Audio Interview: The Cast of Sugar Plum Fairy at East West Players

The story of Sugar Plum Fairy, based on Loh’s original offering on This American Life, follows a 12 year-old Sandra and her over-the-top dream of landing the lead in the inevitable dance school production of The Nutcracker. Loh and friends are pitted against the vicious hierarchy of desirable roles in this well-weathered ballet, while she desperately yearns to be recognized as a pre-teen queen in her own right. The play features Shannon Holt and Tony Abatemarco in a rotation of quirky characters from her misfit friends to a rigid Russian ballet instructor, as well as being co-conspirators in spreading some literal holiday cheer around the theater. Wittily set to a classical music score (a la Disney’s Fantasia’s hippopotamus ballerinas), Sugar Plum Fairy is knitted together with moments of audience participation, and attendees are encouraged to dress in their most festive outfits, prepare for sugary showers of candy, and get photos for the ‘gram with Yuletide-themed set designs that include reindeer, an animatronic Santa, and even, if you’re lucky, Frosty the Snowman.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of "Sugar Plum Fairy" at East West Players, playing through Dec 22nd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Karen Malina White (Charmaine Brown: The Cosby Show/A Different World) stars in "Eight Nights" at Antaeus

Set during eight different nights of Chanukah over the course of eight decades, Eight Nights tells the story of Holocaust survivor Rebecca Blum, who arrives in America at age 19 to forge a new life. As Rebecca moves through time, the play explores the lives that come and go in her New York apartment, where ghosts of the past both haunt and guide her. Maisel lyrically weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East.

Enjoy this interview with Karen Malina White starring in “Eight Nights” at Antaeus, running until Dec 16th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Kathryn Farren stars in Embridge at Little Fish Theatre

In Victorian-era England, love cynic Mabel Martin moves to an enchanting country estate with her eccentric family and meddling servants. But her doubts about love become tested when a charming man offers to help save her sister from a disastrous arranged marriage. This delightful story will captivate theatregoers of all ages.*

Enjoy this interview with Kathryn Farren staring in “Embridge at the Little Fish Theatre, playing through Dec 15th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Haile D'Alan stars in THE ART OF DINING at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory

The play takes place in the late 70s in upscale New Jersey at the shore. Ellen and Cal have opened a restaurant, The Golden Carrousel, and after four weeks, the place is taking off with the dinner crowd. Ellen is the passionate gourmet chef, and Cal is the passionate Maitre’D, host, waiter and bartender. They have been married for eight years and this restaurant is their baby. Tonight, we join them and their very eccentric guests as Cal worries about paying off their $75,000 business loan, impressing the diners for future reservations, and Ellen lovingly and sensually creates gourmet meals. Tonight’s guests are the married people who are gourmands and cannot control any of their appetites; the women who show up to eat and diet at the same time; the shy, neurotic, romantic female writer hoping for everything who is meeting the charming, debonair publisher who has an appetite for life. Everyone craves and eats and laughs, and the audience will smell the food, join in the laughter, and feel the passion, and eat.*

Enjoy this interview with Haile D'Alan staring in “THE ART OF DINING at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory, playing through Dec 8th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website

Justin-Sayre-Photo-Credit-Matthew-Dean-Stewart

Dedicated to Camp: A Conversation with Justin Sayre about Ravenswood Manor and Much More

Writer, producer, performer Justin Sayre's episodic camp extravaganza Ravenswood Manor closes this coming weekend after a very successful run at Celebration Theatre. Between episode rehearsals, I buzzed with Justin to spill some tea on the show, it's origins, the production process, and more. Catch the last week of Ravenswood because they are ending with a BANG, honey!

For tickets, go to CelebrationTheatre.com/ravenswood

Roger Q. Mason (RQM): Justin, you are a riot! What you've done beautifully is successfully shown audiences the breadth and depth of authentic camp (in the best way). Tell me about the origins of Ravenswood Manor.

