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Akhnaten

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From the mid-1970’s through the early 1980’s composer Philip Glass wrote three “portrait operas” which revolutionized conventional operatic production. Einstein on the Beach, created with director Robert Wilson, was the first as well as the most influential of the three.

Einstein’s success was followed by Satyagraha, focused on Gandhi, and Akhnaten which presented scenes from the life of the extraordinary Pharaoh who renounced the gods of Egypt and introduced monotheism.

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Return to the Forbdden Planet

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I must confess that I’ve never seen the film, Forbidden Planet as I was never much of a science fiction fan as a child. When I grew up and discovered it was based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, I was more interested, but not enough to seriously seek it out.

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Toruk- The First Flight

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In a major departure from its usual acrobats, clowns, and feats of physical accomplishments, this Cirque show, inspired by James Cameron's Avatar, is darker and more dedicated to the storyline than to dazzling its audience. Unlike its brethren O or Dralion, for example, in this world called Pandora, which exists thousands of years before Avatar, the audience needs a storyteller to help with the explication of the story. The Na'vi, familiar to those who saw Avatar, are facing a threat to their world as the story opens.

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Memphis

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David Bryan composed the music and Joe DiPietro wrote the book for the musical Memphis; the two teamed up to create the show's lyrics. Their collaboration paid off. Memphis hit Broadway in 2009, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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Mc Coy Rigby Entertainment is presenting the Los Angeles premiere of the Disney musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This story is based on Victor Hugo’s (the Les Mis guy) Notre Dame de Paris and, more specifically, a number of iconic film adaptations of the novel. Disney’s animated version softened the tragic plot by adding a cute trio of gargoyles and giving the main characters a happy ending, though it still pushed the envelope for Disney entertainment.

 

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The Super Variety Match Bonus Round!

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Deb Hiett’s world premiere play, The Super Variety Match Bonus Round! begins in silence, as Ernest Eagleton (Mark L. Taylor) freshens up his living room. He’s being extra careful not to disturb his wife Margaret (Bonnie Bailey-Reed) who is sleeping soundly in an easy chair.

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Lend Me a Tenor

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His name is Tito Merelli, but in the world of international opera, he’s known as “Il Stupendo.” Tito has agreed to sing the lead role in Verdi’s “Otello.” The gig is a mere fundraiser for the minor league Cleveland Opera Company, and Tito has performed as Otello in opera houses around the world; he even has his own costumes for the role (two of them, just in case). Therefore, this engagement should be less than challenging, right? Wrong!

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Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Secret Journey

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Eleanor Roosevelt set the standard for modern-day First Ladies. As a Civil Rights activist, advocate for progressive causes, and first United States Representative to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Mrs. Roosevelt was a breakout presidential spouse and an inspiring leader in her own right.

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District Merchants

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Aaron Posner is a dramatist who has a particular knack; he's skilled at re-inventing the work of those in the pantheon of great playwrights and novelists, including Chekov and Shakespeare. Posner has reworked Chekhov’s Three Sisters and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as well as some of Kurt Vonnegut’s short stories, such as “Who Am I This Time?”

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All the Way

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Robert Schenkkan’s absorbing epic drama, All the Way, focuses on the early days of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency. Beginning just after Johnson’s dramatic swearing in after Kennedy’s assassination, the play charts an incredible, politically charged year in which he pushed through the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and managed to win election by a landslide.

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Page 19 of 28

Spotlight

Laguna Playhouse Announces Ellen Richard as its Interim Executive Director

May 3, 2016…Laguna Beach, Calif…Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors announced today that, later this month, Ellen Richard will be joining Laguna Playhouse as its Interim Executive Director. The Playhouse announced late last year that it was undertaking a national search guided by Arts Consulting Group (ACG) for an Executive Director to succeed Karen Wood who had held this position for the past eight years.

Commenting on the appointment Joe Hanauer and Paul Singarella, Co-Chairmens of the Board of Directors, said “In the midst of our search we encountered this wonderful opportunity to engage Ellen while we continue to seek appropriate long-term leadership. To have found someone with the extraordinary qualifications that Ellen has is thrilling. She is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer at New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company where she was Managing Director. Ellen also has strong successes in supervising the construction of theatres in New York and also in San Francisco at the American Conservatory Theater, a rare and valuable skill set considering the contemplated major remodel and expansion of the Laguna Playhouse.” Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham adds, “We are pleased and proud to have Ellen Richard, truly a rock-star in our field, join us as our interim Executive Director who will help guide the Playhouse during this transition.” Comments Ellen Richard, “I have quickly grown fond of Laguna Beach and the Playhouse. I embrace this extraordinary opportunity to join one of the country’s top regional theatres at this time in its remarkable 95-year history. I look forward to helping the Playhouse and working with their incredible Board of Trustees and Ann E. Wareham.”

ABOUT ELLEN RICHARD

Ellen Richard served as Executive Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2010 through 2015.  During her tenure, Ms. Richard negotiated a deal to buy the Strand Theater in tech corridor of Mid-Market San Francisco, helped raise the $34,000 million to renovate and operate it and steered the design and construction for the project which opened in May of 2015. The complex featured two performance spaces and has won multiple awards.  She opened the 50 seat Costume Shop Theater, a 49-seat “black box” venue used for the company’s Master of Fine Arts students and for shows by other local companies.  Ms. Richard was also credited with expanding the company’s educational efforts, coming up with programs like the San Francisco Semester, which brings undergraduate acting students to ACT from around the world, and Stage Coach, a community theater mobile unit that reaches into diverse neighborhoods

She was also Executive Director of The Second Stage Theatre in New York City. During her tenure at Second Stage, which began in 2006 (through 2009), she was responsible for the purchase contract of the Helen Hayes Theatre, growth in subscription income of 48 percent, and growth in individual giving of 75 percent, as well as conceptualization of a highly successful gala format and “Second Generation,” a giving program through which donors enable deserving New York City youth to experience live theater. Under Ms. Richard’s leadership, Second Stage provided the initial home for the Broadway productions Everyday Rapture, Next to Normal, and The Little Dog Laughed.

From 1983 to 2005, Ms. Richard enjoyed a rich and varied career with Roundabout Theatre Company. The Roundabout that Ms. Richard joined was a small nonprofit theater company in bankruptcy. By the time she departed as Managing Director, Roundabout had become one of the country’s largest and most successful theater companies of its kind, with net assets in excess of $67 million dollars. Ms. Richard is the recipient of six Tony Awards as producer, for Roundabout productions of Cabaret (1998), A View from the Bridge (1998), Side Man (1999), Nine (2003), Assassins (2004), and Glengarry Glen Ross (2005). As producer of more than 125 shows at Roundabout, she had direct supervision of all management and marketing functions. She created Roundabout’s “Theatre-PLUS” programs, which include singles, teachers, family, gay and lesbian, wine tasting, and the 7 p.m. “Early Curtain” series, all of which grew to represent more than 10 percent of Roundabout’s 40,000 subscribers.

As director of design and construction at Roundabout, Ms. Richard was responsible for more than $50 million of theater construction for 11 projects. She conceptualized the three permanent Roundabout stages — The Broadway venues of Studio 54 and the American Airlines Theatre, and the Off-Broadway venue The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre She directed the location search for Cabaret and oversaw the creation of the production’s environmental Kit Kat Klub. Prior to her tenure at Roundabout, Ms. Richard served as business manager of Westport Country Playhouse, theater manager for Stamford Center for the Arts, and business manager for Atlas Scenic Studio. She began her career working as a stagehand, sound designer, and scenic artist assistant.