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Pasadena Playhouse announces 2013-14 season

'Smokey Joe's Cafe,' 'Stoneface' and 'Above the Fold' are slated.

March 22, 2013|By David Ng, Los Angeles Times
  • Sabrina Elayne Carten as the Blues Singer in the play "One Night With Janis Joplin."
Sabrina Elayne Carten as the Blues Singer in the play "One Night With… (Jim Cox )

The Pasadena Playhouse will present a revival of "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and a new play from former New York Times journalist Bernard Weinraub as part of its 2013-14 season, announced Thursday. In all, the company will present six main stage productions, including a holiday special, the same number as this season.

The Pasadena Playhouse has been working toward financial stability since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010. That same year, the company ceased producing for several months because of financial difficulties.

"Smokey Joe's Cafe" will open the season (Sept. 18 to Oct. 13) and will be followed by "Stoneface" (Nov. 5 to Dec. 1), with French Stewart portraying silent film star Buster Keaton. The play previously ran at the Sacred Fools Theatre.

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Weinraub's "Above the Fold" (Jan 28 to Feb. 23) is a fictional story of a female African American reporter who travels to a Southern university where four white fraternity boys have been accused of raping a young African American woman.

The playwright is a former reporter who has covered Hollywood, the White House and other beats.

Rounding out the season are Noël Coward's "A Song at Twilight" (March 18 to April 13, 2014) and an as-yet unannounced production (May 27 to June 22, 2014), to be directed by playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps.

The holiday special will be "Aladdin" (Dec. 11 to 30), a production by the Lythgoe family. The family — Nigel Lythgoe is the TV producer behind "American Idol" — has been producing British-style "panto" holiday plays in L.A. for the last few years, including the recent "A Snow White Christmas" at the playhouse.

Epps said that the company's recent financial hardships have helped "to put us in a much better place." He cited the box-office success of the current production of "One Night With Janis Joplin."

In May, the playhouse will present the world premiere of "Sleepless in Seattle," a musical based on the 1993 movie.

david.ng@latimes.com

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