Saturday, December 6, 2014

MUSICAL NEWS for Saturday, December 6, 2014

AUDITIONS: Michael Sterling has announced that auditions for LA’s Next Great Stage Star® competition at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal will take place on Sunday, Dec. 14. Twenty contestants, 10 men and 10 women between the ages of 18 and 32, will compete for the title over a 6-week period. Peter Welkin returns for his third year as associate producer and James Lent will return as musical director for his sixth consecutive season. Co-executive producer of the event is Barbara Van Orden. Says Sterling, “LA’s Next Great Stage Star is geared to discovering new talent for the musical theatre stage. As has become the standard, 20 contestants will be selected from auditions to compete for the 2015 title, a $1,000 cash award, a headlining engagement at Sterling’s Upstairs during the New Year, and other valuable prizes. Contestants selected from auditions to compete in the competition are subject to a one time entry fee of $425.”

This year’s competition will once again be judged by a live audience and an overall panel of LA musical theatre’s most creative forces. Judges will give a live critique to each contestant every week. Audience members and Judges will also vote on vocal and acting ability, stage presence and personality. Interested talent may call Michael Sterling Publicity and Production at (818) 623-7300 x 2 to request an audition appointment on Sun. Dec. 14 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Van Nuys’ Performing Arts Center, 7735 North Sepulveda Blvd. Auditions are by appointment only. A musical accompanist will be provided.

HOLIDAY SHOWS: Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group presents their all-new holiday production, Morrison Christmas! inspired by The Liberation Through Hearing During The Intermediate State, or Bardo Tordrol, The Lizard King and The Psychedelic Blue Light Distraction of Christmas. The show is directed by Josh T. Ryan who brings a collaborative late night ensemble together in honor of The Living Theatre and Zombie Joes Underground. Fridays and Saturdays at 11:00 pm through Dec. 20. Featuring Vanessa Cate, Cheryl Doyle, Marc Erickson, Amir Khalighi, Grace Lai, Chelsea Rose Cynthia Salazar, Olivia Spirz, Alison Stolpa, Brenda Nicole Walsh and Alex Walters, Tickets ($15) are available by calling (818) 202-4120 or at Zombie Joes Underground Theatre Group at ZJU Theater, 4850 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood CA 91601.

SparkleBlob presents their 7th annual Holiday Puppet Show Jingle-Belling on the Outskirts of Greatness Dec. 11 – 21 in Chinatown at Automata, 504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles, CA 90012. An annual holiday tradition for hundreds of Angelenos and their families for seven years, this year’s show introduces audiences to exciting new and returning handmade puppet characters, beautiful sets, and a laugh-out-loud script by Julianna Parr and Shannon Gallagher along with musical numbers by a live band, The DingleBell Hollies. Experience simultaneous triumph and terror with Silver Lake’s Most Well-Adjusted Family as they attempt to celebrate the holidays in the recreational haven known as PigBear National Forest. While everyone is doing their best to be of good cheer, there lurks a strange and foreboding presence just beyond the pine trees that is putting a damper on everyone’s chestnuts roasting on an open fire. It’s nothing a bit of interpersonal skills and cookies can't handle...we hope.

Directed by SparkleBlob founder Julianna Parr, the show is proof that puppets aren’t just for kids but for everyone. Children and adults of all ages delight in the show’s witty humor, satire, and sparkly action. The show includes before and after Chinatown sightseeing rides on the famed ‘trike’ plus delicious pre and after show treats and libations. Many of Los Angeles’s best known puppeteers and performers will be on stage - including Shannon Dedman, Rosalind Helfand, Monica Howe, Julianna Parr, Linda Santiman, Andrew Oropeza and Scott Russell Cheek. The DingleBell Hollies rock out this year with musicians Jason Myers, Coral Lobera, Joshua Fielstra, and Eric Potter. Tickets:

