This Spotlight focuses on Amanda Conlon, the actor, singer and director who created Bucket List Theatre after relocating to Los Angeles from NYC. As the company’s Artistic Director, her talents as an actor, singer, writer and director enhance every production in which she appears or organizes for her company of equally talented, triple-threat performers. Amanda recently joined Theatre 40 and has also appeared in and directed productions for that professional company on the campus of Beverly Hills High School.
Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?
Amanda Conlon (Amanda): I grew up doing theatre on Long Island, went to school for theatre and spent years performing in NYC and regionally throughout the Northeast before making the move to LA. where I knew exactly one friend. It took a while to learn the LA landscape, particularly the theatre scene. After struggling to find my new theatre tribe, I decided to create Bucket List Theatre (named after my bucket list of roles I’d like to play). As Artistic Director, I’m so proud of all our productions and all that we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time, particularly with a fully self-produced budget. Equally, I cherish all of the actor-friends who comprise the awesome tribe we’ve created - it’s a truly special, crazy talented group of people, and ironically, 98% of our “Bucket Lister’s” also hail from NYC. It just took us all relocating to LA to meet one another!
Jesse Merlin and Amanda Conlon in SILENCE! The Musical
Our Bucket List shows to date include SILENCE! The Musical (11 Broadway World Award Nominations, Better Lemons Critics Choice Award, Broadway World Favorite Shows of 2018, LA Weekly Best Spooky Events), All in the Timing (Stage Raw ‘Top Ten’ and ‘Recommended’), Pageant Play, [title of show], Bucket List Cabaret (Broadway World Favorite Shows of 2018) and Missmatch (Hollywood Fringe Encore! Producers' Award, Better Lemons Must-See Musical). I wrote Missmatch based on my real-life experiences with online dating and was equally happy and sad to learn how many of our audience members related to my terrible tales!
(SB): If you missed SILENCE! The Musical, the hysterical parody of the film Silence of the Lambs, click HERE to watch a compilation of scenes in which Amanda portrays Clarice Starling in the production she directed.
Amanda: I’m also a member of Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills and appeared last year in A Bad Year for Tomatoes and recently directed the world premiere of The Surveillance Trilogy (9 Broadway World Award Nominations).
(SB) What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?
Amanda Conlon at Bucket List Cabaret
Amanda: I had several projects postponed, including a few staged readings at Theatre 40, as well as our next Bucket List Cabaret. Bucket List is also sometimes commissioned to be the entertainment at private events, which is a fun side gig for us, and we looked forward to a booking we had for a big party this month, which we are hopeful will be able to be reschedule.
(SB): How did you communicate the shutdown with your cast and production team?
Amanda: I made the call early on and while disappointing, everyone was beyond understanding.
(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?
Bucket List Cabaret with Amanda Conlon
Amanda: Yes! We will certainly remount Bucket List Cabaret when the time is right. One of the most consistent compliments we get on our cabarets is the song selection, given I love to find obscure, hardly-ever-performed material. A lot of time and thought goes into each set list, so I’m viewing this time as a gift to work on curating the next sets. Be on the lookout for the Theatre 40 staged readings as well once things are up and running again.
(SB): Here is a link to my Broadway World review of Bucket List Cabaret Dark and Dirty at Three Clubs, an evening of adult-themed songs rarely heard that kept me laughing throughout the show:
(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?
Amanda: We are very fortunate that we are in between Bucket List productions at the moment and don’t have our next mainstage production slotted yet. With my producing partner/husband, Pete Flanigan, we will use this time to strategize and decide what we will produce next. In fact, we were considering producing a Fringe show this year as it’s been 3 years since our last Fringe, but will likely wait another year or two to return. We currently have several other exciting projects we’re considering.
(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?
Amanda: We are having our first virtual reading/sing-through of a show via Zoom! I never really considered doing a virtual reading before, but I’m growing more excited about it as it may allow us to do readings more often, now during quarantine and beyond. All of our actors have their own “bucket list” roles, so this could be a great platform for us to read through more of their bucket list shows we wouldn’t otherwise be able to produce, and in a small way, fulfill our Bucket List Theatre mission!
(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?
Amanda: My heart goes out to all those whose productions were closed and hope as many shows as possible will be able to return as soon as we’re all able. I hope audiences are currently finding a newfound appreciation for theatre and the joy of sharing a live performance together. While this is a challenging, uncertain, scary time, I encourage us all to try and find the silver linings where we can and also hope we can all take some time to rest, reflect, repair and find new ways to create. Sending lots of positivity to everyone and I am looking forward to seeing you all at the theatre someday soon!
