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"Mr. Burns, a post-electric play"

‘Mr. Burns a post electric play’: Ferocious and Thrilling

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

mr burns a post electric play 2nd act dance number
(L to R) Top: Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Tracey Leigh, Scott Golden Bottom: Heather Roberts, Eric Curtis Johnson, Tegan Ashton Cohan

Hands down the best, 2nd-act dance choreography I’ve seen, to date, in L.A. Intimate Theater! Yes, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, gets a huge notation right at the beginning for a so-exciting-I-didn’t-want-to-sit-in-my-seat, technically deft, showdown of style!  Super accolades to choreographers Lauren Van Kurin and Erin Parks, and dance captain Dagney Kerr for one of the funniest, aggressively athletic performances by Sacred Fools Theatre Company (at least that I’ve ever seen). Every actor on stage knocked it out of the park!

I took my dad to this one. The guy who balks at the thought of being distracted from a crowded menu of Spaghetti Westerns, old Hollywood movie musicals and Sunday Football (thankfully it was Friday night!), i.e. theater’s toughest audience, otherwise known as the, I’d rather not go-crowd.

This time however, theater caught a break. He loved it.  So did I.

Mr Burns a post electric play show cover

Mr. Burns, a post electric play written by Anne Washburn, directed by Jamie Robledo, scored by Michael Friedman and lyrics by Anne Washburn,  slightly winds at the pace of a flickering ember at the start of its 3-act, 3-spaces staging, but ends with an electrifying finish.

After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors keep the spark of human spirit alive by telling stories around a campfire.  As the years wear on, these stories expand into the realm of legend and myth.

What is an audience immersive gathering around a campfire, recanting an episode of the popular cartoon series, The Simpsons, quickly reveals itself as a survivalist aftermath.  Everyone is on the run.  And those people careful enough to move in secret, share lists of survivor names as they travel, in order to find friends or relatives. The action is primarily driven by actor Scott Golden who sets a college-kegging  turned hair-trigger outlaw tone as soon as a stranger arrives in the middle of the night to seek shelter with the group. Gibson (Eric Curtis Johnson) shares his own shortlist of survivors he’s encountered from north of Boston, Massachusetts, where the fall-out has been particularly fierce.

mr burns a post electric play - burns and bart
L to R) Eric Curtis Johnson, Tracey Leigh.

The second act leads us through time 75 years later where, it is literally a dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest and funniest.  A traveling theater company is trading and selling phrases and lines of The Simpsons to perform for bread and existence. The competition to acquire these artifacts is dangerous.  Everyone’s life is on the line.

The coup de gras is the final act, far in the future, where real history has been utterly replaced by the deified fiction of a complete Simpsons episode as truth, where Bart Simpson (Tracey A. Leigh) and the evil Mr. Burns (Eric Curtis Johnson) go head to head in a chilling, Godzilla vs MegaGodzilla-like battle.  Weaving both Greek chorus and Commedia dell’arte into the modern comedy these two actors take over this production with unbelievable power, skill and ruthlessness.  The depths to which respectively, Leigh, amplifies a painful melancholic gravitas and Curtis, a frightening barbaric violence, has to be experienced first-hand to understand the charged emotional grandeur.

Robledo has done so much more than justice to Washburn’s script.  He has turned this into one of this company’s finer presentations and as marvelously close to the spirit of the Sacred Fools Theatre Company in the way only this group can present such material.

Very Highly Recommend

Featuring: Scott Golden, Heather Roberts, Tracey A. Leigh, Joe Hernandez-Kolski, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Eric Curtis Johnson, Dagney Kerr, Emily Clark

Produced for Sacred Fools by Brian W. Wallis

Photo (above): Eric Curtis Johnson in “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play.”
Photos by Jessica Sherman Photography

Mr. Burns, a post electric play is presented In Memoriam for composer and lyricist Michael Friedman (Score) September 24, 1975 – September 9, 2017, who passed just prior to the opening of Sacred Fools’ presentation at the age of 41 due to complications of HIV/AIDS.

Copyright © 2019 Tracey Paleo – Gia On The Move

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator”.

The Sacred Fools Theater Company Announces Prime Shows for Season 23

Press Release

The Sacred Fools Theater Company is excited to announce its upcoming 23rd Season (2019-2020), featuring two World Premieres and two West Coast Premieres. These four shows serve as the company’s Prime Season, in addition to the high volume of late-night and off-night programming the company produces.Sacred Fools Broadwater logo

The season kicks off in September with Deadly, a World Premiere musical with book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart and music by Ryan Thomas Johnson, followed in November by Waiting for Waiting for Godot by Dave Hanson. Season 23 continues in early 2020 with Gifted by Bob DeRosa and concludes in the Spring with Antigone Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s by Madhuri Shekar.