Los Angeles' award-winning art collective Rogue Artists Ensemble brings together two of its most popular family-friendly educational puppet shows based on award-winning children’s books. In The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, a very special Boy living in a world of cement and trash finds a treasure box containing specks that could change the world forever. Zen Shorts follows the adventures of Michael and Addy, whose lives change forever when a giant Zen Master panda named Stillwater moves into their neighborhood. Performances take place at Atwater Village Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 21: The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone begins at 2:00 pm on both days, and Zen Shorts begins at 4:00 .m. Tickets are $10 per show, or $15 for both. Families are encouraged to stay between shows for holiday cookie decorating and other kids’ activities with Sparkleblob Collective Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave in Los Angeles, CA 90039. On-site parking is free. For reservations and information, call (213) 596-9468 or go to

On December 20 and 21, T.U. Studios will be filled with music, as the venue plays host to the musical revue, Liquid Love, just in time for the holiday. The show features love songs performed by established vocal stars including Lucy Walsh (daughter of The Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh); Chad Doreck (of the upcoming musical Serrano); and Gloria Gifford (WB recording contract singer plus national TV shows). Musical director is Stuart Elster who will also appear on keyboards along with Armando Compean on bass and Robert May on drums. T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo St. North Hollywood, CA 91602. Saturday, Dec. 20 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7:30 pm. Admission: $20. For reservations, call (310) 366-5505 or go to

INTERVIEW: Episode 144 of Dizney Coast to Coast’s Disney Podcast includes a terrific interview with Patrick Page who is currently starring as Frollo in Disney Theatricals Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse. The interview begins at approximately 9:00. Enjoy!

INDIEGOGO: Doug Haverty (book/lyrics), Adryan Russ (music/lyrics), and Bruce Kimmel (director) have started a fundraising campaign to mount an anniversary production of their musical Inside Out (a musical about giving and getting support in an all-girl “group”) to commemorate the 20th anniversary and re-release/re-mastering of the Original Off Broadway Cast Recording. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (for a Future Without Breast Cancer). The show will be a celebration of women supporting women with an all-female cast and all-female band. You can check out their campaign HERE and help them make it happen.

Q&A: Antonia Carlotta, great great-niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle and host of the web series Universally Me, a program dedicated to Universal’s unique and exciting history, will participate in Q&As following performances of Vox Lumiere–The Phantom of the Opera at the Los Angeles Theatre Center on Dec. 12 & 13. The show features music & lyrics by Kevin Saunders Hayes set against Universal’s 1925 silent film starring Lon Chaney. Singers, dancers and musicians give voice to the silent film projected behind them, playing off each other, the audience and the onscreen story in an explosive mash-up of music, dance and technology. Performances of Vox Lumiere–The Phantom of the Opera begin at 8:00 pm. The Q&A sessions with Antonia Carlotta will immediately follow each performance and are included in the ticket price. The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Tickets: (844) VOX-ROCK or

CABARET: Join Gigi Bermingham and Matthew Goldsby for Cabaret Noel Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Upstairs at Vitello’s Jazz & Supper Club. Enjoy original holiday songs and seasonal classics (some en francais) from 7:30 - 9:00pm. Get there early for dinner or come enjoy the music over cocktails. 4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604. Reservations: (818) 769-0905 or

John Acosta’s Bee Gees Gold Tribute will be presented one night only on Dec. 28 at the Grove Theatre in Upland. The show is the ultimate salute and experience of seeing the Bee Gees in their prime featuring the detailed vocal stylings of John Acosta (Barry), Daryl Borges (Robin), and Jeff Celentano (Maurice) as the brothers Gibb and a live band. Performing such early hits as Massachusetts and I Started a Joke to such later Disco classics as Stayin’ Alive, and You Should Be Dancing’ you will find yourself transported back to the 60s and 70s. Doors open at 6:00 pm. Show begins at 7:00. Tickets: (909) 920-4343 or The Grove Theatre is located at 276 E. Ninth Street, Upland, CA 91786.

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