Feminists Abound in “Diana Of Dobson’s” at the Antaeus Theatre

Reviewed by: Dale Reynolds

In Antaeus’ recent re-discovery of semi-lost plays, DIANA OF DOBSON’S the director, Casey Stangl, has partner-cast it with great aplomb. Written in 1908, in England, playwright Cicely Hamilton (1872-1952), a confirmed feminist and suffragette in her day, makes her political and social points about the problems in British society when the über-rich were able to condescend to those under them, especially women (and men) in low-paying jobs.

Eve Gordon, Elyse Mirto, Cindy Nguyen, Krystel Roche, Kristen Ariza

Here, Miss Diana Massingbred (Abigail Marks), a highly sensitive worker in Dobson’s Department Store in London (in the ladies’ corset department), who can barely survive on the pittance the rich owners pay their female workers. She dreams of better times that clearly can never be hers, until…..a surprise inheritance of the princely sum of £300 lets her quit her job in a furious and amusing way, telling the other women in their dormitory-setting what she will spend it on: oh, no, not savings or investments, nothing sensible such as that!, but splurging on clothes from Paris and a couple of weeks in a high-end Swiss resort under a magnificent snow-capped mountain.

Jazzlyn K. Luckett, Kendra Chell

There she meets some richly-paid capitalists, wowing them in the process of being herself, but under the rubric of being a wealthy widow of some industrialist in England. Her self-confidence informs her lie and has a couple of the wealthy bachelors begging for her hand in marriage by the end of her vacation.

But being an intelligent, sensible woman – and having run out of her cash – she flees back to a serious life-of-poverty in London. Ah, but then fate catches up with our socialist heroine, giving her a better life. Who’d’a thunk?!

Tony Amendola, John Bobek, Abigail Marks

Hamilton’s social comedy, one of a series of left-wing plays that attracted George Bernard Shaw’s attention, improbable as it seems to us now, has been given a spritely production at Antaeus. Ms. Stangl has cast it well, with Marks brightly and loudly making her mark in this comedy. Her would-be life-partners, industrialist Sir Jabez Grinley (Tony Amendola) and idle born-to-wealth layabout, Victor Bretherton (John Bobek), give us commendable characterizations, as does Rhonda Aldrich in two widely-divergent roles as the grim watchdog of the store and as the fabulously rich aunt of Victor, Lady Cantellup.

Eve Gordon, Krystel Roche, Elyse Mirto

The balance of the cast, including Ben Atkinson as a kindly London Bobby and as a snooty French waiter , and Elyse Mirto as another wealthy matron and, later, a smart and dying elderly woman. Others in the cast: Desirée Mee Jung, Erin Barnes, Kendra Chell and Mazzlyn K. Luckett are the work-mates of our Diana, with each and every one of them making the most of their characters, as is per Antaeus’ gift to us every time.

However, if there is any fly-in-the-ointment, it’s the tendency in this small and intimate 99-seat space, for the actors to, if not bellow exactly, project too loudly. It seems odd for anyone not to have noticed it. But the settings by Nina Caussa are well-executed, as indeed, are the exacting costumes of Jeffrey Schoenberg.

 This is a curious museum-piece that still speaks to us in these unsettling times for democracies around the world, as well as for the continued growth of the woman’s movement. Definitely worth seeing.

“Diana of Dobson’s” closes this June 3rd at the Antaeus Theatre, 110 E. Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205. Tickets: 818.506.1983 or at www.Antaeus.org.


“Daniel’s Husband” at The Fountain Theatre is a Delight

Review by: Dale Reynolds

These days we’re all aware of the growing amount of class LGBTQ theatre, and there is now also positive growth in outsiders’ perceptions of this persecuted minority. A major addition to this growing output will send you running to the historic Fountain Theatre in Hollywood to see a superior drama, Daniel’s Husband by Michael McKeever.

Solidly directed by Simon Levy, with excellent casting, this ninety-minute play flies by in an instant. Daniel (Bill Brochtrup), in his late 30s, perhaps, is a successful architect and his lover/partner/mate for over a decade is Mitchell (Tim Cummings), a couple of years older, is a flourishing novelist.

Bill Brochtrup, Tim Cummings, Jose Fernando, Ed Martin

Daniel and Mitchell have a solid life: money, love and (as described in the program), living in “a perfectly appointed home,” but the fly-in-the-ointment is Daniel’s divorced mother, Lydia (Jenny O’Hara), who is a loving but dominant feature-in their lives.

