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The Pianist of Willesden Lane

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An elegy and a tribute, a concert and a play, a history lesson and a memoir: The Pianist of Willesden Lane on the Lyceum stage at San Diego’s Repertory Theatre scoops together all of those things and serves them on a gilded platter. Presiding over the tour de force is the maître de Mona Golabek, who in her one-woman show incorporates her personae as writer, adaptor, pianist, actress, and storyteller. Contradicting the usually accurate admonition that multi-tasking equals multi-mediocre tasking, Golabek proves the exception. This is simply a wonderful production, in many ways.

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Hair

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Hair is a defining rock 'n roll musical from the 1960s. With book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot, Hair took New York by storm, landing Off Broadway in 1967; it hit Broadway a year later and ran for 1,750 performances. It was restaged on the Great White Way in 2009, and it earned a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

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Oh My Gooodness, It's Paul Lynde

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Paul Lynde was a comedian and actor best known for his snarky witticisms on the long lived TV game show, The Hollywood Squares, and as the character of Uncle Arthur on the sixties sitcom Bewitched. Though Lynde also had roles in Disney’s Son of Flubber, as well as other movie projects, he made his big breakthrough in 1960 on Broadway, in Bye, Bye Birdie, playing the perplexed patriarch – Mr. MacAfee.

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Frederick Douglass Now

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He was a bestselling author, a lecturer, a proponent of the women’s suffrage movement, and a candidate for vice president of the United States on the ticket of the Equal Rights Party. Along with Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Brown,  and Edwin Booth (the acclaimed actor and older sibling to Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth) he was among the best known people of the American Civil War era. What's more, he escaped while enslaved and became, along with William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Tubman, one of the most influential abolitionists in the country. Who is he, you wonder? The name is Frederick Douglass, and his is a story of intrepidness and inspiration that is a tale for all times and every mind.

 

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Buddy--The Buddy Holly Story

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February 3, 1959 has entered rock 'n roll history as "The day the music died." That was the day that 22 year-old songster Charles Hardin (Buddy) Holly, along with fellow musicians Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (aka, the Big Bopper) and the pilot Roger Peterson, died in an airplane crash while on a concert tour in the Midwest. That incident is immortalized in Don McLean's 1971 hit song, "American Pie."

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Hollywood Party

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Two actors, Alberto Samaniego & Rodrigo Altamirano, receive an invitation to a party celebrating the 1921 debut of the movie, The Mysterious Lady, headlined by Greta Garbo and directed by Fred Niblo. It's not long, however, until Alberto and Rodrigo uncover the real reason for this Hollywood party: murder!

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Race

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A David Mamet play is always cerebral, generally provocative, and often leads one to debate issues raised in the storyline at the conclusion of the production. Moreover, its craftsmanship is to be admired.

This play purports to be about race, and it is, but it also examines  issues of gender and conscience. It places four characters in a handsome law office (scenic design by Jeffery P. Eisenmann) and delivers a story that unfolds layer by layer.

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George Washington Reenacted by Gary Beard

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Many actors have taken on the role of Founding Father George Washington – including, Francis X. Bushman in 1927’s The Flag; Barry Bostwick in 1984 and ‘86 in George Washington and George Washington: The Forging of a Nation, respectively; Jeff Daniels in The Crossing (2000); Kelsey Grammer in Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor (2003); and, David Morse in 2008’s John Adams.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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A Midsummer Night's Dream is among William Shakespeare's most performed plays. Penned by The Bard between the years 1590 and 1596, the plot and subplots have to do with love, magic, dreams, and imagination. Moreover, like The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream is derived from Shakespeare's own imagination, with no known antecedent source.

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Beauty and the Beast

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The timeless quality of the story of a young girl who falls in love with a beast spans time and geography, so it is no wonder it has been the subject of fairy tales, novels, and theater worldwide. Musical Theatre West, having finally been given permission from Disney to produce its award-winning show, has gathered a strong cast with the signature sounds required to emulate Disney's best.

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Spotlight

The Pasadena Playhouse Announces David DiCristofaro and Board of Directors Chairman and Brad King as Vice Chair

The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Executive Director Elizabeth Doran) announced today that David DiCristofaro, currently serving as the Board’s Vice-Chairman, will be taking on the role of Board Chairman as of September 1, 2014.  Board member Brad King will fill DiCristofaro’s position as Vice-Chairman.

