Kiki Ebsen’s theatrical tribute to her father, entertainer Buddy Ebsen, is set for three nights this fall, October 12–14, 2018. S.E. Feinberg will direct the touching tribute “TO DAD WITH LOVE: A TRIBUTE TO BUDDY EBSEN,” and is co-produced by Kiki Ebsen, her brother, Dustin Ebsen, and associate producer Linda L. Rand. Ward noted that Friday’s performance is a fund-raiser for nonprofit Theatre West, the internationally acclaimed oldest continually operating theatre company in Los Angeles. Tickets on sale through www.theatrewest.org
ABOUT THE SHOW
Return to the Golden Age of Hollywood as entertainer Kiki Ebsen honors her father, entertainer Buddy Ebsen, in a multimedia show, co-designed by Kiki and her brother, Dustin Ebsen, which highlights the
icon’s seven-decade career during the best days of stage, film, theatre, and television. From his earliest days as a New York song-and-dance man, Kiki takes the audience back in time as Buddy Ebsen starred in early films such as “Captain January”, “Banjo On My Knee” and the “Broadway Melody” movies of 1936 and 1938. In addition Kiki will reflect on his television work in “The Legend of Davy Crockett”, “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Barnaby Jones”.
With heartfelt love from daughter to father, Kiki remembers her dad, singing beloved songs from Buddy’s film career, accompanied by premier jazz musicians Jeff Colella (piano), Bob Sheppard (woodwinds), Granville “Danny” Young (bass), and Kendall Kay (drums).
MORE ABOUT THE SHOW
In 2015, Kiki developed “To Dad with Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen,” to perform the music of “Scarecrow Sessions” with a talented jazz band. Her brother Dustin Ebsen, an award-winning videographer worked with Kiki and added over 200 images, creating a multimedia slideshow for her music and storytelling montage. The show achieved substantial audience and critical acclaim during its run from 2015–2017.
The next natural step was to create an expanded show for the theatre, which Kiki brings to Theatre West for three consecutive nights. Audiences familiar with Buddy Ebsen will enjoy hearing about his Hollywood career, a special dance routine, and poignant life stories as Kiki describes what it’s like to follow your parents’ footsteps without getting lost in their shadows.
As Buddy Ebsen’s youngest daughter, Kiki was in kindergarten when Buddy began portraying Jed Clampett, of TV’s iconic “Beverly Hillbillies.” When he starred as private eye detective Barnaby Jones (together with Lee Meriwether, veteran Theatre West member and patron), Kiki was finishing high school.
Buddy Ebsen’s career spanned seven decades. He shared his talents as a dancer, singer, actor (films, theatre, and television), songwriter, and watercolor artist. The Disney Legend was also an author of fiction and nonfiction and a distinguished competitive sailor in his spare time. Out of the spotlight at home, he was “Dad” to eight children from two marriages.
Kiki grew up in community theatre, behind the scenes and on stage, with the Children’s Theater Guild of Orange County and later, the Newport Harbor Actors Theater, both under the direction of her talented mother, Nancy Ebsen.
A decade after Buddy’s death, Kiki paused her touring career to reflect on her father’s life and work. A rediscovered acting trunk produced a wealth of resource materials—original scripts, old letters, songbooks, and photos—a montage of his life. From this, Kiki was inspired to record “Scarecrow Sessions,” in time for Father’s Day 2014. Her sixth CD then became the genesis for a musical evening.
Kiki Ebsen’s Band
Jeff Colella, Keyboards
Bob Sheppard, Woodwinds
Kendall Kay, Drums
Granville Young-acoustic bass
Kim Richmond-woodwinds (Oct 12)
Bob Sheppard-woodwinds (Oct 13-14)
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