12:30 am), 20 (10:45 am) and 28 (2:00 pm). 

FRINGE NEWS: Registration for the 5th annual Hollywood Fringe Festival begins February 1, 2014. Other important dates include:
April 1: Registration deadline for guide inclusion
June 5 – 10: Fringe Previews
June 11: Fringe Opening Night Gala
June 12 – 29: 5th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival 
June 29: Fringe Award Ceremony & Closing Night Party
The organization needs volunteers and interns throughout the year and you can learn more HERE. A venue meeting will also be held on Saturday, December 7 at 5pm in the Asylum Lab (at Theatre Asylum), 1078 Lillian Way.

BENEFIT: Patty Onagan and Ronn Goswick have announced A Relief Benefit Concert for the Philippines at The Pasadena Playhouse on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 pm. Proceeds will support the American Red Cross’ Typhoon Appeal and its efforts to assist overseas as the people of the Philippines begin to recover and rebuild. A sparkling who’s who of Los Angeles and Broadway talent will come together for the event.

Performers include Joan Almedilla, Michael Arden, Sharon Catherine Blanks and Billy Blanks, Jr., Yvette Cason, LaVance Colley, Loretta Devine, Danny Gurwin, Cliffton Hall and Deedee Magno Hall, Sam Harris,  Dawnn Lewis, Andy Mientus, Nicole Parker, Jennifer Paz and Anthony Federov, Valerie Perri, Kelli Provart, Joan Ryan, Gwen Stewart, Lea Thompson, and Nita Whitaker. The benefit will be directed by Jeffrey Polk with Abdul HamidRoyal, Todd Schroeder, Gerald Sternbach, and John Gentry Tennyson serving as musical directors. Tickets: or (626) 356-7529.

CABARET/CONCERTS: Chris Isaacson Presents and Upright Cabaret have announced that Laura Benanti will make her Los Angeles solo concert debut on January 9, 2014 at the Catalina Bar & Grill. The show celebrates the west coast release of her first album In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention. Musical direction and arrangements by Todd Almond. Showtime: 8:30pm. Cocktail and dinner service begin at 7pm. Tickets: (866) 468-3399 or

A Little New Music presents its final event of 2013 at Rockwell: Table & Stage on Tuesday, December 10. The fast-paced one hour program will showcase some of the best new or unheard musical theater songs by Doug Katsaros & Amanda Yesnowitz (Somewhere in Time) Joe Iconis (Smash, The Black Suits), Adam Gwon, Zoe Sarnak, Thomson & Mann, Gregory Nabours, Blaskie & Weston, Sam Wilmott, Milburn & Vigoda, Mark Allen, Rachel J. Peters, B.T. Ryback & Brian Pugach, Drew Fornarola, and Michael Finke.

Performers include Walter O’Neil, Nicci Claspell, Michael A. Shepperd, Coby Getzug, William Martinez, Anne Schroeder, James Lynch, Charissa Hogeland, Ryan McCartan, Jessica Reiner-Harris, Adam Silver, Kelsey Hainlen, Matt Merchant, Kelly Lester, Jason Peter Kennedy, and Segun Oluwadele. Jordan Kai Burnett hosts, with musical director Bryan Blaskie on keys. Doors open at 6:30pm and showtime is at 8:00pm. Tickets and info:

Ryan Black’s 88’s extends Hollywood Holidays at Don’t Tell Mama L.A. on December 11. Seats may be reserved with a dinner reservation by calling (323) 380-7209, or you can reserve online HERE. Open mic after the show. For more information go to

The Grove Theatre presents Great Joy – A Christmas Celebration on Sunday, December 22 at 6 pm. The staged concert will feature heart-warming traditional and unique Christmas Songs complemented by inspiring readings and dramatic moments that will brighten your holiday. Under the leadership of Brian and Jeni Stivale, the cast will transport you on a musical journey in a family-friendly celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the great joy that this season brings to all. Tickets are $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and $15 for children and students. For more information call (909) 920-4343.

AUDITIONS: Kentwood Players will hold open auditions for Fiddler on the Roof featuring book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Jerry Bock, and music by Sheldon Harnick on Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 11am-5pm (please arrive no later than 3pm) and on Sunday, January 12, 2014 from 6-10pm (please arrive no later than 8pm). Callbacks will be held on Monday, January 13 from 7-10pm. Auditions and performances take place at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045. For complete details and a breakdown of characters go to

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