Winners! Killers! Producers!: 'Celebration' Announces Its 2019 Season, 'Celebrating' Reading Series' 'Skin Like Milk'

Last updated: 12/6/18 12:15 a.m.

Celebration, under Executive Director Michael C. Kricfalusi, has announced its 2019 season of shows under the artistic direction of Michael A. Shepperd, making this season Celebration's 37th and the fourth in its home at The Lex.

The 2019 Season will open with the Los Angeles premiere of "Born To Win," written by Matt Wilkas and Mark Setlock, and Directed by Michael Matthews, and tickets go on sale today, Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Starring Drew Droege and Wilkas, "Born to Win," tells the story of "Pinky Corningfield, who's always dreamed of her daughter winning the 'Supreme Queen.'" When newcomers to the child pageant circuit, Marge, along with her participating daughter, show up "to grab the glory," Pinky will stop at nothing to get that crown.

"I'm very excited about the fact that we are doing “Born to Win” [which] came out of our Celebrating New Works," said Shepperd. "[Celebrating New Works is] our program that we do once a month where we take a new or 'newish' writer and a newish play and we give it a stage reading to see if it can be part of our season.”

"Born To Win" opens Friday, February 15, 2019, and plays until April, 2019.

Also premiering is "The Secretaries" written by The Five Lesbian Brothers and opens April 2019.

'The Secretaries' is going to be an all-female cast, helmed by a female director and all-female team," said Shepperd. "Lighting design, set design, props, costumes, sound design – everyone is going to identify as female.”

"A killer comedy, 'The Secretaries,' chronicles the initiation of Patty Johnson as she lands the job of her dreams at the Cooney Lumber Mill in Big Bone, Oregon. But those dreams turn into bloody nightmares when she discovers the truth her co-workers have been hiding from her!," according to the synopsis. Written 20 years ago, this play is "as fresh as if it was written today in its skewering of feminist archetypes of the ‘80s and ‘90s."

"I'LL tell you when we're getting in too deep!” - The Producers

Celebration's Los Angeles intimate theatre premiere of "The Producers" with book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan, music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, and original direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, and directed by Matthews, will open June 2019.

"It's the first time the Celebration Theatre has gotten its hands on 'The Producers' and creates something spectacular in an intimate theatre," said Shepperd.

Winner of 12 Tony Awards®, two theatrical producers pull together a team of theatre wannabes, ne'er-do-wells, and misfits, and dream up a get rich scheme involving overselling "interests" in a Broadway play they're sure is destined to be a flop. Hilarity ensues when the show "unexpectedly turns out to be a massive hit!"

"The Producers" is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International and with StudioCanal.

Celebration is located at The Lex, 6760 Lexington Ave., Los Angeles, 90038. Tickets go on sale here for the season tomorrow, Wednesday, December 5, 2019, and be sure to check their Calendar for updated information.

Also, coming up next week, as part of the Celebrating New Works reading series, Celebration will present "Skin Like Milk," written by Ryan Fogarty, produced by Nathan Frizzell, and directed by Ryan Bergmann, in a one night only performance, Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at the West Hollywood City Chambers.

"Skin Like Milk." Illustration poster courtesy of Celebration, Celebrating New Works.

"Skin Like Milk" centers in "Berlin, 1941. In a makeshift basement gay bar, Heinrich and Otto have just strangled a Nazi officer ... after hiding the body, guests arrive attempting to forget the destruction from last night's air raids. ... Emile, Heinrich's former lover, and his new interest, ... Horst, show up to share a drink and a bit of music with their friends. As the night unravels, the alcohol disappears and air raids resume, the men realize that their dark bar is no longer a refuge from the hateful world above."

"Skin Like Milk," plays once only, Tuesday, December 11, 2018, 7:30 p.m. at The West Hollywood City Chambers, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood.

For "Skin Like Milk" only, admission is free, with donations gratefully accepted. Contact Celebration via email for more info, or call 323-957-1884.

Celebration is a community of artists dedicated to entertain, inspire, and empower with innovative productions that celebrate the LGBTQ community.

To become a member, purchase a subscription, or get single tickets for "Born to Win" or any Season 2019 shows, visit Celebration, contact via email for more info, or call 323-957-1884.

Updated 12/6/18, 12:15 a.m.: Date change, "Born to Win" opens on Friday, February 15, 2019.

Updated 12/5/18, 10:00 a.m.: - Name correction for Michael A. Shepperd with spelling in attributions corrected.

