Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MUSICAL NEWS for Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Davis Gaines returns to a role that won him an Ovation Award this June, Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, this time at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Glenn Casale directs, musical direction is by Jeff Rizzo and choreography is by Patti Colombo. Joining Gaines in the cast are Nikki Crawford as Aldonza and Roland Rusinek as Sancho, Rich Hebert (Padre), Michaelia Leigh (Antonia), Jenny McGlinchey (Housekeeper), Jeff Skowron (The Barber), Shannon Stoeke (Dr. Carrasco/Duke), Joseph Abrego, Greg Butler, Joe Komara, Kailyn Leilani, Rachel McLaughlan, Eric Stretch, Michael Stumpfig, Michael Thomas-Visgar, John B. Williford, and Jenna Wright. The chivalrous knight Don Quixote rides again in an unpredictable adventure that takes him into battles with an imaginary foe and into romance with the beautiful Dulcinea. June 2 – 25.

[Update as of 5/1/17 Cabaret has been postponed to Summer 2018] Up next for Celebration Theatre is Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, directed by Michael Matthews, with choreography by the ever-creative Janet Roston and musical direction by Anthony Zediker. Alex Nee stars as the Emcee and Talisa Friedman as Sally Bowles, with Christopher Maikish (Cliff), John Colella (Ernst), Matthew Henerson (Herr Schultz), June Carryl (Fraulein Schneider), Katherine Tokarz (Fraulein Kost), Nathan Mohebbi (Bobby), Tyler Matthew Burk (Victor), Katheryne Penny (Texas), Janelle Toyami Dote (Rosie) and Alli Miller (Helga). Welcome to the Kit Kat Klub, the seediest, sexiest nightclub in Berlin where life isn’t just beautiful, it’s downright dangerous. May 26 – July 2.

Robot Teammate is releasing an original cast recording of their award-winning musical Thug Tunnel available digitally on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. They’ll be celebrating with an album release party on Saturday, May 20th so mark your calendars. The book, music & lyrics music were conceived through improvisations and refined during writing sessions with the Robot Teammate ensemble, led by director Molly Dworsky. It’s a show I called “exceptionally appealing” and “a great example of what wild imagination, a commitment to getting a little down and dirty, and reveling in the joy of the art itself, can do” when I reviewed it last summer.

Featured on the cast album are Chris Bramante, Miles Crosman, Molly Dworsky, Nikki Muller, Dave Reynolds, Ingrid Gillming, Adrian Prohaska, Amanda Rae Troisi, Fayna Sanchez, and The Mother Thugger’s Band. The album will be available for purchase on Robot Teammate’s website and all major digital platforms. Visit for more info.

Michael Leoni’s Elevator has extended its run at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood through the end of June. The show is a comedic and emotional ride exploring what happens when seven strangers get stuck in an elevator. In close quarters, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. New to the cast are Zack Carter, Vivi Thai, David Schocke, and Amil Johnson who will be rotating roles with original cast members Devon Werkheiser, William Stanford Davis, Deborah Vancelette, David Abed, Karsen Rigby, Erica Katzin, and Kristina St. Peter. Now through June 25.

The Broad Stage opens its 2017-18 season with Born for This featuring original music by GRAMMY® Award-winning artist BeBe Winans and book by Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright, who also directs the new musical. Born for This is the story of Detroit teenagers BeBe and CeCe Winans’ experience joining Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network in Pineville, North Carolina. Jim and Tammy become an unlikely surrogate family as the two teenagers turn into the hottest stars in televangical America before crossing over to mainstream fame.

Starring as BeBe and CeCe are their nephew and niece Juan and Deborah Joy Winans. The cast also includes Chaz Pofahl as Jim Bakker and Kirsten Wyatt as Tammy Faye Bakker, Kiandra Richardson (Whitney Houston), and Nita Whitaker (Mom Winans), Milton Craig Nealy (Pop Winans), Dyllon Burnside (Michael Winans/ Howard), Desmond Sean Ellington (Carvin Winans/Alvin), Brad Raymond (Ronald Winans) and Michael Stiggers (Marvin Winans). July 11 – August 6.

We The People: A Musical Revolution is the latest new work from Daniel Sugimoto and the Zoo Theatre Company. The show follows a melting pot of young American struggling to make sense of the ever-changing socio-political climate by tackling current issues such as immigration legislation, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric, and racial division in the United States. Sugimoto’s score is a blend of rock, pop opera, hip-hop, and classical musical theatre that all works together to create a revolutionary thought provoking piece. June 2 – 18 at Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica.

Chance Theater presents an encore presentation of Fancy Nancy, The Musical as part of its TYA series. Written by Susan DiLallo (book & lyrics) and Danny Abosch (music), directed by Angeline Mirenda, and based on original staging by Kelly Todd. The show follows Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel as they prepare to perform in their very first show, Deep Sea Dances. Nancy is positive (that’s fancy for “100 percent sure”), that she and Bree will be picked to be mermaids. When another girl wins the coveted role, Nancy is stuck playing a dreary, dull tree. What’s a girl to do? May 5 – 28.

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