Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hollywood Fringe Spotlight – Part 4: The Time Machine Musical, Real Housekeepers of Studio City

More musical news from the Fringe as we travel through time with The Time Machine Musical and The Real Housekeepers of Studio City!

June 9, 13, 15, 19, 20, 26, 27

In this new rock musical version of H. G. Wells Time Machine, a brilliant but troubled scientist invents a machine that takes him into a distant and violent future. The show explores themes of class struggle, popular apathy, runaway technology, addiction, greed, lawlessness, hubris, teenage angst, hopelessness, man playing God, love, betrayal and redemption. All in one hour. Sounds perfect for The Fringe, right?

Composer Steve Altman says he came up with the idea for Time Machine Musical many years ago, “when I happened upon the George Pal film while playing Judas in Superstar in a bus and truck company. ‘This should be a rock opera,’ I thought! And the seed took root. It’s seen many different forms since then, but the themes are always the same…class struggle, teenage angst, corporate greed…and there’s a love story in there too.

I’d been a songwriter since high school and wound up writing for Motown, José Feliciano, Smokey Robinson, HBO and NASA, among others…all the while piecemealing this idea together. I guess more than ever, I’ve just always wanted to see a Time Machine musical. Part Superstar, part Hair, part sci-fi. And I think the world is ready."
"I’m lucky enough to be friends with one Joshua Fardon, playwright, composer, director who will helm this beast," he adds. "Josh has worked with folks like Adam Carolla, Bebe Neworth and Peter Coyote, and our cast and crew is a wonderful hybrid of actors and musicians that include Jack David Frank, James Hanna, Jonathan Grey, Thomas Meaney, Susan Mikiel, Tara Price, David Rodwin, Tara Raucci, Gretel Roenfeldt, Erick Van Wyck, Rich Faugno, Paul Costa, Jeremy Borum, Shannon Simonds and Sandi Hemmerlein.”

Steve also wrote and directed Duality to 5 star reviews at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe ( as well as the John Lennon musical, Just Imagine ( Performances of The Time Machine Musical will take place at Elephant Stages, 1076 Lillian Way. The performance on June 7 is Pay What You Can. Tickets for all other dates are $10. Click Here for tickets and more info. 

June 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28

The Real Housekeepers of Studio City is an original one-act musical with music by Joe Greene, book & lyrics by Heidi Powers & Tom Moore, directed by Ryan Bergmann. Choreography is by Janet Roston. The world premiere one-hour show is the story of a fantasy version of Studio City where all television characters live, and a family’s Craigslist ad that draws maids from sitcoms past and present.

“Composer Joe Greene’s love of TV reruns originally sparked the idea of a musical based on sitcom maids,” says co-bookwriter Heidi Powers. “When he approached my husband & writing partner Tom Moore and I with the topic, we jumped at the chance to develop a show with him.” 

Though she hadn't written musical theatre before, Powers says she was the kind of child who wore out the Annie soundtrack on vinyl before she turned six. “I loved musicals and I performed as much as I could as a young person, but by the time I hit college, I knew I would never have the pipes to perform. I left musicals behind to study writing and directing, and I eventually found myself in Los Angeles, marketing movies by day, and working on a film and television portfolio by night. I was still a voracious listener of musical soundtracks, and a supporter of the arts, but something was definitely missing.

Once we started working on this show, I discovered that writing lyrics and the book for a musical more than filled the void left by no longer performing in musicals. Regardless of anything else, I have already learned so much and felt so much joy in the process of developing Real Housekeepers than I ever expected to. And I think our joy has been infectious - the cast, the production team, the crew, we all feel like we’re sharing in something special, something that makes us laugh deeply and reconnects us with both our inner child and our playful id. Working on it has genuinely changed my life.”

For co-writer Tom Moore, who also works as a reality TV editor, creating the show has been a way to tap into his passion for television. “I think that for all of us who grew up watching these shows on TV, there was always a little bit of fantasy about what it would be like to be in those families – to be a Brady or a Jefferson or a Jetson or an Addams. The Real Housekeepers of Studio City indulges our fantasies by bringing the worlds of those shows into contact with the world we live in and seeing what happens.”

Powers adds that the show will appeal to Fringe audiences because it’s full of bawdy humor and the warmth of nostalgia, which don't always go hand-in-hand. “People who love television will have a blast reconnecting with familiar characters from many seasons ago - not to mention the treasure hunt of TV references tucked throughout the book and lyrics. And people who love musicals will appreciate the show, because it’s packed with references to shows of the past (including an eleven o’clock number called ‘Ashley’s Turn,’ inspired by Mama Rose.)

And people who like neither television nor musicals - well, you don’t know what you’re missing! But Real Housekeepers tries to show you. There’s a reason Homer Simpson calls television ‘teacher, mother, secret lover.’ People cozy up and relax with TV. Sure, they veg out. But over time, they connect to the characters. The characters sort of become a part of their family. And in the end, Real Housekeepers - however silly and playful it might be - is about family.”

The cast includes Lani Shipman, Ryan O’Connor, Jordan Kai Burnett, Daniel Switzer, Lorie Moore, Gabby Sanalitro, Matt Musgrove, Joe Greene, Edna Garrett, Harris Markson, Chala Savino, Gina Torrecilla, and Gregory Guy Gorden. Performances take place at Theatre Asylum, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90038. Tickets are $10 – $15 and can be purchased at For more information about the show visit

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