As I said last week, after 30 years of living through Halloween “madness,” at Hubba Hubba! … the manic thrill of helping folks change their “identities” has lost its appeal … and challenged my energy. I will continue to sell my fab ‘40s to sinful ‘60s attire and sparkly costume jewelry as always though, until I’m “too pooped to pop!” I love what I do for a living … and meet so many creative and interesting people as an added bonus!
The Beat Goes On
This is the fourth L.A.production in as many years, produced with a vision by Jackie Goldberg, widely known as “The Pink Lady.” Featuring wonderful singer/actors all age 60 or older … this show is a lot of fun! Who you ask … is Jackie Goldberg? She is an unbelievably energetic, adorable, and animated 80-year-old woman, with class, style, and a burning passion for exposing “sassy” senior talent! Her first three productions called “Rockin’ with the Ages” … part one, two, and three … each one a bit more polished and professional than the last, resulted in this current, far superior, fun lovin’, crowd pleasin’ musical. Jackie’s next step, after recently obtaining a 501c3 non profit status … is to find a home in L.A. for a Senior Theatre and Arts complex. With the help of donors/sponsors, her dream is to run a spectacular local show, similar to The Follies in Palm Springs. She says, “Age is only a number, and talent knows no age limit.” The Beat Goes On showcases 14 fab ‘n’ feisty seniors, singing, dancing, and “struttin’ their stuff,” to the audience’s total delight! The highly respected and tireless Cate Caplin wrote, directed, and choreographed the whole shebang with fun lovin’ pizzazz and the huge array of gorgeous costumes were designed by Ann Closs-Farley. Keith Mitchell’s sleek and simple set, Jared A. Sayeg’s moody lighting, and the crisp sound by Cricket Myers, blend perfectly in this highly entertaining and stylish revue. The excellent musical direction of David O and performances of his onstage band provided the “tasty” driving force behind the cast’s playfully thoughtful performances! You will recognize and love many of the classic and infamous songs. The light storyline takes us into the hopes and dreams of a quirky group of showbiz veterans with strong theatrical backgrounds, who are now “out of work” actors. Performing is the heart of their existence! Now, there is a big producer coming to consider them and their show, for her next project … and all are a buzz! (A charmingly perky “surprise guest” plays the role of the producer.) Plenty of laughs and relatable moments here … played out with skillful and touchingly humorous pizzazz by a talented and enthusiastic cast. They must be named! Bobbi Stamm, Larry Lederman, Dominick Morra, Anna Pagan, Deborah Bartlett, Richard Fox, Derrel Maury, Vernon McGhee, Lani Ridley Pedrini, William Bartlett, Marcia Rodd, Robert Towers, and Kit Smythe. Kudos to all! Take your parents and grandparents to catch this one … they’ll have a great time! Running for eight weeks at The Arena Stage located at 1635 N. Las Palmas in Hollywood. For seats call (818) 606-6679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Insightfully written with character driven brilliance by Donald Margulies, we peer in on the six year relationship of two women. One, an offbeat veteran short story writer of acclaim, and the other a wide-eyed younger fledgling writer with a lot to learn. The Hollywood Reporter described the play this way: “Margulies’ play is an affecting character study and a well drawn portrait of the insular world of fiction writers, demonstrating a gift for sharply written and incisive dialogue.” When Lisa, a young hopeful writer, knocks on Ruth’s door (who is a highly successful older writer) seeking guidance with her writing and evaluation of her work … a very personal, complex, and cerebral friendship evolves. Ruth mentors Lisa’s work through the years, as their relationship unfolds and grows. Both Liza de Weerd as Lisa and Julia Silverman as Ruth give hypnotically focused and multifaceted performances, under the gripping direction of Sherry Netherland. An involving and gut-wrenching two character play, which takes us on an artistic and “heady” journey … Things take a cerebrally dark turn when Lisa finally gets a story published. This is an up close look at the changes over the years in this teacher/student relationship, and the delicate balance of separating personal and professional “secrets” when penning a story. Eventually, Lisa becomes Ruth’s competitor publishing her own work of fiction … at her mentor’s personal expense. Very interesting … and impeccably performed! Impressive on the technical side as well: Chris Winfield’s set is excellent, and Emily Doyle’s costumes, Steve Shaw’s sound, and Kim Smith’s lighting blend to create the tone perfectly. Intelligent, insightful, and involving … this is an intriguing play. Running through Nov. 10 at Lonny Chapman Theatre located at10900 Burbank Blvd. inNorth Hollywood. For seats call (818) 763-5990 or go to thegrouprep.com.
Opening This Weekend: Mark Your Calendars
The House of Finnegan – TheMonroe Forum in NoHo
Written by Bill Rich and Steve Kopandy, this comedy/drama covers the history of early musical theater, TV, and movies up to present day. With an orchestra of eight, a cast of 22, and a touching storyline … this one sounds like a treat! For early booking call (818) 508-4200 or (866) 811-4111.
Kong: A G-Damn Thirty-Foot Gorilla – T.U. Studios inNorth Hollywood
It is 1933 as an expedition heads for the Indian Ocean, hoping to film the greatest film ever made. Instead they brought back a giant captive gorilla. Said to be a parody of the classic King Kong story … the wackiness will include audience participation, dinosaur fights, and a gigantic ape on a tiny stage. Sounds like crazy fun! For early booking visit SkyPilotTheatre.com or call 800-838-3006.
Back next week to report on these two newly opening plays. Until then … Remember … “Life is like a stage … Somebody is always watching!”