March 18, 2013 |
The legend that was and is Janis Joplin has influenced countless female rockers, many of them epic talents in their own right. And few if any theater events have done full justice to this trailblazing force of nature's vocal impact and unflagging connection with an audience. Over the decades since Joplin's fatal overdose at age 27 in 1970, there have been numerous attempts to tell her story on film or stage, among them the greatly fictionalized “The Rose,” the epistolary “Love, Janis,” and several stalled biopics.
March 1, 2013 |
It looks like “batter up!” again on the theatrical boards: Mickey Mantle is the subject of a new play that writer-producer David Leaf is working on with the cooperation of Danny and David Mantle, sons of the incredibly talented but careless New York Yankees star, who died in 1995. Broadway World reports that Leaf has begun putting a team together for the show, which has Broadway ambitions. He's known for delving into the lives of pop music heroes, first gaining notice with his 1978 book, “The Beach Boys and the California Myth,” then directing or co-directing the documentary films “The Night James Brown Saved Boston” and “The U.S. Versus John Lennon.” Leaf told Broadway World that Mantle was his first hero, and promises to "bring him to life, flaws and all" on the stage.
February 4, 2013 |
Shrug off that fur, have a cocktail and dish the dirt with “Fallen Angels,” Art Manke's irresistible production of a rarely seen Noel Coward comedy, now at the Pasadena Playhouse. Given the play's fascination with female pleasure, it's hard to believe this delicious 1925 romp hasn't been revived more often. Startlingly modern, the play makes the hedonism in "Fifty Shades of Grey" seem so, well, earnest. After five years of marriage, passion is a fond memory for Londoners Julia and Fred Sterroll (Pamela J. Gray and Mike Ryan)
January 24, 2013 |
Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps is set to direct the world premiere of "Sleepless in Seattle -- The Musical," when the show opens at the theater in May. He replaces the previously announced Lonny Price. Jeff Arch, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1993 romantic comedy that starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, wrote the book for the musical. Ben Toth composed the music and Sam Forman wrote the lyrics. "I am pleased that a recent change in my own schedule allows me to take on the joy and excitement of directing this musical and working even more closely with Jeff, Ben and Sam," Epps said in a statement Thursday.
January 23, 2013 |
If the Pasadena Playhouse had decided to adopt a theme song when a dire economy and long-standing debts forced it to cease operations for most of 2010 while it tried to claw its way back to solvency, “Stand by Me,” the 1961 pop-soul classic sung by Ben E. King, would have fit the situation precisely. It turns out that Mike Stoller, who co-wrote and co-produced “Stand By Me,” among dozens of other indelible hits of the 1950s and 1960s on which he teamed with his partner, the late Jerry Leiber, was paying attention, along with his wife, musician Corky Hale Stoller.
January 17, 2013 |
The revival of Cole Porter's "Can-Can" that opened at the Pasadena Playhouse more than five years ago has come back to life and is now aiming for Broadway. Producers said Thursday that they are hoping to bring the high-kicking musical to New York in the spring of 2014. Neither a theater nor a opening date has been announced. The revival is being produced by Jonathan Burrows. "Can-Can" debuted in Pasadena in the summer of 2007. The production was directed by David Lee, who is also expected to direct the show when it arrives on Broadway.