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I Love You Because

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I Love You Because is a musical about dating and relationships in the big city -- New York, naturally. The genuine sparkle in the After Hours Theatre Company production at the Hudson Theatre is due mostly to a talented and strong-voiced cast of young performers.

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The Twilight Zone

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The classic television series The Twilight Zone ran on CBS Television from 1959 until 1964. Its creator, the Emmy-earning Rod Serling, served as the show’s host; he also wrote more than 80 episodes of the program. With often mind-warping plots with twisted conclusions, the anthology series gave a spotlight to many crafty actors who would go on to fame and fortune as movie stars, including Burt Reynolds, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, and Robert Redford.

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Aliens VS Musical and Strap-On

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Erik Przytulski and Steve Troop’s Alien VS. Musical returns to the Fringe in an expanded version after a successful run last year. The concept: what if the Alien from the “Alien” film franchise terrorized our favorite musical characters? It is the sort of late-night-after-a-quantity-of-martinis idea that will either fizzle in the morning light or become an obsession. Luckily, book writers Przytulski (who also wrote the music & lyrics) and Troop went with obsession and have created a Fringe-friendly 90-minute musical.

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The Fringe: McCready and Adam and Eve

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At one point in in Jon Bernstein and Jennifer Blake’s new musical McCready, has-been country star Mindy McCready admits that her life is a train wreck. It is a rare moment of clarity for this sad, self-destructive woman.

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The Gay Guide to Tinseltown and Still Got It

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With his new one-man show, The Gay Guide to Tinseltown, Jon Managanello crafts a piece that shows off his considerable performing talents. But almost immediately one realizes that Manganello, the playwright, has more in mind than a showcase. The script is both a deeply personal journey and a brash political statement.

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A Chorus Line

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Lauded with numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976 when it debuted, A Chorus Line has been performed nearly continuously worldwide ever since. It garnered 12 Tony nominations, winning nine, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Score, Direction, Choreography, Costumes, Lighting, and several performance awards. Beyond its appeal as a showcase for musical theater performers, it serves as a metaphor for the struggle young people have to follow their dreams.

 

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The News

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The felicitously named Dutch composer/creator, JacobTV found operatic inspiration by stumbling across a live news broadcast in 2009. The result is The News, an opera which satirizes our daily media saturation. Even more ambitious than the concept is the fact that this "reality opera" is designed as an ongoing work-in-progress. Every production is updated and revised with current video clips.

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Hamlet

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Written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602 (historians and dramaturges are not quite certain of the date), Hamlet was inspired by the legend of Amleth, as chronicled in the 13th century by Saxo Grammaticus, and then reinvented by 16th-century scholar Francois de Belleforest. Over the centuries Shakespeare’s tragedy has become a template for existential inquiry as well as dramatic structure.

 

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The Fringe: Chemistry and Sex

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Jacob Marx Rice’s smartly-written Chemistry chronicles the love story of Steph and Jamie, a story darkened by the specter of mental illness. Steph (Autumn Bruewer) lives with chronic depression and is a veteran of doctors, pharmaceuticals, and suicide attempts. She immediately takes charge of Jamie (Colin Conrad) when she meets him in the waiting room of their shared psychiatrist.

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Office Beat/Charming the Musical

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Office Beat, a new show created by Mindy and Gabe Copeland, is billed as a “tap comedy.” And I suppose that’s as good a description as any. But those words do little to relay the pure entertainment this genre-busting production offers.

It’s true that shows like Contact and Movin’ Out have told their stories through dance and, in the process, raised arguments about whether or not they were musicals. Office Beat’s official description skirts that issue, though it has a more solid claim to be a musical. Unlike their big Broadway brothers, the show features a charming original score by Andrew Van Vlear. (With the exception of one number staged to “The Girl from Ipanema.”)

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Spotlight

Hollywood Fringe Awarded 10K from National Endowment for the Arts

Hollywood, CA -- The Hollywood Fringe Festival is proud to announce that it has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant of $10,000 to support the Fringe Scholarships program. This grant stems from more than $82 million approved by NEA Chairman Jane Chu to fund local arts projects and partnerships. The Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields.

“Hollywood Fringe began only seven years ago and has grown into a festival reaching tens of thousands of people,” says Festival Director Ben Hill. “This funding allows us to sustain that growth by supporting artists and programming that is diverse, inclusive, and relevant to the local community. We are truly honored to have been selected a recipient."

The Fringe Scholarships program strives to provide a platform for artists to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view, by offering unique and underserved artists scholarships to participate in the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Scholarships will be awarded to artists whose festival participation will increase festival attendance and participation by local Hollywood residents, increase arts participation of ethnically diverse and/or low-income artists, and enrich audience experience through the presentation of unique, underrepresented themes and/or narratives.

“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from Hollywood Fringe Festival offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD FRINGE

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. Each June during the Hollywood Fringe, the arts infiltrates the Hollywood neighborhood: Fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers. The 2016 festival runs June 9th - 26th and offers over 1,400 performances in over 30 venues.

Participation in the Hollywood Fringe is completely open and uncensored. This free-for-all approach underlines the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists without the barrier of a curative body. By opening the gates to anyone with a vision, the festival is able to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view the world has to offer. Additionally, by creating an environment where artists must self-produce their work, the Fringe motivates its participants to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the arts. 

Want more information? Contact us at press@hollywoodfringe.org or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org/press.

 
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.