ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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August 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

WAITRESS!

Waitress opens August 3rd at the Pantages Theatre

WAITRESS!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of Pantages

If “sugar, butter, flour” is your culinary mantra, then Waitress is the musical for you! Featuring songs by six time Grammy (Brave, Love Song), Tony (Waitress) and Emmy Award nominee (Jesus Christ Superstar) Sara Bareilles, a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland), the show tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small Southern town and loveless marriage.

With names and ingredients ranging from the eclectic (Blueberry Bacon Pie, Key Lime to Happiness Pie) to the dramatic (Betrayed By My Eggs Pie, My Husband is a Jerk Chicken Pot Pie), each concoction offers a slice of Jenna’s inner turmoil as she navigates an unexpected pregnancy, a possible new suitor and standing on her own with the support of her fellow waitresses. Inspired by Adrienne Shelley’s beloved 2007 film, this inspiring musical celebrates female workplace friendships, mother/daughter bonds and the healing powers of a homemade pie.

The Waitress tour casts young local actresses in each city to play the part of Jenna’s daughter Lulu. For the first time in the show’s history, five-year-old identical twins Catherine and Elizabeth Last from Mission Viejo will share the role.

Plays August 2-26th. For more information, click here.

YELLOW FACE!

Yellowface’s Roman Moretti and Alfonso Faustino

YELLOW FACE!

  • By Deborah Behrens
  • Photo Courtesy of the Production

What exactly is racial identity? Who defines it? Can you claim something that’s in a constant flux of cultural shape shifting? Firescape Theatre and Yolk Productions bring this celebrated production of Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly, Soft Power) David Henry Hwang’s searing satire and Pulitzer Prize finalist Yellow Face to the Beverly Hills Playhouse to raise those never more timely questions to LA audiences. Nominated for Best San Francisco Play and Best Bay Area Play, the original seven-member SF cast reprises their roles under the direction of Ro  bert Zimmerman.

Described by Hwang as a “unreliable memoir,” the play features a real/fictionalized version of “DHH” who led high profile protests against Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce’s casting as the Eurasian engineer in the 1991 Broadway transfer of Miss Saigon. In Yellow Face, DHH pens Face Value in retribution then mistakenly casts a white Jewish man for his Asian lead. Forced into creating a media cover-up and new persona for his star “Marcus Gee,” DHH is outraged when Marcus embraces his fake Asian identity, becomes an activist and lands the lead in The King and I. “I was an Asian-American role model when you were still a Caucasian.” Starring Jeffrey Sun as “DHH” and Roman Moretti as Marcus.

Plays August 10 – September 26th. For more information, click here.

Doris and Me!

Doris and Me One Man’s Obsession with Doris Day starring Scott Dreier

Doris and Me!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo Courtesy of KWP

“Que será, será … whatever will be, will be … the future’s not ours to see … Que será, será …” In 1956, Doris Day sang those words for the first time and the song has remained her signature tune throughout her life. After starting in showbiz as a big band singer, Day’s career blasted off with her first hit recording, “Sentimental Journey” in 1945. Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff (her real name!) went on to become one of the most beloved singers and movie stars of the 20thcentury. She recorded 650 songs, released 12 studio albums, and appeared in 39 films. She starred in her own TV series, aptly titled The Doris Day Show, from 1968–1973. Today, at age 96, she lives in Carmel, CA and is one o America’s foremost animal rights activists.

Singer/actor Scott Dreier’s award-winning show Doris and Me, coming to the Colony Theatre in Burbank this month,is a joyful celebration of the music, life, and career of Doris Day and one man’s quirky obsession with “America’s sweetheart.”  In the show, Dreier transports audiences and guides them on a nostalgic sentimental journey. (See what I did there?) If you’re a Doris Day fan, this is a must-see; if you’ve yet to be introduced to this timeless legend, I promise you’ll be a devotee by the end of this uplifting, tuneful, funny, and loving musical tribute!

For more details, click here.

Jackbenny!

Jackbenny’s Benny and Jack (Photo Cliff Lipson)

Jackbenny!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Cliff Lipson

Jack Benny. No … not that Jack Benny. Allow me to introduce jackbenny … LA native identical twin brothers Jack and Benny Lipson! These guys are my new entertainment obsession! Some background: after years of studying, performing, and writing a wide range of music individually, the brothers united to birth the project jackbenny, injecting musical theatre storytelling into a gamut of musical styles. Their progressive and fresh harmonic language, informed by jazz and classical roots, complements their progressive, savvy lyrics that explore queer identity, climate change, monogamy, and many other contemporary social and cultural phenomena. The Lipson brothers have played sold-out concerts in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and at the Wyoming Theater Festival.

The Lipsons are developing The Brainstorm, a three-character musical theatre song cycle of jackbenny originals which is scheduled to be unveiled in September. This month, jackbenny will be presenting the sixth edition of their monthly residency at the Lyric Hyperion Theatre in Silver Lake. Percussionist Theo Seidmon is set to team with the Lipson duo in a two-act show that features wittily provocative original songs, uniquely arranged covers, and friendly guest performers — all seasoned with the brothers’ signature sibling shtick. jackbenny’s comedically energetic performances guide audiences on a candid tour through the fragile, well-curated millennial mind. I am waaaay past being in the ‘millennial’ category, but this is extraordinary entertainment not to be missed!

For more details, click here.

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