Lydia has come to stay for a week and in a mother-lovin’-manner creates havoc, which leads to some serious undercutting in the men’s relationship due to Daniel and Mitchell’s divergent views on the institution of marriage. Notwithstanding, Lydia’s firm approval of her son’s sexuality and his enduring relationship with Mitchell, Daniel has a strong need to solidify his relationship with his loved one. But that desire conflicts with Mitchell’s intellectual understanding that the concept of marriage is something outdated and anyway, something only heterosexuals do.

Ed Martin and Jose Fernando

Of course in the real world, marriage is more than just a manifestation of a couple’s love for each other; it also has major value in taxes, health issues and inheritances. All of which come to a dramatic point when Daniel is afflicted with a serious brain disorder and Lydia claims him for her own over the objections of his partner, Mitchell.

The crux of McKeever’s drama is that when it comes to gay-rights, legal marriage is of prime importance, and that now that the U.S. Supreme Court has made it legal in every state in the Union, putting things off can lead to tragic results.

What works so well in this well-crafted, small-set drama is the balance McKeever shows in his characters: Lydia is no villain and Mitchell has a strong point. So the vivid setup works like gangbusters and the playwright has a hit play in his satchel.

Tim Cummings, Bill Brochtrup, Jenny O’Hara

Director Levy makes sure the actors reach their emotional goals, and every one of them makes the most of their moments. Watching the four middle-aged actors not over-or under-play their characters’ wants and needs is a joy to behold. Brocktrup (known for his exemplary work with Antaeus) and Cummings are a match and Martin explores his need for younger partners, no matter how short-changing the relationships, which allows Fernando choices that show off his talents as well as his looks. O’Hara again exploits her acting chops by making Lydia’s love for Daniel dominate her over-weaning need to care for him, long-standing partner or no.

The technical aspects are exemplary in this small but valuable theatrical asset to Los Angeles. On the lovely, if somewhat sterile set of DeAnne Millais, lighting designer Jennifer Edwards and costume designer Michael Mullen’s work stand out sharply.

This is an exciting piece of quality theatre and works for all with its clarity on the issues and its strong emotional resonance.

What: “Daniel’s Husband”

Where: Fountain Theatre, 5060 Fountain Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90029


When: Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 8pm through June 23rd.

Photos by Ed Krieger



Christian Brando – “Wild Son” – A New Stage Production in Santa Monica

Review by: Peter Foldy

It is well documented fact that a boy’s relationship with his father is probably the most important one he will ever know. A hostile or unavailable father can burden a young man with bagage that he may carry for the rest of his life. This was certainly the case for Christian Brando, the son of legendary actor Marlon Brando. In many ways, Christian’s turbulantlife was shaped by his interaction, or lack of one, with his brilliant father, perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Don Corleone in the 1972 film, “The Godfather.”

The program for WILD SON: The Testimony of Christian Brando, now playing at the Santa Monica Playhouse, tells us that playwright/director, Champ Clark, met the younger Brando in 2005. The two became friends and before long Clark was putting Christian’s recollections on tape.

John Mese as “Christian Brando”

This one-man show, based upon those interviews, is a revealing look at young Brando’s turbulent life. His story is filled with anecdotes populated by the likes of Jack Nicholson, Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Anjelica Huston, and Robert Blake among others.

Actor, John Mese delivers the narrative with confident, self-deprecating humor and earnest conviction.

John Mese

Christian Brando’s life was centered on and around abandonment. He was left to fend for himself at a very early age. His mother, unhinged and uninterested, uses the boy to hurt her ex-husband. As Christian grows into a “wild child,” embarking on sexual romps starting at age 13 and stealing drugs from his “uncle” Jack Nicholson, his notoriously promiscuous father begins to see Christian as a threat, perhaps even as competition. “There is only one star in this family,” Marlon Brando tells his son.

At one point Christian is banished to the Midwest, and later to a Tahitian island where he is left to live without his parents for periods of time.

Christian Brando – © Barry King – Wire Image

As he grows older and eventually returns to Hollywood, psycho-dramas seem to follow him everywhere. He struggles to find balance and happiness but he is constantly haunted by memories of a hostile, humiliating father and an uncaring mother. It’s no wonder that the troubled young man we meet in “Wild Son” comes across as brash and dangerous on the outside, while on the inside he nurses a broken heart. This is a story worth knowing–and a play worth seeing.

What: Wild Son: The Testimony of Christian Brando

Where: Santa Monica Playhouse (Main Stage), 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 9040. Parking at nearby City Garage on 4th Street, or street parking.

When: Sundays, through May 26th

Time:  5:30 pm

Tickets: $20.00 General Admission

Reservations: Online at wildson.brownpapertickets.com and by calling 800-838-3006



New play Remembers Holocaust, Celebrates Anne Frank’s 90th Birthday at Museum of Tolerance

LOS ANGELES (May 2, 2019) — In observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Simon Wiesenthal Center today announced casting for a new play about Anne Frank that will celebrate what would have been her 90th birthday this summer.

