Category Archives: Theatre

Happy Birthday Will! Celebrate Shakespeare in Long Beach, CA

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare will officially be 450 years old on April 23rd, 2014.  The man who brought us “To be or not to be,” “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo,” “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes,” and so many other phrases that live on the tips of our tongues, is someone to celebrate! 

He coined over 1,700 new words — among them: majestic, champion, amazement, discontent, premeditated, bedroom, advertising, compromise, impartial, laughable, excitement, and so on…and on… and on! He created immortal lovers who fill us with passion, inspiring heroes who urge us to action or warn us against haste, and clowns that show us our own follies.

In 2000, he was voted The Man of the Millennium!

For the rest of the month here are a few events presented by the Long Beach Theatre Company that you can attend to celebrate the spirit of the bard.

lbsc-logoApril 18 and 19— Two half-hour old-time radio shows, both performed with live music and sound effects. 

Gunsmoke episode: “Shakespeare”—From 1952, a good story about a crazed Shakespearean actor who commits murder during a Kansas heat wave. 

“Mister Shakespeare”—From 1948, a story about what MIGHT happen if the greatest of all playwrights could come out of the past to work for a modern motion picture studio.

The Bard 450 years April 23— The Official Birthday. In partnership with World Book Night U.S., LBSC will give away a FREE copy of the Shakespeare Sonnets to each person in attendance. The actors will perform selected sonnets, followed by a reception with cake and beverages to celebrate Shakespeare’s birth!

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April 25 and 26— Richard Armour’s Twisted Tales From Shakespeare. A parody of serious lectures on the Bard. 

April 27 —LBSC presents the final event of Shakespeare Month. FREE! Louis Fantasia, Director of Shakespeare at the Huntington Library and former Director of the Shakespeare Globe Centre’s Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Institute from 1997 to 2002, presents “King Lear or Survivor—Tragedy in The Age of Oprah.” 

At the Richard Goad Theatre, 4250 Atlantic Ave. in Long Beach.

Sunday performances at 2 pm; all others at 8 pm.

Tickets and info at LBShakespeare.org or 562-997-1494.

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Puppets at The Broad Stage

A Midsummer Night's Dream
by Tracey Paleo, Gia On the Move

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“I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.” ~ Bottom

I won’t mince words here. I’m no bard. I’ll get right to the point.  The current production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, CA, from the creators of War Horse, is the most inspired, hilarious, wicked, spot-on presentation of a classic that a visiting company has dared to offer.

Seamless to the core the actors ravished the language and milked the comedy thoroughly. The bonus was the masterful un-traditional puppetry that added extra flavor, punch and mystique to an age-old favorite.  How will we ever be able to experience this play again without the artistic exactitude and sheer outlandishness of this wildly colorful bent?

A Midsummer Nights DreamBritish Theatre Company Bristol Old Vic has teamed up once again with the Handspring Puppet Company of Capetown, South Africa, foremost in its home country, for a newly imagined, bawdy “Dream” adapting this classic archetypal story of love, into a heady sex-capade, flighty, robust and poetic.   With the permission of the Broad Stage, boundaries are pushed and shape-shifted altogether as spritely as the weirdly acquired fairy band and the king and queen who voluptuously rule them. Without giving away the absolutely stunning surprises of this show, let’s just say, it’s not exactly g-rated and that made this rather fervent rendition so dirty and delicious.  But don’t worry. Every bit of  Shakespeare’s classic is intact. It’s just so much more.

Finally, the unexpected has happened and it is glorious!

To note: this is actually a remount.  The original performance took place at the Bristol Old Vic between February 28 and May 4, 2013.

It may be bold to say, but as a common rule Brits and those who study under their traditions, typically, are devotees of language and the masters of lingua franca where projection, articulation and intelligibility are concerned.  So very boldly, it should be noted that the Bristol Old Vic cast had no problem “crushing it!” There was not a word, a moment, a joke, a jest, a threat, wish, want or need left to linger in the minds of the audience.  Every bit of the vocabulary and intent was crystal clear making this cast perfectly understandable and therefore the play deeply divine in all its extensions.

The curiosity of this particular production is that none of the actors had any prior experience with puppetry and not only learned the lines but the choreography of their wooden and metal toys. The result was an extraordinary realization of decadent possibility immersing the audience into a blurred reality. The surprises of this superb and very groundbreaking exposition will take your breath away.

MSND_prod_shot7_credit_Simon_Annand_96dpi__smallerAs for the familiars…intact is the biting mischief of puck who no longer takes human form but is reduced to a lively, mechanical, little set of garden-instruments.  It is quite ingenious how he is made to take on dog-like characteristics with barely anything that resembles a mammal in symmetry yet perfectly prances, cows, barks, licks, runs, flies and still performs human tasks at his master, Oberon’s command, badly of course, hence the lovers’ comedy.

Oberon and Titania stand as statuesque god-like giants among men and women in their new form, imprimiting an unmistakably mythological, all-encompassing, “forces of nature” tone to their exits, entrances and fairyland stand-offs. It’s eerie, potent and regal.

As for the rest of the attending spirits, they are an assortment of childlike, cupids and what nots, some even scary to behold, entirely loyal to their respective celestials and free as the wind.

Theseus and Hippolyta remain ever the solid reason of all of the characters. Tending to be stoic in other productions their love play is just that. In public Theseus is every bit the ruler of Athen’s and Titania his war won prisoner.  But in private he is a blocked lover whose furtive almost boyish romantic advances are cooly met by fairy queen worshipping Hippolyta in a flirtatious duel, offering a delightful side of a relationship that is not so written in the lines.

The lovers true to form quicken the chase as a rather infantile set of teenagers roaming the forest fighting over each others’ affections as one would expect to witness at a high school sports brawl. They are each quite naive and entertaining.

But oh, The Mechanicals!

There may have never been a production since the inception of the work that The Mechanicals have not stolen the show.  And this was a show-stopping show-stealing performance to surpass all — especially that of Bottom.  These clumsy well-meaning working class gents are perfectly sublime, passionate and frighteningly funny. Their antics and idiocy know no bounds.  But Bottom’s transformation is taken to a thoroughly shocking height in gut busting, unbelievable theatricality.

