Thursday, April 10, 2014

Musical News for Thursday, April 10, 2014

OPENINGS: Actors Co-op will close its 22nd Season with 110 in the Shade (book by N. Richard Nash, music by Harvey Schmidt, & lyrics by Tom Jones). Richard Israel directs, with Bryan Blaskie as musical director and Julie Hall as choreographer. The ensemble includes Skylar Adams, Emily Armstrong, David Crane, Alex Denney, Michael Downing, Julie Hall, Rachel Hirshee, Tim Hodgin, Jason Peter Kennedy, Rory Patterson, Courtney Potter and Treva Tegtmeier. In the middle of a heat wave in 1930’s Texas, Lizzie Curry is on the verge of becoming an old maid when a charismatic rainmaker turns her life upside down. 110 in the Shade opens Friday, May 9 and runs through June 15 at Actors Co-op, 1760 N. Gower Street, located on the ground of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. Tickets: (323) 462-8460 x 300 or www.ActorsCo-op.org

Fraggled Productions will open The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The Cupcake Theater in Hollywood on May 2, continuing through May 24, on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm. Spelling Bee is directed by Ryan Foy and follows an eclectic group of six young contestants vying for the spelling championship title of a lifetime. It is a quirky and interactive tale of adolescence, expectations, achievements, and the realization that being true to yourself is more important than winning. Since its creation in 2012, Fraggled Productions has produced a number of projects, including cabaret performances featuring talented Broadway alums, original staged readings, and musicals such as The Last Five Years, Anne Frank: The Musical and Urinetown. Tickets: www.cupcaketheater.com.

Teatro Máscara Mágica (TMM), in residence at La Jolla Playhouse, will present its second project, Misa Azteca: A Prophetic Poem Fulfilled June 11 – 22. This world premiere features a story by Monique and Joseph Julian Gonzalez, music by Joseph Julian Gonzalez, and is directed by TMM artistic director William Virchis. Played internationally as an orchestral, choral piece, Misa Azteca has delighted audiences throughout the world, however, the prophetic poems and mysteries it is built upon have never been brought to light. Now, for the first time, the piece will receive an eerie dramatization as it foretells the fall of the Aztec Empire, the rise of an unknown God, and a miracle that will transform a nation. Dance, multi-media and song are combined to tell a story that will inspire and uplift the human spirit. Tickets: (800) 838-3006 or BrownPaperTickets.com. For more information, go to http://teatromascaramagica.org/.

Tony Monaco’s one-man musical, The Road to Damascus, comes to Los Angeles just in time for Easter and Passover, opening April 11 at the Little Victory Theatre in Burbank. Inspired by the dramatic conversion of Rabbi Saul of Tarsus – the man who turned from murderer to saint (the Apostle Paul) – and the persecution of Jesus’ followers after his crucifixion, Monaco’s historical portrayal incorporates music, song and dance with Biblical themes, bringing to life this world-changing story in a characterization that shows why biographers refer to the Apostle Paul as “The man who shook the world.” The original production was backed by Monaco’s friend and fellow actor, Buddy Ebsen. Now LA director/choreographer Joshua Finkel has worked with Monaco to update the original direction, staging, and choreography. Performances are April 11 – 27 at The Little Victory Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd. in Burbank, 91505. Tickets: (800) 838-3006 or www.TheRoadtoDamascus.net.

The California Lutheran University Music and Theatre Arts departments will present Duncan Sheik’s Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza April 25 – May 4, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm. “It is perhaps the boldest play we’ve done at CLU in terms of material,” said director Ken Gardner. “The essential problem in it is that children are treated more like possessions than family and parents simply don't communicate or connect with them, much like the infamous ‘generation gap.’” Based on a controversial 1891 German play, the musical portrays teen sexual awakening and deals with suicide, abortion and abuse, both sexual and physical. It is for adult audiences only due to explicit sexual situations and language. Leading the 18-member cast are Brenden MacDonald, a psychology major from Simi Valley as the fearless, dreamy Melchior; Nolan Monsibay, a music major from Burbank as his troubled friend, Moritz; and Samantha Winters, a history major from Ventura as the beautiful Wendla. Heidi Vas is vocal director and Jeff Wallach is choreographer. Tickets are $25: (805) 449-2787.

DANCE: Ballroom with a Twist, a new fusion of Broadway, classical and international-style song and dance, directed by international choreographer and competitive dance champion Louis Van Amstel, will light up the stage at the Valley Performing Arts Center at 8:00 pm on Saturday, May 17. The spectacle is highlighted by Dancing with the Star’s Kym Johnson and Tristan MacManus. American Idol finalists Gina Glocksen-Ruzicka and Von Smith will also join along with So You Think You Can Dance finalists Legacy, Jonathan Platero and Randi Lynn Strong. Tickets: (818) 677-3000 or www.valleyperformingartscenter.org.

CONCERTS/CABARET: Jeremy Jordan will make his solo concert debut in Los Angeles on Monday, May 5 at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood. There will be two shows only at 7:30pm and 10:00 pm presented by Chris Isaacson and Upright Cabaret. Recounting decisive moments from his budding career, Jordan will perform songs that have defined his swift rise to stardom, including music from Broadway’s Newsies, NBC’s Smash, the upcoming feature film The Last 5 Years, and many of Jordan’s own personal favorites. Doors open at 6:00 pm for cocktail and dinner service (minimums apply). Admission is $30, and VIP seating ($40) is available. You can get $5 off before April 28, and online purchases will receive priority seating. Tickets: www.ChrisIsaacsonPresents.com, or (866) 468-3399. Catalina Bar & Grill is located at 6725 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, 90028.

Ryan Black’s 88’s presents The Songs of Boublil & Schonberg, Les Mis and Saigon at Don’t Tell Mama Los Angeles, 8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90046. Free, but there is a $10 suggested donation at door for Unicef & Philippines disaster relief fund. www.thereforthephilippines.org Come early to have dinner and drinks or have dinner and drinks during the show (2 item minimum for seats). Showtime is 8:00 pm. Click Here for reservations or call (323) 380-7209. The show stars Joan Almedilla, Melissa Bailey, Evan D’Angeles, Zachary Ford, Cliffton Hall, Deedee Magno Hall, Cassie Simone Harlow, April Malina, Cassandra Murphy, Kevin Odekirk, William Martinez, Sheldon Morley and Kevin Story, and is directed by Ryan Black, with musical direction by Gregory Nabours. Also featuring Scott Firestone on drums and Jean Sudbury on violin. Open mic after the show from 10pm-2am so bring your music. For parking instructions and more info, visit the show’s Facebook page Here.

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