Thursday, October 22, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Thursday, October 22, 2015

Matt Magnusson replaces the previously announced Constantine Maroulis as Scorpio in the company of Breaking Through at Pasadena Playhouse. The world premiere musical is choreographed by Tyce Diorio and directed by Sheldon Epps. Maroulis has left the company due to personal matters. Epps says, “I am so happy that Matt will be joining our cast and enhancing our wonderful company of actors. Along with several others involved in the production, I have had the pleasure of working with him before and we are all pleased to have him with us for this world premiere musical. I know that his very special talents will be an exciting and inspiring addition to a production which is already giving me great pride and causing anticipation.” The company also includes Alison Luff, Kacee Clanton, Robert W. Arbogast, Will Collyer, Teya Patt, Katherine Tokarz, and Nita Whitaker. Preview performances begin October 27, with the official press opening on November 1st. Show runs through Nov 22.

The Colony Theatre is bringing the wildly successful, El Grande de Coca-Cola by Ron House, directed by Alan Shearman and based on El Grande de Coca-Cola by Ron House, Diz White, Alan Shearman, and John Neville-Andrews to its stage beginning Nov 5. Originally produced by Skylight Theatre Company & Flying Cucumber Productions, it ran 14 sold-out weeks at the Skylight Theatre. Meet Pepe Hernandez (Marcelo Tubert), over-ambitious patriarch of the world’s most dubious family of entertainers (Paul Baird, Olivia Cristina Delgado, Lila Depree & Aaron Miller), whose unflagging confidence cobbled from decades spent touring the bottom-rung nightclub circuit south-of-the-border, has inspired him to ascend into big-top territory and head north to…Burbank, legendary home of Walt Disney, IKEA, and now Pepe Hernandez! The family-friendly multi-cultural show will run through December 13 before heading to London. There will be question-and-answer talkbacks after the performances on Friday, Nov 13, and Thursday, Dec 3rd.

Lindsay Pearce and Marina Sirtis will star in the Laguna Playhouse production of Lythgoe Family Productions’ A Snow White Christmas, with Neil Patrick Harris Onscreen as the Magic Mirror. This Panto at The Playhouse production is directed by Chris Baldock with choreography by Spencer Liff and musical supervision by Michael Orland. The cast also includes Jonathan Meza (Muddles), Neil Dale (Herman the Huntsman), James Royce Edwards (Prince Harry), and 7 local children as the Seven Dwarfs. This updated version of the classic tale features family-friendly magic, comedy, dancing, a live miniature pony and contemporary music from Katy Perry’s Firework to Huey Lewis and the News’ Power of Love to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and more. Panto’s interactive style and humor appeals to everyone from ages 2 – 102 so mark your calendar now for the show’s run, December 2-27.

The Pasadena Playhouse and Lythgoe Family Productions have also announced the cast for this year’s Panto at the Playhouse, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell – A Pirates Christmas. Sabrina Carpenter as will star as Wendy with Kevin Quinn as Peter Pan, Nikki SooHoo as Tiger Lily, Corey Fogelmanis as John, and August Maturo as Michael. Show opens Dec 9 and runs through Jan 3, 2016. One hour before every performance, guests and their families are also invited to enjoy Winter Wonderland in The Playhouse’s Courtyard, complete with holiday crafts and activities, including Santa photo opportunities (Dec 9-24).

Musical Theatre Guild presents a one-night-only concert staging of Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents 1965 musical Do I Hear a Waltz? at the Alex Theatre on Sunday, November 15. Based on Laurents’ play The Time of the Cuckoo, the musical follows American spinster Leona Samish (Kim Huber) on her journey to Venice, Italy where she finds that romance doesn’t always turn out as planned. The cast also includes MTG members Lindsey Alley, Eileen Barnett, Doug Carfrae, Zachary Ford, Marsha Kramer, Ashley Fox Linton and guest artists David Crane, Jude Mason and Robert Yacko, directed by Richard Israel with musical direction by Jennifer Lin, choreography by John Todd.

A Christmas Memory opens Nov 27 at Sierra Madre Playhouse and will run through Dec 27. Based on the short story by Truman Capote it features book by Duane Poole, music by Larry Grossman, lyrics by Carol Hall and will be directed and choreographed by Alison Eliel Kalmus. The cast includes Charlo Crossley, Ian Branch, Jeff Scot Carey, Lucy Ferrante, Patrick Geringer, Jean Kauffman, Diane Kelber,. Kevin Michael Moran, Samantha Salamoff and Christopher Showerman.

The world premiere of Love, Locs, and Liberation written and performed by Ella Turenne continues through Oct 29 at The Speakeasy in the Atwater Village Theatre complex. Blending poetry, song and humor, Ella Turenne unlocks the history of “locs” experienced by Black women, revealing mishaps and triumphs. Through the eyes of 21 different characters, including a 5th grade bully and Madam CJ Walker, she exposes the hair connection - to politics, identity and culture, illustrating why hair is an intimate and essential part of Black life. The show weaves together stories of struggles with identity and beauty. From rituals that Black women hold in relation with their hair, to Ella’s experience as an American woman with strong ties to her Haitian culture.

The director and designers behind Rubicon Theatre Company’s acclaimed environmental productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Man of La Mancha have reunited for a two-piano chamber version of Lerner and Loewe’s classic My Fair Lady. Show runs Oct 21 – Nov 15, with opening night scheduled for Saturday, Oct 24. The 17-member cast stars Joseph Fuqua as Henry Higgins and newcomer Kimberly Hessler as Eliza Doolittle, with Rudolph Willrich (Colonel Pickering), Patrick DeSantis (Alfred P. Doolittle), and Will Sevedge (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Christopher Carothers (Harry), Michael Stone Forrest (Jamie), Susan Denaker (Mrs. Higgins), Linda Kerns (Mrs. Pearce), Jahmaul Bakare, Amber Petty, Jacqueline Elyse Rosenthal, Lila Bassior, and Jenaha McLearn.

J. Bernard Calloway makes his Old Globe debut as The Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! at The Old Globe in San Diego. The 18th annual production runs Nov 7 – Dec 26, with opening night on Nov 12 at 8pm. The Grinch is directed by James Vásquez with book and lyrics by Timothy Mason and music by Mel Marvin. The original production was conceived and directed by Jack O’Brien with additional lyrics by Theodor S. Geisel, additional music by Albert Hague, and original choreography by John DeLuca. Taylor Coleman and Mikee Castillo will alternate in the role of Cindy-Lou Who. Among the cast members are Robert J. Townsend (Papa Who), Bets Malone (Mama Who), Geno Carr (Grandpa Who), and Nancy Snow Carr (Grandma Who). 

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