If you’ve never heard and seen this play before rather than explain it here, a link has been included for your perusal.  And whether you have or have not experienced it for the first time, this will undoubtedly be your FIRST.  Every actor shines with his or her own particular brilliance. Every moment is truly magical!

It is a limited run showing only until April 19th.  Tickets are available through the Broad Stage website: http://thebroadstage.com/midsummer

midsummernight

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Now playing at The Broad Stage

At the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center
1310 11th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Directed by Tom Morris

The cast in alphabetical order:

Saikat Ahamed: Snug/Puck
Colin Michael Carmichael: Quince/Peasblossom
Naomi Cranston: Helena
Alex Felton: Lysander
Fionn Gill: Snout/Puck/Moth
Akiya Henry: Hermia
Christopher Keegan: Flute/Philostrate/Cobweb
Kyle Lima: Demetrius
Saskia Portway: Hippolyta / Titania
David Ricardo-Pearce: Theseus/Oberon
Lucy Tuck: Starveling/Mustardsee
Miltos Yerolemou: Bottom/Egeus

Go Backstage Theatreland on May 13th

TheatrelandAthena, the distributor behind the universally acclaimed, star-studded documentary Playing Shakespeare, is excited to announce another must-see documentary for theatre fans with the DVD debut of Theatreland, featuring  Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, recently seen on Broadway in Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land.

Theatreland offers a rare, candid behind-the-scenes look at a historic London theatre’s 2009 production of the most successful production ever of Waiting for Godot, which ran for 172 performancesstarring McKellen and Stewart, as well as the first-ever staged adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Anna Frie.

Featuring theatre and film heavyweights—and real-life friends—Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation, X-Men) and Sir Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings, X-Men) and offering a compelling look behind the scenes of a West End production of Beckett’s influential Waiting for GodotTheatreland debuts on DVD on May 13, 2014. The DVD 2-Disc set includes eight episodes, plus a 12-page viewer’s guide (201 min., $39.99,  UPC: 0-54961-2183-9-4 AcornOnline.com).

Filmed over six months, on location at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End, Theatreland goes behind the scenes of both productions to reveal what makes a West End theatre tick. Meet the stars, the artistic director, the managers, stagehands, carpenters, and ushers. Explore the Haymarket, one of London’s oldest theatres, with 100-year-old seats and plumbing to match. Audiences realize none of this as the lights dim and the magic begins. From the first read-through to the final curtain call, this is theatre as you’ve never seen it before.

The documentary also features Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral), Ronald Pickup (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Joseph Cross (Lincoln) and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies).

Episode 1: Bringing the House Down

Episode 2: OK—Now Entertain Us

Episode 3: Flushed with Success

Episode 4: Is There a Spectre in the House?

Episode 5: Waiting in the Wings

Episode 6: Goodbye, Godot

Episode 7: Blonde or Brunette

Episode 8: Blood, Sweat, and Magic

Bonus Features: 12-page viewer’s guide with a timeline of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, a look at the West End, profiles of the participants, an article on theatre ghosts, and fun facts about the productions

DVD 2-Disc Set: 8 episodes – Approx. 201 min. – Documentary – SDH Subtitles

 

24th Street Theatre heads to El Salvador with award-winning “La Razón Blindada” (“The Armored Reason”)

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Arturo Diaz de Sandy and Jesus Castanos Chima in La Razón Blindada Photo by Loli Castanos

Written and directed by Argentinean playwright Aristides Vargas, La Razón Blindada was the recipient of an LA Weekly Production of the Year Award when 24th STreet produced the U. S. premiere, in Spanish with English supertitles, in 2011.

U.S. premiere of 24th STreet’s production was first Spanish language play to win L.A. Weekly Award for Production of the Year

The company has previously toured La Razón Blindada to North, South and Central America, for a total of nearly 100 performances. The current tour is funded by a Los Angeles City DCA Cultural Exchange International Grant. 24th STreet has traveled to El Salvador three times previously as a cultural envoy of the U.S. State Department.

In La Razón Blindada, two political prisoners, oppressed by physical and emotional abuse, find solace in meeting every Sunday at dusk to tell the story of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Their storytelling unravels amidst the extreme limitations imposed by their condition as inmates in a maximum security prison. Vargas drew from testimonies by Chicho Vargas and other political prisoners held in Argentina’s Rawson Prison during the 1970s “Dirty War,” as well as from the classic novel El Quixote by Cervantes and The Truth About Sancho Panza by Kafka.

The company will offer a free follow-up interactive workshop in Los Angeles upon their return from El Salvador.

For more information about 24th STreet Theatre, call (213) 745-6516 or visit online at www.24thstreet.org

Gia Reviews: The Monica Davis Show at Studio C

Monica_Davis_Show

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Know when you meet a guy with tattoos and a motorcycle and you think, ‘he looks like trouble’?  Well then why would you go home with him, you nut? ~Monica Davis

Last Saturday evening saw what was to be the final performance of The Monica Davis Show  (now extended) at LA’s Theatre Row small playhouse, Studio C on Santa Monica Blvd.  The material was unexpectedly heavy.  The drama, surprisingly light.

As a dramedy in archetypes Ms. Davis lives out her fantasy of being an Oprah style talk show host while interviewing her multiple alter egos, six altogether, as guests, highlighting the more profound aspects of a perniciously abusive relationship.  It is a quite a comical display of inner personalities who give voice to Davis’ intimate thoughts and private/public actions to viewers in a way that she openly cannot.  They chastise her, sooth her, tear her down, defend her, support her (a heck of a lot better than her own parents), argue with the show’s host and ultimately get her “over the hump” and out of a destructive living situation with a dreadfully alcoholic, drug addict boyfriend.

As a whole, it was an un-even event.  Ms. Davis is an “available” performer easily registering vulnerability and possessing the ability to quickly shift from one emotion to the next.  However,  as a character actress she has work to do. Thus, the array of personalities becomes rather amorphous, tending to display similar tones. This slightly flatlined some of the more important material, bits of which should be shocking, but get glossed over in the acting and the writing.  Ms. Davis could have also used more help in the stage direction which often kept her far too upstage instead of granting us more of her presence front and center.  She comes across often as shy even when her characters are not.