 


AUDITION: 42nd Street

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre's
YES (Youth Education/Entertainment Series)
announces auditions for
performers ages 10 through 18 for
the 23rd Annual Youth Musical

42nd Street

Music by Henry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin & Johnny Mercer
Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
Produced by Special Arrangement with Music Theatre International
Directed by ANNE GESLING
Music Directed by DANIEL KOH and ANNE GESLING
Choreography by KRYSTAL COMBS
Produced by TRACY SALTZMAN and MIRIAM BILLINGTON

SYNOPSIS
The ultimate show-biz musical, 42ND STREET celebrates Broadway, Times Square, and the people who make the magic of musical theatre. Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer comes to the big city from Allentown, PA, and soon lands her first big job in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. But just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle. Will Peggy be able to step in and become a star?
The score is chock-full of Broadway standards, including “You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me,” “Dames,” “We're In the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” and “Forty-Second Street.”
***Please note: this casting call is for our annual Youth Musical. Only performers ages 10 through 18 will be considered.***
AUDITION DATES
Saturday, August 25, from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m (Stage)
Sunday, August 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Stage)
No appointment needed. Actors only need to attend one day of auditions.
CALLBACKS on Wednesday, August 29 from 6:30 to 10:00 (Stage)
You will be notified by email if you will be needed for callbacks.
PREPARE
32 bars of a song (verse and chorus) from standard musical theatre (no pop or rock, which means no song written after 2000, no Disney songs). Accompanist is provided. You may bring your accompaniment on IPhone or IPad or the Android equivalent as we do have playback ability for those devices. Be prepared to dance.
LOCATION
Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Street parking available. Venice Family Clinic's parking lot is available on weekends and on weekdays after 6 p.m. Do not park at our neighbors AAMCO/Viking Motors or SGI or you will be towed.
PERFORMANCE DATES
November 10 through December 15, Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m., including Thanksgiving weekend. Actors will also perform in the Geoffrey Awards the evening of December 16. Actors must be available for all performances. NON-NEGOTIABLE!!
REHEARSAL DATES/TIMES
Rehearsals begin Saturday, September 8 and are held Monday through Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Saturdays and Sundays are strictly dedicated to dance. More than 2 conflicts on those days may result in an actor not being cast. Actors are not called for all rehearsals, only rehearsals where they are being used for a scene/dance. Rehearsals will be worked around children's schedules as much as possible. As always, we consider homework a priority!
BRING
A picture (school picture or snapshot is fine), resume or list of shows done, and your conflicts for the rehearsal period. All conflicts MUST be submitted prior to callbacks. If additional conflicts arise after casting, it may result in an actor being replaced. Bring both jazz and tap shoes (if you tap).
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Male Roles
Julian March: 14-18, Baritone, a tough, frazzled, and tyrannical director. He is gruff but as the show progresses you see how Peggy's charm touches him. Keeps his thoughts and feelings close to his chest. This is a strong acting role, and the role underpins the whole show.
Billy Lawlor: 14-18, Tenor, a leading man type, cheeky and charming with an eye for the ladies, excellent singer/dancer, tap a plus.
Bert Berry: Character baritone, half of the writing duo, must sing and move well and be able to play comedy with vaudeville timing.
Abner Dillon: Non-singing role, the producer of the show and Dorothy's current boyfriend, pompous, throws his weight (and money) around.
Pat Denning: Baritone, Dorothy's suave ex-vaudeville partner and the love of her life. He likes to stir up trouble. A little bit of a “player” but obviously really loves Dorothy.
Female Roles
Peggy Sawyer: 14-18, Alto/Soprano, extraordinary tap dancer who can sing like a Broadway leading lady and play the ingenue believably. At the beginning of the show we must see Peggy is nervous and quirky but eager and keen. As the show progresses, we see her talent shine through and her inner steel and strength of character to remain true to herself stand out.
Dorothy Brock: 14-18, Alto, a past-her-prime Broadway diva. Must possess a strong send of comic timing. While very selfish and mean to everyone at first, she comes to understand what's really important in life after breaking her ankle and therefore unable to perform. The actress cast must be able to play age (40+).
Maggie Jones: 14-18, Character alto, half of the writing duo; must sing and move well and be able to play comedy with great warmth and charm, good dancer.
Anytime Annie: 14-18, Alto Belt, one of the girls in the "chorus;" must be a first rate tap dancer and natural comedienne.
Larraine, Phyllis: 12-18, Alto/Soprano, two other girls in the “chorus”, featured in “Go Into Your Dance” excellent singers/dancers (tap).
Male or Female Role
Andy Lee: 12-18, Non-singing role, the choreographer of the show, excellent tap dancer.
Ensemble
Ages 10 to 18, must sing and dance well. Strong tap skills recommended. The more you tap, the more you do. Great ensemble parts with lots of lines.
Musical Numbers
Audition: Ensemble (opening tap number)
Young & Healthy: Billy/Peggy
Shadow Waltz: Dorothy & Girls
Go Into Your Dance: Peggy, Maggie, Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis
You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me: Dorothy/Billy
Getting Out of Town: Ensemble
We're In The Money: Peggy, Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis and Ensemble
Dames: Billy & Ensemble
Sunny Side to Every Situation: Annie, Lorraine, Phyllis and Ensemble
Lullaby of Broadway: Julian and Company
About A Quarter to Nine: Dorothy/Peggy
Shuffle Off to Buffalo: Peggy, Billy & Ensemble
42nd Street: Peggy, Billy & Ensemble
42nd Street Reprise: Julian
OTHER
Non-Equity, no pay.
Questions? Email director Anne Gesling at [email protected]


