Thursday, October 9, 2014

MUSICAL NEWS for Thursday, October 9, 2014

So many great musicals coming up so let’s get to it!

OPENING THIS WEEKEND: 3-D Theatricals presents Ragtime Oct. 10 – 26 at the historic Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton (opening this Saturday Oct. 11) and at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center in Redondo Beach Nov. 1 - 9. Based on the landmark E. L. Doctorow novel and featuring a Tony Award-winning score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and a book by Terrence McNally, this powerful portrait of turn-of-the-century America intertwines the stories of three diverse families as they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, and hope and despair. Directed by T.J. Dawson, it features musical direction by Julie Lamoureux and choreography by Dana Solimando.

Ragtime stars Rufus Bonds, Jr. as Coalhouse Walker Jr., Craig McEldowney as Father, Tyler MicLean as Younger Brother, Gary Patent as Tateh, Daebreon Poiema as Sarah, and Christanna Rowader as Mother, with Brooke Besikof (Little Girl), Jimmer Bolden (Booker T. Washington), John McCool Bowers (J.P. Morgan), Gary Brintz (Harry Houdini), Doug Carfrae (Grandfather), Jeanette Dawson (Evelyn Nesbit), Jean Kauffman (Emma Goldman), Donovan McFann (Little Boy), William Shaffner (Willie Conklin), Amber J. Snead (Sarah’s friend), Robert Yacko (Henry Ford); and an ensemble  that makes the cast nearly 50 strong. Tickets:

No witching season is complete without something hilarious from 30 Minute Musicals and this weekend 30MM opens The Craft, directed by Michael Matthews. The show runs Oct 11 - 26 at Hudson Backstage and features teenage witches from a totally different decade, like totally: The 90s! Starring Daisy Egan, JD Barton, Brant Cox, Julianne Dowler, Ashley Joyce, Tania Possick, Tanya Reese, Samantha Scanlan, Sarah Schreiber, Brooke Seguin, Mike Tauzin, and Brittney Wheeler. Tickets are $12 in advance; $15 the day of show and at the door. (10/25 10pm features a special $10 in advance price and Sundays 10/19 and 10/26 include a mystery double feature show.) The Craft is a Secondline Production, written by Brooke Seguin, with music by Brooke Seguin and Brenton Kossak. Tickets:

Storybook Theatre at Theatre West will open its award-winning retelling of the famous fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood this Saturday, Oct. 11 at 1:00 pm. The musical features book, music & lyrics by Lloyd Schwartz, who also directs, and includes plenty of audience participation and fun for the whole family. The cast stars Lacy Blake, Samuel Erdahl, Caitlin Gallogly, Kathy Garrett, Matthew Hoffman, Barbara Mallory and Charlie Mount. Little Red Riding Hood will run Saturdasy through March 7, 2015 (no performance on Dec. 27) Tickets are $12 for Adults and $10 for Children. Call (818) 761-2203 for reservations or go to You can also make special arrangements for birthday parties and school field trips by calling (818) 761-2203. There is free parking in a lot across the street from the theater.

MORE OCT/NOV MUSICAL NEWS: Musical Theatre West opens its 2014-2015 season with the west coast premiere of the critically acclaimed Broadway musical Big Fish, Oct. 31 - Nov. 16. Larry Carpenter directs, with musical direction by Matt Smedal and choreography by Peggy Hickey. The cast includes Jeff Skowron as Edward Bloom, Andrew Huber, Rebecca Johnson, Jude Mason, Kristina Miller, Timothy Hughes, Gabriel Kalomas, Zachary Ford, Molly Garner, Michelle Loucadoux, Richard Bulda and Jake Saenz, with Caitlyn Calfas, Rachel Davis, Jessica Ernest, Aaron Felske, Marissa Field, Brad Fitzgerald, Anne Hinskton, Morgan McGeehan, Lauren Newman and Michael Starr.