“This season at Fools you’re going to see shows with extraordinary characters,” says Artistic Director Aviva Pressman. “You’re going to love, hate, roll your eyes at, and want to bear hug the people created on our stages.”

Fall 2019
World Premiere
Deadly
book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart, Music by Ryan Thomas Johnson
Directed by Jaime Robledo

1893. A time of hope and optimism as the World’s Fair turns the globe’s eyes toward Chicago. But within this cultural explosion of art and technology, a demon lurks beneath. Taking advantage of the modern woman’s adventuresome spirit, H.H. Holmes builds a hotel – a murder castle – to entrap and kill unsuspecting ladies new to the big city.

From the team behind the critical and box-office hit Stoneface, playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart (Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara), composer Ryan Thomas Johnson (Watson), and director Jaime Robledo (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play) Deadly examines one of the most famous true crime cases in history, through the unlikely lens of the victims’ experience. This show will be staged on the Main Stage at the Broadwater Theater Complex.

November 2019
West Coast Premiere
Waiting for Waiting for Godot
by Dave Hanson
Directed by Jacob Sidney

Ester and Val are understudies for a production of Waiting for Godot. They are committed to art, and frustrated by anonymity. They understand their purpose, but not the reasons they stay. They accept their fate but question each other’s motives, all while waiting for “him” to appear…

A “gleefully absurd” (Time Out New York) backstage farce packed with profound insight, existential dread, and shameless punchlines, Waiting for Waiting for Godot is the Beckett companion you didn’t know you needed. Directed by Jacob Sidney (The Rose and the Rime), this show will be performed in the Broadwater Second Stage.

Opening Early 2020
World Premiere
Gifted
by Bob DeRosa
Directed by Rebecca Larsen

A young woman has a special power – she can tell the romantic fate of any couple she sees, but cannot tell the same for herself. Enter a world of love and longing, humor and heartbreak, with a touch of magical realism. There is no to fear we can’t face in this world because we are all gifted.

Penned by veteran screenwriter Bob DeRosa (Killers, White Collar) and directed by Rebecca Larsen, Gifted will be the next decade’s first show in the Broadwater Black Box.

Opening Spring 2020
West Coast Premiere
Antigone, Presented by The Girls of St. Catherine’s
by Madhuri Shekar
Directed by Reena Dutt

The St. Catherine’s drama club is struggling to put up its first school play – Sophocles’ Antigone. As if staging this tragedy in an all girls’ Catholic school isn’t challenging enough, the cast’s beloved director ends up betraying them in an unforgivable way- And it’s almost opening night! The cast must figure out the right course of action, all while rehearsing a classic play about impossibly difficult choices. What is the right thing to do? And must the show go on?

Closing out the season on the Broadwater Mainstage, Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s reunites the author with director Reena Dutt, who also directed Shekar’s Monkey Love earlier this year as part of Sacred Fools’ New Works series.

Additional Programming
Along with these mainstage shows, Sacred Fools will also continue its tradition of late-night and off-night programming, with announcements about ongoing shows and new programming coming soon.

Fools at the Hollywood Fringe Festival
Season 23 is several months away and there’s so much happening before then, including three new shows premiering within a week at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For more information about Aristophanes’ The Birds, Jordan Maverick, History Teacher and Come Back!, see their previous press release here.

The Broadwater Plunge
A great place to drop in before or after a show, The Broadwater Plunge is celebrating its first year in the heart of Theatre Row catering to the theatergoing crowds in the Broadwater Theater Complex.

No Patron will pay more than $15 for a Sacred Fools show
We believe that theatre should be accessible to everyone. That’s why we’re continuing our commitment to lower ticket prices so that anyone who wants to experience live theatre has the opportunity to do so.

For information regarding The Broadwater, please visit www.thebroadwaterla.com

Stage Raw Announces 2018 Theater Awards Recipients

Press Release

Stage Raw Theater Awards celebrate excellence on the Los Angeles stages in venues of 99-seats or under. This fourth annual edition included productions that opened between January 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018. Stage Raw is a community funded professional journalism website that was created in response to the decline of arts coverage in local mainstream and alternative media.

The Awards ceremony was held Monday night, August 20, at Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, hosted by Coeurage Theatre Company, and co-directed by Jer Adrianne Lelliott, Thaddeus Shafer and Lauren Ludwig.

FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHY
1. Myrna Gawryn, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
2. Bjørn Johnson, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 3. Bjørn Johnson, Red Speedo, Road Theatre Company
4. Bjørn Johnson, Stupid Kid, Road Theatre Company
5. Edgar Landa, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
6. Doug Oliphant, Br’er Cotton, Lower Depths Theatre Ensemble
7. Jones (Welsh) Talmadge, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre

VIDEO/PROJECTION DESIGN
1. Omolara Abode, Lyrics From Lockdown, The Actors’ Gang
2. Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
***RECIPIENT: 3. J-Walt Adamcyk and Hannah Beavers, Paradise Lost:Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
4. Benjamin Durham, This Land, Company of Angels
5. Corwin Evans, The Art Couple, Sacred Fools Theater Company
6. Hana Sooyeon Kim, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
7. Hana Sooyeon Kim, With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
8. Yee Eun Nam, Br’er Cotton, Lower Depths Theatre Ensemble
9. Tom Ontiveros, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, Boston Court Performing Arts Center

SOUND DESIGN
1. Joseph V. Calarco, The Secret in the Wings, Coeurage Theatre Company
2. Jeff Gardner, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
3. Jeff Gardner, The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
4. Jeff Gardner, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 5. Jeff Gardner, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
6. Christopher Moscatiello, The Devil’s Wife, The Skylight Theatre
7. Christopher Moscatiello, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
8. John Nobori, With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
9. Robert A. Ramirez, Master Class, The Garry Marshall Theatre
10. John Zalewski, I Carry Your Heart, Bootleg Theatre

LIGHTING DESIGN
1. Brandon Baruch, The Secret in the Wings, Coeurage Theatre Company
***RECIPIENT: 2. John Bass, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
3. Elizabeth Harper, The House In Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
4. Elizabeth Harper and Rose Malone, With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
5. Matt Richter, I Am Not a Comedian . . . I’m Lenny Bruce, Theatre 68
6. Pablo Santiago-Brandwein, Time Alone, Belle Reve Theatre Company
7. Andrew Schmedake, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
8. Andrew Schmedake, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
9. Andrew Schmedake, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company

COSTUME DESIGN
***RECIPIENT: 1. Wendell C. Carmichael, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
2. Allison Dillard, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre
3. Christine Cover Ferro, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
4. Ashphord Jacoway, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
5. Terri A. Lewis, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
6. Linda Muggeridge, Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
7. Michael Mullen, Fixed, Echo Theater Company
8. Lena Sands, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company

ORIGINAL MUSIC
***RECIPIENT: 1. Jeff Gardner, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
2. Kangaroo Rat (Tim Desrosiers and Anna Bell), Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
3. Bernie Sirelson, Alysia Michelle James, and Elisa Rosin, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
4. Surrija, The Secret in the Wings,Coeurage Theatre Company

CHOREOGRAPHY
1. Joyce Guy, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
2. Carolyn Katz, Daedalus’ Daughter, Bootleg Theater
3. Michael Marchak, Pacific Overtures, Chromolume Theatre
4. Jen Oundjian, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
5. Roman Pantoja, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre
6. Jaime Robledo, Erin Parks and Lauren van Kurin, Mr.Burns, a Post Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
***RECIPIENT: 7. Anne-Marie Talmadge, Alina Bolshakova, Leslie Charles Roy Jr., and the NMA Ensemble, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre

MUSICAL DIRECTION
1. Jake Anthony, The View Upstairs, Celebration Theatre
2. Gina Belafonte, Lyrics From Lockdown, The Actors’ Gang
3. Jennifer Lin, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 4. Dylan Price, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
5. Lyndon Pugeda, Honky Tonk Laundry, Hudson Mainstage Theatre
6. Dimitri Toscas, Master Class, The Gary Marshall Theatre

SET DESIGN
1. Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
***RECIPIENT:2. Joel Daavid, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
3. Justin Huen, This Land, Company of Angels
4. John Iacovelli, Bled For The Household Truth, Rogue Machine Theatre
5. John Iacovelli, El Niño, Rogue Machine Theatre
6. John Iacovelli, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
7. David Mauer, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
8. Jeff McLaughlin, Stupid Kid, Road Theatre Company
9. Stephanie Kerley Schwartz, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
10. Victoria Tam, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company

SOLO PERFORMANCE
1. Giovanni Adams, Love Is A Dirty Word, VS Theatre
2. Alex Alpharaoh, WET: A DACAmented Journey, Ensemble Studio Theatre L.A.
***RECIPIENT: 3. Bryonn Bain, Lyrics From Lockdown, The Actors’ Gang
4. Keight Leighn, A(partment 8), The ABC Project
5. Ronnie Marmo, I Am Not a Comedian . . . I’m Lenny Bruce, Theatre 68
6. Tina Preston, Don’t You Ever Call My Anything But Mother, Open Fist Theatre Company

TWO PERSON PERFORMANCE
1. Martin Rayner & Martyn Stanbridge, Freud’s Last Session, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
2. Misty Cotton & Bets Malone, Honky Tonk Laundry, Hudson Mainstage Theatre
3. Tim Cummings & Brian Henderson, The House In Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
4. Gary Patent & Dan Via, Plunge, Son of Semele Theater
5. James Eckhouse & Graham Sibley, Redline, IAMA Theatre Company
***RECIPIENT: 6. Alex Hernandez & Tonya Pinkins, Time Alone, Belle Reve Theatre Company

