Sunday, May 31, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Sunday, May 31, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS: Original New York cast members, Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback star in the Geffen Playhouse engagement of the Off-Broadway hit Murder for Two May 26 through July 5, 2015 in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. Everyone is a suspect in this hilarious musical murder mystery with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects and they both play the piano! A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this 90-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs. Featuring book and music by Joe Kinosian, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and direction by Scott Schwartz. www.geffenplayhouse.com

Cabrillo Music Theatre presents Oklahoma! July 17 – 26 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Once upon a time, musical theatre was a sometimes-random collection of songs, dances, and comedy bits. Then, along came Oklahoma! the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. By pushing boundaries and creating new theatrical devices, Oklahoma! reinvented the musical theatre genre. Cabrillo’s artistic director Lewis Wilkenfeld directs, joined by choreographer John Charron and musical director Brian Kennedy who conducts the Cabrillo Music Theatre Orchestra. The cast is led by Dan Callaway as Curly, and newcomer Callandra Olivia as Laurey, with Damon Kirsche (Ali Hakim), Dynell Leigh (Aunt Eller), David Gilchrist (Andrew Carnes), Ronald Rezac (Cord Elam), Richard Storrs (Ike Skidmore), Melanie Mockobey (Ado Annie, Cameron Herbst (Will Parker), Claire Adams (Gertie Cummings) and more. www.cabrillomusictheatre.com

Recorded in Hollywood, the fascinating true story of black businessman, record label owner and music producer John Dolphin, who opened his Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop in South Los Angeles a decade before Motown, moves to the Hudson Theatre for six additional weeks beginning June 19. Dolphin’s of Hollywood became the most famous record store in the country – perhaps the world – with legendary DJs like Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg, Hunter Hancock and Charles Trammel spinning records all night from the front window. Based on the book “Recorded In Hollywood: The John Dolphin Story,” this new musical features a live on-stage band and an ensemble cast of 18 performing 16 original songs plus covers of hit songs launched by Dolphin in his store, including Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” The Penguins’ “Earth Angel” and “Wheel Of Fortune” by The Hollywood Flames. www.RecordedInHollywood.com

FRINGE SPOTLIGHT: If you HATE musical theatre, if you LOVE musical theatre, this is the show for you. Stupid Songs is a night of brand new funny songs and parodies that will make you forget we’re all going to die. For a bit. Most of the performers met while training at The Groundlings Comedy Theatre & School, and will be performing original material, plus a few gems from up-and-coming composers. The band members also play regularly for Lost Moon Radio and Thirty Minute Musicals. The Stupid Cast will feature Yael Berkovich, Tad Coughenour, Brant Cox, Sara Cravens, Jason Currie, Carla Delaney, Laura Hughes, Aaron Matijasic, Misty Monroe Clark, Gabriel Oliva, Marissa Shields, Keri Safran, Selyna Warren, Sarah Wolter, and Alex Back, directed by Keri Safran. (Cast subject to change on any given night. Depends on their horoscopes) Stupid Band: Dan Wessels (music director), Eric Kalver (drums), Brenton Kossak (bass). June 8 – 26, 2015 at The Lounge Theatre. Running Time is 70 minutes. Tickets: $12 at http://hff15.org/2145

La La La Strada, Proboscis Theater Company’s second ground-breaking production, is a carnival-esque diversion starring six actors, a musician and a puppet that explores the making of Federico Fellini’s 1953 masterpiece La Strada, a beautiful and heartbreaking film about a brutish circus strong man and his naive assistant Gelsomina. The character of Fellini will be portrayed by a Bunraku style puppet. We see him first walking the tight rope, beguiling the audience with fantastical stories about his life, his art and the golden age of modernist Italian cinema. He extolls the virtues of being an auteur and takes for granted the privileges of his own genius. He boasts about reducing his actors to mere puppets and how they love him for it. But while he attempts to direct his actors they begin to challenge him. Especially Giulietta, his wife. They question his artistic process and admonish him for abandoning his principles. They call him a misogynist, an opportunist and he is forced to defend his obsessions and his right to project his own dreams on the big screen, to objectify and sexualize his female actors, to exalt the grotesque and estrange the normal. As Fellini’s crisis comes to a climax, the audience must face their own prejudices about art, beauty and personal expression. http://hff15.org/2281

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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