Fifteen Men in a Smoke-Filled Room - Chicago, June, 1920. The Republican National Convention is in full swing. Warren G. Harding is overwhelmed by the prospect of being the nominee of the Republican Party for President. https://t.co/CgSb5LEFqPpic.twitter.com/XIkQgbSPDO
ARCADIA - Prepare to be transported back and forth in time for lust, longing and literary rivalry at an English estate. In 1809, while the residents are gripped in their own intrigues, Thomasina, a brilliant young student, proposes an astonishing scientif https://t.co/NXPiOa511hpic.twitter.com/0iBVoF0wy3
I GET RESTLESS - Hazel just landed a job at a top law firm, bought a condo and married Mitch, who adores her. Then an accident on her honeymoon leaves her unable to remember anything about the past six years. https://t.co/WNsxCGZoIPpic.twitter.com/P1kROBzs5u
THE SCARLET LETTER - Named The Wall Street Journal ‘s 2017 Playwright of the Year, Kate Hamill is celebrated for her female-centered classics—and SCR has her latest world premiere! Get ready for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s acclaimed masterwork in a most... https://t.co/if0NQESxgfpic.twitter.com/9pyRvApsEY
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR - Go on a thrilling musical adventure filled with magic, mystery and fantastical creatures! Young Minli’s poor village desperately needs good fortune. So she sets out on a quest to find The Old Man in the Moon, who holds all the... https://t.co/Mugpe6wiZ1pic.twitter.com/BarbS52x9P
WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON - Go on a thrilling musical adventure filled with magic, mystery and fantastical creatures! Young Minli’s poor village desperately needs good fortune. So she sets out on a quest to find The Old Man in the Moon, who holds. https://t.co/FGRkpE1puepic.twitter.com/myiyYuSef4
FIREFLIES - Somewhere in the Jim Crow South, the sky burns red. A church bombing has rocked the Civil Rights Movement to its core, and Reverend Charles Grace must galvanize the people with messages of hope. https://t.co/hKR1CiXIGqpic.twitter.com/NqWfBhY5eI
SHE LOVES ME - Romantic, charming and brimming with joy, this musical comedy reminds us that one kind deed can open up a world of possibilities. At Maraczek’s Parfumerie, clerks Georg and Amalia are constantly at odds. https://t.co/zIecVyUoTUpic.twitter.com/MrRERNnR9f
A CHRISTMAS CAROL - This is the 40th year for the beloved Orange County holiday classic—and marks the final time that Hal Landon Jr. will portray everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. https://t.co/0azmfp6Incpic.twitter.com/UpYDIO2Xpm
AUBERGINE - Sometimes a meal is more than just food. A man shares a bowl of berries and a young woman falls in love. A mother meticulously prepares her son’s favorite dish to keep him from leaving home. https://t.co/Udp20ZGJEq
The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever! - Sixteen actors play nearly 30 characters in a holiday spectacular that will put you in a festive mood! A play-within-a-play, this fast-paced comedy follows a small, LGBTQ+ community theatre as it struggles to pull... https://t.co/GW9DjefQlwpic.twitter.com/XrymwZ7dP3
TABOO II is an evening of six short plays by six playwrights from around the U.S. Murderous impulses arise when a couple invites a friend over for dinner who has vastly different views. A teenager rants about his suicide from the afterlife. https://t.co/QEJurl3bojpic.twitter.com/WqfCZRdZit
Max and Willy’s Last Laugh (A staged reading benefit for Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills) - When German star, comedian Max Ehrlich, and his best friend, composer Willy Rosen were caught in Holland in 1942 and sent to the Westerbork Transit Camp, the... https://t.co/MJ6ADSO5F3pic.twitter.com/CT4v0y2Y2q
Yippie ki yay, theatre goers! We're settling the debate, once and for all. Yes, "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. But when John McClane meets Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," let's just say more than just your eye might get shot out! https://t.co/zTbBmA74GYpic.twitter.com/Blouo7L3y1
POCKETS - Hear ye, hear ye; Los Angeles’s premier musical comedy collective -- @RobotTeammate -- announces a triumphant return to SoHo Playhouse NYC this holiday season to share their wee original British-ish musical comedy, POCKETS. #lathtr#broadwayhttps://t.co/15qbRvDE1d
Actor and producer Nick Rubando, whose co-productions of Maddy's Musical and more have been a part of the L.A.'s ever-growing smaller theatre scene—including during the Hollywood Fringe Festival in Hollywood's Media District each June—made the choice to leave his career in entertainment in Los Angeles in order to flip a congressional seat in his home state of Ohio's 5th Congressional District currently held by Republican incumbent Bob Latta.
