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A View From the Bridge

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Ivo Van Hove’s stripped-down, surreal production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge won critical acclaim, full houses, and multiple awards in London’s West End. The production repeated its success on Broadway and has just opened at the Ahmanson Theatre.

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Ruddigore

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Ruddigore has had a difficult time of it over the years. It was the unfortunate follow-up to Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado and the phenomenal success of that production would color all their future endeavors. The show was not revived in either of their lifetimes, and it only returned to the D’Oyly Carte repertoire in a revised version in the early 1920’s.

 

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Hello, Dolly!

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Next season will see a new production of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway. It remains to be seen what Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, and director Jerry Zaks will do with the show but, thanks to 3D Theatricals, Southland audiences have a chance to reacquaint themselves with the property before the Broadway revival opens.

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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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Doubt

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John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, A Parable is that rarest of beasts, a probing and intelligent play that becomes a Broadway hit, wins multiple Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize, tours the country, and is eventually filmed with Meryl Streep. It manages all of this despite the fact that the play revels in its own ambiguity. I believe that nothing would please Shanley more than for every audience to walk out arguing about what they’ve just seen.

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Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein

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As you enter the Bram Goldsmith theatre for Maestro, Hershey Felder’s biographical portrait of Leonard Bernstein, a black-and-white projection of Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts plays on the back wall. This is chutzpah. Presenting the master at his most erudite and approachable before taking the stage to portray him seems a potentially perilous decision.

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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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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.