For Hire, Gender-Equality, Theatre Relationships and More Local, National, and International News to Inspire, to Stir, and to Entertain

LOCAL

Darkness Comes Alive 7/6/18. Photo by Evan Lorenzetti.

Listen and Darkness Comes Alive

The sound is not the first thing you notice when you enter the Lili Lakich Studio, but it is the most surprising. You are surrounded by neon artwork created in Lakich's studio, but after a few moments you hear the most calming sound, a slight hum coming from the lights. White noise, maybe a few bursts of static, and immensely calming, meditative. The last thing you might expect from a room filled with so much light is to find such a soothing sound there. read more here


Audio Interview: The cast of “The Road-Trip Monologues” at Zephyr Theatre

Curated from over 25 submissions from writers all over the world, The Road-Trip Monologues is a RAW BiTES '18 page-to-stage production of new writing for stage. listen to the interview here


Audio Interview: Armin Shimerman (Quark of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine") in the Antaeus Theatre Company's production of "Three Days In The Country"

A fresh, breezy update by Patrick Marber of Turgenev's classic comedy A Month in the Country, this is a tale of unrequited passion, unfolding over the course of three days in the sunny Russian countryside. Full of wit, folly and heart, men and women, both young and old, learn the tender and ridiculous lessons of love. listen to the interview here


The Broadwater Plunge Unveils First Cocktail Menu

Five Drinks, Each A Nod to Duffy Family's History in Bars

The Owl menu is a reference to the rural Montana bar Patrick Duffy's parents, Terry and Babe, owned and operated when he was a child. Each of the five drinks on the menu is named for a particularly colorful regular at The Owl. read more here


NOW HIRING: Fountain Theatre seeks a new bookkeeper

The Fountain Theatre seeks a friendly, motivated individual to fill a part-time position as a Bookkeeper. Must be a team player with a positive attitude who understands and enjoys the non-traditional work environment of a non-profit theatre arts organization. The ideal candidate will possess experience in essential bookkeeping functions, such as managing accounts payable and receivable and preparing payrolls, invoices, and financial reports, reconciling bank accounts, and have a solid proficiency with basic accounting principles. Qualifications include proficiency with QuickBooks Online, a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) and an ability to work within a team setting. Ultimately, the Bookkeeper's responsibilities are to accurately record all day-to-day financial transactions and reporting requirements of our organization. read more here


Walking the walk: Art for art's sake is simply not enough anymore

By Bobby Steggert - About two years ago, I completely turned my back on an acting career that I had spent twenty years building. I found myself increasingly discontented by the lack of control that every artist must submit to, and I found myself nauseatingly self-concerned in a job that threw me off balance enough to never quite feel stable. That, and as the world spiraled into the surreal chaos that continues to swirl around us today, I found it harder and harder to justify my contribution as enough to make a significant difference. read more here


Lileana Blain-Cruz and Dominique Morisseau (Jeremy Daniel)

Stage Directions: Why Lileana Blain-Cruz Believes in Making Theatre an Epic Event

The Obie-winning director of PipelineRed Speedo, and more reveals her directing philosophy, early career missteps, and her pitch to the Park Avenue Armory.

“I'm attracted to the epic-ness of theatre,” director Lileana Blain-Cruz says. “Because it's the thing that makes theatre feel unique amid a lot of different forms and a lot of different distractions. If we're all alive inside of a life-giving event, it's thrilling.”

Blain-Cruz, an Off-Broadway Obie Award winner for her direction, currently helms The House That Will Not Stand at New York Theatre Workshop, now playing through August 12. The play by Marcus Gardley is inspired by Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and is set in early 19th-century Louisiana, after the Louisiana Purchase. It deals with the lives of four women of color: a widow and her three daughters. read more here


NATIONAL

Book brings theatre journey home

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - A new book by Rochester based theatre director Eric Johnson examines how dreams of Hollywood stardom led him to pursue his passion here at home.