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed Columbia Pictures film directed by Tim Burton, the musical adaptation of Big Fish made a splash on Broadway last year when Susan Stroman teamed with Andrew Lippa (music & lyrics) to develop the new book by screenwriter John August. Now, Musical Theatre West recreates the excitement of the original Broadway show, complete with its big production numbers and big special effects, and original sets and costumes. The story centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest… and then some! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him – most of all, his devoted wife Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales. Tickets: (562) 856-1999 x 4 or

Rubicon Theatre in Ventura opens its 17th season with 2 Pianos 4 Hands, written by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt. Winner of the coveted Dora Award (the Canadian equivalent of the Tony), 2 Pianos 4 Hands is a musical comedy for anyone who has ever had a dream. Directed by Thomas Frey, this hilariously funny production features two actors, two pianos and multiple characters as fifteen years of piano playing unfolds in all its glory. Stories of crazy instructors, obsessed parents, torturous recitals, and other high points of musical training are accompanied by musical selections ranging from classical to pop to jazz as the actors/pianists portray a dazzling range of characters and display piano wizardry featuring the music of Beethoven, Bach, Elton John, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. 2 Pianos 4 Hands opens Oct. 18 with previews October 15 – 17. Performances are Wednesdays through Sundays through Nov. 16. Tickets: (805) 667-2900 or

Rebekah Dunn, Bert Emmett, Don Schlossman, Truett Jean Butler,
Troy Whitaker. Photo credit: Doug Engalla

The Group Rep continues performances of the world premiere musical comedy Dont Hug Me, Were Married, with book & lyrics by Phil Olson, music by Paul Olson, directed by Doug Engalla, choreography by Stan Mazin, and produced by Laura Coker for the Group Rep. Set in a north woods bar in Bunyan Bay, MN, plans are on tap for a double wedding. But before the nuptials transpire there is one small hitch before the hitchings - - they cant find anyone who will pay for the wedding. What else could possibly go wrong? Everything. Rest assured, nothing will go as wedding-planned in Bunyan Bay. Featuring Truett Jean Butler, Kathleen Chen, Rebekah Dunn, Bert Emmett, Doug Haverty, Chris Loprete, Laurie Morgan, Don Schlossman and Troy Whitaker.Through Nov. 15. Performances take place at the Lonny Chapman Theatre 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. Tickets: or (818) 763-5990.

Cabrillo Music Theatre kicks off its 2014-15 season with the regional premiere of Memphis Nov. 14 - 23. From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs, and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love setting its story of tolerance and the pursuit of happiness to a classic rock beat. Todd Adamson, fresh off the national tour of We Will Rock You, makes his Cabrillo debut as Huey, joined by Lakeisha Renee Houston as Felicia. The cast also features Keith Jefferson as Delray, and Linda Kerns as Gladys. Robert W. Schneider directs, with choreography by Kenna Morris Garcia and musical direction by Cassie Nickols. Darrell Alston, who serves as musical director for Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., conducts the Cabrillo Music Theatre Band. Tickets:

Producer Ronnie Marmo and Theatre 68 are proud to present Serial Killer Barbie by Colette Freedman (book & lyrics) and Nickella Moschetti (Music & additional lyrics), opening Nov. 7 at The NoHo Arts Center. Quirky Barbara spends her life desperate to get in with the popular “Debbies.” From first grade through high school, she obsessively attempts to join the coveted social circle of Debbie, Debby and the queen of the WASPY clique, Debbi. After several failed attempts to fit in, she realizes, if you can't join them, kill them. It’s a hilarious and fast moving dark comedy, with original music including songs “21 Ways To Kill A Debbie,” Middle School Sucks” and “Price of Popularity”. Kelley Dorney stars as Barbie, with Alex Homes (Bruce), Katy Jacoby (Debbi), Marti Maley (Debbie), Kacey Coppola (Debby), Cy Creamer (Sebastian), Nicole Fabbri (Beatrice), Jillian Fonacier (Sharon), Christopher Kelly (Quinn), Bradley Estrin (Ronald), Nicole Koval (Veronica), Grace Shoemaker (Parker), and Audrey Bluestone (Parker). Sal Romeo directs and choreography is by Anne Marie Osgood. Tickets: (323) 960-5068 or