As Democrat, Rubando, is running against two other candidates in the March primaries. Since announcing his candidacy, he has spent the last 27 weeks of his campaign gaining supporters and volunteers along the way in a grassroots effort to affect change in Ohio's 5th district, an area that has been subject to gerrymandering and resulting legal battles. Rubando, who majored in Journalism with a minor in Marketing at Indiana University, brings a platform that includes national issues such as removing big money and corporate super PAC's from politics and continued national healthcare, to more local issues such as factory farm toxic run-off and algae bloom that is destroying Lake Erie and family farms and the trade wars and tariffs that are damaging Ohio's farming community and economy.
Rubando, who, along with David Ruben and their company R&R Incorporated, produced musical reviews and shows such as "Legends of the Hidden Three Clubs," "Musicals & Mimosas," and "Inspecting Carol" at the Three Clubs in Hollywood. He returns to Los Angeles during the November holidays to both visit family and friends and to hold a fundraiser at the Three Clubs to support his campaign back in Ohio. The fundraiser, "Nick's Hollywood Return Fundraiser," on Saturday, November 30, 2019, will bring together donated entertainment by his family of performers and supporters, whose productions have also been featured at the Three Clubs, to show their support for Rubando.
Via telephone, Rubando spoke clearly and passionately on what prompted his decision to run, his grassroots efforts in his campaign, the people he has met on the campaign trail, working with his team of volunteers, and his vision for Ohio's 5th District as their Congressional Representative.
So let's begin with what was your political background or inspiration that made you consider running for a congressional seat.
"I actually worked for the Katie Hill for Congress campaign in 2018. And there has been some stuff with Katie [in the news] recently, but when I joined up on her campaign she was a young, first-time candidate who moved back to her home town to really take on an unresponsive incumbent. I thought it was really important to be on her campaign. You know, after Donald Trump got elected, we would watch the news, and it was just bad news after bad news—and it felt demoralizing. It felt like there was nothing that I could do, or really any of us could do, to make it change. And then when I learned about Katie's campaign, I was really excited about her message and I wanted to help bring about that kind of change.
Photo courtesy of Nick Rubando for Congress.
This was in the Semi Valley area, just north of Los Angeles. So, I started with the campaign before the Democratic primaries. I would drive up there—sometimes an hour's drive—and knock on doors. And that started to motivate other people to knock on doors with me, and I started teaching other people about best practices. And it felt amazing, because every time something bad in the news would happen, it'd be like, 'It's fine! Because on Saturday I'm going to go knock on doors for Katie Hill and I am going to make a difference!'
Katie ended up winning the Democratic primary and then she ended up flipping that district. It used to be a Republican-held seat, and then she flipped it and it became a Democrat-held seat and it was amazing! It was amazing to see the hard work that we had all put into that race come into fruition and really be something great and be a positive change for that area.
So [later] I started doing some research into my home town after that race. I was inspired by how Katie moved back into her home town and I started looking into my home town—I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. So, I did a little research online and the first thing that came up was toxic algae bloom that had ruined Lake Erie—Lake Erie, this beautiful, pristine, fresh body of water that I used to go swimming in and go tubing in and go fishing in. And now they have these toxic algae blooms that occur every Summer there, which, for a couple of years was so bad that residents couldn't even drink the water that was coming out of the faucet. When I was in L.A., as well as in the theatre programs that I was running and performing in, I was also working for a tech start-up. And they were really big in the American food industry.
And from researching and being a part of this tech startup I was learning a lot about CAFO [confined animal feeding operations] or factory farms—these large-scale warehouses where they keep animals shoulder-to-shoulder-to-shoulder and pump full of antibiotics—and I learned that the wastewater from these facilities gets dumped into rivers. This wastewater then spreads onto fields and then it runs into rivers and it goes into Lake Erie, and that's what causing these toxic algae blooms.
I was so disgusted by it that I wanted to move back to my home town to make a difference there. Ohio is such an important battleground state, and with the 2020 elections coming up, I thought where better to go than to my home town to really create some positive change. When I got there I wanted to work on a Congressional campaign because that is what I had been doing in the past. So I was asking people, 'Who's running against Bob Latta?' He is the Republican incumbent. And people were saying [at the time,] 'You know, I don't think anyone's doing it. No one really has stepped up.'
The district's kind of hard. It's pretty gerrymandered. This guy raises a lot of money, he gets almost 75% of his donations from corporate PACs, and I couldn't let that stand. I have never been someone who asks why something happened. I always ask 'Why not?' So, I thought, 'I'm just going to run myself! I'm going to step up and run this race!' And so far the response has been fantastic. I do a lot of work with the Young Democrats of Wood and Lucas County, the two largest counties in the districts, and the work with the Advocates for Clean Lake Erie—all these groups have been super supportive during our campaign. I've also gotten really close with the Ohio Farmer's Union who doesn't like these factory farms either, because every time one of these farms opens up it usually closes down about ten family farms. It's a crisis that is going on in the American food industry here in Northwest Ohio and we're trying to change that.”