SUPPORTING MALE PERFORMANCE
1. Noel Arthur, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Ryan Brophy, Rotterdam, The Skylight Theatre
3. Eduardo Fernandez-Baumann, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
***RECIPIENT: 4. Harry Groener, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
5. Rob Nagle, Stupid Kid, Road Theatre Company
6. Jeris Poindexter, Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
7. Gabriel Romero, The Madres, The Skylight Theatre
8. Montae Russell, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
9. Desean Kevin Terry, A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
10. Adolphus Ward, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre

MALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE
***RECIPIENT: 1. Josh Clark, The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Drew Droege, Die, Mommie, Die!, Celebration Theatre
3. Alex Elliott-Funk, Supper, Theatre of NOTE
4. Alex Fernandez, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
5. Leo Marks, The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
6. Lyle Colby Mackston, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre
7. Darrett Sanders, Supper, Theatre of NOTE
8. Joel Scher, Supper, Theatre of NOTE

LEADING MALE PERFORMANCE
1. Daniel Bess, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Benjamin Burdick, Bled For The Household Truth, Rogue Machine Theatre
3. Joe Hart, Stupid Kid, Road Theatre Company
4. Bruce Ladd, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
5. Ben Martin, Walking To Buchenwald, Open Fist Theatre
6. Esau Pritchett, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
7. Graham Sibley, Redline, IAMA Theatre Company
8. Adam Silver, Exit Strategy, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 9. Desean Kevin Terry, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre

SUPPORTING FEMALE PERFORMANCE
***RECIPIENT: 1. Dawn Didawick, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Emily Goss, Forever Bound, Atwater Village Theatre
3. Ella Joyce, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
4. Ciera Payton, King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
5. Maya Lynne Robinson, Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
6. Maya Lynne Robinson, A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
7. Michaela Slezak,Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers, The Skylight Theatre
8. Cheryl Umaña, This Land, Company of Angels
9. Karen Malina White, Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
10. Christine Woods, Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company

FEMALE COMEDY PERFORMANCE
***RECIPIENT: 1. Anna Lamadrid, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
2. Debra Jo Rupp, The Cake, Echo Theater Company
3. Paige Lindsey White, With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center

LEADING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (TIE)
1. Corryn Cummins, Lord of the Underworld’s Home for Unwed Mothers, The Skylight Theatre
2. Carolyn Hennesy, Master Class, The Garry Marshall Theatre
3. Margarita Lamas, The Madres, The Skylight Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 4. Nan McNamara, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
5. Jaimi Paige, A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
***RECIPIENT: 6. Ashley Romans, Rotterdam, The Skylight Theatre
7. Camille Spirlin, Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
8. Heidi Sulzman, Bugaboo and The Silent One, The Lounge Theatre
9. Miranda Wynne, Rotterdam, The Skylight Theatre

ADAPTATION
***RECIPIENT: 1. Nambi E. Kelley, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Jones (Welsh) Talmadge and Laura Covelli, Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
3. Mary Zimmerman, The Secret in the Wings, Coeurage Theatre Company

PLAYWRITING
1. Giovanni Adams, Love Is A Dirty Word, VS. Theatre
2. Alex Alpharaoh, WET: A DACAmented Journey, Ensemble Studio Theatre L.A.
3. Bekah Brunstetter, The Cake, Echo Theater Company
***RECIPIENT: 4. Alessandro Camon, Time Alone, Belle Reve Theatre Company
5. Bernardo Cubría, The Giant Void In My Soul, Ammunition Theatre Company
6. Leslye Headland, Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company
7. Jeremy J. Kamps, Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
8. Dan O’Brien, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
9. Evangeline Ordaz, This Land, Company of Angels
10.Marja-Lewis Ryan, Bugaboo and the Silent One, The Lounge Theatre

PRODUCTION DESIGN
1. Caught, Firefly Theatre and Films
2. Daedalus’ Daughter, Bootleg Theater
3. King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 4. Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
5. Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
7. Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
8. A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
9. This Land, Company of Angels
10. Time Alone, Belle Reve Theatre Company
11. With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Cent

COMEDY ENSEMBLE
1. Bad Jews, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
2. The Cake, Echo Theater Company
3. Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
***RECIPIENT: 4. El Niño, Rogue Machine Theatre
5. The Giant Void In My Soul, Ammunition Theatre Company
6. The Hothouse, Antaeus Theatre Company
7. Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
8. Supper, Theatre of NOTE
9. With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center

