by Julio Martinez
IN THE NEWS
- The Falcon Theatre in Burbank is changing its name to the Garry Marshall Theatre. Relaunching as a non-profit operation, the new theater will be led by three Falcon veterans: recently named Artistic Directors Joseph Leo Bwarie and Dimitri Toscas and Executive Director Sherry Greczmiel. Barbara Marshall, Kathleen Marshall LaGambina, Heather Hall, and Joan Boyett will serve on the board of directors. The 130-seat mid-size Equity house will continue to produce year-round and maintain a subscriber base; its upcoming season, to be announced later this month, will include The MarshallARTS Family Series and an “out of the box” Hot Summer Series.
- L.A. Theatre Works‘ 2017-18 season features seven recorded-before-a-live-audience-for-future-radio-broadcast productions, plus two special presentations, beginning with LATW’s nationally touring Judgment At Nuremberg by Abby Mann, presented at the Wallis in Beverly Hills on Sep 27. The regular LATW season commences in October at the James Bridges Theater on the campus of UCLA in Westwood. The lineup: Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine, helmed by Rosalind Ayres and starring four-time Oscar nominee Marsha Mason (Oct 12-15); the West Coast premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winner, Between Riverside and Crazy, featuring Seamus Dever (Nov 16-19); Neil Simon’s The Goodbye Girl, directed by Marsha Mason (Jan 15-28, 2018); the premiere of Daniel Deronda, based on George Eliot’s novel, adapted and directed by Kate McAll, featuring Joanne Whalley (Mar 15-18, 2018); Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize- and Obie Award-winning Disgraced, helmed by Brian Kite, featuring Behzad Dabu and Emily Swallow (reprising their roles from the Mark Taper Forum’s LA premiere) (Apr 19-22); the West Coast debut of Spill by Leigh Fondakowski, directed by Martin Jarvis and featuring Jane Kaczmarek (May 17, 20, 2018); and the premiere of I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom by Gregg Oppenheimer (son of I Love Lucy creator/producer Jess Oppenheimer) (July 12-15, 2018). There will also be a special presentation of the LATW national tour of Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop—commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death (Jan 12-Apr 23, 2018).
- Steven Vlasak’s Nights at the Algonquin Round Table has been awarded the Encore! Producers Award for its sold-out performances at Hollywood Fringe Fest. Two additional performances have been added at Three Clubs in Hollywood on July 9 & 16 .
- Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice is offering the West Coast premieres of Cigarettes and Chocolate and Hang Up, two plays by Oscar-winning writer/director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley). Michael Peretzian directs. Opens July 15.
- Not to be outdone, Odyssey Theatre is presenting the West Coast premiere of Riding the Midnight Express, written and performed by Billy Hayes, who recounts the true story of his 1970 arrest at the Istanbul airport. Directed by Jeffrey Altshuler. Three performances only, July 28-30.
- Anaheim’s Chance Theater is presenting the Tony-winning musical, Parade—exploring the endurance of love and hope amid religious intolerance and political injustice—by Alfred Uhry (book) and Jason Robert Brown (music and lyrics). Directed and choreographed by Kari Hayter; musical direction by Robyn Manion. Opens July 8 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center on the Cripe Stage.
- Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead—a “racy dramedy” with the almost grown-up Peanuts gang—continues its Hollywood Fringe Fest run. Directed by Jonah Platt. Opens July 15 for four performances at the Blank Theatre in Hollywood.
- The Actors’ Gang in Culver City is presenting Dante, a musical adaptation of Dante’s Inferno set in Los Angeles, written by poet Raul Herrera, adapted by Diane Luby Lane (inspired by a course called “Dante in Translation” led by Giuseppe Mazzotta). Directed by Cynthia Ettinger; co-produced by Get Lit and the Actors’ Gang. Opens July 8.
- The Long Beach Playhouse once again unites with the East Anaheim Street Business Alliance to mount the annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival, featuring scenes from a plethora of Shakespeare plays. At Recreation Park’s Band Shell at 4900 E. 7th St. in Long Beach on July 15. The event is free.
- The Pasadena Pops continues its outdoor summer concert series with Music from Jersey Boys and Beyond at the LA County Arboretum, led by Resident Pops Conductor Larry Blank. The production reunites four stars from the original Jersey Boys Broadway cast: Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer. July 15.
THE THING IS…
Cast members Susan Kohler and Michael Yapujian and director Dan Fishbach from the Odyssey Theatre revival of Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris discuss the rehearsal process.