Johnson discussed his book "My Quarter-Life Crisis" Monday during News 8 at Noon.

"For many years growing up in Pittsford, I really thought all of my life I was going to go off to Hollywood," said Johnson. "I was going to go off to New York. I was going to go off to one of these big cities where they have so much art, they have so much with movies and with Broadway shows, and I was going to become the next Steven Spielberg. Throughout all the role models and teachers I met along my journey from high school, college and everywhere in between, I found out that may not be the right path for me. Maybe being right here in Rochester, I can make difference locally. That's kind of where the book started and where the idea kind of came from." read more here


Music Theatre International Files Legal Action Against Virginia Community Theatre

The complaint states that Theaterpalooza Community Theater Productions, Inc. has presented at least 16 illegal and unlicensed productions.

Music Theatre International has filed a complaint against Theaterpalooza Community Theater Productions, Inc. in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for presenting at least 16 unauthorized productions of MTI titles.

Theaterpalooza, which operates in and around Ashburn and Leesburg in Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland, offers youth musical theatre classes that culminate in full productions of various musicals that are open to the public. Students pay tuition of up to $600 to participate, and the theatre also charges $12-$15 per ticket for the public performances of its shows. read more here


Join Our Team! BWW Is Seeking a Full-Time Entertainment Editor

BWW is on the hunt for a new member for our team- a full-time editor of our MoviesTV and Music sites.

Applicants should be pop-culture junkies (theatre knowledge can't hurt, but not required), with excellent writing skills, great attention to detail, and a strong, self-motivated work ethic. The ideal candidate must also be able to multi-task and write quickly. Proficiency with Office programs and Photoshop is essential. read more here


INTERNATIONAL

Lyn Gardner: Finding a good mentor is crucial for a successful theatre career

In Daniel Kehlmann's The Mentor, seen at the Ustinov in Bath and in the West End last year, F Murray Abraham played an elderly writer living off the acclaim – and the royalties – from a play written when he was 25. During the play he is paid handsomely to mentor a rising young writer, but this transactional relationship turns out to be anything but nourishing.

In the real world, however, mentoring – both informal and formal – is often a crucial but hidden part of successful careers. Eddie Redmayne may have won an Oscar, but he still rings up his old school drama teacher for advice. read more here


Theatre Republic producer Manda Webber and director Corey McMahon (photo by Olivia Zanchetta)

Theatre for Generation Netflix

New performing arts company Theatre Republic tells modern stories worth getting off the couch for.

Adelaide and the Arts; a quintessential odd couple. On the one hand we're “The Festival State” with arts and fringe events among the world's biggest (when you're talking revenue). On the other, our audiences are notoriously apathetic outside the frenzy of Mad March, making it difficult for artists to sustain year-round careers.

This isn't news to local theatre-maker Corey McMahon. “If I had a dollar for every time I heard my non-theatre-going friends say, ‘The Fringe is on. I might go and see a show' – as though it's a special, one-off event – I could probably fund my shows.” read more here


Theatre relationships: ‘Real life is a lot less complicated.' | Photo Credit: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

For better or for worse: the pros and cons of theatre relationships

Last month I attended what I like to call a “theatre wedding”. Two people, involved in theatre, but more importantly two people who met because of theatre, exchanged vows/ took seven circles of fire/ entered into a holy union, surrounded by a fair amount of theatre people. A few years ago, both of them were replacements in an outstation play. And they fell in love on the flight back, thanks to a common love for scuba diving, Shah Rukh Khan, and, probably, theatre.

I've seen quite a few theatre weddings. I've also seen an unfortunate theatre divorce. Theatre relationships are a dime a dozen, but I'm focusing on more legal commitments here. I guess in some ways a theatre wedding is like a workplace wedding. Same environment, similar interests, regular contact, shared experiences, and something clicks. Mine was a theatre wedding too. read more here


 

A group photograph to mark the final major public event after a full year of campaiging by Waking The Feminists on The Rosie Hackett Bridge in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Yes we did: Irish theatre's gender-equality revolution

Irish theatre came out blazing this week, proving that gender equality is ‘not hard to do, if you want to'

What a difference a couple of years can make. Some top players in Irish theatre are chatting in the Lir Academy of Dramatic Art in Dublin. Anne Clarke says “there's a certain element of: just do it. Gender equality is not a hard thing to do, if you want to. This change came about because of a decision, to reverse inequality and give more opportunities to women.”

Lynne Parker observes that the situation “has changed so much already. And it's still changing.” Sarah Durcan says: “When we started doing this, none of us knew about unconscious bias, dignity at work policies or anything. So that language and knowledge has passed not only into the theatre sector but wider. We always said we wanted this movement to be a catalyst for change everywhere.” read more here