Monday, August 31, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Monday August 31, 2015

Carrie the Musical returns to Los Angeles at the historic Los Angeles Theatre, the first theatrical musical at that venue ever, Oct 1 - Nov 22 (opening night 10/8). Directed by Brady Schwind and choreographed by Lee Martino, it features book by Lawrence D. Cohen, music by Michael Gore, and lyrics by Dean Pitchford. This production is based on the acclaimed run this past spring at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, with most of the original La Mirada cast: Carly Bracco, Adante Carter, Misty Cotton, Valerie Rose Curiel, Bryan Dobson, Kevin Patrick Doherty, Rachel Farr, Jennifer Foster, Jon Robert Hall, Jonah Ho’okano, Ian Littleworth, Emily Lopez, Lyle Colby Mackston, Garrett Marshall, Chris Meissner, Tiana Okoye, Jane Papageorge, Kayla Parker, Jenelle Lynn Randall, Amy Segal, Michael Starr, Kimberly Ann Steele, and Victoria Strong. The one-of-a-kind production puts the audience in the high school gymnasium where blood drops, Jesus flies, people levitate and moving bleachers pull the audience deeper into the heart of the story.

Original Broadway cast members LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, and James Snyder will join Tony Award-Winner Idina Menzel in the Hollywood Pantages engagement of If/Then this fall in LA – one of seven select cities on the National Tour. The foursome will also reprise their critically-acclaimed performances in Costa Mesa, San Diego, San Francisco, Tempe, Seattle, and Denver. seven select cities.

Actors Co-op opens its 2015-2016 season with The Baker’s Wife directed by Richard Israel. The Stephen Schwartz musical about a French baker who stops making his mouth-watering bread when his young wife leaves him runs Sept 16 – Oct 25 (opening night 9/18). Faced with the loss of the best food they have ever eaten, the town of misfits unites to rekindle the couple’s love. Israel directs a cast that includes Greg Baldwin, Kelly Brighton, Tracey Bunka, Greyson Chadwick, Chelle Denton, Brian Dyer, Nick Echols, Larray Grimes, Rachel Hirshee, Tim Hodgin, Natalie Hope Macmillan, Christopher Maikish, Jeffrey Markle, Brandon Parrish, Michael Riney, Lindsey Schuberth, Treva Tegtmeier, Stephen Van Dorn and Michael Worden. Musical direction is by Jake Anthony and choreography by Julie Hall.

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group presents the world premiere of Ramon Sanchez’s musical vampire love story Red Moon, opening Friday, Sept 4. Denise Devin directs and Zombie Joe produces this passionate love story of Anthony and Roxanna whose bond of eternal love is challenged by their adventurous lust for human flesh and Roxanna’s drive for redemption. ZJU has a long history of supporting original work, from inside the group as well as outside the company, and Red Moon is the next project to receive the ZJU treatment. Show runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm through Sept 26. For Reservations call (818) 202-4120.

Cabrillo Music Theatre kicks off its 2015-2016 season with Damn Yankees, winner of 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical. With a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, and music & lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, this ever-popular baseball musical will have fans on the edge of their seats. Show runs Oct 16 – 25 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Aging, die-hard Washington Senators baseball fan Joe Boyd will do anything for the Senators to beat the New York “damn” Yankees and win the pennant. When he accepts a deal on the Senators’ behalf in exchange for his soul, he is turned into Joe Hardy, the greatest baseball player ever, and leads the woeful Senators into a wild and woolly pennant chase. The all-star lineup includes Renée Marino (Lola), John Sloman (Applegate), Sarah Tattersall (Meg Boyd), and Travis Leland (Joe Hardy) directed by Kirsten Chandler with choreography by John Todd and musical direction by Cassie Nickols.

The Old Globe will open its 2015-2016 Season with In Your Arms, a world premiere dance-theatre musical featuring direction and choreography by Christopher Gattelli and original music by Stephen Flaherty. Co-conceived by Gattelli and Jennifer Manocherian, with lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, In Your Arms features 10 dance vignettes written by an incredible and diverse lineup of theatre powerhouses, including Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph,Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry. The production will run Sept 16 – Oct 25 (opening night 9/24). Each vignette takes place in a different place and time, and the dances range from duets to large ensemble numbers in every style imaginable, from classical ballet to swing, tap to tango, rock ’n’ roll to Charleston, modern to jazz.

Donna/Madonna, the critically acclaimed, award-winning solo show written and performed by JP Karliak, and directed by Tiger Reel and Matthew Craig, returns to the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood for a special engagement Sept 10 – 13. In this 70-minute autobiographical one-act, writer/performer JP Karliak wants desperately to be the perfect son for his adopted mother, a doting Catholic housewife from Scranton, PA. But realizing he will never be the ideal local boy, he seeks answers from a very different source: his fashion-writing, married-to-a-British-pop-star birth mother. Donna/Madonna is a tale of motherly love and finding acceptance told through stories, songs, and characters like Darth Vader, Carol Channing, and JP’s unforgettable mothers. or

Laguna Playhouse announces the complete cast for the west coast premiere of I’m Still Getting My Act Together and taking it on the road. Joining the previously announced Gretchen Cryer, who also wrote book & lyrics and directs the show, are Rex Smith, Omar D. Brancato, Daniel Filippi, Erica Hanrahan-Ball, Jesse Johnson, Erika Schindele, Jennifer Leigh Warren, and Matthew Wrather. Show runs October 10 – Nov 1.

The Pasadena Playhouse will honor two artists at this year’s Diversity Project fundraising benefit. Legendary director, choreographer and producer Kenny Ortega will be recognized as the 2015 Diversity Award Artistic Honoree, and Abel Ramirez, founder of Pasadena’s El Portal Restaurant and business and cultural leader of the Pasadena community, will be recognized as the Community Honoree. The 9th Annual Pasadena Playhouse’s Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project fundraising benefit takes place Sept 13, in honor of the opening of Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves.

San Diego Musical Theatre welcomes a new executive director. Colleen Kollar Smith, a native San Diegan, has made a career on and off San Diego stages with such organizations as Lamb’s Players Theatre, CYT San Diego, and most recently New Village Arts. SDMT’s upcoming season schedule includes two musicals to be performed at the historic Spreckels Theatre: La Cage Aux Folles (Sept 25 – Oct 11) starring David Engel, Robert J. Townsend, and James Vasquez, and White Christmas (Nov 27-Dec 6) directed by Todd Nielsen.

EXTENSIONS: Citizen: An American Lyric extends at Fountain Theatre through Oct 11.

Always…Patsy Cline extends at Sierra Madre Playhouse through Sept 27.

FILM: In celebration of the in-home Diamond Edition release of Aladdin, the El Capitan Theatre will present a limited run of the Disney classic Sept 17- Oct 7. Before the movie, guests will be greeted by Genie, live on stage. Daily showtimes are 10am, 1pm, 4pm & 7pm. On select dates, guests may enjoy breakfast, meet Genie and receive a commemorative photo before seeing the 10am movie. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Tickets are on sale now at or at the theatre. Showtimes subject to change.

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