Friday, August 15, 2014

Musical News for Friday, August 15, 2014

MUSICAL NEWS: The world premiere of PSYCHE: A Modern Rock Opera will play the Greenway Court Theatre Aug. 22 – Sept. 28 (opening night on Aug. 29). Cindy Shapiro has written book, music and lyrics for the original musical which is based on the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. Musical direction is by Jack Wall, choreography by Janet Roston and PSYCHE will be directed by Michael Matthews. This modern retelling is a stylistic musical hybrid of post-modernism and rock; a theatrical fever dream where the human princess Psyche and the god Eros fall wildly in love, but Aphrodite and Psyche’s evil sisters may have other plans.

The cast will feature Ashley Ruth Jones as Psyche, Michael Starr as Eros, Laura L. Thomas as Aphrodite along with Benai Boyd, Mathew Domenic D;Amico, Katie Kitani, Philip Dean Lightstone, Cindy Sciacca, Nakia Secrest, Neil Taffe, Derrian Tolden, Grace Yoo and Cynthia Zitter.  The design team includes Stephen Gifford (set design), E.B. Brooks (costume design), Tim Swiss (lighting design), Cricket S. Myers (sound design), and Michael O’Hara (props design).  Aerial director is Whitney Kirk and aerial consulting is by Nathalie Gaulthier. Greenway Court Theatre, 544 N. Fairfax Ave. in Hollywood. Tickets: (323) 655.7679 x100 or www.psycherockopera.com.

AWARDS: Actress Diahann Carroll will receive the 2014 Diversity Award at the 8th Annual Pasadena Playhouse Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project fundraising event on Sunday, September 21, 2014. The event will coincide with the theatre’s season opener Kiss Me, Kate starring Wayne Brady and Merle Dandridge. Pre-show reception begins at 3:30 pm with the presentation to Diahann Carroll taking place at 4:45 pm on the Mainstage. Curtain is at 5:00 pm. A post show party will immediately follow the performance.

“I had the true honor (and the great fun) of directing Diahann Carroll here at the Playhouse in our production of BLUE,” said Sheldon Epps. “She has become a good friend and a great supporter of my work here. Diahann has been a great trailblazer and pioneer in our field, opening many doors in the entertainment industry. One could say that the Diversity Project itself is in the grand tradition of her achievements.” For more information about the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Program, or to become a Patron of the 2014 Diversity Celebration, contact Julia Fitzgibbons by phone at (626) 204-7383 or via email at jfitzgibbons@pasadenaplayhouse.org.


I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky, a one-night only performance comes to the Ford. An earthquake romance. A genre-defying song play. With a score by leading contemporary composer John Adams and a libretto by the late poet June Jordan, I was looking at the ceiling and then I saw the sky was written as an homage to the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Now, 20 years later, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission presents the Southern California premiere, performed by Long Beach Opera. LBO artistic director Andreas Mitisek conducts a concert staging at the Ford Amphitheatre on Aug. 23 at8 pm as part of the Ford’s Zev Yaroslavsky Signature Series.


The cast will include Cedric Berry as Dewain, a reformed gang leader; Bernard Holcomb as David, a Baptist minister; Zeffin Quinn Hollis as Mike, a cop who is also a community activist; Andrew Nguyen as Rick, a Vietnamese-American Legal Aid defense attorney; Lindsay Patterson as Leila, an African-American graduate student working as a family planning counselor in an abortion clinic; Zipporah Peddle as Tiffany, a TV crime-as-news reporter; and Holly Sedillos as Consuela, an undocumented immigrant mother of two from El Salvador. Tickets are $100, $80 and $60 (reserved seating), with a VIP package available for $125 that includes premium seating, a choice of wine or beer, and on-site parking. A $5 discount is available with advance purchase by Aug. 16. For more information and to purchase tickets go to www.FordTheatres.org or call (323) 461-3673 (323 GO 1-FORD).

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