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NEWS
April 18, 1991 | DALLAS M. JACKSON
"It's strange how the (acting) bug gets you," reflected Wil Thompson, president of the Irvine Community Theater. It bit Kevin Costner . . . hard. In fact, the Academy Award-winning actor/director is a graduate of an Orange County community theater. In 1978 he played a secondary role in Costa Mesa Civic Playhouse's production of Invitation to a March . "At first I didn't remember him," said Pati Tambellini, who directed Costner in the Arthur Laurents play.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2013 | From Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Barbara Robinson, a children's author who spun an endearing holiday tale of six rowdy siblings who take over a church pageant and learn to celebrate Christmas, died July 9 at her home in Berwyn, Pa. She was 85 and had cancer. Her daughter, Marjorie Pinto-Leite, confirmed her death. Robinson originally wrote "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" as a short story for McCall's magazine. She expanded it into a 1972 novel, which sold more than 3.3 million copies. Building on the novel's popularity, she wrote a screenplay for a 1983 TV movie version starring Loretta Swit and a stage adaptation that has become a Christmastime classic for community theaters.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 1993 | MARK CHALON SMITH
Shakespeare may seem like a shrinking resource in Orange County, especially now that GroveShakespeare in Garden Grove has canceled its 1993 season. At the professional level, there's Shakespeare Orange County in Orange, and the occasional South Coast Repertory production. A couple of community theaters, however, have made Shakespeare an annual event.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2012 | By David Ng
A high school production of the musical "Legally Blonde" in Ohio has been deemed by administrators to be inappropriate for its audiences, resulting in the apparent dismissal of a drama teacher. A report from station WLWT in Cincinnati said that Sonja Hansen, a drama teacher at Loveland High School, has been forced to resign following the staging of the musical show. Hansen told the station that she was asked to resign or she would be fired. The dispute centers on the school's production of "Legally Blonde," the musical based on the popular Reese Witherspoon movie.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 17, 2012 | By David Ng
A high school production of the musical "Legally Blonde" in Ohio has been deemed by administrators to be inappropriate for its audiences, resulting in the apparent dismissal of a drama teacher. A report from station WLWT in Cincinnati said that Sonja Hansen, a drama teacher at Loveland High School, has been forced to resign following the staging of the musical show. Hansen told the station that she was asked to resign or she would be fired. The dispute centers on the school's production of "Legally Blonde," the musical based on the popular Reese Witherspoon movie.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 1995 | T.H. McCULLOH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Summer Arthur Long's "Never Too Late," one of the last hits in the twilight of the Broadway sitcom, deserves the many revivals it gets in community theaters. It's well structured, often funny, and its audiences get a kick out of the once outrageous idea of a couple past their prime facing a surprise pregnancy.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2000 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It could only happen in a community theater: Before Sunday's performance of the Marc Camoletti farce, "Don't Dress for Dinner," Woodland Hills Community Theatre director Jon Berry announced to the crowd that it was his wife Judy's birthday and she was due to arrive any minute. Just then, Judy entered and was greeted with a spontaneous group sing of "Happy Birthday."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 1990 | MARK CHALON SMITH
The fact that director Marla Gam-Hudson was barred from casting a black actor as Romeo in the La Habra Community Theatre's "Romeo and Juliet" will remain the pressing element as the production closes its run this Saturday. Gam-Hudson said she wanted the interracial casting as a way to comment on bigotry. To give further resonance, the director was considering moving Shakespeare's tragedy of doomed love from Verona, Italy, to modern South Africa. Intriguing.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 7, 1991 | NANCY CHURNIN
He's 60. He's bald. He's divorced. And he has a thing for younger women. Comedian Sammy Shore, the creator of the Comedy Store (which went to his ex-wife, Mitzi, in their divorce), promises to bare everything in his life in "Beyond the Laughter, Beneath the Smile," a new show he tested out in Palm Springs in February. The show will have its San Diego premiere at the Gaslamp Quarter Theatre Company's small theater tonight through April 7. It is produced by the Spectator Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 1994 | HUGO MARTIN
Amid a laundry list of appropriations, the Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to set aside $30,000 in next year's budget to study the possibility of converting a Canoga Park movie theater that shows X-rated films into a performing arts center. At the behest of Councilwoman Laura Chick, the council agreed to spend $30,000 to determine whether it is feasible to buy and repair the quake-damaged Pussycat Theatre on Sherman Way for use as a community theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2011 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If you live in a big city, movie theaters are places you complain about, despair of, maybe even avoid. In this small town 80 miles southeast of Missoula, however, the single-screen Rialto Theatre is so essential to residents' sense of place — often in unexpected ways — that it's almost impossible to imagine life without it. So when the Rialto caught fire on Nov. 4, 2006, the entire town of 3,400 had its heart in its throat. Despite 3 million gallons of water poured on the blaze by firefighters, the theater burned for three days, with 50-foot flames visible for miles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2002 | Stanley Allison, Times Staff Writer
The Laguna Beach City Council is expected to sign a 40-year lease tonight with the Festival of Arts, formally ending years of negotiations during which organizers threatened to move the popular summer event from the canyon compound it has occupied since 1932. The lease, the product of six years of negotiation, guarantees that 6% of the revenue generated by the festival will be spent on capital improvements, said Mayor Wayne Baglin.