You mentioned about gerrymandering in Ohio, has any of that been undone?
“[Federal courts] have ruled that the districts are gerrymandered—that they are unconstitutionally drawn. But because they will be redrawn at the 2020 census, the courts have decided to wait until the 2020 census is completed to redraw the lines. So, the lines will not be redrawn for this race, but the next congressional race...there'll be all brand new lines!
Ohio, if you look at the voting breakdown, is a 50/50 State where there are just as many people who vote for Democrats as do Republicans. But we have to look at our Congressional Representatives. We have four Democrats, and I believe seven Republicans, so you can see where it really should be a split, but it is not the case there.”
Photo courtesy of Nick Rubando for Congress.
Regarding the tech start-up you mentioned, where is it, and what is it that they are trying to do? How were they influential to you?
“I worked for a company called Thrive Market. They are based in Marina Del Rey. They are a fantastic organization. Their mission is to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. So what they do is they sell organic groceries online and provide organic foods to your door. It's similar to like a Whole Foods Market, but cheaper. It's a membership model, like a Costco, where you pay something like $55.95 for the whole year, but you get premium discounted groceries, but they deliver them all throughout the United States. You look at places in Northwest Ohio, or some of the rural suburbs that I'm representing, these places are like “food deserts”—you have to drive far to get to a grocery store, and then if you want organic food or really higher quality goods, you can't always find them at regular markets. But this company would deliver them right to your door.
So with regard to the algae bloom issue in Ohio, let's talk more about what you learned was happening there.
"When I lived in California, I was not aware that Lake Erie was having this algae bloom problem even though I was aware of factory farms. But once I started doing some research on my hometown, I noticed these algae blooms were occurring a lot. Literally just a couple years ago people in the whole northwest Ohio area couldn't drink the water, they couldn't take showers, because the water was so toxic and I learned that the reason for that was the waste run-offs caused by these huge, large-scale factory farms.
The problem is that you have the Trump administration rolling back screening protection laws in the EPA which makes it even easier for these companies to dump their waste. So the problem is just compounding upon itself.”
What was the catalyst that propelled you to run for Congress and what kind of background brought you to consider it?
“In college—I was at Indiana University—and on the 2008 Obama campaign, I registered student voters. That was the first time that I got politically active—engaging students and ensuring that we could get a big a turn out in the state of Indiana. When we were working on that campaign, we flipped the state of Indiana from red to blue for the first time in 50 years. That Barack Obama win in 2008 was historic!
Photo courtesy of Nick Rubando for Congress.
At the time that I worked on the Obama campaign, my parents divorced and my mom was kicked off of my father's health insurance while she was struggling with some health concerns. It was a struggle to see her try to get an insurance card with a pre-existing condition.
I worked so hard for Obama, and then he passed the Affordable Care Act, and at that point in time—for the first time—my mom was able to afford an individualized insurance plan. And that changed her life. She was able to start her own small business because of that. So I saw how the work that we did, on just a small scale, was able to enable a presidential win...Government, in general, really can affect people's lives in a positive direction. And that's why it is so important to get politically engaged—and to vote—and to figure out what is important to you and to get behind it because it affects the lives of millions of Americans.”
What has the campaign trail been like and how many townships and counties have you visited?
"Our district has 14 counties, and we have visited them all. We have gone to Democratic meetings, meetings of concerned citizens, met with farmers, etc. We have gone into coffee shops and talked to people because we really want to know what is happening on the ground level. We've gotten to every single county, multiple times, and we're approaching as many people as possible. You know, our current representative never holds any Town Halls. He's absent, and people can never get in touch with him, so we are trying to paint a very stark contrast. I'm doing my best to meet with people so they can get to know me and learn to trust again. So they are like, 'Hey this guy's available when [Latta] is just sitting in Washington not doing anything for our community. We have been getting out into the community. We've put a lot of miles on the car!"
With your grassroots efforts, and not accepting corporate donations, I assume that the campaign is self-funded. What has your campaign crew been like?
"I didn't have any money to begin with, but we've gotten so much support and buy-in from the community. We have over 600 individual donors and we've raised close to $70,000. I have a campaign manager who is someone who ran in local elections here. Our campaign headquarters is directly across from Bowling Green University, so we have been getting a lot of [help] from the college students. We have about ten college student volunteers who come into the campaign office almost every day and who are intent about making a change.
We are picking up [supporters] everywhere we go, which is a great thing about visiting these counties. We meet with people and talk to them, and they want to join the team. We have now different captains everywhere we go."