However, as I’ve said in the past regarding one-woman and one-man shows, they are hard; entirely exposing the outer and inner core of the performer, not just the material presented. This being Ms. Davis’ first live performance never-the-less is quite an achievement.  She herself along with this show has the potential to pull out all the stops.  With two more weekends to go, audiences have a lot to look forward to.

THE MONICA DAVIS SHOW is for anyone who has ever bought a self-help book, sought relationship advice, read a Cosmo article or cried into a pillow after a break-up. Or all of the above!

THE MONICA DAVIS SHOW

One-Woman Show Starring Comedienne Monica Davis

Directed by John Coppola
Written by Monica Davis
Produced by Michael Sonntag

At Studio C Artists
Now Extended Through April 12th

Studio C Artists is excited to present THE MONICA DAVIS SHOW – a talk show satire about the wisdom of listening to your own voice and leaving bad relationships behind for good.

General Admission – $15.00 in advance ($20 at the door)
Approximate running time: 1 hour

Get Tickets

Studio C Artists

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038

Gia Reviews: Closely Related Keys at the Lounge Theatre

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by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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It is capable of responding to almost limitless varieties of human touch, producing sounds ranging in volume from thunder to a whisper… (~a piano and it’s keys)

There has been death all around and yet life waiting to happen, if only they will let it. Luckily for this family, there is hope.

Julia Dolan (Diarra Kilpatrick) is an up-and-coming corporate attorney whose carefully constructed life begins to crumble when she learns she has a half-sister Neyla (Yvonne Huff) – a Muslim who has fled Iraq.  Young Neyla plays the violin and wants to audition for Julliard.  Their father Charlie (Brent Jennings) is foisting the shocking secret and responsibility of Neyla’s care on his American daughter while opening the door to his newly-found-on-Facebook Iraqi daughter without question.  The truth unfolds uncomfortably and angrily.

Closely Related Keys currently a World Premiere at the Lounge Theatre, Hollywood, is supposed to be a story about family conflict and clashing cultures examining the walls we erect in our current climate of racial, religious, moral and political polarization.

In some way it is much more a story about similarities.  The title itself, Closely Related Keys, is actually a musical reference which means,  “To share many common tones.” Indeed, the two sisters in this story are more alike than they realize.  They are both very strong willed young women.  Both are very angry.  Both resentful of their father.  Both hiding a secret relationship.  They are also very loving in ways that surprise themselves. Both have suffered horrific loss — losing their respective mothers to war and terrorism.  This moment is a chance for them to find closure, move on with a new  life, forgive and set themselves free.  It’s a chance to have the family denied them.

On the surface, of course Julia and Neyla are culturally and religiously different. How they find their connection is the universal exception – music.  Singing together, dancing around the apartment they discover that they truly are like two keys on a piano residing in different places on the scale but never-the-less able to create harmony.  It brings them together.  Most times though blame, pain and resentment get in the way, preventing Julia and Neyla from reaching accord. Their father’s overbearing plan of creating a new makeshift family backfires. Julia and Neyla rebel and their deep-seated issues of abandonment rise to the surface.   Charlie was a soldier during the Iraqi war who fell in love with another woman, Neyla’s mother.  He left his American family to be “happy” with his Iraqi family leaving Julia with her mother and as she believes, with only her mother’s love. When he eventually is forced to depart Iraq he in turn leaves Neyla to her mother alone, in violent circumstances.  Charlie is living with a lot of guilt over both families.  His desire is to make things right.

Closely Related Keys is somewhat loosely scripted.  The story occasionally feels incomplete and could use a bit more development.  Given the time allotted however, the production is very well played and emotionally under played by every actor including Ron (Ted Mattison), Julia’s lawyer boyfriend and Tariq (Adam Meir) Neyla’s husband. The exception is the explosive lead actress Diarra Kilpatrick, who is edgy from the moment the lights come up. Ms. Kilpatrick brings a veritable nuclear-bomb-waiting-to-drop energy to every scene, forcefully moving this story along to its conclusion; and a refreshing dose of vibrant dramatic stage craft. There are not many surprises in the storyline. The circumstances are extraordinary, including the fact of this being a female driven production. A lot of what happens is expected. But there is plenty of heart and hope.

Closely Related Keys is very “human” – touching, painful, powerful.

Written by Wendy Graf
Directed by Shirley Jo Finney
Starring Yvonne HuffBrent JenningsDiarra KilpatrickTed MattisonAdam Meir
Produced by Racquel LehrmanTheatre Planners
Presented by Hatikva Productions
Set Design: Hana Kim
Lighting design: Donny Jackson
Original Music and Sound Design: Peter Bayne
Costume Design: Naila Aladdin Sanders
Stage Manager: Kathleen Jaffe

3 Performances Left:

Friday at 8 p.m. March 28
Saturdays at 8 p.m. March  29
Sundays  4 p.m. March 30

WHERE:
Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90038
(just east of Vine)

HOW:
323-960-7774 or  www.plays411.com/relatedkeys

TICKET PRICES:
Fridays and Sundays: $25
Saturdays: $30
Previews: $15

Photo Credit: Diarra Kilpatrick and Yvonne Huff.  Photo by Ed Krieger

Tartuffe at The Belfry Stage in North Hollywood

Tartuffe

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Theatre Unleashed has done it again: an uproarious version of the classic Moliere play, Tartuffe.  This theatre company’s season launch in association with Mad Magpie, is a treat for audiences who are notoriously opposed to classical theatre and those who actually love it. Were it not for the fact that Moliere is insane, restoration plays utterly, spitefully, wickedly, lovable and the cast hilarious, it would have to be said that language plays are not their “thing;”  and alas, the casting a bit unusual as is the Ranjit Bolt translation of the script.  However, there were some excellent, aggressively played scenes and cast member renditions.

Tartuffe is Moliere’s infamous tale about a religious fraud who has deceived his way throughout the halls of the wealthy all the way to his current benefactor, a naive Orgon (J. Anthony McCarthy), who is ready to award him his daughter’s hand in marriage.  Tartuffe (Phillip Kelly) has managed to cast his spell on son and mother, Madame Pernelle (Tracey Collins) who shout his praises from the rooftops, the salons, dining tables, churches and everywhere ordinary people are attempting to have normal pleasure.  It’s very annoying and has Orgon’s entire household up in arms, ready to revolt and as in Restoration style, naturally planning to do so.

