Thursday, August 13, 2015

MUSICAL NEWS for Thursday, August 13, 2015

Geffen Playhouse opens its 20th anniversary season with the west coast premiere of These Paper Bullets! A Modish Ripoff of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Sept. 8 – Oct. 18. Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Emmy Award nominated writer Rolin Jones with songs by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and staged by Jackson Gay, the show was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre where it premiered in 2014. Meet the Quartos. Ben, Claude, Balth, and Pedro. Their fans worship them. Scotland Yard fears them. And their former drummer will stop at nothing to destroy them. Can these fab four from Liverpool find true love in London and cut an album in seven nights? The cast features James Barry (Pedro), Kate Blumberg (Paulina, Frida), Damon Daunno (Claude), Chris Geary as Anton, Mr. Crumpet, Queen & Others), Brad Heberlee (Mr. Urges), Justin Kirk (Ben), Tony Manna (Mr. Cake), Rod McLachlan (Boris), Kiera Naughton (Ulcie), Adam O’Byrne (Don Best), Lucas Papaelias (Balth), Nicole Parker (Beatrice), Greg Stuhr (Mr. Berry), Ariana Venturi (Higgy), Nick Ullett as (Leo).

TROIKA Entertainment LLC and the Nederlander Organization have announced casting for the new tour of ANNIE playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre Oct. 13 – Nov. 1. Original Broadway lyricist and director Martin Charnin returns for the 19th time to direct this brand new production which also features book by Thomas Meehan and music by Charles Strouse. Choreographer Liza Gennaro will incorporate selections from her father Peter Gennaro’s 1977 Tony Award®-winning choreography. The 25-member company stars newcomer Issie Swickle as Annie and Gilgamesh Taggett as Oliver Warbucks. The cast also includes Lynn Andrews (Miss Hannigan), Ashley Edler (Grace), Garrett Deagon (Rooster), Lucy Werner (Lily) and Jeffrey B. Duncan (FDR). Sunny, a 5-year-old rescue terrier mix, stars as Sandy. The Orphans will be played by Angelina Carballo, LillyBea Ireland, Molly Rose Meredith, Emily Moreland, Lilly Mae Stewart and Isabel Wallach. Tickets: (800) 982-2787 or

Broadway’s Alison Luff and Constantine Maroulis will lead the cast of Breaking Through, a world premiere musical, with book by Kirsten Guenther, and music & lyrics by Cliff Downs and Katie Kahanovitz, at the Pasadena Playhouse Oct. 27 – Nov. 22 (opening night 11/1). The production is choreographed by Tyce Diorio and directed by Sheldon Epps. Breaking Through is told through the eyes of a young, talented singer/songwriter, as she tries to navigate the treacherous shark-filled waters of the music business. She embarks on a compelling journey to find her way back to her authentic self and in the process rediscovers the music that truly makes her alive.

International City Theatre has announced its 2016 season beginning with Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire’s musical revue, Closer Than Ever Feb. 10 – March 6, 2016 (opening night 2/12). Filled with hilarious and poignant songs about dating, parenting, aging and dreams both fulfilled and unrequited, Closer Than Ever is like a musical “how-to” manual for life. With each song a self-contained story inspired by real-life experiences, its message to value the little things in life remains timeless. Also part of the season: Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods, Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sasha and Masha and Spike, John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, and Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment—The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself).

Red Blanket Productions presents Sondheim’s Assassins at The Pico Playhouse August 21 – Sept. 27. The show is directed by Dan Fishbach, with choreography by Lili Fuller, and features a live orchestral quartet conducted by music director Anthony Lucca. Disturbing, alarming, and eerily funny, Assassins is perhaps one of the most controversial musicals ever written. Sondheim leads audiences on a tuneful review of Presidential assassins and would-be killers from John Wilkes Booth to John Hinckley. The cast includes Claire Adams, Jeff Alan-Lee, Sean Benedict, Janna Cardia, Cole Cuomo, Dominic De Armey, David Gallic, Adam Hunter Howard, Jason Peter Kennedy, Zachary Lutsky, Sandy Mansson, Nick Tubbs, Bryan Vickery, Selah Victor, Travis Rhett Wilson, and Paul Wong. The Pico Playhouse, 10508 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles 90064.

