Saturday, September 13, 2014

Musical News for Saturday, September 13, 2014

MUSICAL NEWS: Richard Israel directs a four-week run of Peter Quilter’s Glorious! at International City Theatre, opening Oct. 10. Born in 1868, Jenkins was a wealthy New York eccentric who indulged her passion for singing by sponsoring her own concerts with money she inherited from her parents - who had forbidden her from performing in public while they were alive. Known as “the first lady of the sliding scale,” Jenkins warbled and screeched her way through every performance, drawing capacity crowds of fans who would roar with laughter at her shrill, off-key singing and outrageous costumes. But this delusional and joyously happy woman paid little attention to her critics, comfortably surrounded by a circle of devoted friends who were almost as eccentric as she was.

Eileen Barnett stars as “the caterwauling countess,” with Matthew Wrather as her longtime accompanist Cosmé McMoon and Leland Crooke as her boyfriend and manager, St. Clair. Janellen Steininger is loyal friend Dorothy, and Carol Abney doubles as the singer’s obstreperous maid, Maria, and as Jenkins’ detractor, Mrs. Verrender-Gedge. Glorious! runs Oct 8 - Nov. 2 (Opening night Oct. 10). International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach, CA 90802. Tickets: 562-436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.


Palos Verdes Performing Arts (formerly known as Norris Center for the Performing Arts) presents The Full Monty, Sept.19 – Oct. 5 at the Norris Theatre on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. With book by Terrance McNally and music by David Yazbek, it follows the story of six unemployed Buffalo steel workers who come up with a bold scheme to get themselves out of debt. Inspired by a male dance revue that is a hit with the local women, the men figure they can cash in big time if they go “the full monty” and strip all the way. The production is directed by James Gruessing with choreography by Paul David Bryant and musical direction by Daniel Thomas

The cast includes Harley Jay, Sheldon Robert Morley, Kevin Patrick Doherty, Jonathan Brett, Bryan Dobson, and Paul David Bryant along with Heidi Godt, Eric Ronquillo, Kevin Paul, Jason Sluyter, Jade Anna Rosenberg, Natalie Haro, Cori Cable Kidder, Rebecca Morris, Bradley Nolan, Sarah Meals and Eloise Coopersmith. The Full Monty contains partial nudity, adult language and situations and is recommended for mature audiences. The Norris Theatre is located at 27570 Norris Center Dr., Rolling Hills Estates 90274. Tickets: (310) 544-0403 or www.palosverdesperformingarts.com.



Third Street Theatre and Oddbird Theatricals present the world premiere, fully-realized production of Bronies: The Musical, with music by Joe Greene, book and lyrics by Heidi Powers and Tom Moore, choreography by John Todd, musical direction by Jennifer Lin and direction by Richard Israel. Bronies tells the story of three outsiders who find purpose, meaning, love – and each other – all thanks to those fantastical cartoon ponies so many may love as the ultimate super-fans! It explores the phenomenon of fandom through the lens of pony fans – including all the passion, the awkwardness, the creativity, and the community it can inspire. The cast includes Joey Acuna, Brielle Batino, Anna Grace Barlow, Mark Gelsomini, Molly Gilman, Joe Greene, Stephanie Hayslip, Taylor Helmboldt, Rachel Hirshee, Hannah James, Josey Montana McCoy, Tom G. McMahon, Blaine Miller, Shelley Regner, Gabby Sanalitro, Richy Storrs and Charlotte Mary Wen. Bronies will run Sept. 25 – Nov. 1 at the Third Street Theatre, 8115 W. Third Street in West Hollywood.



Boss: The Untold Tony Danza Story extends for four shows at the Theatre Asylum Lab in Hollywood. With new producing partners Monica Martin of Complex Theaters and Matthew Quinn of Combined Artform/Theatre Asylum, the team behind Boss introduces The ExtravaDANZA, a live 80s themed interactive variety show featuring musical acts, stand up, dance, trivia and prizes. The ExtravaDANZA premieres during the September 27th and October 25th performances of Boss at the Theatre Asylum Lab in Hollywood. Written and performed by actors Damien Luvara and Jennifer Monce, and directed by Michelle Thorn, the cast (which also includes Meghan Parks, Christopher Schram, Jordan Rennick, Matt Wool, Hannah Kanengieter, and Gabriel Rissa) explores the nature of the entertainment industry and how far some people will go to achieve success in it. 

