Having It All
Presented by the award winning producers David Elzer and Peter Schneider, whose Life Could Be a Dream and The Marvelous Wonderettes were smash hits… they’ve done it again! This delightful musical with a message, decidedly written for women, is also quite entertaining and insightful for their fellas. Taking place in a boarding area at JFK airport, where delay after delay traps five diverse women in each other’s company, they eventually “bond.” Reluctant at first… and very different “types” with a variety of issues, they share their stories, joys, dreams and fears, as we learn a lot about them. Written insightfully by David Goldsmith and Wendy Perelman, with music by John Kavanaugh and storytelling lyrics by David Goldsmith, this is a thought provoking “feel good” show. The songs and messages are meaningful and funny in turns, and under the animated direction of Richard Israel, the whole cast is flawless! Shannon Warne plays Amy (a bedraggled housewife/ mom), Lindsey Alley plays Sissy (an unmarried struggling writer), Alet Taylor plays Carly (a perky yoga instructor), Jennifer Leigh Warren plays Julia (a tough and narcissistic business woman) and Kim Huber plays Lizzie (a childless married gal). Applause to all! Also technically tight… kudos to Gregory Nabours (musical director), Stephen Gifford (scenic design), Ann Closs-Farley (costumes), Cricket S. Myers (sound) and Luke Moyer (lighting). A top notch production all around… get ready to have some fun! Borrowing a charming line from the play… “One’s life… is its own work of art.” Running through April 24 at the NoHo Arts Center located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. For seats, call (323) 960-7776 or go to www.plays411.com/havingitall.
Oh, Momma! & Obama
A rollicking “laugh til your belly hurts” political satire comedy… this show is hysterical! Offered by producers Nicholas and Karen Zill, and directed playfully by Ian Gary… the entire zany cast gives madly marvelous character depictions! Written by Derek Reid and Nicholas Zill, with song lyrics by Zill and Kenneth McLeod, original music by Howard Bennett… and choreography by Laura Pinha… the co-effort is commendable! Opening in the president’s Executive Mansion, we meet Barack Obama (an excellent Derek Reid), his elegant wife Michelle (a delightfully classy Constance Reese) and her wise-ass mother Marion, who thinks she runs the country better than her son-in-law (a feisty and ferociously funny LaKendra Tookes). All doting on their precocious daughters Malia (an adorably loveable Alexis Matthews) and Sasha (Here, a shining little star is born!)… these “Oh, so normal” girls keep them all hopping! In a hilarious series of misunderstandings, bad choices, political screw-ups, and eight cleverly inserted musical numbers… we voyeuristically have a ball! Hesitant to reveal the storyline and spoil your fun… you must see this whacky White House adventure for yourself! In “spot on” impersonations, Natascha Corrigan plays an air headed Sarah Palin, Chris Smith plays Joe Biden and General Patraeus, Robb Wolford plays Bill O’Reilly and others… and in a stand out performance, Phillip Wilburn soars as Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Glenn Beck and George W. Bush! A brilliant and fun loving effort by all! Running through May 1 at the Fremont Centre Theatre located at 1000 Fremont Ave. Ste. 100 in South Pasadena. For seats, call (866) 811-4111 or go to www.fremontcentretheatre.com.
Mark Your Calendar
An “up front peek” at upcoming plays I’ll review.
Pursued by Happiness Opening at NoHo’s Road Theatre March 25
A chance meeting between two “40-something” bio-chemists evolves into a whirlwind romance. Shocking revelations unfold when they meet each other’s parents, testing their relationship. Billed as a “quirky comedy,” and written by Keith Huff, who also penned the successfully offbeat The Bird and Mr. Banks… I can’t wait for this one!
All in the Timing Opening at North Hollywood’s Crown City Theatre on March 25
A collection of six comedic “one acts” written by David Ives. Offering paradoxical plot twists and snappy patter… quick-witted audiences will enjoy the playwright’s unique “take” on the universe.
Rockin’ with the Ages 3 – Opening March 25 at Burbank’s Victory Theatre
Produced by Jackie Goldberg (known as “The Pink Lady”), a sassy senior “dynamo,” this is her third “Rockin’” show. Starring talented, high energy seniors from 60 to 90… the first two shows were song ‘n dance revues. This one is a scripted, traditional “book” musical, taking place in a recession challenged night spot called “Le Club Roc.” Should be a hoot!
Wait Until Dark – Opening at North Hollywood’s Lonny Chapman Theatre on April 1
This chilling story about a blind woman’s saga, dealing with intruders in her home… is a “nail biter!” The tension packed film in 1967 earned both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Audrey Hepburn, and also starred Richard Crenna and Alan Arkin. Just coming out of their highly acclaimed run of The Trip to Bountiful, this longtime troupe is sizzling!
Whew! That’s it for this week. Probably like most of you… I’m energized by the daylight hours being longer!