Celebration Theatre has announced its 2015-2016, under the artistic direction of Michael Matthews & Michael A. Shepperd. This is the Celebration’s 34th season and the first in its new home at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave. in Los Angeles. Included on the schedule is the L.A. intimate theatre premiere of The Boy From Oz directed by Michael A. Shepperd, which begins previews April 22, 2016. Australian entertainer Peter Allen becomes a star, marries and divorces Liza Minnelli, comes out of the closet, and ultimately succumbs to AIDS in this biographical jukebox musical featuring Allen’s songs. The season also includes a new sketch show, Kim Jon Funner directed by Todd Milliner, Bootycandy by Robert O’Hara, and Dream Boy by Eric Rosen.

Megan Hilty will take the stage at Valley Performing Arts Center for a concert on Thursday, Sept.24 at 8:00 pm. The vivacious star of Wicked at the Pantages Theatre, New York Encores’ Gentleman Prefer Blondes and 9 to 5: The Musical at the Ahmanson and on Broadway, as well as the NBC hit television series Smash will present an unforgettable evening of Broadway standards, Hollywood favorites, and songs from her album, It Happens all the Time. Valley Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), 18111 Nordhoff Street Northridge, 91330-8448, at the corner of Nordhoff and Lindley. Tickets: (818) 677-3000 or

Heart and Flame Productions has announced that the world premiere pop/rock musical We Are the Tigers will play the Hudson Backstage Oct. 2 – Nov. 8 The musical features book, music & lyrics by Rebekah M. Allen, musical direction by Patrick Sulken, choreography by Jacob Brent and is directed by Michael Bello. A new school year means a new beginning for the Tigers, the worst-ranked high school cheerleading team in the state. But when an innocent team-building sleepover becomes a mysterious murder scene, the Tigers will need more than just team spirit to survive the night – and each other.

The world premiere of Welcome to My World starring Sami Staitman, the first ever one-girl musical written for and about a fourteen-year-old, will take place at the Grove Theatre in Burbank, Sept. 10 – 27. The Disney Channel’s Corey Fogelmanis (Farkel on Girl Meets World) will be on hand opening weekend for a private Meet & Greet with fans who have donated to the production. With book, music and lyrics by Grammy nominated Bruce Kimmel, Welcome to My World takes you into the world of a bright, funny, irreverent and iconoclastic young girl named Molly, who has her own very unique way of looking at life. The 85-minute show also features musical direction by Alby Potts. Tickets: (323) 960-7787 or
Panic! Productions begins its 2015-2016 season with the classic musical, She Loves Me, Sept. 11 -27, at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. A beloved favorite of many musical theatre aficionados, She Loves Me features a book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. This newly staged, intimate production is directed and choreographed by Miriam Durrie-Kirsch, with musical direction by Diann Alexander and starring Brandon Hynum, Becca Peyton, Tiffany Asta, John Wallis, Paul Panico, Robert Weibezahl, Frankie Rodriguez, Alex Gonzales, Larry Craig, Alisa De Los Santos, Annie Sherman, Matt Markham, and Noah Terry.

In celebration of the in-home Diamond Edition release of Aladdin, Hollywood’s legendary El Capitan Theatre is thrilled to present a limited run of the magical Disney classic Sept. 17- Oct. 7. Before the movie, El Capitan guests will be greeted by Genie, live on stage. The El Capitan will also host a special opening-night screening on Saturday, September 17 at 7:00 pm.

Also this month at the El Capitan, a special engagement of Disney’s Frozen Sing-along version Aug. 20 – Sept. 16. Each screening will be accompanied by Elsa, live on stage, snow inside the theatre, and after the movie, Olaf live on stage and a screening of Disney’s Frozen Fever which will be featured in an extraordinary new in-home collection of award-winning and beloved shorts by Walt Disney Animation Studios.

(mostly)musicals returns to the E Spot Lounge on August 24 with its latest cabaret show, Lucky Numbers featuring performances by Rachel Tyler, Eric B. Anthony, Patricia Whiteman, Sandra Benton, Sherry Mandujano, Neil Taffe, Alli Miller, Emerson Boatwright, Amanda Kruger, David Crane, Jason Peter Kennedy, Christina Morrell, and music direction by Gregory Nabours. Doors open at 6:30pm for dinner and drinks.

Stupid Songs will present a one-night-only cabaret show called Stupid Gold on Tuesday, August 18 at Rockwell Table & Stage featuring the company’s stupidest hits, plus some brand new songs.

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