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Let's Misbehave

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Cole Porter died in 1964 leaving behind a musical legacy that has endured long after his passing. His songs are about love and relationships, notable for their universality. Let's Misbehave is deceptively simple, a story about a trio of friends who find themselves falling in love but there are conflicts along their path.

The setting is Dorothy's (Lindsey Alley)  beautiful New York apartment, and a party is just concluding. Her two friends, Walter (Marc Ginsburg) and Alice (Jennifer Shelton) linger after the last guest to have a nightcap and dish a little dirt via Porter's "Well Did You Evah?" The tunes are light, and some of Porter's lesser known numbers like "The Physician" and "Find Me A Primitive Man" allow for some humor and showcase the three actors.As time goes by and several drinks lead to fewer inhibitions, both women confess their love for poor Walter, who likes both equally but loves only Alice, and she returns his tender feelings.Most of Porter's songs span the years from the mid-20s through the middle 40s in a succession of Broadway plays and a few films that are still being produced and watched with pleasure: Kiss Me, Kate, Anything Goes, Silk Stockings, to name a few. Porter's sophistication and wit are what gives the numbers their staying power.Both Shelton and Alley have strong soprano stage voices Besides performing well musically, they have the added bonus of fine dramatic sensibilities when delivering  songs with more emotional resonance. Alley delivers a very touching "In the Still of the Night" and "I've Got You Under my Skin" as she discovers that the man she loves doesn't reciprocate her love.Ginsburg is solid as the love interest of the two women, and he also has the acting chops to hold his own. His "Night and Day" and "Every Time We Say Goodbye" carry a strong emotion.Though the story is slight--with book by Karen Bowerstock and musical arrangements by Patrick Young--it makes the most of Porter's lyrics to weave the songs through the love triangle. Director Todd Nielsen keeps the cast moving with some enjoyable dance choreography and just enough stage business to keep things interesting. Slinky evening dresses by Kim DeShazo glam up the production.Unlike some musical productions where the unsung pianist goes largely unnoticed until the end when the cast acknowledges his presence, Young and Bowersock include Brian Baker as part of the cast with some humorous asides delivered.The enjoyment of the show is the music, and the cast is a solid trio. They certainly pay homage to Porter's contribution to the American songbook.




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.”


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.