Former Toluca Lake Resident Doris Day Is Honored in A Sentimental Journey: The Story Of Doris Day at El Portal Theatre Mainstage on Nov. 2–20

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Sally Hughes as Doris Day in “A Sentimental Journey.”

The Mill at Sonning — Oxforshire, England, in association with El Portal Theatre, proudly presents the American Premiere of A Sentimental Journey: The Story of Doris Day, written by Adam Rolston and directed by Alvin Rakoff on Nov. 2—20 at the historic El Portal Theatre Mainstage in the NoHo Arts District.

This fabulous musical drama based on the life and songs of the legendary Doris Day in its American Premiere comes directly from the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and a successful London run. Starring British actress Sally Hughes as Doris Day, this magical production has garnered rave reviews around the world. The Hollywood Reporter, no less, described the show as “dazzling!” Written by talented young writer Adam Rolston and directed by the award winning Alvin Rakoff, A Sentimental Journey is part stage drama, part musical extravaganza. Packed with fantastic songs such as “The Deadwood Stage”, “Secret Love”, “Little Girl Blue”, “Day by Day”, “Que Sera Sera”, “It’s Magic”, “Young at Heart” and many more film favorites, it has thrilled audiences in the United Kingdom since 2009.

Doris Day was one of the most prolific actresses of the 1950s and 1960s. A vivacious blonde with a wholesome image, able to sing, dance, play comedy and dramatic roles, she became America’s sweetheart despite her travails… love and hate, joy and sadness, laughter and tears. Now this whole new show will bring this story to life.

Doris had two houses in Toluca Lake — the first was razed when the 134 Freeway went in, but her favorite house still exists today at 131 Valley St. on a cul de sac of really lovely homes. Urban legend says she purchased this house from Martha Raye for $55,000. She loved the location and rode her bike often to work at the studios.

Doris quote:

“When I first heard ‘Secret Love’ I almost fainted — it was so beautiful. When we finally got around to doing the pre-recording, Ray Heindorf, the musical director at Warner’s, said he’d get the musicians in about 12:30 so they could rehearse. That morning I did my vocal warm-up, then jumped on my bike and rode over to Warner’s — we lived in Toluca Lake at the time, which was just minutes from the studio. When I got there I sang the song with the orchestra for the first time. When I’d finished, Ray called me into the sound booth, grinning from ear to ear, and said, ‘That’s it. You’re never going to do it better.’ That was the first and only take we did.”

Currently, Doris Day is alive and well and living in Carmel, California… From Nov. 2–20, with previews on Nov. 2, 3 and 4 at 8 p.m. The Gala Opening Night is on Sat., Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. Sunday Matinees will be held on Nov. 6, 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. Regular showings will be on Thurs., Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m., and Sat. at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $30—$50. For tickets, call (818) 508-4200, (866) 811-4111 or visit www.elportaltheatre.com.

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