Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!

Left: David Mamet, right: Ricky Jay

Next Thursday, May 13, David Mamet will be appearing at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles. He will be reading from and signing his new book, Theatre, and chatting with magician/actor Ricky Jay. This will be Mamet’s only appearance of this kind in the U.S., and MetBlogs has your tickets. Read on to find out how to get them.

David Mamet is a brilliant author / playwright / screenwriter / director. While I enjoy Mamet’s books, my favorite works are his movies. A Mamet script is like a symphony of dialogue, with himself as conductor. I’ve heard that when Mamet rehearses scenes he uses a metronome to make certain that the actors get exactly the right cadence with the words; that the phrases overlap in perfect harmony.

Click past the jump to collect your tickets to see David Mamet at Largo… Continue reading “Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!”

C’mon, Get Appy.. Pantages!

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Pantages Hollywood just made it easier for you to make good on your resolution to see more local theatre, with the release of their own iPhone app.  (Click here to open the Pantages app page on iTunes.)

You can buy tickets by phone, get presale offers, discounts, YouTube channel updates, and check out nearby restaurants. And it’s free. Like an app should be.

Go see a show, Freckles.

Lodestone Theatre Ensemble to Close its Final Production this weekend

After 10 years of being one of LA’s edgiest Asian American theatre groups, the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble is about present its final show, before shutting its doors for good. Don’t worry– this was a conscious decision made years ago by the artistic directors, not a victim of the global recession.

In 1995, following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, veteran actor Soon-Tek Oh created the Society of Heritage Performers (SHP), a Korean American theatre ensemble. SHP evolved into Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in 1999, organized by original founders: actors Alexandra Bokyun Chun, Tim Lounibos and Chil Kong, and writer Philip W. Chung. Their new focus was embracing a broader Asian Pacific American identity. Chung and Kong have remained to the end as co-artistic directors.

You can still catch the final weekend of their final production, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars, which is a play that was specifically written as a farewell to Lodestone. Inspired by classic screwball comedies, Grace Kim & The Spiders from Mars tells the story of Grace, a young Korean American woman, who has withdrawn from the world after the death of her mother ten years ago. But Grace’s life is thrown upside down when she meets her sister’s fiancé and falls in love with him. The play will be permanently retired after this run. (Meet Grace Kim in the video below…)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj4CoeORyO8[/youtube]

Tickets have been lowered to the same price as the first show in 1999: $12 for general admission and $10 each for reserved groups of 10 or more.

Only four more shows before GRACE KIM and Lodestone are gone forever! Performances are Thursday through Saturday (12/17) at 8 p.m. (2-for-1 Thursday tickets with password “Ziggy Stardust”) and closing on Sunday, 12/20 at 2 p.m. RSVP now: (323) 993-7245

GRACE KIM & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
GTC BURBANK
1111-B W. Olive St.
Burbank, CA 91506
(inside George Izay Park, just west of S. Victory Blvd.)

FREE PARKING: Park near the jet plane in front of George Izay Park at 1111 W. Olive St. Walk into the park, past Olive Recreation Center. GTC Burbank is behind the Rec. Center, facing the softball fields.

May is API Heritage Month: “Asian American Arts Stimulus Package” giveaway

As April is coming to an end, we head on into May — nationally designated as Asian Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month. API Heritage month commemorates and recognizes the diversity of API languages and cultures and celebrates of the achievements and contributions of API communities in America. In that spirit, 8Asians (another blog I contribute to) is celebrating Asian Americans in the arts with an “Asian American Arts Stimulus Package” giveaway (deadline: Friday at noon) to one lucky winner who will be the recipient of a pair of tickets to THREE amazing events in the L.A. area. Although you’re free to enter the giveaway, I wanted to note that just about all these shows have availability for low-priced tickets, too.

laapff-20091) The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival: 2009

Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacifc American media arts center, established the Los Angeles Asian Pacifc Film & Video Festival in 1983 as a vehicle to promote Asian and Asian Pacifc American cinema. The Festival has grown from its humble beginnings as a weekend-long series into a major annual showcase presenting the best of Asian Pacifc American and Asian international media in the United States. As of 2008, the Film Festival is known by its permanent iteration The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

tentolifeimage2) Lodestone Theatre Ensemble: Ten to Life

A Census agent exposes a family’s perverse, hidden secret…A desperate loser turns to experimental surgery to seduce his high school crush…A happy homemaker struggles against an ancient evil that lurks in plain sight…A controlling psychologist must protect his life’s love from her memories. Lodestone kicks off its final season with four twisted one-acts touching on the bizarre and unnatural. It’s been ten years… Time to pay.

ewp-marrymealittlethelastfiveyears3) East West Players: Marry Me A Little & The Last Five Years, an evening of 2 one-act musicals!