ENSEMBLE
1. 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
2. Exit Strategy, The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Davidson/Valentini Theatre
3. King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 4. Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
5. Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
6. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
7. Pacific Overtures, Chromolume Theatre
8. Paradise Lost: Reclaiming Destiny, Not Man Apart at Greenway Court Theatre
9. Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
10.The Secret in the Wings, Coeurage Theatre Company

COMEDY DIRECTION
1. Lindsay Allbaugh, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Boops, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
2. Jennifer Chambers, The Cake, Echo Theater Company
3. Guillermo Cienfuegos, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
4. Lisa James, El Niño, Rogue Machine Theatre
5. Jessica Kubzansky, With Love and a Major Organ, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
6. Dana Resnick, Bad Jews, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
***RECIPIENT: 7. Felix Solís, The Giant Void In My Soul, Ammunition Theatre Company

DIRECTION
1. Andi Chapman, Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. Gregg T. Daniel, Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
3. Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Caught, Firefly Theatre and Films
4. Carol Katz, Daedalus’ Daughter, Bootleg Theater
5. Thomas James O’Leary, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
6. Robert Mandel, Freud’s Last Session, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
***RECIPIENT: 7. Michael Michetti, A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
8. Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
9. Jaime Robledo, Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
10.Michael A. Shepperd, Rotterdam, The Skylight Theatre
11.Annie Tippe, Cult of Love, IAMA Theatre Company

MUSICAL OF THE YEAR
1. Dessa Rose, Chromolume Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 2. Pacific Overtures, Chromolume Theatre
3. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Celebration Theatre

REVIVAL OF THE YEAR
1. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
2. King Hedley II, The Matrix Theatre
***RECIPIENT: 3. Les Blancs, Rogue Machine Theatre
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, After Hours Theatre Company
5. Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theater
6. A Streetcar Named Desire, Boston Court Performing Arts Center

PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
1. Caught, Firefly Theatre and Films
2. The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, Boston Court Performing Arts Center
3. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater
4. Native Son, Antaeus Theatre Company
***RECIPIENT: 5. Rotterdam, The Skylight Theatre
6. Runaway Home, The Fountain Theatre
7. The Secret in the Wings, Coeurage Theatre Company
8. This Land, Company of Angels
9. Time Alone, Belle Reve Theatre Company

QUEEN OF THE ANGELS
Dolores Chavez

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Norman Lloyd

Sacred Fools Announces Season 22, Plus One

Press Release

The Sacred Fools Theater Company is excited to announce its upcoming 22nd Season (2018-2019) along with the opener for its 23rd Season in the fall of 2019.

The announced shows include three World Premieres and a West Coast Premiere, plus a co-production of a local favorite that took home the Top of Fringe award from the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Starting in September with Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk by Burglars of Hamm and followed in November by The Value of Moscow by Amy Dellagiarino, Season 22 continues in the early Spring of 2019 with Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jirén Breon Holder and concludes with Tangerine Sunset by Peter Fluet.

Season 23 will kick off in the Fall of 2019 with Deadly, a new musical with book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart, music by Ryan Thomas Johnson.

“This season has so much of what Sacred Fools does best,” says Artistic Director Aviva Pressman. “Shows that are different, push the envelope, take a stand, and are full of the best kind of foolishness.”

October 2018
Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk

Collaborating again with Sacred Fools after the acclaimed co-productions Land of the Tigers and The Behavior of Broadus, Burglars of Hamm will present their acclaimed production of this previously unknown masterpiece by Swedish playwright/provocateur Lars Mattsun (1849-1912). Through Mattsun’s surreal theatricality and stunning wordplay, the audience is engulfed in the tale of a troubled young man named Philip, who follows a Mysterious Child into a world of art, sexuality and madness. Much of the original cast and production team return, including controversial director Todd Merrill. Resahas played to great acclaim in Los Angeles, Seattle, Edinburgh and New York, and won the Top of Fringe award at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

“We are always thrilled to partner with Burglars of Hamm,” notes Artistic Director Scott Leggett. “They are masters at holding the funhouse mirror up to nature, and Resa is a show that takes our artistic self-importance to task, in a clever and reflective way. We are delighted to bring this show to a wider audience.”

November 2018
World Premiere
The Value of Moscow by Amy Dellagiarino

There’s no place like home… to make you wanna kill somebody. Three grown “adult” sisters are thrust back into living together as a last resort after their various lives have fallen apart. This trio can’t even agree on how to unpack their stuff much less their relationships and pasts. And before they can finish the bottle of vodka they found in the kitchen, everything goes from bad to worse, to a lot, LOT worse. Can they set aside their grievances long enough to work together and save themselves? Probably not. But with acerbic wit and an encounter with the pizza man, these three sisters aim to find out. The Value of Moscow will be first mainstage show performed in the Broadwater Second Stage under the direction of Carrie Keranen.

