Monday, September 7, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Monday, September 7, 2015

La Mirada Theatre opens its 2015-16 season with the Southern California premiere of First Date, Sept 18 – Oct 11. Music & lyrics are by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, and book is by Austin Winsberg. The show is directed by Nick DeGruccio, with musical direction by Brent Crayon and choreography by Lee Martino. When blind date newbie Aaron (Marc Ginsburg) is set up with serial-dater Casey (Erica Lustig), a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds they are not alone in this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron's inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents who sing and dance the pair through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. The cast also includes Stacey Oristano, Kelley Dorney, Justin Michael Wilcox, Leigh Wakeford and Scott Dreier. www.lamiradatheatre.com

Greenway Arts Alliance presents an out-of-the-ordinary theatrical experience, a humorous and lyrical tapestry of words, music, movement and quantum physics. Dan Berkowitz directs the world premiere of Breathing Room by playwright & composer Mary Lou Newmark, opening October 3 at the Greenway Court Theatre. Music, theater and science converge in Newmark’s newest performance piece. A science teacher with a mysterious past (Charles Reese) and a visual artist overwhelmed by life (Eileen T’Kaye) explore our modern culture of “technological vertigo” in a series of playful and intriguing scenes infused with music – played live at every performance by Newmark on her trademark neon-green electric violin. Show runs Oct 3 – 25 at Greenway Court Theatre. www.greenwaycourttheatre.org

Peter Uribe returns to Shakespeare Orange County to direct Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, Sept 12 – 26, at the Garden Grove Festival Amphitheater. Having just reached his 21st birthday, Frederic has fulfilled his “contractual” obligations to the pirate band with which he has been working. He quickly finds his true love in Mabel, the Major General’s daughter. No sooner are they swooning than the pirates reel him back on a technicality. The romantic comic opera full of wonderful wordplay and soaring music will be performed by Louis B. Jack, Alex Bodrero, Max Black, Nikolai Fernandez, Phil Nieto, Jenaha McLearn, Janelle Kester, Rebecca Frechette, Cynthia Aldrich, and Krystin Bergamasco, Andrew Aguilar, Hayden Allcorn, Emma Becerra, Alfonso Echararria, Jackye Flores, Michael Drace Fountain, Deva Marie Gregory, Amethyst Hethcoat, Emily Hoffman, Zach Kanner, Jacob Lansberg, Jessica Odishoo, James Quesada, Kenzie Spooner, and Nicholas Thurkettle. www.shakespeareoc.org

MainStreet Theatre Company celebrates the opening of its 10th season with the California premiere of Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play!” directed and choreographed by Art Manke, with musical direction by the show’s composer, Deborah Wicks-La Puma. The production will play eight school performances from October 5 – 9, and open to the public on Saturday, October 10, continuing through October 25.


The musical, adapted from Mo Willem’s popular book series, celebrates the friendship of a melancholy elephant and an optimistic pink pig, and gives kids of all ages simple but valuable life lessons – helped along by terrific music and some contagiously silly audience participation. The cast of LA-based Equity actors includes Jeffrey Landman as Elephant Gerald, Sydney Blair as Piggie, and Ivory Doublette, Heather Ensley and Jane Noseworthy as a trio of back-up singing squirrels called The Squirrelles. www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com

The Group Rep presents the west coast premiere of That Lovin' Feelin’ a musical biography about the Righteous Bros. by James Zimmerman, directed by Jules Aaron, produced by Larry Eisenberg and Doug Haverty for The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, Dec 11, 2015 – January 24, 2016. The show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm with talk-back dates TBA. www.thegrouprep.com

Back by popular demand, Spring Awakening returns for two weeks, Sept 17 – 27, to Temecula’s The Barn Stage Company, Cabaret at The Merc. The show runs Thurs-Sun at The Truax Building in Old Town Temecula. Directed by J. Scott Lapp, with associate direction and choreography by Evan D’Angeles and musical direction by Mike Kestler, the cast includes Nick Eiter, Emily Chelsea, Austyn Myers, Lindsay Joan, Kaylee Bryant, Jonathan Sangster, Zack Zumbek, Nicholas Alexander, Alexandra Slade, Rebecca B. Thomas, Zackary Scot Wolfe, Joseph Arreola, and Katharine Larsen. TheBarnStageCompany.com

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