Monday, March 31, 2014

Musical News for Monday, March 31, 2014

OPENINGS: The full cast has been announced for Pasadena Playhouse production of Vanessa Claire Stewart’s STONFACE. The production, which enjoyed a run in 2012 at Sacred Fools Theatre Company, will play at The Playhouse June 3 - 29, with a press opening on Sunday, June 8. The almost original cast includes French Stewart (Third Rock From The Sun) as Buster Keaton, Jake Broder (Joseph Schenck), Tegan Ashton Cohan (Natalie Talmadge), Conor Duffy (Edward Sedgewick/George Jessel), Joe Fria (Young Buster), Scott Leggett (Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle), Guy Picot (Charlie Chaplin), Rena Strober (Eleanor Norris/Norma Talmadge) and Pat Towne (Louis B. Mayer). Joining them will be Tony Award-winning actress, Daisy Eagan as Mae. STONEFACE is directed by Jaime Robledo, with music by Ryan Johnson, choreography by Natasha Norman, stunt choreography by Andrew Amani, and projection design by Ben Rock & Anthony Backman.

Chronicled through the lens of his own silent films, STONEFACE recreates some of Buster Keaton’s most memorable gags live on stage, capturing the legend of a bygone era and telling the tale of the redemption of one of Hollywood’s greatest performers. You can read my review of the Sacred Fools production Here. It was a theatre highlight of the year and I highly recommend that you get your tickets now for what is certain to be a terrific version at The Playhouse. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Tickets (626) 356-7529 or www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

Congrats to One More Productions at The GEM Theatre, who has officially reopened after a two-year hiatus caused by a devastating fire. Their next production is VIOLET, the story of a young woman on a quest to find beauty and love after a childhood accident left her scarred. In hopes that a televangelist can heal her, she hops on a Greyhound bus and embarks on the journey of a lifetime. Violet features a hit gospel, rock, country, and rhythm & blues score by Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Brian Crawley. The show runs April 12 – May 4, Thurs. – Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 2pm. The new season also includes Evita (June 26 – July 20), Gypsy (Aug. 21 – Sept. 14), Assassins (Oct. 9 – Nov. 2), and The Holiday GEM (Nov. 28 – Dec.21). For tickets and information call (714) 741-9550 x. 225 or visit www.onemoreproductions.com.

EXTENDED: Wild Songs and Naked Souls has extended through May 18 at T.U Studios in North Hollywood. This world premiere engagement of a new musical revue, conceived and directed by Gloria Gifford, features writings of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Sand, Isadora Duncan, Lord Byron, Omar Khayyam, Sei Shonagon and Wanda Gag with music by John Scott and Gloria Gifford. Saturdays at 8:00, Sundays at 7:30. Tickets: (310) 366-5505 or www.tix.com.

CHILDREN’S SHOWS: Creating Arts brings back its one hour mini-musical versions of Snow White and Wizard of Oz in April. The productions incorporate their trademark “flexible fourth-wall” which allows some scenes to be viewed like a “regular” theatrical musical or play with audience members watching the performers on stage, and other scenes experienced interactively, encouraging the audience to participate with the performers in the scene. They are perfect for very young children, the first time patron, or anyone who loves to sing along.

Snow White, a Pint Size Play for Ages 3 and up, runs April 12 – May 11 (Saturdays 12:00 – 1:00 pm & Sundays 1:00 – 2:00 pm). It combines film and projection with live action and music for a play that pulls you right in, plus blackouts, strobe-lights and fog for special effects. Wizard of Oz, a Mini Musical for Ages 3 and up, runs April 12 – May 11 (Saturdays 2:00 – 3:00 pm & Sundays 3:00 – 4:00 pm). This fun show is a cinematic-theatrical-interactive-musical experience that blends film and screen technology with live action for a unique show that parents and kids will all enjoy. Come boo for the witch, cheer for Dorothy and her friends, sing, dance and interact while introducing your children to a classic. All performances take place at Promenade Playhouse, 1404 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Tickets ($12.00 for children and  $20.00 for adults) are available  by calling (310) 804-0223 or visiting www.creatingarts.org.

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