 

This announcement comes simultaneously with steps taken by The Playhouse in the planning of their centennial in 2017, beginning with the installation of new carpet and seating set to be completed just before the start of the theatre’s season opener KISS ME, KATE starring Wayne Brady.

 

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Center Theatre Group Announces the 11th Season at the Kirk Douglas

2014-2015 Douglas Season is Jam-Packed with 10 Exciting Events

David Mamet’s Explosive “Race”

The Goodman Theatre’s World Premiere Production of Rebecca Gilman’s “Luna Gale”

A ‘Remix’ of Culture Clash’s Popular “Chavez Ravine”

Todd Almond’s and Matthew Sweet’s Musical Charmer “Girlfriend” and DouglasPlus Presentations –

The World Premiere of “Forever” by Dael Orlandersmith

Lucy Alibar’s Work in Progress “Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up”

The U.S. Premiere of Gob Squad’s “Western Society”

World Premiere Production of Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen’s “How to be a Rock Critic”

“Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege”

and

CTG’s Los Angeles Company Partnership Presentation of

the 24th Street Theatre’s Special Family Show “Walking the Tightrope”

 

[The New Season Begins July 13, 2014, and Runs Through August 9, 2015.]

Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie has set the 11th season at the CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

In a jam-packed season of exciting work – from widely varied voices and at every level of development – the 2014-2015 season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre will include four powerful mainstage productions, five lively DouglasPlus productions and readings, and a critically acclaimed show for families and people of all ages.

“We start the mainstage season with David Mamet and his tinderbox of a play ‘Race’ and continue with the Goodman Theatre’s world premiere production of Rebecca Gilman’s smart and absorbing ‘Luna Gale,’” said Ritchie. “L.A.’s very own Culture Clash will bring to the Douglas a new version of their popular ‘Chavez Ravine,’ followed by Matt Almond and Matthew Sweet’s charmer of a musical ‘Girlfriend.’”

“DouglasPlus presentations are interwoven through the entire season,” said Ritchie.  “A five-year-old CTG program, DouglasPlus provides us with the flexibility to explore new work and push boundaries. We have developed and presented many  stimulating pieces through DouglasPlus, and that tradition certainly continues with this season.

“Dael Orlandersmith returns to us with the world premiere of her startling show ‘Forever,’ and we welcome the engaging voice of Lucy Alibar with her work in progress ‘Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up.’ Season ticket holders will have a chance to choose one of these two as part of their subscription.”

“Two other DouglasPlus presentations are subscription bonus options,” said Ritchie, “the U.S. premiere of Gob Squad’s absurdist ‘Western Society’ and the world premiere production of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s passionate ‘How to be a Rock Critic.’

“This July, DouglasPlus gives us a chance to reflect on the Trayvon Martin case and all of its ramifications when we present both “Facing Our Truth: Ten-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege” and the youth summit associated with it.”

 
Hollywood Fringe Festival Opens Today

Festival Kicks Off After Record-Breaking Preview Weekend

Hollywood, CA-- The fifth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival opens today after a week of previews that topped previous ticketing records for the festival. The festival has already sold over 50% more tickets than this time last year, which translates to over $85,000 through the festival's site alone (many more have been sold at the door of individual performances). Festival organizers expect to break more records as the month progresses.

The Festival officially kicked off last night when more than eight hundred people gathered at the noir-themed Opening Night Party at the Dragonfly Lounge. Fringe will host several more themed parties throughout the month at the festival's social space, Fringe Central, which opens tonight at 5pm.

Fringe Central hosts nightly free programming on the Cabaret stage, food trucks and libations at Bryan's Bar. The venue is also the home of the festival's main Box Office where patrons can buy Fringe merchandise and tickets for all shows in the festival. Fringe Central opens at 5pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends and is 18+ only.

The 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival runs today, June 12th, through Sunday, June 29th. The festival will conclude with an Award Ceremony and Closing Night Party at Fringe Central. The awards are community-voted by "Fringers" who purchase tickets or write reviews on the Fringe's website. Past award winners have been granted extended national runs, publication and other successes as a result of their Fringe accomplishments. 

Key Festival Dates

June 12th-29th- 5th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival

June 18th- Fringe Rocks! at Fringe Central

June 25th- B.C. Prom at Fringe Central

June 29th- Fringe Award Ceremony & Closing Night Party

Those seeking more information can contact the festival at support@hollywoodfringe.org or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org. There will also be daily releases on Fringe's YouTube Channel.

Follow @hollywoodfringe on Twitter, or become a fan of our facebook page.