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A Raisin in the Sun

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There is no more timely play to perform this metaphor for current appalling efforts to reinstate ethnic apartheid and expulsions than A Raisin in the Sun. What some people decry as an egregious “stuffing” of generations into a one-or-two bedroom apartment can be attributed to the poor circumstances of the inhabitants. This play describes how, even when those circumstances change, social forces often prevent people of color from bettering themselves.

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4Play Sex in a Series

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As the lights adjust from pre-show to performance, The Ex (Marian Frizelle) steps onto a platform and sings a cool-jazz version of Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things,” complete with its too seldom heard verse which slyly mixes Dorothy Parker with Romeo and Juliet.

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Daddy-Long-Legs

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Jean Webster’s 1912 epistolary novel, Daddy-Long-Legs has had a surprisingly robust afterlife on stage and in films. It enjoyed a Broadway success in 1914, was popular in both silent and sound film versions, and was the basis for two film musicals. It also saw life as London musical in the 1950’s and inspired a number of international films and television adaptations.

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Priscilla Queen of the Desert

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Over the past few seasons, Celebration Theatre has perfected a cottage industry of taking large, splashy Broadway musicals with LGBT content and smartly reimagining them for their very tight playing space. Typically one approaches the show wondering if they’ll be able to erase the original production from your mind. I confess that I approached the theatre for the opening of Priscilla Queen of the Desert hoping they could erase my memories of the Broadway show.

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42nd Street

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Based on the Depression-era film of the same title, which in turn was adapted from the Bradford Ropes novel (which also bears the same moniker as the film and stage musical), 42nd Street — with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble; lyrics by Al Dubin and Johnny Mercer; and music by Harry Warren — made its Broadway debut in 1980, winning that year’s Tony Award for Best Musical. In 2001, 42nd Street again earned a Tony for Best Revival.

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El Nino

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Justin Tanner is a Los Angeles original and, during the late 80’s and 90’s, our city was his creative incubator. A string of popular plays opened at the CAST Theatre, making Tanner the modern poet of the working class. Well, except that his characters were a far cry from their noble Odets' predecessors. And quite a few of them were unemployed. Perhaps it’s safer to call him the satirist of the slacker.

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The Happiest Songs May Not Be Last

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With The Happiest Songs Play Last now onstage at the LATC, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ trilogy comes to an end.  But its hopeful ending may be the spark that continues the complicated story of two cousins growing up in North Philadelphia, a place where hidden waters run deep….and here, I am referring to the series of under-ground streams just now being excavated in Philadelphia’s urban core.

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Six Characters in Search of a Play

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For more than 30 years, actor, producer, and director Del Shores has been a fierce satirist, social commentator, and wickedly funny creator of plays, movies, and television productions widely honored for their humor and insights. Drawing on his experiences growing up in a small town in Texas, he has a nearly iconic stable of characters well known and loved by his fans from productions like Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies, and The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife. In Six Characters in Search of a Play, he introduces a new set of people who have not yet found a home in his works. They are as eccentric as we have come to expect, and his pleasure in knowing them and bringing them to life is contagious.

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What Do "Spoonfuls of Dissonance" Look Like

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Quiara Alegría Hudes brings some of the most pressing issues in society together in a fully-rounded picture of an American family, ranging over three plays. In her first, Elliot: a Soldier’s Fugue (now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre), Hudes tackles changing attitudes toward significant wars of the latter part of the 20th century, and in Water by the Spoonful, she moves into the domestic issues of family displacement and drug addiction. Her third play is coming up February 24-25 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

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A Soldier's Fugue: Behind the Psyche of War

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Personalized by a single Puerto Rican family, Quiara Alegria Hudes’ Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue chronicles the generational silences that present the heroism of war in a false light. Using letters from home and comparing Grandpop’s (Rubén Garfias) experiences in the Korean war with those of his son, Pop (Jason Manuel Olazábal), in Vietnam, their similar perceptions echo in the plight of Elliott (Peter Mendoza), wounded in Iraq. The steadying influence that Ginny (Caro Zeller) brings as the one woman in all their lives threads separate but equal parts together into a gathering crescendo. Beginning with her opening monologue, Ginny’s thematic preoccupation with plants harks back to Puerto Rico and forward to necessary medicine for todays ‘veterans

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Page 7 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.