“At the end of the day I really have to understand what all of my constituents are going through so I can best advocate for them.” – Nick Rubando
With your background as a working actor and producer in the entertainment industry, and working in L.A. Theatre, how has that experience translated? What have you learned from it and how do you feel it will make you a better representative of the people?
"I think one of the biggest things I have learned in the entertainment industry, especially in theatre, is empathy. When you are taking on a role, you really have to put yourself into someone else's shoes. And think about what life is like in their situation, how they view things, [and] what kind of problems they have. That empathy that I have been able to learn has served me so well [toward] being a representative. I go out into these communities and I'm speaking to these farmers. And I might not have the best understanding of what a farmer goes through every day, but through my work in the entertainment industry, I can put myself in that individual's shoes. At the end of the day, I really have to understand what all of my constituents are going through so I can best advocate for them. And I feel so lucky that I have been able to gain that kind of empathy through the work that I have done in the entertainment industry."
What would you say or feel is your responsibility personally for making change in Ohio, for the U.S., and to the world?
“I think everyone has a responsibility as American citizens. People have fought and died for their right to vote, and their right to make a change in this country and for their voices to be heard. So I think the most American thing that you can do is become an engaged citizen and attempt to make change. This was an opportunity that was presented to me. People wanted me to get involved in this and I didn't have anything else going on.
When you are running for [a political] office it's tough if you have a family, or you have small children that you have to take care of. I'm lucky I don't have that, so I have this big opportunity to step up and fulfill my duty as an American citizen. And I think that everyone who lives in this beautiful country shouldn't take it for granted. If we've learned one thing from the Donald Trump era is that we cannot take our democracy for granted. Too many times we think that everything is going to be fine and that other people will take care of us, but in reality we are all responsible. We are all responsible for this beautiful thing called America. So we all need to step up and get involved wherever we can."
Photo by Monique A. LeBleu ~ Nick Rubando as Le Phantom, Master of Ceremonies, in "Legends of the Hidden Three Clubs" for Hollywood Fringe, at Three Clubs, Thursday, June 10, 2017.
Let's talk about the local fundraising event at Three Clubs coming up. How did that come about and what can people expect from that?
“I have friends and family in the Los Angeles area, and they have been extremely supportive of this race. And they asked, 'What is one thing that we can do to help you out?' As I mentioned, we have a grassroots campaign and we're going up against an incumbent Republican who is taking 75% of his donations from corporate PACs. The worst of it all is that it's the exact same corporate PACs that he is making the laws about in Washington. He sits on the Energy and Commerce committees...oil and gas companies and the pharmaceutical companies, and those are the same corporations that he gets money from. And the pharmaceutical companies are the worst because our state is number two in opioid-related deaths and our [current] Representative gets hundreds of thousands of dollars from opioid manufacturers each year to get elected. And that is terrible!
It's so important that we're able to get support from individuals so we can have snacks and water and materials for our volunteers when they come into the [campaign] office. We need donations so we can print educational materials about our campaign that we hand out to our constituents when we knock on doors, so we can purchase online ads, send out mailers, etc. I'm a first-time candidate, so it's essential that I get name recognition and that my campaign message gets heard.
The fundraising event on November 30th at Three Clubs in Hollywood will raise money towards democracy and at the same time will have great entertainment. The crew from Cherry Poppins will be dancing, singing, and performing and 'MAD😜LIB! The Musical' show will also be there. It's amazing that these individuals that I have worked with for so long really believe in what we are doing and are helping out. They want to see a change and they're using their art to help inspire and create that change. That is phenomenal to see."
Is the Three Clubs donating the evening, in terms of the space, and anything else?
“The space is completely free. We are not paying for it. There will be food included in the ticket price, which is coming from my family, and my friends are helping serve. People have to pay for alcohol, but the Three Clubs is giving us the entire space and the entire night for free. They are such an amazing venue. I have done so many great shows there and they have been a huge supporter of my work! And I believe that a ticket to this kind of show is worth $35, while at the same time supporting democracy and getting some good food. It's going to be a really awesome event and evening!
This fundraiser is extremely important and we want everyone to come out to this event and meet with like-minded people so we can also make some changes in Los Angeles.”
Regardless of the outcome, do you have any plans, either way, win or lose? What is the first thing you would or will do once you'd win and any other plans down the road?
“Well, if we win, we'd be in Congress. And the first thing I would like to do is pass a law to get big money out of politics. And another thing I'd want to do is to ensure that Members of Congress won't be allowed to accept donations from companies that they actively legislating on. So if you are making laws that are about the energy and gas sectors, you are not allowed to accept money from big oil companies. You would think that would be a no-brainer, but that is not the case right now. These would be my first pieces of legislation that I would want to push through."
