Tuesday, June 21, 2016

MUSICAL NEWS for June 21, 2016

Valerie Perri stars as Dolly Levi in 3-D Theatricals’ revival of Hello Dolly! which plays July 15 - 31 at Fullerton’s historic Plummer Auditorium. Following its performances in Fullerton, the production will open at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for a second run on Aug 5. Ken Sawyer directs and choreography is by Leslie Stevens. Musical director is Diane King Vann.

Based on Thornton Wilder’s  play The Matchmaker, Hello Dolly! features music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (Mame, La Cage aux Folles) and a book by Michael Stewart (Bye Bye Birdie, 42nd Street). It ran for nearly 3,000 performances on Broadway, won 10 Tony Awards in 1964 including Best Musical, and the 1969 film version was nominated for 7 Academy Awards. Joining Perri is Robert Yacko as Horace Vandergelder, Gary Patent as Cornelius Hackl, Afton Quast as Irene Molloy, Grace Yoo as Minnie Fay, and Chris Villain as Barnaby Tucker, and a cast of more than twenty. For tickets, visit www.3dt.org.

Photo by Ed Krieger

Casting has also been announced for the all-new production of Recorded in Hollywood opening at the Kirk Douglas Theatre July 16. A rare blend of R&B, rock and relevance, Recorded in Hollywood is the story of trailblazing Los Angeles entrepreneur and civil rights activist John Dolphin, who made his mark on the national music scene long before Motown existed. Written by Matt Donnelly and Jamelle Dolphin, the production features an ensemble of 21 performers, a six-piece live band, 15 original songs by Andy Cooper, and eight covers of songs launched in the legendary Dolphin’s of Hollywood record store on Central Avenue in South L.A.

Cast members returning include Stu James reprising his role as John Dolphin; Eric B. Anthony as Percy Ivy; Jenna Gillepsie, who will portray Ruth Dolphin; and ensemble members Franklin Grace, Matthew Lewis Sims, Jr., Sha’Leah Nikole Stubblefield and Katherine Washington. New to this production are Wilkie Ferguson III in the role of Jesse Belvin; Thomas Hobson as Sam Cooke; Matt Magnusson as legendary DJ Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg; and Frank Lawson as Los Angeles Sentinel founding publisher Leon Washington, along with ensemble members Ashley Lynette Brown, Caitlin Gallogly, Gabi Hankins, Dylan Hoffinger, Alfred Jackson, Bren Thor Johnson, Ryan Murray, Joël René, Tyler Ruebensaal and Emily Zetterberg. www.RecordedInHollywood.com

Photo by Eighty Eight Entertainment

The Pasadena Playhouse presents Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, the musical story of an immigrant boy who gave the country its voice, July 21 - August 7 (opening night 7/22). The director is Trevor Hay, who collaborated with performer/creator Hershey Felder, on An American Story, Abe Lincoln’s Piano, Hershey Felder as Franz Liszt and The Pianist of Willesden Lane. The new play with music features lyrics and music by Irving Berlin and book by Hershey Felder and includes some of the composer’s most popular and enduring songs from “God Bless America” and “Always” to “White Christmas” and beyond, Hershey’s masterful creation of character and musical performance is an unforgettable journey. As Jerome Kern famously said, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” www.pasadenaplayhouse.org

Congrats to Celebration Theater on their extension of The Boy from Oz which will continue performances through July 31st at the Lex Theatre. Directed by Michael A. Shepperd with choreography by Janet Roston, this show is sensational. You can read my review Here and get your tickets at www.celebrationtheatre.com.

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