Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Matt DeCaro (center) with the cast of the Goodman Theatre production
of The White Snake.Photo by Liz Lauren.

MUSICAL NEWS: Tony Award winner Mary Zimmerman will make her long-awaited San Diego directing debut with an enchanting theatrical spectacle with live music and sumptuous visuals, The White Snake. The Southern California premiere of The White Snake, written and directed by Zimmerman, will run March 21 - April 26 (opening 3/26). In this visionary staging of a classic Chinese fable, a gentle serpent transforms into a beautiful woman. She falls in love with a dashing young man and decides to stay human forever, until a wicked monk discovers her true identity and vows to destroy her. This nearly 2,000 year-old Chinese fable has been reimagined throughout the centuries and appears in the legends of many cultures. Featured in the cast are Amy Kim Waschke as the White Snake, with Tanya Thai McBride (Green Snake), Jon Norman Schneider (Xu Xian), and Matt DeCaro (Fa Hai). The ensemble also includes Dan Lin (Boatman), Stephenie Soohyun Park (Guan Yin), Eliza Shin (Acolyte), Shannon Tyo (Crane), Kristin Villanueva (Sister), Gary Wingert (Canopus), and Wai Yim (Brother-in-Law); and musicians Tessa Brinckman (Flutes), Ronnie Malley(Strings/Percussion), and Michal Palzewicz (Cello). Tickets: (619) 23-GLOBE or www.TheOldGlobe.org.

The cast of Putting It Together

The musical revue Putting It Together will play ten performances at Sierra Madre Playhouse March 13 – 28. Directed and choreographed by Cate Caplin, with musical direction by Jake Anthony, the show is produced by Christian Lebano, Estelle Campbell and Alison Kalmus. Three men and two women at a Manhattan cocktail party provide the framework for a dazzling revue of nearly thirty Sondheim musical numbers performed by Kurt Andrew Hansen, Rachel Hirshee, Mike Irizarry, Chris Kerrigan and Kristin Towers-Rowles. At Saturday matinees, the cast will include David Callander, Michael D’Elia, Rachel Hirshee, Kayre Morrison and Jake Novak. Tickets: (626) 355-4318 or www.sierramadreplayhouse.org. Putting It Together runs in repertory with the musical Einstein Is A Dummy which opens March 6.

Einstein Is A Dummy is a fictional treatment of what the young genius Albert Einstein might have been like at age 12. Unsure of himself, competing with the classroom bully, coping with a self-centered jerk of a music teacher, hoping to impress his first crush: a pretty girl named Elsa. In other words, Albert is in many ways a typical 12-year-old; typical except for the fact that he comes to understand the fundamental principles of existence with far more clarity than you or me. The musical features book & lyrics by Karen Zacarias, music & musical direction by Deborah Wicks La Puma. It is directed by Derek Manson; choreographed by Zakiya Alta Lee and produced by Estelle Campbell, Christian Lebano and Amanda Weier. The show runs March 6 - April 12 and is double-cast. Tickets: (626) 355-4318 or www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.


OPERA: Jake Heggie & Terrence NcNally’s Dead Man Walking comes to The Broad Stage March 7 & 8. Relive the story of Sister Helen Prejean’s experience with death row inmates that became a best-selling book, award-winning film, and one of the most performed operas of our time. This re-orchestrated concert version by Opera Parallèle captures the timeless relevance of the story in a dramatic musical setting. From its shocking beginning to its emotionally searing final scene, this opera changes everyone who encounters it. Tickets and more information: www.thebroadstage.com.


Pacific Opera Project boldly goes where no opera company has gone before in a Star Trek-themed production of Abduction from the Seraglio at the El Portal Theatre March 6, 7 & 8. POP puts their zany spin on Mozart’s kidnapping caper by setting it in space...the final frontier. Klingons, slave girls, and all your favorite characters from the original Star Trek series sing and dance their way through Abduction with a 27-piece orchestra and a new English libretto by artistic director Josh Shaw. The cast includes Brian Cheney as Captain James T. Belmonte, Robert Norman as the Spock-like Mr. Pedrillo, Shawnette Sulker (Ltn. Constanza), Claire Averill (Blondie the Orion Slave Girl), Phil Meyer (the evil Klingon Osmin), Gregg Lawrence (Chancellor Selim), and a chorus of 30 dancing slave girls and singing Klingons. Tickets: (818) 508-4200 or www.pacificoperaproject.com.

Ludmilla Tchérina in The Tales of Hoffman (1951).
Photo courtesy of Rialto Pictures/Studiocanal

You can catch the new 4K digital restoration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1951 Technicolor extravaganza The Tales of Hoffman March 13-19 at Cinefamily on Fairfax. Long acknowledged as the most artistically brilliant creative partnership in British film history, Powell and Pressburger collaborated for over 30 years on some of the most beautifully-conceived color films of all time, including The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, and A Matter of Life and Death. Based on the 1881 opera by Jacques Offenbach, The Tales of Hoffman is an anthology of fantastic and romantic adventures, starring The Red Shoes’ Moira Shearer, Robert Helpmann, and Ludmilla Tchérina. This restoration, supervised by Powell's wife and Oscar-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker, is the most complete, crisp and beautiful version ever released in this country. Click Here for tickets and showtimes.

From the writer and director of The Pliant Girls comes The Discord Altar, a new contemporary opera with libretto by Meghan Brown, directed by Amanda McRaven with musical direction by Ann Baltz, and music improvised by the company. Produced by OperaWorks in association with The Fugitive Kind Theatre, the production will have its world premiere at Secret Rose Theatre April 10 - May 3. This is the first in a series of proposed productions from OperaWorks’ ASAP, the Arts for Social Awareness Project, an ambitious undertaking seeking to raise consciousness regarding social issues. The Discord Altar examines homelessness through its small cast of characters.


David has died, succumbing to the ravages that his addictions had wreaked upon his health.  A brilliant voice teacher, during his life on the skids, his students were a small group of homeless young people. Now they have gathered to memorialize him. They’re joined by one of their number who escaped poverty and went on to achieve a successful career in the mainstream; and also by David’s embittered daughter, who considers that he abandoned his family. The cast includes Babatunde Akinboboye, Julia Aks, James Hayden, Anjelica McRae, Vincent Robles, Alina Roitstein and Annie Sherman. Musicians: Ann Baltz and Ray Salas. Tickets: (818) 898-9597 or www.operaworks.org/asap. 

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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