Monday, April 20, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS Part One for Monday April 20, 2015

LOS ANGELES NEWS: The Pasadena Playhouse has announced that Broadway stars Emily Padgett, Thom Sesma, J. Elaine Marcos, and Thai superstar Bie Sukrit will lead the cast of the world premiere musical Waterfall. The epic new Broadway-bound love story begins previews May 29, with the official press opening on June 7, at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. The production will then play Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre October 1-25, 2015.

Waterfall is based on a contemporary classic Thai novel, Behind the Painting by Sriburapha, and features book & lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and music by David Shire. It 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. Tak Viravan, directs the production, which is choreographed by Dan Knechtges. The cast also includes Celia Mei Rubin, Colin Miyamoto, Darryl Semira, Eymard Cabling, Jordan De Leon, Kay Trinidad, Kenway Kua, Kimberly Immanuel, Koh Mochizuki, Leon Le, Lisa Helmi Johanson, Marcus Choi, Minami Yusui, Riza Takahashig, Rona Figueroa, and Steven Eng. Tickets: www.pasadenaplayhouse.org


Motown The Musical, directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, will play the Hollywood Pantages April 28 - June 7. The musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more. The cast will star Julius Thomas III and Allison Semmes as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross, with Nicholas Christopher (Smokey Robinson), Jarran Muse (Marvin Gaye), Leon Outlaw, Jr., Reed L. Shannon, Erick Buckley, Patrice Covington, Jamarice Daughtry, Tamar Davis, Lynorris Evans, Melanie Evans, Devon Goffman, Jennie Harney, Rod Harrelson, Robert Hartwell, Dana Marie Ingraham, Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr., Trisha Jeffrey, Elijah Ahmad Lewis, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr., Krisha Marcano, Moeisha McGill, Marq Moss, Rashad Naylor, Chadaè Nichol, Ramone Owens, Nicholas Ryan, Jamison Scott, Joey Stone, Doug Storm, Martina Sykes and Galen J. Williams. Tickets: www.HollywoodPantages.com or (800) 982-2787.


Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party has extended its performance residencies at Golden Road Brewing in Glendale and iO West in Hollywood. The comedy troupe will perform their signature musical form, featuring completely improvised music, lyrics, multi-act story structure, and choreography, based entirely on audience suggestions, during hour-long, monthly shows at each venue. RT+AP has been creating once-in-a-lifetime musical comedy experiences since 2012, earning the world record for longest cage match in improv history for their 86 week run at iO West in Hollywood. The cast includes a diverse group of performers from comedy institutions such as UCB, iO West, Nerdist, Comedy Sportz and The Second City. Performance dates: April 28 and May 26 at Chloe’s at Golden Road Brewing, 5410 W. San Fernando Rd, LA, CA 90039. Doors at 8:00 pm, show at 8:30, free admission. Also May 15 at iO West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90028. Show at 8:00 pm, tickets are $10. www.robotteammate.com


Arcadia Performing Arts Foundation presents Heather Henson’s Sing-A-Long with The Muppet Movie on Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 pm. Join the fun as the IBEX Puppetry Sing-A-Long crew, including Heather Henson, brings elements of the film to life for the audience via puppetry, kiting, and shadow acting. Children and adults alike are urged to yell out famous lines, blow bubbles, dance in the aisles, and of course, sing along with the movie to forge new or renew connections to films from another generation. Tickets ($15): www.Arcadiapaf.org. Admission is free with the purchase of a Goodie Bag (Goodie Bag is required for entry). The theatre is located at 188 Campus Drive at North Santa Anita Avenue, Arcadia CA 91007. For more information please call (626) 821-1781.

IN SAN DIEGO: La Jolla Playhouse announces the cast for its world premiere musical Come from Away, featuring book, music and lyrics by the Canadian husband-and-wife team Irene Sankoff and David Hein (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding), directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. A co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre, Come from Away will run May 29 – July 5. The original, rock-infused musical is based on the true story of when the isolated town of Gander, Newfoundland played host to the world. What started as an average day in a small town turned in to an international sleep-over when 38 planes, carrying thousands of people from across the globe, were diverted to Gander on September 11, 2001. The cast features Jenn Colella (Beverly), Chad Kimball (Colin 1), Joel Hatch (Claude), Rodney Hicks (Bob), Caesar Samayoa (Colin 2), Q Smith (Lana) and Sharon Wheatley (Diane), plus Canadian actors Petrina Bromley (Bonnie), Lee MacDougall (Nick) and Astrid Van Wieren (Beulah) as well as San Diego favorites Geno Carr (Oz), and Allison Spratt Pearce (Janice). Tickets: (858) 550-1010 or www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org.

The Old Globe has announced its 2015-2016 Season, which will feature three exciting musicals beginning with the previously announced September 16 world premiere of In Your Arm. The exuberant dance-theatre musical features 10 of America’s best theatrical storytellers who will join director-choreographer Christopher Gattelli (pictured left) and composer Stephen Flaherty to create a ravishing evening that glides, leaps, and twirls through the giddy extremes of romantic love.

On March 26, 2015, Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein makes his musical directing debut with Rain, a sumptuous world premiere musical by Michael John LaChiusa (The Wild Party, Giant) and Sybille Pearson (Giant). Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, Rain follows a group of American travelers thrown together in a boarding house on a tropical South Pacific island. The sudden arrival of another guest, the mysterious and provocative Sadie Thompson, turns their lives upside down in ways they could never have foreseen.

And returning for its 18th holiday season beginning Nov. 7, is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! As in years past, The Grinch will be performed on Saturday, December 12 for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides. For a complete schedule of all the productions on The Globe’s season, including Shakespeare plays and more, go to www.theoldglobe.org.

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