Cultivating Comedy in the Community


By Chelsea Sutton

Smiling on the set of his latest film “Valentine’s Day,” Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen, Falcon Theatre producer, invite theatergoers to “join the Falcon Family” by subscribing to the 2010-2011 season.

Since the Falcon opened its doors almost thirteen years ago, its mission has remained the same: to make as many people laugh with live theatre as possible. Falcon Founders Garry Marshall and his daughter Kathleen Marshall LaGambina have been committed to cultivating comedy through the voices of veteran stage actors and newcomers alike – and this rare combination of experience and innovation is what sets the Falcon Theatre apart.

This year, the Falcon partners with its comedy cohorts Matt Walker and the Troubadour Theater Company, up-and-coming talent Annie Hendy, and long-time friend Rita Wilson. As a special treat, the second show in the Falcon’s five-play line-up will feature the gifted actress Stephanie Zimbalist in Tea at Five.

Tea at Five explores the more private side of Katharine Hepburn as she traversed the ups and downs of her star-studded career. Stephanie Zimbalist, star of countless stage shows, over 31 feature films, and the hit NBC series Remington Steele, has inhabited the Hepburn persona since 2006 when she first performed the show at the Ordway Center in St. Paul. Zimbalist will once again team with an old friend and collaborator, director Jenny Sullivan, to bring the show to Burbank.

“[Hepburn’s] vitality, her drive, her humor are inspiring. She was a strong lady!” says Sullivan. “It’s perfect for the Falcon and its audience. It’s a chance to spend some time with Katharine in an intimate setting very near the industry that made her a household name.”

In October, long-time friends and collaborators, director Jenny Sullivan and actress Stephanie Zimbalist are bringing Katharine Hepburn’s story to the Falcon Theatre in “Tea at Five.”

The 2010-2011 season continues the Falcon mission to cultivate comedy in the community – bringing a fresh mix of expert talent and rising stars to the intimate 130-seat theatre.

The season kicks off on August 11th with the Troubadour Theater Company’s A Wither’s Tale, a retelling of Shakespeare’s somber saga serenaded by the soulful songs of Bill Withers (“Ain’t No Sunshine”). Over the years, the Troubies have established their annual holiday show as a Toluca Lake tradition among subscribers and local residents. This December, the Troubies are offering a brand-new musical The First Jo-el, telling the story of the nativity with the help of the Piano Man, Billy Joel.

January will feature the new comedic talent of Annie Hendy in her play The Catholic Girl’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, a sexy and irreverent comedy following a soulful Midwestern girl blossoming in the big city of her dreams. The season will wrap up with the international hit Jamaica, Farewell by Debra Ehrhardt, directed by Joel Zwick, and presented in association with Rita Wilson.

With a season packed with so many hilarious and heartwarming stories, the Falcon promises to once again bring its signature flair to the L.A. theatre scene – and did we mention they have free parking?

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