It has been said that the character of Tartuffe was modeled after the husband of Duchess Mazarin, the Roman Eagle who’s uncle was the famous Cardinal Mazarin, Louis XIV’s overseer, guardian and unofficial ruler of France, in his young years. Hortense was Mazarin’s favorite niece and the richest woman in all of Europe at the time, richer even more than Louis, and courted by many of the kings of Europe including Charles II who asked for her hand, twice!  The Cardinal, however, on sympathy alone wedded his niece to an idiot relation; a rather poor cousin who was subject to downright fits of public propriety and most of the time dragged Hortense away from a glamorous life at court to pray for weeks on end in sack cloth and ashes, jail her in convents and generally curtail all fun until she could no longer could stomach the torture and escaped with several musketeers to freedom after a famous chase across the continent.

Luckily, that is not to be the fate of Orgon’s daughter, Mariane (Caroline Sharp); although it’s quite a close call none-the-less, but for some quick thinking on the part of Orgon’s steadfast wife, Elmire (Julia Plostnieks), keen wit and reasoning by Elmire’s brother, Cleante (Jim Martyka) and a “save” by the kicked aside but loyal amore in waiting to Mariane, Valere (Lee Pollero). And thankfully so, for Mariane’s brother/ althought played as a woman in a curious gender swtich, Damis (Corey Lynn Howe) who nearly blunders everything with his/her well-meaning but uncontrollable temper.

Without exception, two characters bring this performance to an unquestionable, lively frolic.  Dorine the Maid (Heather Lake ), infamously slutty, honest, wise, and proper all at once, is the energetic, insolent foil to Tartuffe in all of his droll, lethargically saccharin, public amen-ing, behind-the-scenes coveting and all out obsessive lusting for Orgon’s wife. It is a veritable showdown as to which one of them will outwit the other for control over Orgon’s sense and sympathy.  Both these actors utterly highlight the script and give audiences a way into the story that they can understand without trying too hard.  Both are respectively smartly entertaining and cunning, delivering frivolity, perspective and even gravity when necessary.

Good use of space including set design. Interesting direction.  It’s not brilliant but it all works and is certainly worth the ticket for a jolly good time! Managing Director Gregory Crafts makes a few timely and well noted appearances (how can he help it at well-over 6 feet tall – lol) as Flipote / Laurent / M. Loyal / Messenger in this production.

tartuffeNow Playing Until April 19th

At the Belfry Stage @ The Crown
11031 Camarillo Street
North Hollywood, CA 
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm
Sundays at 7:00 pm

Tickets: $20

Check the website for listings, tickets and other information.

Gia Reviews: A Steady Rain at the Odyssey Theatre

A Steady Rain_4

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Two Chicago police officers lead us, via an intimate broken fourth wall “duologue” presentation, through a web of intrigue to their demise on the force and a tragic end. It is a “steady rain” of one mistake, mishap, violent act and bad decision after another. The repercussions of each move pour down, continuously on these two childhood friends turned law enforcement professionals, sending them speedily to the rock bottom of a slippery slope.  A single drastic choice will raise one or the other out of a pit of hell.

Redemption comes at an exorbitant price. This very heavy drama is slithering with deceit, arrogance, corruption, confusion and skewed mental/emotional perception.  It is also ripe with tainted values. A Steady Rain,currently running at the Odyssey Theatre, offers an inside view of several lives gone abysmally and morally off the rails.

Joey played by Thomas Vincent Kelly, is a coward. He sits back and plays the “good guy” to the utter disfunction of his personal and professional relationship with his partner Denny.  He essentially allows the psychotic behavior of his friend, a man over-the-edge, to continue along its destructive course, ultimately for his own personal comfort. Joey is seemingly likable, but not really. Even at what appears to be his best or his most thoughtful, he’s never totally “up-front” with anyone.

Denny, played by Sal Viscuso, has lost himself fully to the crime drama of the streets past salvageability. Denny has become everything he’s been fighting against without the sense to recognize it. Even at his most brutal, it is possible to feel a certain amount of empathy for Denny. But at this point, it is difficult to tell if there ever was a good guy in there.  Denny desperately needs help.  He doesn’t get it.

What fits with this show is that both of these high-caliber actors, have appeared respectively in TV police/detective dramas such as Law & Order LA, Criminal Minds, The Mentalist and Law and Order SVU, adding a fair amount of believability to their respective character portrayals as homicide detectives.  What doesn’t entirely measure up is how it reads for stage.  The whole drama although incredibly well-done feels occasionally camera-ized and there was the subtlest lack of street cop body language.

The production itself is incredibly detailed and emotionally thrilling. All of the technical aspects of the show are perfectly placed. The performance by Viscuso is exacting in intensity and attitude.  But he often comes across more street punk – part and parcel of his moral descent.  Kelly also gives us an accurate portrayal of the slightly cynical, rationalizing “lifer” detective, although sometimes a bit too “pulled back”. If one has any experience with the real thing, comparing reality versus stage, there are distinct physical behavioral qualities that resonate, at least to a more informed eye. These two gentlemen could have more weight.

Audiences however, will not be deep diving, will be completely mesmerized by this tragic story and will come away with their own set of moral questions, as they should.  A Steady Rain is a fine example of thoroughly well-written and well-executed stage production. Viscuso and Kelly are otherwise brilliant.

Written by Keith Huff
Directed by Jeff Perry
Starring Thomas Vincent Kelly and Sal Viscuso
Produced by Beth Hogan
Presented by the Odyssey Theatre EnsembleRon Sossi Artistic Director

A Steady Rain_ART-medNow playing through April 20
Wednesday at 8 p.m.: April 2 ONLY

Thursdays at 8 p.m.: March 27 and April 17 ONLY

Fridays at 8 p.m.: March 21, 28; April 4, 18 (dark April 11

Saturdays at 8 p.m.: March 22, 29; April 5, 19 (dark April 12)

Sundays at 2 p.m.: March 23, 30; April 6, 20 (dark April 13)

WHERE:
Odyssey Theatre
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025

For More Information and To Purchase Tickets
(310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com

TICKET PRICES:
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: $25
Saturdays and Sundays: $30
Pay-what-you-can performances: March 21 (wine night), April 2

British Culture Invades The Saban Theatre in Los Angeles

gstqBritish culture will invade The Saban Theatre (8440 Wilshire Boulevard) in Beverly Hills as Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) presents “God Save the Queen(s),” the second show of the Chorus’s 35th season, on Saturday March 29, 2014 at 8 p.m. and Sunday March 30, 2014 at 3 p.m.

