Ballots will be arriving in the hands of member actors of the Actors Equity Association. Its important to keep 99 Seat Theatre alive in Los Angeles. A “NO” vote will insure that the 99 Seat Agreement remains in place and is not changed.
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I’m not a total rube as I at least knew who Sondheim was before this past weekend’s opening of “Putting it Together” at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. I couldn’t have told you what he wrote or even hum a few bars before then. Now I can. He’s a bright lively composer who’s lyrics are not only cunning but witty. Many times the audience broke into laughter during Friday nights performance.
The all star cast is directed and choregraphed by Cate Caplin with Jake Anthony as the music director. The cast consists of Kurt Andrew Hansen, Kristin Towers-Rowles, Chris Kerrigan, Rachel Hirshee and Mike Irizarry who use a series of 31 Sondheim songs to tell a story of love, marriage, and mistresses during the course of a 1 percenters cocktail party. Yup, there’s a twist and the bitterness of the woman scorned comes across in a most comical way.
Of all the songs in the play, “Bang” was my favorite. Didn’t involve guns, but rather was the exclamation point in the digression of young lovers and love making to bitter married folks having dutiful relations in the bedroom. That’s as delicate as I can put it…but that song alone had us laughing out loud during the performance. The actions of the cast added hysterical emphasis.
Putting it Together runs through March 28 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
Added bonus, if you are interested in Einstein is a Dummy that I reviewed recently, this Sunday, 3/22 Performance is also included in the buy one get one promotion on web sales only. Order Tickets here with the promo code BOGO.
Photograph by John Dlugolecki Photography and used with permission.
Its science to nurture your inner nerd. It has a message…its ok to be curious, its ok to ask why, its OK to be different. All the issues every kid struggles with to be “popular” and be themselves at the same time is explored in this high energy production that opened at the Sierra Madre Playhouse this weekend. Think of it as Energy, the good kind like a colorful Saturday morning exploding on stage (and off at times) with the angst of a kid who doesn’t fit in and wants to.
Einstein is a Dummy is written by Karen Zacarias and brilliantly presented under the direction of Derek Manson for the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Add in the musical score by Deborah Wicks LaPuma and you’ve got a show that kids will enjoy while picking up some lessons on personal identity and real science.
This is repertory theatre. The play has two cast so as to stage it for evening performances as well as matinee’s for schools here in the SGV. (This play is aimed at the 3rd-8th grade student). Regardless of which cast you see, you will have fun with your young genius. I saw the Electron cast, those that have seen the Proton cast were equally amazed at the production.
The play starts with young Einstein talk with a stray cat in advance of leaving for a music recital. Here we get the first hint at his curiosity and the gift of a compass that started him thinking about and developing his theory of relativity. Its this first bit where we learn that Einstein sees and hears the world differently. Read the rest of this entry →
Long time Los Angeles resident Gary Owens of radio and TV Fame passed away today. He was the voice of KFI for years but is known nationally as the enthusiastic announcer and newcaster on Laugh In a TV sieries in the late 60s and early 70s. RIP Funny man, thanks for the laughs.
Look forward to your next ‘cast from “Beautiful Downtown Heaven”.
No spoilers. But its a grand performance by all concerned
Last night was the opening of Sierra Madre Playhouse’s performance of “A Walk in the Woods”. It opened to a sold out house. Its an entertaining, often poignant look at the world of diplomatic negotiators during the Reagan Era arms talks and their interchange on what makes us the same and different at the same time. This play by Lee Blessing is directed by Geoffry Wade.
The four scenes take place during the four seasons in an American election year in a secluded forest in Switzerland. The jaded and cynical Soviet negotiator Andrey Botvinnik is portrayed by John Prosky. Andrey has survived several U.S. Negotiators and capably guides his newst adversary through the mine field of arms negotiation. He does this through humor and utter avoidance of the task at hand. The new American negotiator that he must work with is Joan Honeyman played by Nancy Youngblut. Joan is the spunky, starry eyed new kid on the block with ideals she can work out a deal to end the arms race that both sides can live with. Andrey foils her at every step often leaving Joan aggravated and flabberghasted. And the audience roaring with laughter.
