IN THE NEWS
- Tim Dang, soon to be the former Producing Artistic Director of East West Players, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Zelda Fichandler Award, recognizing “an outstanding director or choreographer who is transforming the regional arts landscape through imaginative, brave work in theatre.” The $5,000 award is given annually by Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation.
- Antaeus Theatre Company‘s 2016-17 season will mark its transition from its current home in NoHo to its new home in Glendale, while converting from its former calendar-year season schedule to a more traditional September to August programming. The opening two plays—Caryl Churchill’s Obie-winning Cloud Nine, directed by Casey Stangl; and Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, staged by Steven Robman—will perform at Antaeus’s current location in NoHo, opening March 10 and June 2, 2016, respectively. Antaeus’s first full season in Glendale will kick off September 15, 2016, with Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Cameron Watson. It will continue with William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, directed by Larissa Kokernot (Mar 2017), and close with the West Coast premiere of Native Son, adapted by Nambi E. Kelley from Richard Wright’s novel and staged by Nataki Garrett (June 2017).
- Parson’s Nose Theater in Pasadena will launch its five-play 16th season with George Bernard Shaw’s Androcles and the Lion, opening Oct 31. The season continues with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Dec 19-20), The School for Wives by Molière, opening Feb 6, 2016; Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (Mar 19-20, 2016); and As You Were: Stories for GIs in WWII compiled by Alexander Woolcott, opening Apr 23, 2016. All productions have been adapted by Parson’s Nose Artistic director Lance Davis.
- LA Drama Critics Circle winner Travis Michael Holder plays the title role in Donald Wollner’s premiere comedy, Tell Mr. Poulos, staged by Page Burkholder, opening Oct 3 at Dorie Theatre at the Complex in Hollywood. Holder joins previously cast Lindsey Andersen, Beresford Bennett, Kina Bermudez, and Yetta Gottesman.
- South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa premiered Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley’s Abundance in 1989. This dramatic chronicle of two mail order brides living out their lives in late 19th century Wyoming Territory returns to SCR Oct. 23, under the direction of Founding Artistic Director Martin Benson.
- Pacific Resident Theatre continues its 2014-15 season with the courtroom stage comedy, The Dock Brief, by British barrister-turned-playwright John Mortimer (creator of Rumpole of the Bailey), opening Oct 10 and directed by Robert Bailey, starring Frank Collison and Wesley Mann.
- Originally premiering in 1997 at Actors Gang in Hollywood, Bat Boy: The Musical, by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming (book) and Laurence O’Keefe (music and lyrics), will be the closing production of Long Beach Playhouse’s 2015 Studio Theater season, helmed by Producing Artistic Director Andrew Vonderschmitt. Opens Oct 17.
- Inspired by Cori Cable Kidder’s 2015 title role Ovation Award nomination, Sierra Madre Playhouse has extended the run of Ted Swindley’s bio tuner, Always…Patsy Cline, through Oct 30. Staged by Robert Marra; Sean Paxton serves as music director. Nikki D’Amico co-stars.
- British farce master Ray Cooney—bestowed the honor of OBE Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth in 2004 for his contributions to the British Theatre—will direct and star in Cash on Delivery, written by screenwriter/playwright son Michael Cooney. Opens Dec 6 at NoHo’s El Portal Theatre Mainstage.
THE THING IS…
“Actually, Mildred Francis is my name. As for the title of the show, that came from my grandmother. As a child growing up in Texas, I was kind of a show-off. My grandmother thought I was highly dramatic, and if I was getting to be a bit too much, she would put me down by saying, ‘Mildred Frances, save it for the stage.’ My show at the Gardenia is a bit of a trip down memory lane, but it is not about my career, per se. It is more about my journey through life, the ups and the downs—and there were plenty of both. I must say, even the down times had a lot of laughs. And it was the ability to evoke laughter that saved my ass. Of course, there are some specific highlights, including my 51-year marriage to my darling Tom [Troupe]. I also talk about my school days, my first time in New York and how poor I was. Of course, there were the grand moments, like Lucille Ball discovering me, bringing me to Hollywood and putting me under contract. One of my proudest accomplishments was becoming the second actress to play the title role in Hello, Dolly! on stage, after Carole Channing. That was so important to me, I asked out of my contract with Lucy to do it. All of that is in this show, and I am so lucky to have David Galligan working with me. David intuitively knows what works and the best way to present it. And having the brilliant Christopher Marlow on piano just tops it all off.”
Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area—airing Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM). On Oct 2, Arts in Review spotlights playwright/author Josefina Lopez and actress/writer Libette Garcia, discussing the new stage work, Drunk Girl, running through Oct. 18 at Casa 0101 Theatre in Boyle Heights.