Gay Men's Chorus

“God Save the Queen(s) – A Not So Proper British Invasion” is a journey from the 1960s all the way through today. It’s a fun show basking in the heyday of rock-and-roll classics like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Queen and David Bowie, along with modern one-name wonders like Adele, Seal, Elton and Sade. The show will also feature tributes to James Bond and Monty Python, and contemporary songs by Imogen Heap, Radiohead, Florence and the Machine, and the Spice Girls!

GMCLA welcomes subscribers, Angelenos and all guests to enjoy a concert unlike any other in its 35 year history. Each concert is a celebration of LGBT pride and culture; creating social change through live performance. “God Save the Queen(s)” promises to be a light-hearted spectacle that is sure to showcase the full monty of both British and LGBT cultures.

buy-tickets-now“We’re gearing up for one of our most highly-anticipated shows ever,” said Chris Verdugo, Executive Director of GMCLA. “‘God Save the Queen(s)’ is going to be a non-stop series of high-energy performances that are sure to get the audience dancing in the aisles. We’re carrying on a tradition that is both important and fun.”

This summer GMCLA will perform its 35th Anniversary Concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. Act One, “City of Angels,” will salute the entertainment capital of the world, paying homage to the finest music to rise out of LA. Act Two, an oratorio entitled I Am Harvey Milk, with words and music by Tony nominated composer Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, Big Fish), celebrates Milk’s remarkable life from childhood to his rise as the first openly gay man to hold public office in California, and his untimely assassination. Part choral work and part theater piece, I Am Harvey Milk is an emotional celebration of a true American icon, co-commissioned by GMCLA and five other gay men’s choruses. Produced in association with Oscar winner Bruce Cohen (Silver Linings Playbook and Milk), I Am Harvey Milk will feature Lippa in the title role. The 200+ singers of GMCLA will be joined by members of the other co-commissioning choruses for a combined powerhouse performance featuring more than 500 voices!

GMCLA’s 35th Season also includes the U.S. tour of “it gets better” — a joint production with Speak Theater Arts and the It Gets Better Project — wherein chorus members will join local communities in states like Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Nebraska presenting workshops, rehearsals and multimedia theatrical performances to bring visibility to LGBT rights and issues. GMCLA’s local community outreach programs support L.A. youth through Outside Voices (an LGBT youth chorus) and the Alive Music Project (AMP), a unique music education program of master classes and in-school presentations for middle and high school students to create a powerful anti-bullying message. The Voice Awards, GMCLA’s annual fund raising gala, will be held on May 3, 2014 at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios.

To order tickets for “God Save the Queen(s),” to become a subscriber, or for more information on Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, please visit www.gmcla.org.

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ABOUT Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA)
GMCLA has garnered international acclaim for artistic excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and beyond by promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance through music. Founded in 1979, critics have proclaimed the Chorus “inspired,” “expressive, innovative, and utterly moving,” and hailed it for presenting “meaningful entertainment.” It is one of the largest and most influential men’s choruses in the nation; the first gay chorus to perform for a sitting president – Bill Clinton – and recently for President Barack Obama. The 240-member Chorus has toured internationally,  released 15 CDs, commissioned over 300 new works and guest starred on such TV shows as “$#*! My Dad Says,” “Will & Grace”, “Six Feet Under” and “The 2013 Oscars.” In October 2010, in response to the sharp rise in anti-gay related suicides, GMCLA produced an It Gets Better video featuring Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” a viral sensation that has received more than 800,000 hits. Presenting several concerts each season in Los Angeles including the popular “Holiday Spectacular,” they perform frequently at the Alex Theatre, Saban Theatre and Walt Disney Concert Hall and feature music legends such as Billy Porter, LeAnn Rimes, Melissa Manchester, Stephen Schwartz, and Jerry Herman. (www.gmcla.org)

Get Ready for LA Puppet Fest 2014 April 1-13

Bob Baker's Rat, Jack, ChilieGia On The Move has been following a fair amount of companies who are masters in puppetry — in fact — we’ll be at the Broad Stage next month for a Midsummer Night’s Dream on April 3rd.  So when we received this announcement yesterday we got really excited! Plus some of our favorite small theatres in LA will be hosting these events. Very much for adults as well as children you will not want to miss this much fun.

LA Puppet Fest 2014, back for its second year, is a city-wide celebration dedicated to sharing and promoting the art of puppetry through performances and workshops.

Taking place from April 1 – 13, spanning from Santa Monica, West Los Angeles to West Hollywood and Hollywood, LA Puppet Fest promises to offer entertainment and educational activities with something for everyone.

Over 25 events are scheduled, many appropriate for children and families, as well as adult only programs. Participating in this year’s LA Puppet Fest are Puppet School; Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams; LA Guild of Puppetry; Little Stage Puppet Theater; Bob Baker Marionette Theater; Rogue Artists; Sock Puppet Theater; Beth Peterson; Leslie K. Gray; Gina Pavlova; Skirball Cultural Center; and more!

For more information please visit the LA Puppet Fest website at www.LAPuppetFest.com.

Limited VIP packages with preferred seating and perks are also available. Events range from Free to $25 per person and may have age recommendations. LA Puppet Fest can be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LAPuppetFest and on Twitter @LAPuppetFest.

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Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.:  Opening Event – April Fool’s Puppet Ball - $15; adults 21+
Micky’s
, 8857 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood 90069
- Opening night party features Red Carpet Arrivals; DJ Eric de la Cruz; performances from Puppet School; Costume Contest with prizes; and a lot more! A fool is mostly defined by “someone that lacks good sense or judgment”, but can also be a person who enjoys something very much. Puppeteers are that kind of fools.

