Tuesday, June 9, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Betsy Wolfe and Matt Bittner

MUSICAL NEWS: La Jolla Playhouse announces the cast for Up Here, a new musical comedy featuring book, music & lyrics by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Up Here is directed by Tony Award nominee Alex Timbers and will run July 28 – Sept. 6. When introverted, 30-something computer repairman Dan finds a potential spark with outgoing t-shirt designer Lindsay, his attempts at a relationship are thwarted by the Technicolor world in his head. This world-premiere musical goes where no musical has gone before, bringing to life the circus of judgmental, neurotic, ever-changing characters that rule an ordinary man’s mind. The cast is led by Broadway’s Betsy Wolfe and newcomer Matt Bittner, along with Broadway alums Andrew Call, Giovanni Cozic, Jeff Hiller, Gizel Jimenez, Zonya Love, Sarah Meahl, Eric Petersen, Devin Ratray, Devere Rogers, Charles South and Nick Verina. The ensemble features Kikau Alvaro, Hanz Enyeart, Jacob Haren, April Jo Henry, Tamara Rodriguez and Graham Stevens, N’Jameh Camara, Zakiyah Markland and Lorena Martinez. Tickets are currently available by subscription. Single tickets go on sale June 27. www.LaJollaPlayhouse.org 

Hershey Felder

Laguna Playhouse has announced a special return engagement of Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, written and performed by Hershey Felder and directed by Trevor Hay. “After the overwhelming response to his initial run, we are delighted to bring Hershey Felder back on our stage as Irving Berlin as part of the wide array of programming we're doing this year,” comments executive director Karen Wood. Called “the greatest songwriter that has ever lived” by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin is known for innumerable American classics such as “White Christmas,” “God Bless America,” “Anything You Can Do,” and “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.” Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin will play June 22 – 30 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Thor Steingraber. Photo courtesy of VPAC

Valley Performing Arts Center has announced Executive Director Thor Steingraber’s 2015-2016 Inaugural Season and it’s packed with classical and popular music, dance, theater, family, and international events only seen at VPAC. Best of all, the season includes VPAC’s first Broadway musical – Dreamgirls – a McCoy Rigby Entertainment and La Mirada Theatre Production (May 6 – 8, 2016), and two women of Broadway in concert: Megan Hilty in Concert on Sept. 24, and Lea Salonga on April 1, 2016. Other highlights include two concerts by John Pizzarelli celebrating the Frank Sinatra centennial: Dear Mr. Sinatra: A Swinging Centennial with Monica Mancini and Cheyenne Jackson on Dec. 12 and Radio Deluxe: Sinatra and Billie Holiday on April 9, Peter Nero’s brand new Gershwin in Hollywood, and an L.A. Theatre Works evening of Bram Stoker’s Dracula adapted by Charles Morey Oct. 28. For a complete season schedule, visit valleyperformingartscenter.org.

FRINGE SPOTLIGHT: POP! The Musical will play the fringe for three performances only beginning June 19. The world premiere musical is written and produced by Geoffrey Rose and Sam Rose (Roze Broze), directed by Barry Pearl, and choreographed by James Tabeek, whose Broadway credits include Mary Poppins, Beauty & The Beast, Wicked and Taboo. Like Grease, POP! is a comedic period piece that celebrates an extraordinary decade in the history of pop music. POP! tells the story of two struggling musicians who, through a twist of fate, suddenly have a chance of getting a song to Madonna at the height of her fame. Brimming with nostalgia and packed with original 80s style pop music, the score, book and lyrics are a love letter to one of music’s most remarkable decades. Starring Joshua M. Bott, Jenna Coker-Jones, Ben D. Goldberg, Douglas Ladnier, Matt Steele, Haviland Stillwell, and Laura L. Thomas. June 19 – 21 at The Hudson Backstage Theatre. Tickets: $22 at hff15.org/2177.

CABARET/CONCERT: The Colony Theatre presents Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra as part of the Colony’s 2015 Cabaret Series on June 21 at 7pm. Celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday with the international star of Las Vegas’ “The Rat Back is Back” as he performs the songs of Ol’ Blue Eyes. Frank Sinatra Tribute Singer Henry Prego has become one of the most prominent, in-demand vocalists of today, establishing his place among the finest interpreters of standards and traditional pop music in the nation. His show Henry Prego Sings Frank Sinatra creates a perfect blend of the classics introducing a new generation to this timeless music, while appealing to long-time listeners. www.colonytheatre.org

Fraser Entertainment presents An Evening of Classic Broadway starring Eydie Alyson, Bill A. Jones, Ashley Fox Linton, MaryJo Mundy, Kevin Odekirk, Patricia Whiteman and Ali Stroker, with host and musical director Brad Ellis, June 16. Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz. http://rockwell-la.com/

Celebrate the 4th of July with an Old-Fashioned Barn Dance and Barbeque at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, Saturday, July 4 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. Activities include live music, a barn dance with renowned multi-instrumentalist and traditional dance caller Evo Bluestein (1pm and 3pm.), children’s games, a pie-eating contest, watermelon seed-spitting contest, cake walk, horseshoes, relay races, dunk bucket and more. Barbeque and fixin’s, beer and wine available for purchase. 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA 90290. www.theatricum.com

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