“I love three things about The Value of Moscow: The eldest sister, the middle sister and the youngest sister,” explains Keranen. “In them I see woman I know, women I have been, women I try so hard not to be, women I have yet to admit live inside me. If this play weren’t so funny it would be downright tragic.”

January 2018
West Coast Premiere
Too Heavy for Your Pocket by Jirén Breon Holder

In rural Tennessee at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, two young African-American couples struggle to understand justice, love, and their own responsibilities. Too Heavy for Your Pocket beautifully explores the sacrifices and tolls in the fight for freedom and equality that are placed, not only on the fighters, but the people they love. The play had its World Premiere at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta before moving to the Roundabout Theater in New York and won the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. This West Coast Premiere will be directed by Celebration Theatre Co-Artistic Director Michael A. Shepperd and will be performed in the Broadwater Black Box.

“We have been tracking Too Heavy For Your Pocket since its world premiere, and were deeply affected by the poetry and humanity on display in Jirén’s work,” Artistic Director Bryan Bellomo says. “We are honored to bring a west coast premiere to Los Angeles, and thrilled to finally have the opportunity to partner with Michael A. Shepperd, the perfect director to tell this delicate story of aspiration and familial love.”

March 2019
World Premiere
Tangerine Sunset by Peter Fluet

This homegrown play will close the 22nd Season in the Broadwater Main Stage. In the vein of Absolutely Filthy, Watson, A Kind of Love Story and Beaverquest!, Sacred Fools brings you another show created in its late-night comedy cauldron, Serial Killers. Tangerine Sunset tells the story of how, on a private island, on a palatial estate, a party attended by billionaire capitalists, movie stars, insane geniuses, and regular people cursed by fate, found themselves trapped on a dark intersection that led to murder, mayhem, and laughter. This show was part of the Fools’ New Works Development Program and went through over a year-long process of workshops and re-writes. Tangerine Sunset will be directed by JJ Mayes (Live! From the Last Night of My Life, The Magic Bullet Theory).

“Tangerine Sunset is a larger than life, hilarious, Sacredly-Foolish play in every sense,” producer Brian Wallis points out. “Peter Fluet and JJ Mayes have crafted a side-splitting, edge-of-your-seat, gothic horror-comedy that is truly worthy of a night at the theater. It’s a fitting end to a Foolish season.”

Fall 2019
World Premiere
Deadly
Book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart
Music by Ryan Johnson

1893. A time of hope and optimism as the World’s Fair turns the globe’s eyes toward Chicago. But within this cultural explosion of art and technology, a demon lurks beneath. Taking advantage of the modern woman’s adventuresome spirit, H.H. Holmes builds a hotel – a murder castle – to entrap and kill unsuspecting ladies new to the big city. From the team behind the critical and box-office hit Stoneface, playwright Vanessa Claire Stewart (Louis & Keely, Live at the Sahara), composer Ryan Thomas Johnson (Watson), and director Jaime Robledo (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play), Deadly examines one of the most famous true crime cases in history, through the unlikely lens of the victims’ experience.

“Much has been written and lionized about ‘America’s First Serial Killer,’ H.H. Holmes. But in the age of Me Too, I wanted to give these brave women their voices by reframing the narrative,” Stewart says. “I think it is time to reconsider the man whose legend has grown while these ‘disposable women’ have been forgotten. The victims had all dreamed big enough to adventure alone to a new city- what could they have become? And how would they have enacted revenge if they could?”

The Broadwater Plunge

Sacred Fools is also excited about The Broadwater Plunge, the new bar in the heart of Theatre Row catering to theatergoing crowds open now in the Broadwater Theater Complex.

Additional Programming

Along with these mainstage shows, Sacred Fools will also continue its tradition of late-night and off-night programming, with announcements about ongoing shows and new programming coming soon.

No Patron will pay more than $15 for a Sacred Fools show

We believe that theatre should be accessible to everyone. That’s why, for our 22nd season, we’re continuing our commitment to lower ticket prices so that anyone who wants to experience live theatre has the opportunity to do so.

‘Disasteroid!’: A Late-Night Musical Comedy Guaranteed To Tickle Your Funny Bone

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

“Sometimes the end of the world isn’t the end of the world.”

Dagney Kerr as Mitzi Stern in ‘Disteroid!’.

After an initial run at Theatre Underground in 2012 and a series of vigorous workshops and revisions, writer-composer and show drummer Zachary Bernstein has emerged with a most sensible, silliest, love-song, singin’ & dancin’ comedic-pseudo-thriller in Disasteroid! that will warm your romantic heart and keep you chuckling long after the (gulp) ‘finale’.

Sarah M. Kruger choreographs large in The Broadwater‘s intimate black box space which simply cannot contain the razor tongue and equally sharp, dancing dynamics of Dagney Kerr (Mr. Burns, a post-electric play) in the roles of Mitzy Stern, Observer and Daisy…as well assisting the romantic, adventuresome antics of desperately bored IRS accountant and amateur astrologer, Arthur Edgley charmingly played by John Bobeck (Skullduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet).

