Thursday, May 25, 2017

MUSICAL NEWS for Thursday, May 25, 2017

Odyssey Theatre Ensemble’s next musical is Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman, the show that introduced American audiences to the Belgian singer-songwriter known as the “Bob Dylan of France.” Director Dan Fishbach and musical director Anthony Lucca lead a cast that includes Marc Francoeur, Susan Kohler, Miyuki Miyagi, and Michael Yapujian in what promises to be a powerful evening of music. Brel’s songs are full of with flair, attitude and European sophistication, retaining their edgy vibe over half a century after they were written. While Brel is no longer either alive or living in Paris, his legendary vision of romance, humor and moral conviction endures. July 1 – Aug. 27.

La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts has announced its 40th Anniversary season and there is a lot of musical theatre to love in it. First up is American Idol’s Frenchie Davis starring in a brand version of the Fats Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Sept 15 – Oct 8, 2017) directed by original Broadway cast member, Ken Page, followed by Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow (Oct 27 – Nov 12, 2017) about the last year of Judy Garland’s life. 2018 begins with Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret (Jan 19 – Feb 11, 2018) featuring choreography by Dana Solimando, directed by Larry Carpenter. April 20 – May 13, 2018 is a Rodgers & Hammerstein classic yet to be announced, and closing out the season is Disney’s Newsies (June 1– 24, 2018), directed and choreographed by Richard Hinds.

Art-In-Relation presents John Bucchino’s It’s Only Life, featuring the composer on piano during opening weekend performances. The poignant revue is filled with the questions, joys, sorrows, and challenges we all face when making choices between our art, and our daily lives set to the music and lyrics of John Bucchino. Starring Jill Marie Burke, Devon Davidson, Joaquin Nuñez, Philip McBride, Kayre Morrison, Ken Shepski, Amanda Aceves (7/8, 2pm), and VanNessa Hulme (7/1, 7/2, 7/8 2pm). June 9 – July 9 at Chromolume Theater.

Over at REDCAT, Kamala Sankaram’s Thumbprint is being presented in partnership with LA Opera June 15, 17 & 18. The opera is an astonishing true story of courage that explores the deep family ties and tribal traditions that empowered Mukhtar Mai to become the first female victim of gang rape in Pakistan to bring her attackers to justice. In lieu of a financial settlement, she requested that a school be constructed to educate girls. She hoped to educate the young, to help prevent the humiliation of signing their names with only a thumbprint. The story is told through a dynamic score by Sankaram, filled with influences from Hindustani and European opera, and a libretto by Susan Yankowitz, originating from a series of interviews with Mai.

Dan Waldkirch & Jeremiah Lowder debut their new musical Save Me a Spot beginning June 3. To win the heart of his favorite YouTube star, 30-something slacker, Chris decides to make a grand gesture – waiting in line for a pair of concert tickets. Over the course of one night, he’s joined by a handful of colorful strangers who share their stories, dreams, and ill-advised business plans. Starring Clayton Farris, Kristen Heitman, Kate Ponzio, Garrett Vander Leun, and Brent Lydic directed by Jeremiah Lowder. June 3 – 24 at Asylum at Studio C. Show runs 90 minutes.

The Book of Mormon has announced a lottery ticket policy for its national tour, which begins May 30 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre. The pre-show lottery will take place at the box office prior to every performance, making a limited number of tickets available at $25 apiece; cash or credit card accepted. Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance; each person will print their name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) they wish to purchase on a card that is provided. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing. May 30 – July 9. [Photo credit: Joan Marcus]

Cherise Pascual debuts her one woman show, Herpes: A Love Story at studio/stage beginning June 1st. The multimedia, interactive musical comedy is written, produced and performed by Pascual, and directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. Join Pascual as she relives her bad choices through musical parodies, awkward dance moves, and conversations with all the people in her head (real and imaginary) and learn how having herpes taught her to love myself. Leave the kids at home for this one. June 1 – 23.

Nick DeGruccio will direct a student production of Carrie the Musical for the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television opening June 2 at UCLA’s TFT Little Theater. Choreography is by Lee Martino, who also teaches at UCLA TFT. This is the close of the Department of Theater’s Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program, and caps off a highly successful 2016-17 Theater Season. June 2-3 and 6-10.

Nic and Brooke’s Comedy Dance Party makes its world premiere in June. An homage to the classic variety shows, it asks what it would look like if Sonny and Cher were still on the air today…and black. Nick and Brooke take the audience through a fun-loving comedy romp with sketches, musical numbers, and a dance party. Reminiscent of the great comedy/variety shows of the 70s with a modern twist, it also incorporates elements of The Carol Burnett Show, Laugh-In, and even a little Soul Train. June 2 – 23 at the Lounge Theatre.

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