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ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 1989 | Jan Herman
It is an old axiom in the writing trade that losers make better stories than winners--which more or less explains why prizefighters who go down for the count in the ring often come out as heroically tragic figures on stage and in the movies. From "Golden Boy" to "Raging Bull," victory and defeat have been measured by more than win-loss records. In the literature of boxing, the ultimate garland of personal honor is not bestowed by the referee.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 2, 2000 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Despite its odd, well-hidden location inside Burbank's George Izay Park, the Burbank Little Theatre is a good space that has been dormant for far too long. Ironically, it's taken a professional theater company based in Orange County--the Grove Theatre Center--to unlock the Little Theatre's doors. The Garden Grove theater is debuting with Denise Moses' solo show, "Girly Americana," which it first produced this spring in its Gem Theatre.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 1989 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, Times Staff Writer
"Runner's High," written by a 1988 graduate of Esperanza High School in Anaheim, is among three plays to be presented Sunday at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove as part of the California Youth Playwrights Project. The San Diego-based project conducts workshops in writing plays for students in grades seven through 12, and also sponsors an annual contest for young playwrights.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 1999 | CHRIS PASLES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
You can't keep a good choreographer down. Francisco Martinez brought his Los Angeles-based contemporary ballet troupe to Orange County for the first time seven years ago. But the gig at the Curtis Theatre in Brea didn't spark a local wildfire. "We did fairly well," Martinez said. "But it didn't pan out in any other direction. I contacted several other smaller Orange County theaters, but it's hard to self-produce."
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 1992 | DON SHIRLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Come clean, we're told. The major candidates for President toss that phrase at their opponents. Thousands of therapists and confessors counsel coming clean, on the assumption that the truth will set us free. Those troubled Tyrones, in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night," know better. During the course of a day at the summer house in 1912, the members of this family repeatedly throw each other into the wash, psychologically speaking. But some stains are too deep.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 1990 | MARK CHALON SMITH
There's something about Southern women that makes playwrights go goofy. It's as if a spell--a cloud of unreason--settles over them as they create characters so heavy with quirks they can seem more cartoon than human. Beth Hansen, with her eccentric nervous Nellie having hissy fits all through her works, has to be the prototype, but she's not nearly the only one. Take Ellen Byron and Jack Heifner, for instance.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 2, 1989 | JAN HERMAN
Murray Schisgal is pacing, his hands jammed in the pockets of his jeans. When he pivots you can read the words "Dunlop Tires" on the back of his shirt. If not for his white beard and the overgrown monk's fringe of gray hair on his shiny, bald head, he might pass for an eager kid in a schoolyard.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 1995 | JAN HERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three men in tuxedos. Two women in white gowns and sequins. A pianist. And drapes. Drapes in many colors. Billowing drapes. Drapes everywhere. Enough drapes to make Christo jealous. That's the cozy set-up at the Gem Theatre for "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," a Musical Theatre Co. presentation of Stephen Sondheim songs, which opens with an appeal to the theater gods (the audience) to take pity on the players. "You who sit up there in stern judgment/Smile on us," they sing.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 1992 | JAN HERMAN
At first blush, GroveShakespeare's decision to stage "The Fantasticks" at the Gem Theatre this summer seemed unadventurous, little more than an easy way to put people in the seats. Management had promised "a fun-filled musical," and what held more promise than reviving one of the world's most frequently produced shows with its built-in reputation as a critic-proof crowd-pleaser?
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 1994 | M.E. WARREN
Some Christmas plays are heartwarming. Others are rib-tickling. Still others are time-wasting. Here are reviews of just a few of the holiday-themed theatrical offerings in Southern California. * Sal and Amanda Gecko, lounge lizards extraordinaire, invite you into their tinseled living room to celebrate the season.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1995 | ZAN DUBIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When one restaurant closes and another opens in its place, nobody expects the food to be the same, right? How about theater companies? One closes; another opens in the same building, and everybody expects a new menu, right? Wrong, says Charles L. Johanson, executive director of the Grove Theater Center. Even after a full year of operation, some patrons come to the GTC expecting to see nothing but Shakespeare.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 7, 1995 | M.E. WARREN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
If you sit too close to the Gem Theatre's stage, it's possible to miss a few of the high points in the second act of Grove Theater Center's production of Michael Frayn's double-layered sex farce, "Noises Off." * So captivating is each and every individual in director Kevin Cochran's top-notch cast of comedians that you may get stuck watching one or another of them. You'll only know you've missed something bigger when the laughter explodes around you.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 27, 1995 | JAN HERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three men in tuxedos. Two women in white gowns and sequins. A pianist. And drapes. Drapes in many colors. Billowing drapes. Drapes everywhere. Enough drapes to make Christo jealous. That's the cozy set-up at the Gem Theatre for "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow," a Musical Theatre Co. presentation of Stephen Sondheim songs, which opens with an appeal to the theater gods (the audience) to take pity on the players. "You who sit up there in stern judgment/Smile on us," they sing.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 8, 1994 | M.E. WARREN
Some Christmas plays are heartwarming. Others are rib-tickling. Still others are time-wasting. Here are reviews of just a few of the holiday-themed theatrical offerings in Southern California. * Sal and Amanda Gecko, lounge lizards extraordinaire, invite you into their tinseled living room to celebrate the season.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 1994 | JAN HERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In an effort to foster the arts here, the City Council has put the Gem Theatre and the Festival Amphitheatre under new management with an agreement calling for 175 performances a year at the city-owned complex, including at least six full theatrical productions.
NEWS
November 25, 1993 | CORINNE FLOCKEN, Corinne Flocken covers children ' s events for The Times Orange County Edition.
Like the feline characters in her family musical, "Kitty Claws and the Magic of Dreaming," Molly Hardy has a knack for landing on her feet. The show was conceived three years ago by Hardy with help from her close friend and collaborator, Jim Boyer. When Boyer died in early 1991, the Laguna Niguel playwright was grief-stricken. It would be 10 months before she could resume work on the show. And when she did, she said, it was Boyer's memory and the story's uplifting theme that kept her going.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 28, 1989 | JAN HERMAN, Times Staff Writer
With only a week to go until the first preview of "The Scoundrel" at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove, director Thomas F. Bradac has made a major cast change that could delay the official opening of the show. Bradac said Wednesday that playwright-actor Gregory Mortensen, who adapted the contemporary farce from Ben Jonson's Elizabethan comedy "The Alchemist," will take over the starring role from Marcus Smythe, an East Coast actor with New York and regional theater credits.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 23, 1991 | JAN HERMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Stripped of the kitsch that submerged this production the first time around in Laguna Beach, Elysium Theatrical's "Burn This" has come up for air in a much-improved version at the Gem Theatre here. The improvements are largely a matter of subtraction, not inspiration. They still leave Lanford Wilson's anguished comedy gasping for a breath of reality.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 21, 1993 | JAN HERMAN
An anonymous benefactor, eager to help an amateur troupe mount "The Elephant Man" at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove, reportedly is offering to pay some of the Gem management's old royalty debts to clear the way for a production later this month. Samuel French Inc.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 1993 | LYNNE HEFFLEY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Royal Family Bug Band is holding a "Princess Search," hoping to find just the right rockin' and boppin' girl bug to add harmony to the group. There's only one restriction: Queen Bee and King Mosquito say that creepy-crawlies without wings are too ugly to sing their tune. "Cinderella Caterpillar," a comic romp at the Gem Theatre in Garden Grove, is played for laughs, but it sends out a clear message about prejudice and differences. Lead singer Prince Grasshopper (R. J.
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