Wednesday, April 2:  Awesome Puppet Films & Filmmakers
Barnsdall Gallery Theatre, 
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles 90027
- Presented by the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry & Handmade Puppet Dreams, and sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Enjoy an evening of short films featuring puppets of all kinds created by independent artists from throughout the U.S and the World. Screening two collections: one for families and one for a slightly older crowd (12 and up), courtesy of Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams, as well as offerings from local puppet filmmakers.

6 p.m.:  Heather Henson Presents Handmade Puppet Dreams, a collection of spirited puppet original shorts
- $2; $4 VIP; all ages

8 p.m.:  Screening “The Million Puppet March,” a work in progress documentary about the 2012 March on Washington, DC to show support for public media; the world premiere of “Heather Henson Presents - Handmade Puppet Dreams – Vol. VI;” Raymond Carr’s “Hitori;” and other HMPD-produced films.  (Priority seating at 7:15 p.m., Doors open at 7:30) A Q&A session with filmmakers will follow the 8 p.m. program. There will be puppet displays in the lobby areas. - $6; $10 VIP; ages 12+

Thursday, April 3, 10:30 a.m.:  Fun with Strings! - $15; $20 VIP includes behind the scenes tour; all ages
Bob Baker Marionette Theatre, 
1345 West 1st Street, Los Angeles 90026
- Join Jack Frost, The Snow Queen, Chili Dog, The Balloon Clown, and over 100 of Bob Baker’s whimsical creations as they lead you on a wondrous journey with many a magical stop along the way.

Friday, April 4, 8 p.m.:  Robin Walsh’s “The Devil You Say” Puppet Show - $15; $20 VIP; adults only
Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 
6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
- Simmering wars, violent revolts, manmade and natural disasters, cries of Armageddon. Be it the 15th, 18th or our own 21st century, such a religiously and politically charged landscape provides the perfect backdrop for the ongoing question: Who bears the responsibility – God? Satan? Someone else? In “The Devil You Say” Old Nick takes the stage, in person, to mount his defense – or to prove who is really to blame. All using words and sayings attributed to him by some of History’s greatest writers: Goethe, Marlowe, Byron, Punch and Judy. RobinWalshArt.com

Saturday, April 5,:  SWEET! Puppetry
SWEET! Hollywood, 
Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 201, Hollywood 90028
Free or $15 VIP; children of all ages; VIP Ticket includes priority seating, a “Design your own chocolate bar” and/or “Create your own Sticky” (traditional hand made yummy), and a signed copy of “Sing Along with Leedo and Booey.”  A $30 value!
- Bring the whole family to SWEET! Hollywood for a day of puppetry and candy-making fun

  • 10:00 a.m.:      “Sing Along with Leedo and Booey” book     signing with  author Dr. Avrom Gart
  • 10:30 a.m.:      Rene’s Marionettes
  • 11:15 a.m:         Sing Along with Leedo and Booey Puppet Show
  • 11:45 a.m.:       Sticky Candy Bar preparation Demo
  • 12:00 p.m.:     Little Stage Puppet Theater with Emil Molho
  • 12:30 p.m:       Design Your Own Chocolate Bar Demo
  • 12:45 p.m.:      Rene’s Marionettes
  • 1:30 p.m:         Little Stage Puppet Theater with Emil Molho

A little puppet romance, via The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo, MD.

Saturday, April 5:  Intriguing Workshops, Roundtable and Masters of Puppetry Live!

Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way, Hollywood 90038

12 p.m.:  Giving Puppets a Hand: Funding Your Puppet Project without Losing Your Mind - $15; ages 16+; Limit 40 participants
- You have a brilliant, crazy, furry idea. Trying to fund your project on your own could result in your loved ones only receiving lukewarm hotdog water as birthday presents next year. We’ll explore funding solutions that are particularly puppet-friendly. Learn how to build a funding campaign from the ground up, with the very unique world of puppets in mind; how to choose platforms; how to find the people who can help you (they sometimes hide in very odd places).  We will look at successful projects and projects that failed and, as a group, try to make sense of the available statistics and metrics to make your project a funding success!

Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
2:30 p.m.:  Minimalistic Puppetry Workshop with Gina Pavlova - $25; all ages – Limit 20 participants
- Imagination becomes your puppet in Minimalist Puppetry. The Minimalist Puppetry approach is a way to create images, characters, and stories without the help of ready-made puppets, animated designs, or objects adapted for this purpose.  Students will discover a new way to see life, images and stories in everyday objects and materials; from two ends of a table cloth falling in love, to the evolution of man told through hula hoops. Additionally, there will be a demonstration of a professionally made story in Minimalist style by Nick Ivanov.

5 p.m.:  Masters of Puppetry Roundtable - $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- Moderator: Eric Lynxwiler. LA Puppet Fest is very excited to put together, for the first time, the most well known puppeteers in Los Angeles in a round table: Bob Baker, Rene Zendejas and Alan Cook. Together, they have more than 200 years in puppetry. These four incredible gentlemen will share memories of their carriers with tons of laughter guaranteed.

8 p.m.: Masters of Puppetry Live! - $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- The three masters and their through-the-years apprentices will entertain you and your family with their puppets.

Sunday, April 6:  Million Puppet Parade and Puppet Making - Free; all ages

3rd Street Promenade, starting just south of Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90401

- Join us in breaking the record for largest puppet parade in Los Angeles in this 2nd annual public participation parade. Bring your own puppet, buy a puppet at our festival’s table, or make one at the start of the parade route at our free puppet making tables. We then march down the full length of the Promenade. At the end of the parade route there will be a closing ceremony, raffle drawing for prizes and a puppet dance off. Hand puppets, finger puppets, marionettes, monsters, shadow puppets, multi-person puppets — all our welcome to join professional and amateur puppeteers for day filled with color.

  • 10:00 – 11 a.m.:  Puppet Making Workshop by Rogue Artists Ensemble and Sock Puppet Theater
  • 11:30 a.m.:  Parade with Grand Marshall Bob Baker
  • 12:30 p.m.:  Parade Closing Ceremony

Sunday, April 6, 6:30 p.m.:  Big Green Puppetzilla Puppet Slam
Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles 90057
$10 in advance, $15 day of – tickets available at bootlegtheater.org; ages 18+
- The L.A. Guild of Puppetry presents PUPPETZILLA Puppet Festival Slam for fun, edgy, subversive live puppet madness for adults. A little vaudeville, a bit of burlesque, and a dash of performance art – Puppet Slams cover the whole spectrum of puppetry styles. Rough and tumble works-in-progress or polished gems of art, you’ll see it all at a Puppet Slam! Puppetzilla Puppet Slam is made possible in part by a grant from the Puppet Slam Network.

