An inattentive mother who gave birth to three daughters from three different fathers should not expect to be remembered fondly after her death. In "Seatbelts Required," Kimberly Demmary's new play, currently at the Actors Workout Studio, the three half-sisters, who gather in the deceased's home following the funeral , take turns over the next two hours assailing their mother, fighting among themselves, crying, drinking beer in Act One and Tequila in Act Two, and revealing a few shocking secrets.

Love. Lust. Betrayal. Murder! Zombie Joe's Underground's world premiere production of Vanessa Cate's 1940's Film noir-inspired thriller about a relentless private eye's search for the killer of Hollywood's leading lady and the psychological web of deceit he uncovers.

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Geffen Playhouse presents The West Coast Premiere of

RED HOT PATRIOT:

The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins

Directed by David Esbjornson
Written by Margaret and Allison Engel



Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. Run, don’t walk to the Geffen Playhouse production of Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins who has been brought to life by the two-time Tony and Oscar nominee, talented and extraordinary Kathleen Turner and directed by David Esbjornson.

 

BANANAS! A Day in the Life of Josephine Baker is an award-winning, one-woman tour-de-force play based on the extraordinary life of international star and civil rights freedom fighter, Josephine Baker. Drama, comedy and music recount Baker's "rise from the slums of East St. Louis to the grand stages of Europe."

The Group Rep presents

MY THREE ANGELS

Written by Sam & Bella Spewack
Directed by Larry Eisenberg
Producers for the Group Rep: Laura Coker & Troy Whitaker

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Three convicts are not your usual stars of a holiday play. The newest offering from the Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, is the wonderful family comedy MY THREE ANGELS, and is set in a penal colony on tropical French Guyana in 1910. But by plays end we might just think of these three as Wise Men, rather than convicts.

It is Christmas Eve in the failing General Store of mild-mannered Felix and Emilie Ducatel. Felix (Doug Haverty), Emilie (Julia Silverman) and their beautiful daughter, Marie Louise (Kelsi Zahl) are awaiting the arrival of the deleterious and venomous Henri Trochard (well played by Chris Winfield), who could very easily be compared to Ebenezer Scrooge, and Henri’s nephew Paul (Daniel Sykes) who is “supposedly” in love with the beautiful daughter. Henri swindled Felix out of his business in France years earlier and is coming to cast the final blow to the Ducatel family and take over the General Store.

Enter the Three Wise Men, err three convicts on loan to Felix from the Island’s penal colony to fix the roof of his General Store. All three are warmhearted and passionate believers in justice, even though two are in prison for murder, and the other, an accountant fiddled with this company’s books. They are the center of this fun play, and supply support to the distressed Ducatel family. Joseph, superbly performed by Lloyd Pedersen who shines bringing amazing comedic breath and life to the role, Jules played by the wonderful Robert Gallo, and Alfred performed by the talented and capable Garrett Marshall are three terrific convicts. Both Hersha Parady as Madame Parole and Max Bunzel as the Lieutenant are capable in the roles and round out the cast.

Competently directed by Larry Eisenberg, with another amazing set design by Chris Winfield, fabulous costumes by Angela Eads, lighting design by Jazmin Lopez, all enhance the aesthetically beautiful Production Design of the entire play.

MY THREE ANGELS is a terrific addition to your Holiday theatre calendar. In the end, the convicts redeem themselves as real life angels to the grateful family. Come and catch some of the Christmas Holiday spirit at the Group Rep.

Enjoy!!!!

Cast: Robert Gallo, Doug Haverty, Garrett Marshall, Hersha Parady, Lloyd Pedersen, Julia Silverman, Daniel Sykes, Chris Winfield, and Kelsi Zahl; with Max Bunzel or Sterling Hall, or Michael Harrison (various cameo dates as the Lieutenant).
Director: Larry Eisenberg
Producer for the Group Rep: Laura Coker & Troy Whitaker
Set Design: Chris Winfield
Lighting Design: Jazmin Lopez
Sound Design: Steve Shaw
Costume Design: Angela Eads
Assistant Director: Linda Alznauer
Public Relations: Nora Feldman
Graphic Design: art & soul design
Program: Kady Douglas

Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Ticket Purchase / Schedule / Information: www.thegrouprep.com or 818.700.4878

Performances: December 9, 2011 – January 15, 2012

Plays: Friday and Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 2pm (December 25 at 7pm & January 1 at 7pm)

Tickets: $15 - $22

Parking: Ample street parking and early-bird lot parking available

 

A Christmas Westside Story
written & directed by Matt Walker
The Troubies @ the Falcon
through January 15

With such memorable Christmas shows before it like It's a Stevie Wonderful Life, Santa Claus Is Comin' to MOTOWN and Frosty the Snow Manilow, A Christmas Westside Story joins the ranks of the Troubies' very, very best. Why? Because everyone's now classic film favorite A Christmas Story blends perfectly with everyone's favorite music from Westside Story. Both entail the pangs of growing up. What better base for drama? And both depict violence - Westside Story on a bigger scale, but there's assuredly more than a glimmer of it in A Christmas Story.