But the advantages of Super PACs go both ways, or all ways, politically, so anyone can benefit from them, right? Is that something you choose not to accept then?
“We're not accepting any corporate PAC money. But I should mention that our campaign was recently endorsed by an organization called Brand New Congress. They have a documentary on Netflix called “Knock Down The House.” They were very influential in the rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, so we are extremely excited about that."
Nick's Hollywood Return Fundraiser is Saturday, November 30, 2019, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Three Clubs located at 1123 Vine St, 90038, in Hollywood. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased here. Donations can also be made here.
Theatrical shows, Film Festivals, Musicals, and Interactive/Immersive Escape Rooms NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.
Short & Sweet Film Festival
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Tuesday nights will be devoted to new short Films.
Thursday evenings will be the occasion for Thirsty Thursdays, an occasion for artists to socialize and network, sponsored by Silent Pool Gin. https://t.co/3D37zs2jWq
Short Latinx plays. Each of four groups of plays is named after a performing icon.
Friday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, October 12 at 2:00 p.m.; Sunday, October 13 at 9:00 p.m.
Perro Amor. Directed by Paloma Lopez. https://t.co/5bOeYYEb1w
THE ART OF DINING - 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. https://t.co/xFNb0fgirTpic.twitter.com/fvksUESJFt
THE SUNSHINE BOYS deftly showcases the late Neil Simon’s brilliant ear for sidesplitting dialogue and his sharp eye for physical comedy. Yet beneath the raucous laughter are two vulnerable people struggling to make sense of their lives. https://t.co/CgOphhjiFhpic.twitter.com/wOeJQgdKiB
A Christmas Carol - ANW’s delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns! Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge—the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season. https://t.co/rloD4cq2jGpic.twitter.com/eTsfhZ4n3m
Second City’s fourth annual "2019 Diversity in Comedy Festival"
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The Second City’s fourth annual "2019 Diversity in Comedy Festival" is a 4-day festival taking place on October 17, 18, 19, 20. LADCF will feature diverse performers in the realm of sketch, improv, stand-up, original pilots, and video shorts, through... https://t.co/K07zXCMxVzpic.twitter.com/WQAYhdia8F
The Glendale Center Theatre (GCT) has done it again and brought yet another original musical adaption of the 1945 novel written by Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym of R. A. Dick of ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’. https://t.co/IgjeIdfXuI
Ravenswood Manor- A CAMP-HORROR-SOAP-OPERA IN 12 EPISODES
Taking a page from the cult classic "Dark Shadows", Justin Sayre's Ravenswood Manor brings audiences the gothic and hilarious goings-on of a small New England town during the spring of 1976. https://t.co/lX7TukjrsM
DEAR JERRY SEINFELD - Steven Brandon and Ari Stidham (“Scorpion”) present the world premiere of Dear Jerry Seinfeld, with book and lyrics by Alex Lewis (“Bring the Funny”) and Greg Smith, music by Alex Lewis and Michael Teoli, directed by Greg Lewis. https://t.co/mocJRdRaNjpic.twitter.com/zDkwKvJSIM
"What If? – A Musical Parody" directed by Bruce Kimmel, produced by Doug Haverty, with musical direction by Richard Allen, returns to Los Angeles for Two Nights only, Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday, October 24 at 8pm. https://t.co/FTAlHZxF1Jpic.twitter.com/tCC3CCslCN
KEY LARGO - WORLD PREMIERE ADAPTATION & GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE COMMISSION
Welcome to the eye of the storm! Key Largo is a bold reimagining of Maxwell Anderson’s Broadway hit that became the iconic noir film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. https://t.co/pXTNzYMjiP
SISTERS IN LAW-This new production, based on Linda Hirshman’s New York Times bestseller, celebrates the friendship – and conflict – between two modern-day legends who became the United States Supreme Court’s first female justices. https://t.co/0ntJOwCXqFpic.twitter.com/kHCQphLEIK
The Legend of Little Girl Blue is a beautifully orchestrated mixture of classical, jazz, and rhythm & blues sounds with riveting storytelling of the musical bond between an artist from one era influenced by a legend from the past. https://t.co/twDLpayiEHpic.twitter.com/pqiZRMNIH0
THE SÉANCE - Madam Ruby has invited you and a few guests to participate in her Séance and step beyond the veil. But who or what will be waiting for you? This is a frightening interactive theatre experience with live actors and special effects. https://t.co/pWHkbtdkU4pic.twitter.com/s8WK97PYBz
Turn back the hands of time for an intimate evening with legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday: Lanie Robertson’s play with music treats the audience to one last performance by the iconic singer. https://t.co/J3nlo6noGLpic.twitter.com/boLxFaeiMW
THE SANTALAND DIARIES - "A sardonic, merrily subversive tale—just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!" NY Newsday. https://t.co/5liGzYQV8Gpic.twitter.com/fU0eyAUENy
Theatrical shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar, including Hollywood Fringe Festival Encore! Producers and Best of Broadwater Award recipients. For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.