Sunday, April 6, 9 p.m. – midnight:  Live Band Puppet Karaoke - Free, ages 21+
Busby’s East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90036
- Break out the mesh crop top and leather pants; you’re invited to join a rock band!  Or a pop band, or a funk band, or whatever you want — you get to decide when you take the stage to sing with live karaoke band Casual Encounters.  With a catalogue of over 200 songs from Abba to Zeppelin, you’ll be sure to find a favorite song to serenade your adoring fans. And since this is a LA Puppet Fest celebration, we’ll have monitors set up, so your furry friend can release his inner Jagger and rock his rods off.  Drinks, music, and puppets — this event is sure to go platinum!

Monday & Tuesday, April 7/8, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.:  The Art of Bob Baker Gallery Exhibition - Free, all ages
Blue 5 Art Gallery, 2935 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90064
- This two-day exhibition provides a glimpse into the creative process of Mr. Baker. Curated by Nancy Larrew, archival drawings, photographs and intricate marionettes will be on display. Los Angeles based puppeteer and magic maker, Bob Baker, has been delighting children and adults for more than 75 years. Both a visual artist and performer, Mr. Baker, who recently turned 90, has over 3000 marionettes that he has created and entertained with at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater located in downtown LA.

LA Puppet FestFriday, April 11, 8 p.m.:  Tales of Longing and Belonging: The Losing, Finding and Making of Place,  an Evening of Puppetry and Song with Beth Peterson – $15; $20 VIP; all ages


Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 
6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038
- Giant and tiny puppetry and live music for all ages including “Hue- the suitcase show” is a boy’s color filled search to find a place where he belongs; songs of Cu~nao explore the journey of history, loss and search for new place, and “The Nomad” features episodes from the life of Dominique Moody who creates new pieces and places from the shards of the past.  Shadow puppets, toy theater, a giant puppet or two, and storytelling combined with live music to bring these tales to life, courtesy of A One Grain of Sand Puppet Production.

Saturday, April 12:  Workshops, Round Table & Show

Asylum Lab, 1078 Lillian Way, Hollywood 90038

12 p.m.:  Exploring the Wonder of Shadow Puppetry with Leslie K. Gray - $25; ages 10+; Limit 40 participants
- Shadow puppets are an integral part of rituals and arts all over the world, but not so prevalent in Western culture. Come join theater artist Leslie K. Gray for a hands on workshop that explores the techniques of shadow puppetry, ancient and modern. Create your own shadow puppet presentations using light to create images from reflected darkness! This two-hour workshop is designed to be an intensive for ages 10 and up. If you are able to bring a pair of scissors, a pencil, ordinary sheets of paper (office recycled is fine), and any items you think might cast interesting shadows, you will be one step ahead in creating your own shadow puppet show!

Elephant Stage’s Lillian Theatre, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles 90038

2:30 p.m.:  Introduction to Puppet Sketch with Erik Kuska - $25; all ages – limit 20 participants
- Love puppets but having a hard time coming up with new ideas? Love sketch comedy but not really sure how its done?

Need help finding the ‘funny’ in your work, or just need some motivation to get some writing done? Well this is the workshop for YOU!

These sketch writing techniques apply to ALL writing, whether it’s a feature length script or writing a monologue to start your show. The idea is, better writing gives you better puppetry. So bring a pen, paper, and get ready take the next step toward being a better writer. We’ll examine sketch formats, discuss how to play to your puppetry strengths, and learn how to develop ideas more efficiently.

5 p.m.:  Future of Puppetry Round Table; guests to be announced. Moderator: Eric Lynxwiler – $15; $20 VIP; all ages
- Young puppetry professionals share their perspective about where the art form is going and what they are doing to help it advance their way.

8 p.m.:  Puppet Show “Minimalism Times Three Plus One” - $15; $20 VIP; ages 12+
- The show opens with a preview of “206 – The Church of Bones” written and created by Sean T. Cawelti and Morgan Rebane. An original multidisciplinary puppet and media performance exploring the relationship between death and consumerism based on true events spanning a 700 year history at a single church in the Czech Republic.

Following that are three pieces in the Minimalist style. Each one tells a different story with a single object. The goal of this limitation is to foster a high degree of creative thinking while at the same time unearthing the emotional potential of the most common of objects. The thoughts and imagination of the audience are directed towards the formation of new associations for everyday objects and materials. It is these associations that give birth to the fun and entirely original puppetry images typical of a Minimalist Puppetry show. A MUST see. VIP tickets include priority seating and meet and greet with the cast.

Sunday, April 13, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.:  Skirball Puppet Festival: A Family Celebration of the Wonders of Puppet Theater
Skirball Cultural Center, 
2701 North Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles 90049
$10 general; $7 Seniors/Students; $5 Children 2-12; Free to Skirball members; all ages
- Join the Skirball for its third annual celebration of the art of puppetry, featuring interactive puppet performances, shadow puppetry, live music, art making, spectacular strolling puppets, an interactive display from the Los Angles Guild of Puppetry, and more. This campus-wide, daylong festival brings together some of Southern California’s most talented puppeteers and artists, working in a range of cultural and artistic styles. A day of imaginative storytelling and innovation sure to amaze visitors ages 2 to 102!

Gia Reviews: Derby Day at The Elephant Theatre

Derby Day,   Robert M. Foster “Frank”, Malcolm Madera “Ned” and Jake Silbermann “Johnny” (L-R)

Win  Place  Show

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Dad’s dead and it’s Derby Day at the Oaklawn Racing Festival. Let’s not celebrate his life or his death.  Bury the bastard and get drunk instead. Three hard knocks brothers face off at the race track unceremoniously – directly after their father’s brief funeral.

Destructive on every level and entirely awash in beer is how one might describe this production. Aside from the ridiculous comments that any single moment this play could produce, there are two very dramatic themes.  Violence and Lost Dreams.  Ouch.  It’s a verbal, physical, yank-your-chain screamer. And according to the writer/director Samuel Brett Williams, it’s totally Americana, one we don’t often see.