Justin Sayre (JS): I wanted to write a long-form play for a while, and I was  searching for something Camp. I'm very dedicated to Camp. I think it's the cornerstone of Queer art, and I really thought it was time to take the leap. For a long time, my best friend, whom I've pitched every project I've ever written, had always told me of my similarity in thought and practice to Charles Ludlam. It took me a little while to catch up. I thought doing something episodically would be helpful since I had been writing for Television for a couple of years. I loved Dark Shadows, and thought a gothic setting would be perfect for Camp. Then the ideas just started flowing. I did a first reading of the first six episodes at Joe's Pub at the Public Theatre with an incredible cast that included Jeff Hiller, Nathan Lee Graham, Jenn Harris and many more. It was so fun, I just wanted to keep doing it. Now I've had another chance. I'm already looking forward to the next.

(RQM): You are writer, performer, and producer on this project. As a fellow multi-disciplinary artist, I'd love to learn more about your process from page to stage.

(JS): Well, that's very broad! I started as an actor, so I have to see it. I don't write a lot of stage directions in my plays unless the lines need it to make sense. I like to find rhythms and space in the room. The stuff I know and want, I write in. But I love problem-solving. So much of my creation is about problem-solving. I also like using the theatre for what it is. You can't do CGI or crazy special effects in the theatre, or at least it's very hard to do them well. I like to create theatre magic, which is more about imagination and human stagecraft. I like making things in front of people and making the audience an active participant in the process of making the show, even if it's just imagining the scenery. I like the collaboration of making in the room. So I always want to work with the best. That's why the actors I strive for are always so brilliant. I don't like to micromanage. I like to facilitate flight.

(RQM): Serialized theatre is an exciting and rigorous beast. It relies on the magic of a killer script, fantastic, adventuresome actors, and grounded, inspired directors. What's it been like building this piece in the room with your team? On the afternoon I saw the show, you were readying for rehearsal of the next episode right after taking well-deserved bows from the work just presented.

(JS): I should say, that we go in with the script, and I would say 98% is on the page. I am a firm believer in doing my work. But I've also been trained not to be precious about a joke. If one doesn't work, we'll find another. What I'm always first listening for is, does the story track and does it all make good dramatic sense. I would be disingenuous to say that the show lives all on the page. I'm working with some of the most brilliant and insightful comedic actors in the country, to not let them form a joke to themselves or to add a little aside, that comes from their character, would be folly. But we all begin with the page, and then it's play. We've often said backstage that we're working so terribly hard, a new play each week for 6 weeks, but we're all so happy doing it. We all have our bits, we all have our weeks to shine and we all generally and genuinely like each other. It's a brilliant process.

Angela Cristantello as Claire the witch and Leslie-Ann Huff as Debbie the witch in Ravenswood Manor

Angela Cristantello as Claire the witch and Leslie-Ann Huff as Debbie the witch in Ravenswood Manor. Photo by Bryan Carpender.

(RQM): This show feels very much like work I've seen in New York. I love that it is happening and being received well here in LA. How do we continue challenging and engaging our Angeleno theatre audiences?

(JS): I think there is great theatre going on out here, and I think LA is only ready for more. Ravenswood feels like New York because I still feel like I'm in New York and come out of that sensibility. I think the thing that needs to happen in LA, is that we all, artists and audiences, need to create a culture of going to the theatre. Of making things the MUST SEE event in LA. We need to make the reality of the theatre here a bigger deal, simply because there's already great work going on.

(RQM): After the final episode of Ravenwood, what's next for you?

(JS): I am working on a few TV projects, but I am headed out of LA for a bit to go and work on my newest book. My show The GAyBC's has been turned into a book that will be released by Chronicle Books in 2020. I'm also going to New York next week to do a show at Joe's Pub and celebrate my 10 years in Cabaret. After that, two new plays this year and the second season of Ravenswood Manor. You know a few things, just to keep me off the street.

