Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Musical News for Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MUSICALS: Rubicon Theatre in Ventura becomes Holiday Central this month with a sparkling array of more than 35 shows and events for all ages. Holiday Central launches on Friday, Nov. 29 with A Rubicon Family Christmas Concert, a musical revue of classic and contemporary songs-of-the-season conceived and directed by Brian McDonald and featuring Broadway stars along with a chorus of talented young singers. The production continues through Dec. 8. Also on the schedule is Little Miss Scrooge, a lovely new musical that sets the love story from Great Expectations and the ghost story from A Christmas Carol against the backdrop of the small town, recession-hit Pickwick, Ohio. Created by Paul Gordon, Sam Caird and John Caird, it runs Dec. 18 - 23 and features a cast of 15, including Rebecca Ann Johnson and Andrew Samonsky. Rubicon’s downstairs rehearsal room will also be magically transformed into Santa’s Village, and Rubicon elves will help arrange family photos with Santa, Frosty and Rudolph (bring cameras!). On the weekends, a professional caroling group (The Tinseltones) will appear in Dickensian costumes to serenade visitors, and Rubicon’s Merry Elves will perform 30-minute Tiny Tots concerts. A holiday boutique in the Village will feature one-of-a-kind, hand-made gifts by local artists, and gift certificates for tickets to Rubicon season shows will be available for purchase. For more information and a complete list of shows, call (805) 667-2900 or go to

The Norris Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating the spirit of the season with the sparkling holiday musical, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Dec. 6 – 15. Based on the classic 1954 film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, this lavish romantic comedy is an all-singing, all-dancing evening of theatre that includes many of the greatest songs ever written, and even a live snowfall on stage. The illustrious Irving Berlin score includes such timeless songs as “Blue Skies,” “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “Snow” and “White Christmas.” The production features a cast of 24 performers and stars Brent Schindele as Bob Wallace, David Lamoureux as Phil Davis, Gail Ellen Bennett as Betty Haynes, Tro Shaw as Judy Haynes, Polly Seale as Martha Watson, Michael Prohaska as General Waverly and Ashley Reynolds as Susan Waverly. The show is produced by James Gruessing and directed by Randy Brenner, with choreography by Kami Seymour and musical direction by Daniel Thomas. Tickets:

Chance Theater presents The Secret Garden – The Musical with book and lyrics by Marsha Norman, music by Lucy Simon, and directed by Casey Long and KC Wilkerson, Nov. 29 – Dec. 29. The enchanting classic is based on the popular novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Orphaned in India, an 11 year old girl returns to Yorkshire to live with an embittered, reclusive uncle and his invalid son. Her own personality blossoms as she and a young gardener bring new life to a neglected garden. This Tony Award winner is a treasure for children and adults alike. The cast includes Jillian Batt, Lindsey Campbell, Stanton Kane Morales, resident artist Laura M. Hathaway, James McHale, Brandon Sanchez, Ashley Arlene Nelson, Holden Ergdorf, Rachel McLaughlan, Robert Parkison, resident artist Sherry Domerego, Richard Comeau, Miguel Cardenas, Eloise Coopersmith, Katie Brown, John Scoggins and Jonathan Widen. Tickets: 

The Academy for New Musical Theatre presents a Concert Reading of the new musical City of Light Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30pm at the Colony Theatre, Burbank. The romantic musical comedy has a book by Gabrielle Wagner Mann, music by Jan Roper, and lyrics by Julie Weiner, and was written as part of ANMT’s Full Length Curriculum in the 2012-13 season. A few weeks before her wedding, Molly, in a moment of panic, flees the comforts of Pasadena and runs off to Paris to clear her head. What she finds there is more than she ever expected and when her fiancé shows up to bring her home, she is faced with a decision that could alter the course of her life. The reading will feature Noel Britton, Jordan Kai Burnett, Elise Dewsberry, Evelyn Halus, Erica Hanrahan-Ball, David Holmes, Mike Irizarry, Michelle Lane, Christopher Maikish, Suzanne Mayes, Paul Marchegiani, Sari Rose Poll, Andrea Press, Tedd Szeto, John David Wallis, Justin Michael Wilcox, and Jennifer Winkler; with music direction by Ron Barnett.

Where can you see A Christmas Carol this holiday season? There’s sure to be a production running in a theater close to you! Here are a few to choose from:

A Noise Within: Dec. 7 - 22. Featuring Geoff Elliott, Robertson Dean, Stephen Rockwell, Rafael Goldstein, Jill Hill, Mitchell Edmonds, Deborah Strang, and Alan Blumenfeld.

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre: Nov. 30 - Dec. 22. Starring Josh T. Ryan as Scrooge and Zombie Joe as The Ghost of Jacob Marley, with Denise Devin, Vanessa Cate, Sebastian Muñoz, and featuring the Steam Punk Chorus:  Julie Fergus, Gloria Galvan, David Wyn Harris, Annalee Scott, and Corey Zicari. Tickets: (818) 202-4120, 

Sierra Madre Playhouse: Nov. 29 - Dec. 23. Adapted, directed and choreographed by Christina Harris, with musical direction by Rich Dembowski.

Glendale Centre Theatre: Nov. 29 - Dec. 24. Adapted by Brenda Dietlein and directed by Brenda & Tim Dietlein. 

Lewis Family Playhouse: Dec. 7 – 15. Adapted by John Jakes and presented by Rancho Cucamonga Community Theatre. 

Kentwood Players presents a Kentwood Kids musical comedy, Mr. Potcher’s Holiday, featuring book & lyrics by Bob Silberg and music by Barbara Klaskin Silberg on Saturdays, Nov.30, Dec. 7 and 14 at Westchester Playhouse. Mr. Potcher has eliminated all extracurricular activities at the school. When a young student named Darcy tries to persuade him to reinstate them, he not only remains unconvinced, he decides to also do away with all the holidays as well. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Cupid, Leprechaun, Jack o’Lantern and Thanksgiving Turkey conspire with Darcy to change Mr. Potcher’s mind. Featured in the cast are Dylan Bailey, Kenjo Cable, Tyler Cable, Melana Dix, Riley Dix, Drew Fitzsimmons, Logan R. Hannig, Sarah-V Harnden, Trevor Hart, Osric Holt, Stephanie Hotz, George Kondreck, Kobe Kubes, Steven Lerner, Fiona Okida, Katie Reinhold, Valerie Ruel, Jennifer Sperry, Hollister Starrett, Genevieve Thomas, Isabel van Aaist, Skylar Washington and Ja'von Willis directed by Drew Fitzsimmons and Melodie S. Rivers, with choreography by Lulu Peña. Tickets: 

CABARET/CONCERTS: Tonight – Ryan Black’s 88’s, The Sound of Rodgers & Hammerstein, 8:00 pm at Don’t Tell Mama LA. Reservations: 323 380 7209.

A Kritzerland Christmas: Sunday Dec. 1 at 7:00 pm starring Dan Callaway, Ashley Fox Linton, Lisa Livesay, Hadley Miller, Jenna Lea Rosen, Kelsey Scott, Sarah Staitman, and Robert Yacko, with special guest Terri White. Musical direction by Richard Allen. Reservations:  818-754-8700. Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal.

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