As September arrives, all of our favorite TV shows premiere their new season “openers.”

John Cygan and Corinne Shor in “Gaslight” at Theatre West.

John Cygan and Corinne Shor in “Gaslight” at Theatre West.

The summer offerred a bucket-load of “reality-crap…” so I’m really looking forward to my personal favorite weekly “boob tube” pleasures! If you still haven’t seen “Mad Men…” The talk of the town with 16 Emmy nominations. YOU MUST! (Sundays at 10pm on AMC) Besides being a dauntingly-dark look at the cutthroat world of “advertising,” it is loaded with 1960’s “jewels” and clothing, purchased at my shop… “Hubba Hubba!” Congrats to costume designer Janie Bryant and her right hand gal Allison Leach for their well deserved Emmy nod!

“Gaslight”

A classic Victorian thriller that held the audience captive from start to finish… This is an excellent production! As good as it gets, in all areas of theatrical magic… the performances, direction and mood setting technical design blended perfectly. Sure to be a hit for Theatre West (founded 47 years ago), this is the first play in their six show, subscription season. Written with scintillating suspense by Patrick Hamilton, “Gaslight” premiered in London in 1939, and then opened in New York in 1941, becoming the longest running non-musical in Broadways history. Later, a film starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, this darkly intriguing story has surely endured the test of time. Taking place in 1880 at the troubled home of Mr. and Mrs. Manningham (gorgeous set by Jeff G. Rack), we peer into the complex lives of an “oh so proper” British couple. He, a handsome, dapper, heartless cad, is secretly torturing his timid wife into insanity. Accusing her of petty aberrations and unexplainable deeds, that he has deviously arranged himself, she is so convinced that like her mother before her… she is totally losing her mind. The eerie lighting (Yancy Dunham), sound (Charlie Mount) and impeccably lovely Victorian attire (Valentino Costumes), set the tone for our total enjoyment. Under the well-timed, inspiring direction of Charlie Mount, a gifted cast excels throughout! John Cygan is despicably delicious as Mr. M… a stylish rogue “with a roving eye,” who’s every manipulative moment in life is motivated by greed. As Mrs. M., Corrine Shore is heart-wrenchingly focused, as the lonely and eager to please Mistress of the house terrifyingly questioning her own sanity. Don Moss is a total joy as a police Inspector who’s been trying to “nail” Mr. M. for a murder committed 15 years back. A quirky cop with a long burning passion to capture this slippery killer… he turns up to prove his theory, and rescue our damsel in distress. As the two house servants: Mary Garripoli as Elizabeth… a dutiful yet feisty maid with her mistress’ well-being at heart., and Emily Bridges as Nancy… a “Victorian Vixen” with a burning desire for her cold-hearted employer… Both give spirited performances! Roger Cruz rounds out the cast as a cop in a wordless cameo role. This is a wonderful production, sure to titillate L.A. theatre lovers!

Running through Sept. 27th at Theatre West (3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles, CA). Call (323) 851-7977.

FYI—Upcoming
Theatre West News for the Kiddies

“The Princess and the Frog”

Some of the “Mad Men” bad boys in Hubba Hubba! suits and ties.

Some of the “Mad Men” bad boys in Hubba Hubba! suits and ties.

A lively, interactive musical unfolds in a castle… Saturday afternoons at 1 o’clock, starting Sept. 26th. It’s never too early to expose children to the wonder of “live” theatre, and this award-winning theatre has been doing so for decades!

“Sally Spectre the Musical”

A children’s horror story for adults. Just in time for the Halloween season, creator David P. Johnson states: “An irreverent but charming musical about the ghost of a little girl who sings and dances her way through a nightmare-laced purgatory, with guidance from an unlikely and unexpected host of sources.” Sounds gloriously creepy! (Suitable for teens and adults only…) Opening October 16th at 8 o’clock

The Missing Piece Theatre Presents “Opposites Attract-Really?”

Two week-ends (Sept. 4, 5, 11 & 12). A series of comedic vignettes exploring the age old “battle of the sexes.” As an introduction to Burbank’s newest playhouse… the tickets are only $10. Sounds like fun! Call (818) 585-8880.

Stay “cool” until we meet again…


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