I didn’t see any play on the weekend… but have a couple of upcoming productions to tell you about this week…

Nvitational Dance Festival

BeatsPerMinute (Aug 12, 13 and 14).

There’s an excitingly rockin’ party about to kick off in the “hood,” and I for one… can’t wait! A “cutting edge,” artistic and “hip” festival of dance… (think So You Think You Can Dance, and Randy Jackson’s MTV show, America’s Best Dance Crew). It will be sensually abundant with “fab” male and female dancers, leading the contemporary dance scene of the present day. A celebration of sizzlingly amazing movement, and introducing the visionary pizzazz of the hottest and fiercest choreographers in the “biz”… this spectacle should be electrifying! The brainstorm of El Portal’s directors, Pegge Forrest and Jay Irwin, they’ve teamed up with a successful choreographer, Dee Caspary, to present this highly imaginative dance extravaganza. It will be undeniably hot, hot, hot! Over 30 choreographers, well known for their creative work on music videos, concert tours, operas, musical theatre and all of the current hit TV dance shows, will innovatively guide the 75 dancers in the cast, through the run of the show. Three stages featuring different shows and dancers, depending on when you go… will pulsate with sassy and brilliantly inspiring dance numbers, non-stop! The 99 seat Forum Theatre performances ($15 in advance/$20 at the door) will begin at 6 o’clock. The Mainstage shows begin at 8 o’clock ($25 in advance/$30 at the door). You can buy seats for one or both, and at 6:30 weekdays there is “A Night at the Piano” ($15 advance/$20 at the door). At 7:30 there will be a stage set up in the lobby, called the “Skyy Vodka Lounge Show,” at no extra charge for those who bought tickets to any of the other shows. If you turn up on opening weekend… July 29 or 30… you will be “treated” to Skyy Vodka cocktails as a bonus, while mixing and mingling with dancers, choreographers and musicians.

Sounds a bit confusing I know… but this impromptu “preshow write up” is mainly to pique your interest, and whet your appetite for a “can’t miss” artistic and innovative local affair! For more in depth information, and to book seats for any of the evening offerings, go to www.elportaltheatre.com or call (818) 508-4200. I think the experience is going to be unforgettable! Mark your calendar…

Counter Men – A World Premiere Dramady

Opening Aug. 6 at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. Written by Chuck Faerber, and offering a cast of over a dozen actors, this one looks both meaningful and timely. Called both “poignant and prurient”… it takes place in an L.A. eatery. A mother of a marine in Iraq waits on the “counter men.” Some are vets… all are single. Our country’s concerns and issues unfold in their conversations, as the economy, the military and sex are up for discussion. Including the “song offerings” of one counter man, whose laptop acts as his orchestra… this one promises much “food for thought.” To book early, call (323) 960-5521.

Back next week with my review of Yasmine Rana’s “The War Zone Is My Bed”… about journalists telling their stories during times of war. Opening at Write Act Repertory Theatre in Hollywood.


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