BOOKS
July 29, 2001 | SYLVIE DRAKE, Sylvie Drake is a former theater critic of the Los Angeles Times. She is currently an artistic associate of the Denver Center Theatre Company and director of media relations and publications for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
It would not occur to many people, assuming they thought about it at all, that the travails of a community theater in a small Massachusetts town might be of general interest. Theater as an art form is widely considered elitist. It is to films what poetry is to prose: marginal in the diurnal scheme of things. But Leah Hager Cohen, in her new book, "The Stuff of Dreams," appears unconcerned with such limitations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2000 | CAROL CHAMBERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The opening of a new community theater in downtown Newhall tonight may also be the opening act for revitalization of the area. Santa Clarita leaders hope the Canyon Theatre Guild's new venue will spark a redevelopment of Old Town Newhall into a shopping and entertainment destination, similar--albeit on a smaller scale--to those in Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Newhall was the Santa Clarita Valley's main business district for more than a century.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 31, 2000 | MIKE BOEHM, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It is hard to imagine any actor anywhere having a juicier selection of roles over the past 12 months than Jay Fraley has had while starring at the Empire Theater in Santa Ana. In November 1999 he opened as Jesus in Terrence McNally's gay passion play, "Corpus Christi." Next he was Robert Falcon Scott, doomed Antarctic explorer, in "Terra Nova" by Ted Tally--a role that demanded the heroism, hubris and elicitation of pity and terror that are the classic requisites of tragedy.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2000 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It could only happen in a community theater: Before Sunday's performance of the Marc Camoletti farce, "Don't Dress for Dinner," Woodland Hills Community Theatre director Jon Berry announced to the crowd that it was his wife Judy's birthday and she was due to arrive any minute. Just then, Judy entered and was greeted with a spontaneous group sing of "Happy Birthday."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 5, 1991 | LEN HALL, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
South Orange County Community Theatre lost a battle for a permanent home here this week but won some promises from city officials to help with the ongoing search. The theater group, whose sets have been plagued by vandalism during outdoor productions, lost out to a Western-wear store for the right to occupy the historic San Juan Saloon, a 70-year-old former brothel whose lease is owned by the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 1991 | LEN HALL
Vandals attacked the portable set of the South Orange County Community Theater in Bluff Park on Wednesday night or early Thursday, tearing up the wooden platforms and smashing the handmade stage, police reported. "They were hit pretty hard," Sheriff's Lt. Dan Martini said. "It appeared to be wanton vandalism. Whoever it was knocked over portions of the stage and really ripped some things up."
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1997 | Jan Breslauer, Jan Breslauer is a regular contributor to Calendar
Operetta is the Rodney Dangerfield of the American performing arts, forever in search of respect. A comic-romantic form in which the principals speak and dance as well as sing, it's long been caught between two worlds: too quaint and operatic for Broadway and not profound enough for grand opera houses. Americans have, in fact, spent decades thinking of operetta as mere fluff. But that, say those who know, is a bum rap.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 1997 | LESLEY WRIGHT
The staging of the play "Our Town" in Hart Park's historic band shell through Aug. 30 will launch permanent community theater, producers and city officials hope. The city joined with R.L. Hudson Production Services, an Orange-based company, to put on a free theatrical pilot project largely to test whether sufficient support exits for a community theater. About 250 people turned out with blankets or folding chairs for opening night Friday.
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