Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival Names Honorees For Its 22nd Anniversary

Esperanza America... Photo courtesy LAWTF

Margaret Avery... Photo courtesy LAWTF

Kat Kramer & Lainie Kazan... Photo by Billy Bennight

Alice Tuan... Photo courtesy of LAWTF

Courtesy Playbill

George Chakiris & Elaine Stritch in Company.... Photo courtesy Playbill

Harrison Held, Kat Kramer & George Chakiris... Photo by Billy Bennight

My friend Kat Kramer is presenting Lainie Kazan with a special award in a few days...  SceneAroundTown is eagerly looking forward to the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival which begins this Thursday nite with a star studded evening honoring five talented women for their exceptional careers,  life achievements & laudable contributions to the world of theatre.  The event will be held at the Electric Lodge in Venice.  Esperanza America will receive the Maverick Award which is presented to an artist or individual whose work has set a high standard of individuality & self styled creativity.  Margaret Avery will be the recipient of the Integrity Award presented to an artist who has brought credibility & dignity to her work.  Lainie Kazan will be bestowed with the Eternity Award given to an artist or individual whose lifetime achievements have made  lasting achievements & contributions to the world of theatre.  Alice Tuan will be the recipient of this year's Rainbow Award bestowed upon an artist or individual for her diverse contributions to fostering non-traditional & multi-cultural  theatre works.  Elaine Stritch will posthumously receive the Infinity Award memorializing exceptional achievements of a theatre artist.  Accepting the award in her honor will be her friend & co-star Academy Award winner George Chakiris.  What an exceptional evening & festival it is going to be!  The Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival was founded by Executive Producer Adilah Barnes & Miriam Reed.  Visit www.lawtf.org for more information about this exciting event! HH

Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Premier of Thieves

Addie Johnson & Samantha Soule in Thieves

I recently attended the riveting & shocking world premiere of Charlotte Miller's Thieves  at the Monroe Forum Theatre (named after Marilyn Monroe) at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.  The well produced 90 minute play directed by Daniel Talbott features an excellent cast in a very  dramatic & bizarre story.   Thieves definitely takes audiences on a walk on the very dark side.  The completely dysfunctional children  & ex-husband of recently deceased Lola, a Texas mother of modest means,  congregate on her farm after her death & all hell literally breaks loose.  If you ever thought your family was crazy you might not think they aren't quite as bad after seeing this fictional very dramatic story.  The play features a terrific cast consisting of Macleod Andrews as physically ailing brother Walter, Chris Bellant as innocent caretaker Jason caught in the eye of the storm, Addie Johnson as Lana's lover Holly, Sarah Shaefer & Samantha Soule as bitter dueling sisters Lottie & Lana plus John Wojda as Gordon the repentant alcoholic father possessed by more demons than any human being  should be.  This is a great but very gritty play so fasten your seatbelts for a very bumpy ride.  For more information about this production visit www.rattlestick.org  HH

Thieves is a riveting new drama written by Charlotte Miller at the Monroe Forum Theatre... Photos by Ryan Miller

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sierra Madre Playhouse Presents "Putting It Together"... A Great Production!

Stellar Singer/Performers Kurt Hansen, Kristen Towers-Rowles, Mike Irizarry, Rachel Hirshee & Chris Kerrigan

Audiences are guaranteed a great evening of musical theater when they attend Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together at the Sierra Madre Playhouse playing til March 28.  The classy production features 5 accomplished singer/performers comprised of Kurt Andrew Hansen, Rachel Hirshee, Mike Irizarry, Chris Kerrigan and Kristin Towers-Rowles and is directed and choreographed by award winner Cate Caplin with music direction by pianist Jake Anthony.  Socal audiences are treated to almost 30 Sondheim gems in the framework of a chic Manhattan cocktail party for a movie premiere hosted by the film's philandering producer/director and his lovely trophy wife.   The production is really terrific  featuring memorable Sondheim songs in the first act like Putting It Together, Rich and Happy, Do I Hear a Waltz, Merrily We Roll Along, Lovely, Hello Little Girl, My Husband the Pig, Everybody Ought to Have a Maid, Sooner or Later, Bang, Unworthy of Your Love, Could I Leave You while act two includes Back In Business, The Ladies Who Lunch, More, There's Always a Woman, Marry Me A Little, Getting Married Today, Like it Was & Old Friends.  I highly recommend seeing Putting It Together...  The talented cast really delivers a great show!  For more information visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org   HH

Stephen Sondheim's Putting It Together... Photos by John Dlugolecki Photography