Well, thank goodness for that.  Because sure it’s all funny, insanely funny if you want to know.  But you don’t have to dig too deep to uncover the horrific lives these three “boys to [almost] men” (whose births place them in the “allegedly related” category, according to whose story you would like to believe), have endured, to end up the all-out degenerates that they have become.

If I had to call it, and well, I guess I do, I’d say that overall there is not much likable about them. They are irreparably tragic.

Frank (Robert M. Foster), Ned (Malcolm Madera) and Johnny (Jake Silbermann) certainly make us laugh on a South Park level with their cruelly self-destructive, out of control, behavior as they banter and bully each other with the details of their marriages, prison experiences, adultery, children, divorces, parental misfortunes, questionable lineage and money. They even have the ability to occasionally charm, in a very superficial way. But ultimately, everything about them is scraped to the bone. They’ve each traded in their respective dreams for the illusion of being a winner which, on this day, is via a private betting box and the possibility of a horse that “comes in” big. Each one of them is a failure, a has-been and a deadbeat without hope whatsoever for a fresh start; not even in their current delusion which fades as quickly as the day. Not one them is able to grab hold of that illusive “if only” thing that will make it all right.

On the surface, the play is as a mess as the rented room post colossal Ballard Boy binge as they taunt, argue, wrestle, and slap each other around, including waitress Becky (Kimberly Alexander). They threaten, and bloody themselves, the furniture, the walls and everything else within range. Underneath all three know they are trapped. This is the best they’ll ever be.  “Ballards don’t quit nothin’!” But they do.  They quit themselves.

Derby DayWhat we come to learn over the course of the day is at least the cause. Their shared hatred or love for mostly their alcoholic depressed father who was violently abusive to the two younger brothers after eldest Frank left the scene at a young age; and a dismissiveness for a mother who didn’t do much for them either, least of all protect them from their father. The scene that takes place on this particular day is nothing more than an ongoing repeat of past episodes, doomed to a never-ending cycle. They will always be losers.

What is difficult about this play is the unavoidable ongoing mayhem of the stage direction. It fully and rightly elucidates this script but also becomes a distraction to the emotional moments; which in the case of the brothers is a useful tool for avoiding what is really needed here — real empathy, understanding, self-respect.  The purview of the entire play is limited to the brothers’ “acting out.”  And also, what is “expected” – happens.

It is expected that things will go from bad to worse and they do. It is expected that Becky will be the proverbial soccer ball getting kicked around even though she initially, apprehensively believes that at least one of these guys is worth her time.  And expectedly she is pushed right down to the ground, insulted and degraded even while attempting to be kind, understanding, cool and professional.  Ultimately, in Derby Day, nothing revelatory gets said. But we do certainly get an inside view and there are fleeting moments of spontaneous bonding that make you route for them, but not much.

What is amazing about this production are the four uniquely talented actors that bring this dizzying script to life.  Robert M. Foster, Malcolm Madera and Jake Silbermann throw down show-stopping performances.  Each one of these gentlemen inserts himself so well into that familiar semblance of eldest, middle child, baby, all the while, completely fulfilling their singular character descriptions, behaviors, physicalities and peculiarities. These guys being “guys” were great!

Kimberly Alexander had the toughest role to play as the only female character in a male driven production. However, Ms. Alexander more than measured up and managed to hold her own against all three men delivering a very strong performance!

Derby Day although not completely satisfying, is still worth seeing.  This play is a Trifecta in disaster. You will leave stunned.

Photo credit: Alex Moy

Derby Day

Derby DayNow Playing until Sunday, Mar 23
Thurs, Fri, Sat, 8 pm
Show Calendar

BUY TICKETS
$20

Running time: 80 minutes.

Elephant Stages – Elephant Theatre
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90038
Ample Street Parking
Area Map

* Exclusive: Stephen King’s “The Shining” A Play World Premiere

Christina Rohling as "Wendy," Marc Erickson as "Jack" and Christopher Levering as "Danny" in Stephen King's "The Shining," A Play.  (c) 2014 Benson Theatre (Photo by Marc Longbrake)

Christina Rohling as “Wendy,” Marc Erickson as “Jack” and Christopher Levering as “Danny” in Stephen King’s “The Shining,” A Play.
(c) 2014 Benson Theatre (Photo by Marc Longbrake)

For the first time ever on stage, the tragic story of the Torrance family, Jack, Wendy and Danny, and their battle against the inhuman forces of the Overlook Hotel will come to life at Omaha’s Sokol Auditorium in the world premiere event STEPHEN KING’S “THE SHINING,” A PLAY.

Stephen King granted the rights for three performances of the play on March 21 & 22 and approved the script written by Omaha residents Benson Theatre Artistic Director Jason Levering and Aaron Sailors. The cast has been locked and will start rehearsals this week, announced Levering, who is also directing the play.

The play offers theatergoers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a brand new, never produced piece of theatre, based on a classic novel, brought to life, from a script that no one has ever seen, and encounter all of the joys and obstacles that come with a first run production. All proceeds will benefit the Benson Theatre in Omaha, NE.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Stephen King, we have a unique opportunity to bring his horror masterpiece to the stage for a great cause.   A little known fact is that Mr. King originally conceived “The Shining” as a sort of play – a tragedy with five acts – but it instead evolved into a novel with five parts,” commented Levering.

THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY

Individual tickets are $30.  VIP tickets are $60 and include:  seats closest to the stage, access to meet and greet with cast members after the show, and special numbered souvenir tickets.

Supporters of the theater can also make additional donations through the Benson Theatre website any time and through the crowd-funding campaign, which offers a variety of incentives at different contribution levels, currently running on Hatchfund.org for the next 23 days.

http://www.hatchfund.org/project/stephen_kings_the_shining

ABOUT BENSON THEATRE

The Benson Theatre is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that fosters the success of artists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and underserved populations within the historic community of Benson in Omaha, Nebraska. The nonprofit is currently raising funds to acquire and restore the historic Benson Theatre building in Omaha to serve as a shared community space for business education and artistic performance. The Benson Theatre will offer independent programming and serve as an alternative stage in north Omaha for existing nonprofits, schools, and performing arts organizations. To learn more, visit www.bensontheatre.org