April 2018

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South Pacific!

South Pacific hits VPAC (Valley Performing Arts Center) and La Mirada Theatre

South Pacific!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of the Production

An immediate hit when it opened on Broadway in 1949, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s epic musical romance South Pacific ran for over four years. Starring Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza, it won a whopping 10 Tony Awards and is the only show to ever win Tonys in all four acting categories. Adapted from the novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener, the musical went on to win the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Several of its songs, including “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” “There Is Nothing Like A Dame,” “Younger Than Springtime,” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy” have become popular standards.

The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, which was quite controversial at that time in U.S. history. The plot centers on an American nurse stationed on a South Pacific island during World War II who falls in love with a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts now offers this new production that will play at the Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge just prior to its run in La Mirada. I’ve seen numerous productions of South Pacific over the years, and it just never gets old. Its themes and stunning score are timeless. I’m so looking forward to seeing it yet again!

For all things happening at VPAC, click here. For all things happening at La Mirada Theatre, click here.


Significant Other plays April 3rd through May 8th at the Geffen Playhouse


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Geffen Playhouse

Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) returns to the Geffen Playhouse with his off-Broadway and Broadway hit Significant Other, a bittersweet comedy about twenty-something urban life, its endless weddings and the friendships inevitably left behind. Jordan Berman is a gay single Manhattanite with a trio of gal pal besties he adores. Their tight circle begins to unravel as each one heads down the aisle while Jordan impatiently searches for his own Mr. Right.

“I think the play takes seriously that it’s inevitable that a friendship will change once a significant other is introduced,” says director Stephen Brackett. ”That is one of the things that Jordan has to come to terms with. I certainly hope for a future where these characters all find a way to keep what they had previously been able to give to each other in their lives. But I do think the play leaves it a little bit up in the air at the end.” Featuring Melanie Field, Vella Lovell, Preston Martin, Keilly McQuail, John Garet Stoker, Concetta Tomei and Will Von Vogt as Jordan.

“Strikes the perfect balance between comedy and pathos. Say what you will about eternal friendship, it goes right out the window when love comes through the door.” — Variety

Plays April 3 – May 6. For more information, click here.

Love Never Dies!

Love Never Dies hits the Pantages Theatre on April 5th

Love Never Dies!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of the Production

Attention Los Angeles! The Phantom of the Opera is back … sort of. Love Never Dies is a sequel to the original Phantom. Andrew Lloyd Webber has described it as “a second story with these characters” and has said “it’s a stand-alone piece.” The plot is not based on the storyline in the original book by Gaston Leroux — it is loosely adapted from Frederick Forsyth’s novel “The Phantom of Manhattan.” Love Never Dies is set in 1907. Christine Daaé is invited by an anonymous impresario to perform at Phantasma, a new attraction on Coney Island. With her husband Raoul and son Gustave in tow, she journeys to Brooklyn, unaware that it is actually ‘The Phantom’ who has arranged her appearance at the popular beach resort.

The show was originally entitled Phantom: Once Upon Another Time. Here is my favorite story about the genesis of this project: in May of 2007, the creative process was delayed when Lloyd Webber’s six-month-old kitten climbed onto the digital piano and managed to delete the entire score! Lloyd Webber was unable to recover any of it from the instrument and had to start all over again. The title changed and Love Never Dies opened in London in 2010. Since then, the show has had productions in Australia, Copenhagen, Vienna, Japan, and Germany, and is now touring the United States. I cannot wait! Pantages Theatre, here I come!

For all things happening at the Pantages Theatre, click here.


Belleville plays April 18 through May 13 at the Pasadena Playhouse (Pictured Thomas Sadoski and Anna Camp)


  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse

Zack and Abby are American newlyweds living a seemingly idyllic life in the bohemian Paris neighborhood of Belleville. But when Abby finds Zack unexpectedly at home from work, their picture perfect marriage begins to splinter as secrets start to surface. Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect, True Blood) and Thomas Sadoski (Life in Pieces, The Newsroom) star in this modern day Hitchcock-style drama by Pulitzer Prize finalist (4000 Miles) Amy Herzog at the Pasadena Playhouse directed by Jenna Worsham. Moe Jeudy-Lamour (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Incorporated) and Sharon Pierre-Louis (Django Unchained, Lincoln Heights) round out the cast.

“I think that Amy Herzog has such a distinctive voice for each person…and this script says so much,” states Camp. “I think that’s why people want to go see theater is to be moved in a way that shakes them to their core. And I really think Belleville can do that.” Sadoski adds: “It’s haunting and it’s funny. It’s terrifying, and so deeply deeply human.”

“Ms. Herzog writes with perfect pitch in a minor key in scenes that are paced to evoke a sense of everyday domesticity slightly tinged with disquiet.” New York Times, Critic’s Pick 

 Plays April 18 – May 13. For more information, click here.

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