FERTILE: A Conversation About the Expectation of Procreation
"WINNER Producers' Encore Award & NOMINEE Best Solo Performance 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival!
Jenny has a plan. A plan to get pregnant. Everyone says, time is running out - she just turned 35, after all. So, when those pesky urine tests keep coming back negative, Jenny decides to take action to fix the problem. That's when she runs into real problems - and real questions about fertility AND motherhood. As Jenny faces the world of “mom options” – egg freezing, in-vitro, adoption, and more – the conversation about the expectation heats up. Taking into account a whirlwind of outside opinions from her friends, her doctors, a beloved neighbor – and even God – Jenny must ultimately look within to discover what motherhood means to her, what it means to be Fertile."
"'Love, Madness and Somewhere in Between' is a no holds barred glimpse into a mystical journey filled with love, pain, insanity, and redemption. Scattered along the way is a sprinkling of ironic comic commentary that can only come from a true survivor. “Jimmy” is not so much a hero but more a human being traversing an abusive childhood, a descent into alcoholism and finally plunging into a world of fantastical personifications which dwell amidst humanity's darkest sins. Will closure, forgiveness, and healing come in the unlikely form of the “angel warriors” – patients on the pediatric cancer ward of Children's Hospital? Does Pure Love, in fact, transform and redeem, or are some lives beyond salvation? The show had its world premiere at Theatre West on January 27th, 2019. It ran 6 performances at Hollywood Fringe 2019 and won the Encore! Producers' Award. The show has been extended for three more performances."
"Lisa Verlo performs HOLLYWOODN'T a solo show and personal journey across Hollywood's unsettling sexual landscape, directed by and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson. A musical memoir told with candor and insight into the life of an actress before women dared to speak up. With original songs co-written with Frank Simes, Musical Director for The Who, Lisa Verlo brings humor and a light heart to a heavy subject. Creative visuals and video projections add to the multimedia recounting of her experiences on the casting couches of LA. Hollywoodn't was featured, on Wednesday, February 13, as part of SOLOFEST 2019 at the Whitefire Theatre, the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast."
"While on a first date, Stacy's date innocently asks her if she wants red or white wine. This “trick” question immediately sets off a tsunami of Stacy's insecurities, fueled by a history of being shot down after speaking her mind. In the instant it takes to answer that “red or white?” question, Stacy takes us on a hilarious journey of her failed relationships with men, starting in the fifth grade, when she beat her first boyfriend at wall ball during recess. After that he broke up with her. So begins an unintentionally competitive pattern with men that whenever Stacy wins at life, she loses at love. With both sides of Stacy's psyche weighing in like a comical Greek chorus, Stacy tries to figure out what men really want in a women before she answers that all important first date question, 'Would you like red or white wine?'"
"Lisa Verlo performs HOLLYWOODN'T a solo show and personal journey across Hollywood's unsettling sexual landscape, directed by and developed with Jessica Lynn Johnson. A musical memoir told with candor and insight into the life of an actress before women dared to speak up. With original songs co-written with Frank Simes, Musical Director for The Who, Lisa Verlo brings humor and a light heart to a heavy subject. Creative visuals and video projections add to the multimedia recounting of her experiences on the casting couches of LA. Hollywoodn't was featured, on Wednesday February 13, as part of SOLOFEST 2019 at the Whitefire Theatre, the largest solo theatre festival on the West Coast."
Better Lemons has lots of registered shows and events and lot of them have Critics and Audience reviews posted. Here you can see their favorites and when you click on a title, you will see all the critics' and audience reviews and ratings. From there you can choose what your adventures this weekend will be. We wish you a fantastic weekend!