Matthew as Pete Petty in ‘Disasteroid!’.

Of course it takes an end-of-the-world-by-asteroid prediction to get Edgley launched on his journey of a lifetime with tax client and raison d’être Mabel Bellcoat (Heather Roberts), the sweet and slightly off-key, philanthropist trapped in a loveless marriage…leaving totally loyal and life-clueless IRS associate Pete Petty and narcissistic husband Richard Bellcoat (both played by Matthew Bohrer) happily in the lurch for a chance at the love of a lifetime – albeit possibly extremely, intensely, short.

What the heck.  Grab life by the throat while you still can!

Fun. Delightful. Totally satisfying.

Recommended

 

Written by Zachary Bernsteng
Directed by Guy Picot
Produced by David Mayes
Choreography by Sarah M. Kruger
Music quartet: Zachary Bernstein (drums), Gordon Wimpress (Guitar), Eric Radoux (bass)
Cast: Heather Roberts, Dagney Kerr, John Bobek, Matthew Bohrer

Photo (above): Heather Roberts and John Bobek in Disasteroid!
Photos by: Scott Golden

Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Announces 2017 Achievement Nominations

Press Release

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) has announced its nominations and special awards for excellence in Los Angeles, Orange County and Ventura County theatre for the year 2017 (Dec. 1, 2016 – Nov. 30, 2017).

The 49th annual LADCC awards ceremony will take place on Monday, March 19, 2018, at A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107. There is ample, free, on-site parking. All event tickets are $40 and can be purchased at 2018 Critics Awards (a small service fee applies) or at the door if available. (Purchased tickets will be held at Will Call.)

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a reception. The show will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Inquiries and nominee RSVPs to: criticsawards2018@gmail.com

Wenzel Jones, a co-host on IMRU, the LGBTQI Radio News Magazine on KPFK 90.7, will host the ceremony.

One or more plaques will be presented in each of 18 categories. One of those achievements has already been voted a plaque: In Writing (Adaptation) Lisa Kron will be honored for Fun Home. Seven special awards will also be presented.

The LADCC special award recipients are as follows:

The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to The Theatre @ Boston Court.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to Alessandro Camon for Time Alone, originally produced by Belle Rêve Theatre Co. at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to set designer Stephanie Kerley Schwartz.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to Musical Theatre West’s Reiner Staged Reading Series.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Shirley Jo Finney.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to Steven Leigh Morris.

The nominees for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for theatrical excellence in 2017 are as follows:

Production

  • 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Ah, Wildnerness!, A Noise Within
  • Caught, Think Tank Gallery
  • Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Trouble in Mind, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court

McCulloh Award for Revival (plays written between 1920 and 1992)

  • Ah, Wilderness!, A Noise Within
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theatre

Lead Performance

  • Tim Cummings in The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Carmen Cusack in Bright Star, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Alex Hernandez in Time Alone, Los Angeles Theatre Center
  • Nan McNamara in 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Joe Morton in Turn Me Loose, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Tonya Pinkins in Time Alone, Los Angeles Theatre Center.
  • Esau Pritchett in King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Ashley Romans in Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Debra Jo Rupp in The Cake, The Echo Theater Company
  • Miranda Wynne in Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

Featured Performance

  • Dawn Didawick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Sandra Mae Frank and Sharon Pierre-Louis in Our Town, The Pasadena Playhouse
  • Harry Groener in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Antaeus Theatre Company
  • Ella Joyce in King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Frances Jue in King of the Yees, Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
  • Matt McGrath in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse
  • Larry Powell in The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse

Ensemble Performance

  • Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre
  • Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre

Solo Performance

  • Giovanni Adams, Love Is a Dirty Word, VS. Theatre
  • Alex Alpharaoh, WET: A DACAmented Journey, Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles
  • Arye Gross, Underneath the Lintel – An Impressive Presentation of Lovely Evidences, Geffen Playhouse

Direction

  • Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld, Into the Woods, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • David Catlin, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory
  • Thomas Kail, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Michael Michetti, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Thomas James O’Leary, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Jaime Robledo, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater

Writing

  • Jon Brittain, Rotterdam, Skylight Theatre
  • Christopher Chen, Caught, Think Tank Gallery
  • Alice Childress, Trouble in Mind, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
  • Dan O’Brien, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court

Writing (Adaptation)

  • Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Musical Score

  • Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Fun Home, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Music Direction

  • Rob Berman, Bright Star, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • David Lamoureux, Monty Python’s Spamalot, 3-D Theatricals
  • Julian Reeve, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Choreography

  • Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton, Hollywood Pantages Theatre
  • Matthew Bourne, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Keith Young, Five Guys Named Moe, Ebony Repertory Theatre
  • Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris, Hollywood Pantages Theatre

Set Design

  • Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • François-Pierre Couture, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Joel Daavid, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater
  • John Iacovelli, King Hedley II, Matrix Theatre

Lighting Design

  • Paule Constable, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Paule Constable, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Elizabeth Harper, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court

Costume Design

  • E.B. Brooks, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Geffen Playhouse
  • Lez Brotherston, The Red Shoes, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Jenny Foldenauer, A Tale of Two Cities, A Noise Within
  • Linda Muggeridge with Aviva Pressman (masks), Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater
  • Sully Ratke, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory

Sound Design

  • Ian Dickinson (for Autograph), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
  • Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Christopher Moscatiello, Rhinoceros, Pacific Resident Theatre
  • John Nobori, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court

CGI/Video

  • Nicholas Acciani, 33 Variations, Actors Co-op
  • Hana Sooyeon Kim, With Love and a Major Organ, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Tom Ontiveros, The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage, The Theatre @ Boston Court
  • Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Specialty

  • Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi for Aerial/Acrobatic Choreography, Moby Dick, South Coast Repertory
  • Lyndie Wright and Sarah Wright for Puppets, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Every effort has been made to ascertain proper credits for our nominees. We regret any errors or omissions. Any that come to our attention will be corrected on our LADCC website, in the event program, and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award plaque.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles. The 2017 membership consisted of:

Pauline Adamek, ArtsBeatLA.com
Frances Baum Nicholson, Southern California News Group, Stage Struck Review
Paul Birchall, Stage Raw
Katie Buenneke, L.A. Weekly
Erin Conley, On Stage & Screen, OnStage
Lovell Estell III, Stage Raw
Shirle Gottlieb, Gazette Newspapers, StageHappenings.com
Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times
Hoyt Hilsman, Huffington Post
Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly, Capital & Main
Jenny Lower, Stage Raw, L.A. Weekly
Jon Magaril, CurtainUp.com
Dany Margolies, ArtsInLA.com, Southern California News Group
Myron Meisel, Stage Raw
Terry Morgan, TalkinBroadway.com, Stage Raw
Steven Leigh Morris, LA Stage Alliance
Melinda Schupmann, ShowMag.com, ArtsinLA.com
Jonas Schwartz-Owen, Theatermania.com, ArtsinLA.com
Don Shirley, LA Observed
Les Spindle, EDGE LA
Rob Stevens, haineshisway
Neal Weaver, Stage Raw, ArtsinLA.com

Citations by production:
33 Variations (Actors Co-op) 5
Hamilton (Pantages) 5
The House in Scarsdale: A Memoir for the Stage (Boston Court) 5
Rotterdam (Skylight) 5
King Hedley II (Matrix) 4
With Love and a Major Organ (Boston Court) 4
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Antaeus) 3
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Ahmanson) 3
The Legend of Georgia McBride (Geffen) 3
Moby Dick (SCR) 3
Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play (Sacred Fools) 3
The Red Shoes (Ahmanson) 3
Time Alone (LATC) 3
Ah, Wilderness! (A Noise Within) 2
Bright Star (Ahmanson) 2
Caught (Think Tank Gallery) 2
Fun Home (Ahmanson) 2
Into the Woods (Ahmanson) 2
Rhinoceros (PRT) 2
Something Rotten! (Ahmanson) 2
Trouble in Mind (Theatricum Botanicum) 2
946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (Wallis) 1
An American in Paris (Pantages) 1
The Cake (Echo) 1
The Encounter (Wallis) 1
Five Guys Named Moe (Ebony Rep) 1
King of the Yees (Kirk Douglas) 1
Love Is a Dirty Word (VS. Theatre) 1
Monty Python’s Spamalot (3-D Theatricals) 1
A Tale of Two Cities (A Noise Within) 1
Turn Me Loose (Wallis) 1
Our Town (Pasadena Playhouse) 1
Underneath the Lintel (Geffen) 1
WET: A DACAmented Journey (EST/LA) 1

Citations by company:

Center Theatre Group 15
The Theatre @ Boston Court 10
Hollywood Pantages Theatre 6
Actor’s Co-op 5
Skylight Theatre 5
Matrix Theatre 4
Geffen Playhouse 4
South Coast Repertory 3
The Antaeus Company 3
Los Angeles Theatre Center 3
A Noise Within 3
Sacred Fools Theater Company at the Broadwater 3
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts 3
Pacific Resident Theatre 2
Think Tank Gallery 2
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum 2
3-D Theatricals 1
Ebony Repertory Theatre 1
The Echo Theatre Company 1
Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles 1
Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center 1
Musical Theatre West 1
The Pasadena Playhouse 1
VS. Theatre 1

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