Pasadena Playhouse will premiere the epic new Broadway musical, Waterfall, beginning May 29, 2015 with an official opening on June 7, 2015. The production will then play Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in Fall 2015, prior to reaching Broadway in 2016. Waterfall marks a groundbreaking collaboration between American and Asian theatrical artists. Based on a contemporary classic Thai novel, Behind the Painting by Sriburapha, it features book and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby Jr. (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Miss Saigon) and music by Oscar-winner and two-time Tony Award nominee, David Shire (Baby, Big, written in collaboration with Richard Maltby, Jr.)  The production will be choreographed by Tony Award-nominee Dan Knechtges (Xanadu) and directed by Broadway and Thai theatrical impresario Tak Viravan. Thai superstar Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew will make his American stage debut in the musical.

Waterfall is set in Bangkok and Tokyo between the turbulent years of 1933 and 1939, as a monarchy falls in Thailand and Japan is on the brink of war. A young Thai student falls in love with the American wife of a Thai diplomat, and the story of their forbidden love parallels history as the new democracy of Siam moves into the vortex of the increasingly anti-American Japan. With a gloriously romantic score, Waterfall is a modern love story of timeless scale. For more information, visit

EXTENSIONS: Deaf West’s Spring Awakening gets a much-deserved extension and will now run through Nov. 9. The innovative, immersive production performed simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language is playing at Inner City Arts Downtown. Do not miss this production! Tickets: (818) 762-2998 or, You can read my review of the show HERE.

Sacred Fools Theatre Company’s The Behavior of Broadus has extended and will now run through Oct. 25. The Behavior of Broadus is the amazing, sort of true musical story of John Broadus Watson – the father of Behaviorism and modern advertising: with singing, dancing and talking lab rats.Tickets:

Due to popular demand, Wicked has added six additional weeks of performances at the Pantages and will now run through March 15, 2015. Individual tickets for this new block of performances will go on sale to the general public on Sunday, October 26 at 10:00 am.

The Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division presents its Luciana and Daniel Forge Fall Musical, a new production of Into the Woods Nov. 13 - 22 at Smothers Theatre on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus. Dimitri Toscas helms an all-student cast, with Tyler Kimmel serving as musical director. This modern reimagining of the beloved musical by Stephen Sondheim offers a glimpse of what happens after happily ever after. What begins as a clever diversion, a simple fairy tale, ultimately leads down a dark path of self-discovery to a universal message of hope. Tickets, priced at $20 for the public, $10 for Pepperdine students, and $16 for Pepperdine faculty and staff, are available now by calling the Pepperdine Center for the Arts box office at (310) 506-4522. Click Here for tickets for the general public.

The cast of Zombie Prom in rehearsal. Photo credit: Susan Farese.

Canyon Crest Academy Envision Theatre in San Diego will present the girl-loves-ghoul rock and roll Off Broadway musical Zombie Prom Oct. 24 – Nov 1. Directed by Jeannine Marquie with musical direction by Leigh Scarritt and choreography by Max Gidaley, Zombie Prom is set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump, only to return glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee’s heart. Due to adult subject matter, parental guidance is advised. The cast includes Riley Cavanaugh, Cameron Chang, Alyxandra Charfauros, Michelle Cohen, Julian Coker, Alyssa DeVries, Madi Rae DiPietro, Tyler Faison, Emmy Farese, Kion Heidari, Halle Hoffman, Sammy Lurie, Steve Macario, Constantine Mickens, Avery-Claire Nugent, Adam Sussman, Alyson Tharp, and Julia Vandeweil. For more information contact or call (858) 350-0253 x 4075. Click Here for tickets.

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