MARRY ME A LITTLE: A compilation of songs, composed by Stephen Sondheim for many of his Broadway musicals but for various reasons didn’t make it into the final stage, are woven into a simple tale of two lonely people during one evening in their small, one-bedroom apartments. Featuring Mike Dalager & Jennifer Hubilla
THE LAST FIVE YEARS: There are two sides to every story…Jamie and Cathy’s 5-year old relationship is coming to an end, and through the funny , sweet and heart-breaking songs, you hear both versions of what happened–from beginning to end, and from the end to beginning. Featuring Michael K. Lee & Jennifer Paz

Over the years, I’ve attended events put on by each of these organizations and always come out feeling lucky that L.A. has such a vibrant Asian American arts scene. Why not take some time out in the month of May to do something for API Heritage Month, like attending one of the shows listed above? If you do, I’d love to hear what you think.

LeVar Burton’s New Play + Tweetup!

levarLeVar Burton is starring in a new play opening this Friday at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. In The Caterer, @levarburton plays a man who sells you your appropriate death. It marks the Emmy-nominated actor’s return to the stage after a 25-year absence.

Reason #1 to see The Caterer: @levarburton is awesome. He called our fledgling little LAGenX radio show last weekend to chat about theatre, and to find out who we are. We’re not even sure who we are. But, we talked, and he tweeted about it. And we tweeted back. It was internet bromance. You can hear the interview here.

Reason #2 to see The Caterer: @levarburton is hosting an exclusive tweetup for audience members with tickets for Friday or Saturday night (Apr. 10, 11.) And you KNOW theatre tweeps like to party. From TheCatererPlay.com:

LeVar Burton will mingle and raffle off personal memorabilia.
Location to be encoded within program insert.
Must be 21 years of age to attend the after party.
Limited seating available.

See a show – Tweetup with the stars. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

This weekend only… Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End

In 1995, following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, veteran actor Soon-Tek Oh created the Society of Heritage Performers (SHP), a Korean American theatre ensemble. SHP evolved into Lodestone Theatre Ensemble in 1999, organized by original founders: actors Alexandra Bokyun Chun, Tim Lounibos and Chil Kong, and writer Philip W. Chung. Their new focus was embracing a broader Asian Pacific American identity. Chung and Kong remain as present co-artistic directors.

As they enter into their tenth (and final) season, they are presenting “Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End,” a cabaret-style show which will feature comedy sketches and musical numbers this weekend. This show will celebrate Lodestone’s ten years and launch the company’s final season of shows before it closes its doors at the end of 2009.

These performances actually kicked off last night, Dec 11, with GEDDE WATANABE (Sixteen Candles’ Long Duk Dong) & ERIN QUILL (Avenue Q) hosting. But you can still catch the performances with ALEC MAPA (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) hosting tonight (Dec 12) through Sunday (Dec 14).

Lodestone also promises special celebrity guests who will be making appearances throughout the run of the show including:
*JOHN CHO (Harold and Kumar, Star Trek)
*JAMES KYSON LEE (Heroes)
*KELLY HU (X-Men 2)
*DAVID ONO (Anchor, KABC TV Eyewitness News)
*SANDRA OH (Grey’s Anatomy)
*GEORGE TAKEI (Star Trek)
*SUNG KANG (Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift)
*ROGER FAN (Better Luck Tomorrow)
*KABA MODERN’S YURI TAG & FYSH N’ CHICKS’ TAEKO COLLINS (America’s Top Dance Crew)
*Along with members of the Asian American comedy groups the 18 MIGHTY MOUNTAIN WARRIORS, OPM, COLD TOFU & many other surprises.

I’m planning to be there tonight; I can’t wait!

(More details after the jump)

Continue reading “This weekend only… Lodestone After Dark: The Beginning of the End”

SNL Adds 2 Cast Members From LA

Bittersweet news in the world of late-night comedy today. Fox has canceled Mad TV after 14 seasons. Producers say they have some irons in the fire with other networks.

At the same time, Saturday Night Live is growing, by replacing one member and adding another. With Amy Poehler leaving the show, the Comic’s Comic reports that Lorne Michaels has added two cast members with ties to Los Angeles.

Abby Elliott is the daughter of comedian Chris Elliott. She performed with The Midnight Show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles.

Michaela Watkins, who has appeared as “Lucy” on The New Adventures of Old Christine, comes from the The Groundlings.

Congratulations to Abby and Michaela, who make their debuts this Saturday night with host Paul Rudd and musical guest Beyonce.

“All the single ladies, all the single ladies.”