May 2017

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Ebony Repertory Theatre presents Five Guys Named Moe May 18-June 11th starring Obba Babatundé (pictured)


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Ebony Repertory

Let the good times roll! Head to Nate Holden Performing Arts Center for Ebony Repertory Theatre’s production of Five Guys Named Moe, a jumping-and-jiving revue by Clarke Peters that celebrates the music of pioneering saxophonist, singer and bandleader Louis Jordan known as “The King of the Jukebox.”

The musical stars Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Obba Babatundé  (Dreamgirls) as hard luck case Nomax, listening to music and drinking heavily at 4:45 am because his gal Lorraine has left. Out of his vintage radio springs the Five Moes (No Moe, Little Moe, Four Eyed Moe, Eat Moe and Big Moe) to motivate Nomax through song and stories to turn his life around and tell Lorraine that he loves her. “I’m thrilled Five Guys Named Moe has come into my life at this particular time of its life,” said Babatundé. ERT’s production commemorates the 25th anniversary of the musical’s 1992 Broadway production. “I just hope to do it as much justice and even more — to elevate it and give it shine.”

Directed and choreographed by Keith Young (Sammy, On the Town) with musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal (Five Guys Named Moe/original Broadway production), the show also features Eric B. Anthony, Trevon Davis, Rogelio Douglas, Jr., Jacques C. Smith and Octavius Womack.

Plays May 19-June 11. For tickets and more information, click here.


Jerry McKinnon and Samantha Ressler star in Actually at the Geffen Playhouse May 2-June 11th (Photo: Chris Whitaker)


  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo By Chris Whitaker

One of the most hotly debated contemporary issues on today’s social scene comes to life in Actually, a new play by Anna Ziegler premiering in the Audrey Skirball Theater at the Geffen Playhouse this month.  Actually invites the audience to explore the complex dynamics of sexual assault and consent as well as the broader issue of gender and race politics as we all struggle with the desire to fit in, and the three sides to every story.

Actually tells the story of Amber and Tom, two freshmen students at Princeton and the one night they spend together that will forever alter the course of their lives. “Every single thing leads to everything else.” They agree on the drinking; they agree on the attraction, but then the consent appears foggy and if not voiced, is it actually consent? We are soon immersed in the complexities and interpretations of the reality of college society verses strict administrative guidelines.

Actually stars Jerry MacKinnon (TV’s Sleepy Hollow) and Samantha Ressler (This is the End). Playwright Ziegler has a number of successful productions including Photograph 51 produced on the West End and starring Nicole Kidman winning London’s Best New Play for 2016.

For more details, click here.

Early Adventures!

Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures runs at The Wallis May 17-21st

Early Adventures!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of The Wallis

Matthew Bourne has been hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer/ director. He is a five-time Olivier Award-winner, he created the world’s longest running ballet production, and he’s the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical (Swan Lake). When Bourne’s now legendary production made its American premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in 1997 (prior to New York), no one had ever seen anything quite like it. I remember watching the show in utter amazement. And then, employed in the Ahmanson press office beginning in 2000, it was my honor to work with Matt on several of his shows. Not only is he ridiculously talented, but he is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known.

Early Adventures is a program of three pieces that launched Bourne’s career and saw the birth of the style, wit, and sheer entertainment that his companies Adventures in Motion Pictures and New Adventures have brought to their productions of Swan LakeCinderella, The Car ManNutcracker!, Edward Scissorhands, Play Without Words, Sleeping BeautyLord of the Flies, and more. Part of the New Adventures 30th Anniversary celebration and featuring designs by Bourne’s long-time collaborator Lez Brotherston, Early Adventures is a US premiere. If you have never experienced the genius of Matthew Bourne, now is the time!

For more details, click here.

The Bodyguard!

The Bodyguard (starring Deborah Cox) runs at the Pantages Theatre May 2-May 21st

The Bodyguard!

  • By Kenne Hoffman
  • Photo Courtesy of Pantages

“Saving All My Love” for The Bodyguard The Musical at the Hollywood Pantages theater for this “One Moment in Time!” It’s next stop, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The hit musical based on the 1992 Oscar nominated film starred Whitney Houston as Rachel Marron, an Oscar nominated musical superstar, being stalked and sent death threats by a fan. In the film, Kevin Costner stars as Frank Farmer, the former secret service agent hired to be Marron’s personal bodyguard. The movie was very popular due to Whitney Houston belting out the huge hit “I Will Always Love You,” and many others.

London’s West End smash hit, The Bodyguard The Musical features Grammy nominated multi-platinum selling artist Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron. The show is set in modern day and moves Marron to the forefront rather than the focus being on the bodyguard. Judson Mills joins Ms. Cox as Frank in this U.S. national tour which launched after an incredible sixteen month sellout U.K./Ireland run. The Lawrence Olivier award winner for “Best New Musical” and “Best Set Design” landed 4 nominations total. Along with movie soundtrack favorites, they have also added many other favorites from Houston, such as “How Will I Know,” “All at Once” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” I get “So Emotional” just thinking about it!

The Bodyguard The Musical” runs May 2-22nd at the Pantages Theatre.

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Friday, October 28, 2016
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1700 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica


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