80s British rock band, Hell Kross, stands accused of hundreds of wrongful deaths, as their music leaves a wake of death and destruction. This heavy metal musical comedy rock opera extravaganza requires YOU to ...read more
THE TEMPEST @ Brand Park
October 4, 2018 7:30 pm
Exiled and left stranded to raise her young daughter on a deserted island, Prospero's chance for revenge has finally come. Aided by magic and the spirits of the island, will justice finally be won? ...read more
THE LONE BELLOW@ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University
October 4, 2018 8:00 pm
Americana country trio The Lone Bellow is known for their transcendent harmonies, serious musicianship and raucous live performances, which display their “open-hearted, vein-bursting conviction” (NPR Music). The group continues their introspective and poignant music ...read more
SAN PEDRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL @ Warner Grand Theatre
October 5, 2018 5:30 pm
The San Pedro International Film Festival was founded to celebrate the diverse culture and community of San Pedro with a wide spectrum of independent film, documentaries, and shorts. SPIFF is committed to exhibiting films that ...read more
FANCY NANCY: THE MUSICAL @ Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center
October 5, 2018 7:00 pm
A sophisticated evening for the fancy side in all of us Fancy Nancy and her friends Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel are going to be performing in their very first show, “Deep Sea Dances.” ...read more
5TH ANNUAL HIGHLAND PARK INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL @ Highland Theatres
October 5, 2018 7:00 pm
The Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF) was founded by a group of filmmakers whose express mission is to promote the art of film in their community. HPIFF is the first film festival of ...read more
THE SECRET IN THE WINGS @ Stage 12
October 5, 2018 8:00 pm
The Secret in the Wings October 5th, 2018 – November 4th, 2018 Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm Written by Mary Zimmerman Directed by Patti Cumby A captivating voyage into our collective ...read more
LA FASHION FILM FEST @ various venues
October 6, 2018 11:00 am
LAFFF has partnered with two venues with a combined history of 159 years at the forefront of fashion and technology in Los Angeles to host the two-day festival, taking place on October 5th and ...read more
TOWNE STREET THEATRE IN RESPONSE; YEAR OF THE WOMAN @ Stella Adler Theatre
October 6, 2018 8:00 pm
Towne Street Theatre's IN RESPONSE: Year of the Woman is the latest installment of the critically acclaimed IN RESPONSE series reflecting on the current State of the Union. Past and present issues of women ...read more
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN @ Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University
October 7, 2018 2:00 pm
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting Michael Feinstein is an all-star force in American music. Over the three decades of his career, Feinstein's five Grammy Award nominations, Emmy ...read more
After serving in the Iraq war, Carter's brother, Owen, has been withdrawn and mute. In the hopes of getting the brother he once knew back, Carter invites two of Owen's service buddies, Bergsey and ...read more
Hilarious and moving coming-of-age story with music from the theater, that chronicles Jones' childhood as a budding theater queen, ten years on Broadway in "A Chorus Line," through to the present and his successful, ...read more
NEW! Shows and Film Festivals that have registered on the Better Lemons calendar. For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page. Share on social media.
NEW! Shows and film festivals that have registered on the Better Lemons calendar. For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page. Share on social media.
Daniel Donohue and Eric Siegel, the stars of last year's hilarious The New Bad Boys of Magic, are staggering back to the Hollywood Fringe to continue the story of their misbegotten magicians and to demonstrate some more inebriated prestidigitation.
What is the inspiration behind this newest assault on the Fringe?
Frankly, the Hollywood Fringe Festival is one of the few venues in town that hasn't permanently banned us. If our “Amazing Disappearing Fifth of Rum” trick from last year didn't get us kicked out, surely our “Cups & Tide Pods” routine will.
I take it this is a continuation of the same characters. What more will fans discover about them?
Coke & Mirrors tells the whole history of the New Bad Boys of Magic, from our sad childhoods to our glory days as Las Vegas headliners, right up to the present day as Los Angeles children's entertainers. It will be painful, but at least we can all drink.
How did you manage to lure producer Greg Karber and director Nick Paul into your trap?
Nick Paul is one of the finest magicians in the world and a headliner at the world-famous Magic Castle. We cornered him in the Castle parking lot, and he agreed to direct us as soon as we put the air back in his tires.
Our producer Greg Karber hired us for our first gig two years ago, and he has since gone on to become a successful theatrical producer and film director. Coincidence? We think not.
What compelled you to return to the Fringe this year?
Definitely money. The massive profit margins we make producing our show at Hollywood Fringe are reason enough to return. Also, we love meeting crazy people. Er, sorry — actors.
Can you hint at any mystifying illusions you'll be throwing at the audience?
Our closer is a trick entitled “Nocturnal Prediction.” It's filthy.
What have you guys been up to since Bad Boys?
Every month, we host a magical variety show called Dirty Tricks at Three Clubs in Hollywood. You should check it out. The other magicians are way better than us, we promise.
Since the Fringe is such a collaborative experience, are there any other shows you'd like to give a shout out to?
Several of our friends have devised an ensemble piece called The Elevator. In the true spirit of Hollywood Fringe, we will definitely trade comps with them and then not go.
Coke and Mirrors plays three dates — June 3, 10 and 17 at Three Clubs, 1123 North Vine Street. Tickets and showtimes can found on the Fringe website. Grab your tickets now!