“With ExtravaDANZA, we wanted to create something unique, fun and different that surpassed the average theatre experience,” says Luvara. “The ExtravaDANZA is a multi-disciplined exploration of everything 80s that will transport the audience to an entire hit era through one hit TV show.” Theatre Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way in Hollywood, 90038. www.theatreasylum-la.com

Theatre Unleashed is back with a new musical by Justin Moran, POPE! An Epic Musical, which will play The Belfry in North Hollywood Oct. 11-Nov. 17. An idealistic young Pope (also named Pope) is framed for a heinous crime and banished from the Vatican. The people, blinded by the media frenzy, allow a tyrannical archbishop to seize power. As this new Pope tightens his iron fist the people are disheartened and in despair and the world is crying out for a hero. POPE! is an adventure that echoes the timeless mythological hero’s journey; when good and evil engage in an epic power struggle lines must be drawn, sides must be taken, and confrontations must be musical. POPE! runs Saturdays and Mondays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 7 pm. TU also presents original One Acts from the company’s Writer’s Group on Fridays at 8 pm and Saturdays immediately following POPE! www.theatreunleashed.com



FESTIVALS: The  Encuentro  2014 National  Theatre Festival begins in October and will be held at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Highlights featuring music include Enrique’s Journey (10/17 – 11/7) adapted and directed by Anthony J. Garcia. Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning work of Sonia Nazario with music composed and directed by Daniel Valdez. Enrique’s Journey depicts the contemporary odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reunite with his mother in the United States.



Also part of the festival is Dancing in My Cockroach Killers (10/ 31- 11/ 8) written by Magdalena Gómez, directed by Rosalba Rolón with musical director Desmar Guevara. Dancing In My Cockroach Killers is an explosive mix of texts, visuals, and music based on the writings of award-winning poet/playwright Magdalena Gomez. Pregones Theater’s stellar ensemble delivers the full range of Gomez’s rhythmic realism, boundless hope, and laugh out loud humor. Her characters face real life challenges with courage and flair, and are openly inspired by friends, family, and Latino icons as varied as Lolita Lebrón, Joe Cuba, and Iris Chacón.

For a full schedule of all events and more information, go to www.thelatc.org. Most tickets are only $20 when ordered with the promotional code ENC14. To purchase tickets, go the website or  call (866) 811-4111. LATC is located in the heart of the revived downtown historic core at 514 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013.


FILM: We Are Kings, written and directed by Toby Hubner, will play the Arena Cinema Hollywood Sept. 19 – 25.  2014. The 90-minute musical is the story of a down-and-out bluesman I.B. King (played by Sammy Blue, Hottrax recording artist, Atlanta’s Crown Prince of the Blues) trying to save his blues bar and his deathly ill wife Lilly (Rita Graham of the legendary Raelettes). I.B. hits the road for Chicago in his Blues Bucket, a sun-blasted 1973 Winnebago, pursuing a record deal. 

True to the blues, the would-be record deal falls through, he’s got no gigs, he’s penniless and hopeless with Lilly in the hospital dying, and he soon finds himself lying in the middle of a frozen road one night, about to die, when he is visited by life-changing forces. Lilly’s spirit leaves her body and descends upon I.B. to convince him that life is worth living,  then magically guides two young homeless hard-rock musicians, Layla Knuckles (America’s Got Talent winner Bianca Ryan) and Dustin Ladue (Boogie Long, Guitar Center King of the Blues winner) who rescue I.B. and restore him to the Blues Bucket. They also pick up a young runaway, Sam The Rapper (RCA/Sony recording artist Pryce) and together, the foursome will create music history and triumph. Certified by the Dove Foundation for family-appropriate viewing 12 years to adult.

Performances are Sept. 19 - 25, 2014. Fri. at 8:30, Sat. & Sun. at 6:00, Mon. & Tues. at 6:30, Wed. & Thurs. at 8:15 p.m. Red Carpet for Friday world premiere will begin 30 minutes before screening. Tickets: ($12) are available in advance at http://arenascreen.com. Info: (323) 306-0676. Arena Cinema Hollywood, 1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028. Discounted parking is available with validation at lots adjacent to the venue and across the street.


CONCERTS/CABARET:The Haugh Performing Arts Center in Glendora presents Sandra Bernhard in Sandyland with The Flawless Zircons on Saturday, November 15 at 8:00 pm (Doors open at 7:30pm) at the Haugh Performing Arts Center, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd. in Glendora, CA 91741. Bernhard’s new live show Sandyland, spotlights her own unique, sharp blend of hysterical insight and outspoken views, with rock-n-roll, cabaret, stand-up and a little burlesque. Tickets: (626) 963-9411 or www.haughpac.com.

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