Bob Cratchit & Mr. Tightwad @ The Secret Rose



Sorry to say, this adaptation (Katrina Wood) of Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol is a major disappointment. The performance was sluggish - at least on the afternoon I attended, and there are no real redeeming qualities for the changes made to the script. If you are attempting to present the story from a different perspective, fine, do that, but make sure there is a reason and that it is completely clear. To add contemporary characters to delight a younger generation - like a rock 'n roll Goth Girl for the Ghost of Christmas Present (nice work from Athena Rose) within the traditional Victorian setting makes no sense. Even having Bob Cratchit narrate doesn't change or enhance anything. The music is OK, but hardly memorable; it needs more buoyancy and hope. I kept asking myself "What's the new twist on this?" The small plot elements changed would be better off left as Dickens wrote them.

On the plus side there's a very enjoyable performance by Foster Walker as Cratchit. His aggressive personality is rather engaging, and the slight conversion to a Scrooge-like nature at play's end is fun to watch. It's a pleasure to see the vibrantly talented Emily Bridges, but she is quite wasted as Nell. Some nice work from the ensemble and excellent staging, but an overall unstimulating presentation that may turn off ardent fans of Charles Dickens.

3 out of 5 stars

Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group Presents

Christmas Thrills and High Adventure

Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Showing through December 30th
Fridays at 11pm
Reservations (818) 202-4120
TIX: $15
www.ZombieJoes.com

It's that time of year when you untangle the Christmas lights, shop too much, eat too much, and enjoy life too much. I know-- there's no way to enjoy life "too much", but you can get pretty close in the NOHO Arts District. Need a push to get into the Christmas spirit? No problem, just check out Zombie Joe's "Christmas Thrills and High Adventures". It's a Christmas gift you must not miss.

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Photo by Zombie Joe

Richard Nathan has wrapped up a delightful package of short holiday plays and songs. This sexy, zany, whacky collection of shorts spans Elizabethan times through sci-fi space travel. Denise Devin has directed (and creatively costumed) another batch of high-octane musical numbers and yule-tide fun.

Katherine Bowman sings "Santa Baby" with the full company in dance mode. Kevin Michael Shiley heads up a "Film Noir"- style detective caper. Zargots the Strong, and Floop the Clever discover the magic of Christmas in a mind-twisting fantasy. If you're up for a rootin'-tootin' western Christmas, Marshall John Stone, Gunman of the West will fill the bill; it's hard to not giggle at a mix of guns and yule-tide comedy. Need your buckle swhashed? "A Pirate Christmas with Captain Broderick Reef" will have you rolling around on the deck with laughs.

The full company provides a real show-stopper: Adam Sandler's outrageous "Chanukah Song" proves that there are many ways to rhyme with "Chanukah"

Of course, no Zombie Joe presentation would seem complete without vampires and werewolfs; and you won't be disappointed with "A Playhouse of the Damned Christmas".

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In fact you won't be disappointed by anything during this hour of laugh-filled, cheerful Christmas joy. Arouse your yule-tide spirit at 11pm on Fridays through December 30th. It's a perfect aperitif after an evening out in the NOHO Arts District.

 

The Colony Theatre Company presents The Los Angeles Premiere of

TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT

Written by Graham Greene
Adapted for the stage by Giles Havergal
Directed by David Dean Bottrell

Secret agents, fortune tellers, Caribbean valets, Turkish police, the Orient Express, all in romantic far off lands of France, Istambul, Brighton England, Argentina and Paraguay, and escorted by your daring, mysterious Aunt, is TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT at The Colony Theatre in Burbank, directed by David Dean Bottrell. Plus, we have men playing women, women playing men with four fabulous actors playing more than 20 roles. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? It is!

sally spectre From the clever and inventive brain cells of David P. Johnson comes a witty and spooktacular musical, "Sally Spectre". Five year old Sally met her demise at the end of a hatchet, circa 1900 New Orleans. We find her trapped in a purgatory of her own mind, a place constructed by her memories, a child's bedroom with a few of her favorite toys. She cannot open the door--- she is trapped. When she looks out the window, the neighborhood kids scream and run away. She has nasty headaches now and then--- probably due to the hatchet that is embedded in her skull, which she is completely unaware of. She has accepted her fate of isolation and confinement, though she realizes that something is very wrong. Why has she not grown up or aged these last fifty years? Why can't she go outside? Why does her head hurt?

She copes with all this because her toys talk to her, they love and support her. They realize that she doesn't know the truth, but they also know that only she can face the facts--- they can't do it for her. The covered mirror by the toy box proves that she is not ready for the truth---yet.

Will she face the image in the mirror and free herself from this web of uncertainty?

This tasty book by David P. Johnson is reminiscent of Tim Burton's spooky stories. Designed for adults over about 9, it is a perfect balance of pathos, comedy, songs and fun. Replete with toy characters and wraiths, the fully talented cast is clearly Broadway caliber. The music is sophisticated, complex, and perfectly structured. Stephen Sondheim is lurking about within the bars, beats, and melodies of this delightful libretto. Enticing melodies, sweet harmonies, and clever lyrics make every song a show-stopper. The orchestra is comprised of Johnson at the keyboard, and his musical skills are nothing short of genius. Not one wrong note the entire evening, and it was completely memorized!

Janet Miller's direction and staging is tight and pithy. Every move and beat is exactly right. The costumes were designed by a cadre of experts, and perfectly enhances the fantasy. The simple set is a focused design that really placed us in the little girl's imagination.

Perfect for the halloween season, this show is a must-see. Strange and wonderful, sweet and macabre all at once, with rich and alluring music, this truly heartwarming fantasy beckons. Don't miss this. It evaporates on November 20.

Sally Spectre the Musical
NoHo Stages
4934 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
General Tix $25.00
Fridays at 8:30 pm
Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 7 pm
www.sallyspectre.com

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