Written By Julio Martinez
Boston Court Pasadena announces the 15th annual New Play Reading Festival, April 13-14, 2019. Curated by Literary Manager Emilie Beck, in concert with Artistic Directors Jessica Kubzansky and Michael Michetti, continuing Boston Court Pasadena’s commitment to nurturing playwrights and new work. This year’s Festival includes Alma by Benjamin Benne, Normaler Than Everyone by Brian Joseph, Three Girls Never Learnt The Way Home by Matthew Paul Olmos, and Two Lakes, Two Rivers by Laura Jacqmin. Last year’s New Play Reading Festival included Kit Steinkellner’s Ladies and E.M. Lewis’ How the Light Gets In, which will both have premiere productions at Boston Court Pasadena during the 2019 Season. Since Boston Court Pasadena opened in 2003, the theater has mounted 63 productions, 34 of which have been premieres—18 of which were first discovered as part of the New Play Reading Festival. The Festival is open to the public and free-of-charge, but reservations are recommended.
Local playwright Wendy Graf has been named the inaugural Gold Medallion winner by the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative for her play, Exit Wounds. Graf’s play was one of two Silver Medallion winners that beat out 1241 plays (from five countries and 43 states) submitted to the Hart Initiative. Whittled down to 23 semi-finalists, then eight finalists, then four Bronze winners, the resulting two Silver Medallion winners, Exit Wounds and Confederates by Suzanne Bradbeer, were produced at the Grove Theater Center in Burbank in Oct 2019 in the final step of the process. Ms. Graf is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and Pacific Resident Theatre writing units, and of the Dramatists Guild of America. Details on the next cycle of the Moss Hart and Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative will be announced later this spring. For more information, go to www.HartNPI.org.
The Ojai Playwrights Conference launches its 22nd season with the annual Gala Benefit, a farm-to-stable celebration at Aspen Grove Ranch in upper Ojai. Attendees gather under a big top tent to enjoy an original show produced for the Gala with songs and dramatic scene readings performed by celebrity guest artists, directed by OPC Artistic Director/Producer Robert Egan. All proceeds from the Gala support the development of new plays for the American theatre at OPC’s annual Summer Conference and New Works Festival held in Ojai. The 2019 OPC Gala honorees are actor/OPC board member Patrick J. Adams, actor Alan Mandell and The Helene Gordon Family/Twin Peaks Ranch. Tickets are limited, and may be ordered online at www.ojaiplays.org.
Skylight Theatre Company is presenting the premiere of Bronco Billy – The Musical (based on the Warner Bros. 1980 film Bronco Billy), created by Dennis Hackin (book), Chip Rosenbloom and John Torres (music and lyrics), with additional lyrics by Michele Brourman. Directing is Hunter Bird. Musical Director is Anthony Lucca,choreographer is Janet Rosto, orchestrations by David O. The cast features Eric B. Anthony as Bronco Billy and a 13-member ensemble. Opens May 18 at the Skylight Theatre in Hollywood.
The Fountain Theatre presents the Southern California premiere of Daniel’s Husband, a commentary on love, commitment and family in our perilous new world, the 2018 off-Broadway hit play by Michael McKeever, directed by Simon Levy. Cast includes Bill Brochtrup, Tim Cummings, Jenny O’Hara, Ed Martin and Jose Fernando. Opens May 4
Plaza de la Raza’s Margo Albert Theatre in Lincoln Heights is reprising About Productions’ Evangeline, the Queen of Make-Believe, a play with music set in 1968, co-created by Louie Pérez (Los Lobos), Theresa Chavez and Rose Portillo. Chavez directs. Opens Apr 6 for. The play, features an ensemble of actors, dancers and musicians with Sarah Cortez performing the lead role of Evangeline. She will be joined by Elizabeth Alvarez, Adrian Brizuela, Moises Castro, Lennon Hobson, and Keyla Monterroso Mejia.
Pasadena Playhouse has completed casting for The Public Theater production of Tiny Beautiful Things starring Academy Award-nominated writer and actress Nia Vardalos, who will reprise the role of Sugar. Based on New York Times bestseller by Cheryl Stayed, conceived by Vardalos, in conjunction with Thomas Kail and Marshall Hayman, re-staged by Sherri Eden Barber. The cast now includes Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris, Teddy Cañez, Natalie Woolams-Torres, Giovanni Adams and Adam J. Smith. Opens Apr 14.
International City Theatre continues its season with Arthur Miller’s The Price, wherein two estranged brothers must try to make peace with their past when they meet to dispose of their late father’s belongings, directed by John Henry Davis. Cast includes Tony Abatemarco,David Nevell, Bo Foxworth and Elyse Mirto. Opens May 10 at ICT’s home in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.
THE THING IS
Ruskin Group Theatre hosts Library Girl, presenting Kiss Me, You Criminal!
a night of library noir, Co-Curated and hosted by Suzanne Lummis, featuring readings by Tony Abatemarco, Rick Bursky, Tanya Ko Hong, Darrell Larson, Suzanne Lummis,
Dale Raoul and Erika Schickel & Annette Zilinskas, with music by Mason Summit. Plays Apr 14.
Julio Martinez hosts 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 Apr, 5, guests will be cast members from the musical, The Root Beer Bandits, opening Apr 5 at Garry Marshall Theatre in Burbank.