Featured photo: Justin-Sayre - Photo by Matthew Dean Stewart


Audio Interview: The Cast of MATILDA, THE MUSICAL at LA MIRADA THEATRE

From the genius of Roald Dahl comes the Tony Award-winning MATILDA, the story of an extraordinary girl who — armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind and a love for books — dares to take a stand to stand against the tyranny of adults who seek to crush her imagination. Watch how she and her classmates save the day!*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “MATILDA, THE MUSICAL at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, playing through Nov 17th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Erica Hanrahan's wardrobe malfunction in MATILDA, THE MUSICAL playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE

From the genius of Roald Dahl comes the Tony Award-winning MATILDA, the story of an extraordinary girl who — armed with a vivid imagination, a sharp mind and a love for books — dares to take a stand to stand against the tyranny of adults who seek to crush her imagination. Watch how she and her classmates save the day!*

Enjoy this interview with Erica Hanrahan staring in “MATILDA, THE MUSICAL at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, playing through Nov 17th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: Angela J. Davis the author of The Spanish Prayer Book

Moral dilemma, historical mystery, and matters of the heart converge when a committed atheist inherits a collection of rare and hauntingly beautiful illustrated Hebrew manuscripts, including a prayer book from fourteenth-century Spain, and discovers that the books, which bear witness to overlapping Jewish and Islamic traditions, were stolen some six-hundred years after their creation from a library in 1940s Berlin. Inspired by true events and a late twentieth-century court case, and using projected images of the books themselves, the play explores the allure of sacred objects, the ethical issues generated by cultural treasures displaced during wartime, and the power of art to forge human connections.*

Enjoy this interview with Angela J. Davis the author of “THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK at the Road Theatre, playing through Nov 10th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: the cast of "Mono/Poly" at Odyssey Theatre

Two monogamous couples encounter a polyamorous triad at a costume party. The triad becomes entwined in the business and personal lives of the first two couples, forcing them to examine their long-held beliefs about love and marriage. Although sexually free, the members of the triad adhere to their own fairly rigid ethical code. Who’s moral now? Will the couples and the triad live happily ever after?*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “Mono/Poly” at Odyssey Theatre, running until Nov 10th. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Interview with Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx, Director of "Charlotte Stay Close"

Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx's production of Charlotte Stay Close will receive an extension this weekend at Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA.

At the beginning of the run, I sat down with Jonathan at the foot of the set's bed and chit-chatted about the play, traditional and non-traditional roads to a life in the theatre, and the liberating power of teaching a craft to one's own self.

For tickets and more information on Charlotte Stay Close, visit dime.io/events/charlotte-stay-close.


Cino Nights Interview with Addie Talbott and Lovell Holder, hosted by Roger Q Mason

For one night only, Rising Phoenix Rep will present Cino Nights at Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood. This year's theme: Haunted Hollywood. In the thick of rehearsals, director/producers Addie Talbott and Lovell Holder sat down with me to talk about the founding of Rising Phoenix Rep (Daniel Talbott, artistic director), the origin story of Cino Nights, and some fascinating history surrounding the Off-Off Broadway movement.

Cino Nights: Haunted Hollywood will perform Sunday, November 3 at 5pm and 7pm. For more info on the show, visit RisingPhoenixRep.org and Better-Lemons.com/production/cino-nights.


Audio Interview: CHRISTIAN LEBANO Adaptor and Director of LITTLE WOMEN

Sierra Madre Playhouse and California School of the Arts-San Gabriel Valley combine forces to bring an American classic to life on stage at SMP, and directed by SMP's own Christian Lebano! Come enjoy Louisa May Alcott's classic account of four sisters--Meg, Beth, Jo, and Amy March--coming of age in post-Civil War America.*

Enjoy this interview with CHRISTIAN LEBANO Director of “LITTLE WOMEN at SIERRA MADRE PLAYHOUSE, playing through Nov 3rd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website


Audio Interview: the cast of "MacBeth" at the Grand Annex in San Pedro

A new theatre company (HOUSE OF BARDS) debuts with Shakespeare’s gripping tale of power and malice. Featuring actors Renee O’Connor (Xena: Warrior Princess) and Jed Sura (Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds)

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “MacBeth” at the Grand Annex in San Pedro, running until Nov 3rd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.

*taken from the website