Interlaced in this is the big politics of each nations history as a world power and fear of a past repeated. All good stuff, hard to believe one can laugh condsidering the task at hand and the issues they face. Its also a very enlightening look at the process. You walked away wondering how it all went down and how anything was ever accomplished. Or was it? I highly recommend “A Walk in the Woods” if you are looking for a fun and enlightening theater experience. These two actors carried you through the process of negotiations and becoming friends that respect each other very well.
This play is the 4th in the 2014-2015 Season that explores the American experience as told by American playrights. This play and those to come are what will continue Sierra Madre Playhouse’s transformation into a Regional Destination Theatre.
You can order your tickets HERE.
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA 91024 Phone: 626-355-4318
Photo by Gina Long, courtesy Sierra Madre Playhouse and used with Permission.
By now most of you should know that I’m a complete and utter fool when it comes to Raymond Chandlers works. I’ve read so many of the books and loved how they incorporated Los Angeles history and places into their fictional story.
I caught wind of the operetta a few months ago at a LAVA meeting. Its titled “The Princess and the Pedlar” and is co-authored with pianist Julian Pascal. Sounds pretty cool and should be easy to bring to the stage, right? Not so fast, the estate of Raymond Chandler say its insignificant and won’t grant release of the work. It will have to wait until 2029 at the earliest when its released to the public domain. Sad.
But all is not lost, Kim Cooper of Esotouric and author of the “The Kept Girl” isn’t taking that hard no as a final answer. She has a petition on change.org asking the Estate to reconsider its position. Please sign. I have, its an important bit of the Los Angeles story by one of our own authors that deserves to be seen.
Yup, its a big deal for your first venture. A Sunny Christmas is based on the art of Joseph R Davis and animated by him and Brian Gerson. They were invited to submit this to the 5th Annual ACRS Film Fest, they did and its been accepted. Nice to see new talent here in L.A get recognition beyond our borders.
Winter Art Camp has got to be one of the best things going in the SGV if you have school age kids and you lose your usual day care during the Holidays. I’ve witnessed the activities that Lisa Barrios and her crew at Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery here in Monrovia line up for the kids and its pretty amazing. Tons of ceramic crafts for the kids to do every day with expert instruction by the staff at Paint n Play is included in the price of your childs time at Winter Art Camp.
All you need to do is pick out a week and its M,T, F they provide Art Camp for either Christmas Week or New Years week. Monday and Tuesday be sure to pack your kids a sack lunch. Friday no worries, its Pizza Party day.
Space is limited and you do need to apply early. Click on this application to embiggen and print and bring it in to Lisa and gang at the store.
Deets. Week one 12/22, 12/23 NS 12/26,week two 12/29, 12/30, 1/2. 418 S Myrtle Street, Monrovia CA 91016 626-256-4848
Breaking a decades long tradition and following Creative Director Christian Lebano vision of bringing American plays by American authors, A Little House Christmas opened to applause last night in Sierra Madre.
A little backstory about the play. We all know Laura Ingalls Wilder and her stores of growing up in the 1800;s in the big woods or out on the Prarie, It was even a TV show for many years which is how many of us learned of the books. The play is based on the book and was adapted to stage by James DeVita. The Little House Heritage House allows little deviation and creative license, That didn’t stop Directro Emily Chase from working with music curator Lindsey Stand-Polyak and music director Rebecca Lord from getting permission from the trust to incorporate period apporpriate music into the play. It works. It works really well. The songs, many of them “new” to this century are a marvelous addition to this simple themed play and adds real depth to the story. I loved it.
The play takes places in the 1870s on the prairie and spans the course of 1 week with a wicked storm that wreaks havoc on the Ingalls family Christmas. I won’t give any spoilers on how Christmas was saved, you need to watch the play to see the execution of the play and the heart warming ending. Suffice it to say, kindness to others previously brought about the happy ending for the Ingalls family.
The Ingalls family as portrayed by Hanna Victoria Stock, Valerie Lohman, Pamela Daly and Eric Charles Jorgensen doesn’t deviate from the books or TV Show. Added bonus to this is that “Pa Ingalls” in real life can play the fiddle and whips it out at appropriate times in the story to add some real life to this simple story line. Read the rest of this entry →