Eve Brandstein will direct Timothy P. Brown, Rob Brownstein, Tony DeCarlo, Andrea Gwynnel, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Kevin Matsumoto, Mary Gordon Murray, Aylam Orian and Marnina Schon in the U.S. premiere of Anne by Dutch playwrights Jessica Durlacher and Leon de Winter — in a never-before-seen adaptation by Nick Blaemire. Suzi Dietz will produce.

In this new adaptation of the immortal Holocaust story, 13 year-old Anne Frank imagines her life as a young woman — safe in a post-war world. When she meets a publisher who expresses interest in her story, Anne looks back on the two years she spent hidden away with her family during the Nazi regime.

This innovative production eschews traditional sets and costumes to place the audience and actors on the same dramatic plane as the characters — all real people under real circumstances — fighting for their lives, sanity and dreams of the future.

Previews will begin June 5, with performances taking place June 16 through July 22 at the Museum of Tolerance.

Wasatch Theatrical Ventures’ Production of “All My Sons” is Moving and Powerful

Review by: Peter Foldy

Although many refer to them as the greatest generation, Americans who fought World War II, or whose labor helped win it, had, like all generations, the potential for lapses in morality. Arthur Miller’s classic play, ALL MY SONS, first performed on Broadway in 1947,  highlights one such example. Though wrapped in the rhythm and style of the post war years, the incident at the heart of the story is easily relateable to what’s happening in our present day America.

Set in the summer of 1946, the story is deep and intricate. It deals with the Kellers, a nice family, on a seemingly ordinary day. Undeniable truths are finally catching up with them. A life-changing crisis is about to unfold.

Francesca Casale and Mark Belnick in All My Sons

Kate Keller (Francesca Casale) is unwilling to accept that her oldest son, Larry, has been lost in the war and may not be coming home. Her younger son, Chris, (Jack Tynan) also a veteran, is recovering from what we now call PTSD. Chris has fallen in love with his former next-door neighbor, Ann Deever, (Alexis Boozer Sterling) and is about to propose marriage. Ann, we soon discover, was Larry’s girl and Kate is dead set against the union. She insists that Ann wait for her oldest son to return.

Jack Tynan, Alexis Boozer Sterling and James McAndrew

Wealthy patriarch, Joe Keller (Mark Belnick) and Ann’s father were business partners accused of selling defective airplane parts that resulted in the death of 21 young fliers. The courts exonerated Joe and pinned the blame solely on Mr. Deever, who to this day sits in prison. Joe defends his motives and is reluctant to accept any blame, nor does he seek repentance. Many in the neighborhood doubt his innocence, and when Ann’s brother, George (James McAndrew) unexpectedly arrives, he shares hard to dispute evidence that Joe is in fact the guilty party. From here the play drifts towards it’s heart-wrenching conclusion that will deeply touch all their lives.

Ably directed by Gary Lee Reed and produced by Racquel Lehrman this production of All My Sons is a fluid, riveting drama that draws you in and doesn’t let go. An effective scenic designed by Pete Hickok effectively recreates a 1940s environment but it is the performances that drive this production. The quality of the acting is solid and committed. Everyone on stage gets their moment to shine and there are many standouts.

Francesca Casale, Alexis Boozer Sterling

Beckett Wilder (alternating with Jack Heath) has a brief but impressive turn as a young neighborhood boy. James McAndrew is compelling as George while Mark Belnick as Joe amps up his powerful moments, much like a prize fighter times his punches.

In an impressive performance, Francesca Casale breaks our hearts as the mother who wants her son back while Alexis Boozer Sterling delivers a Doris Day tinged sweetness as the girl who holds a secret nobody want to hear.

Jack Tynan centers the play. His Chris is both the protagonist and a victim here, a man with a moral compass looking for the truth. When his character falls to pieces in the last act, his pain is palpable. Tynan digs deep and makes some vulnerable choices that are filled with pain and emotion.

All My Sons is an American classic and this production at the Lounge Theatre does it right. Bring your handkerchiefs. You’re going to need them.

Where: The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90038

When: 8pm Fridays & Saturdays, 3pm on Sundays (No performances April 19 – 21)

Closing: May 12, 2019

How: For reservations call: (323) 960-5570 or online at: https://www.onstage411.com/sons

Tickets: $30








Kevin Dennis: A Broadway Star in the Making

April 6, 2019

Recently completing a starring role in the world premiere of Paradise Square at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in the San Francisco Bay Area, KEVIN DENNIS has been a rising star in Canada since the late 1990s. He has landed leading roles in stage productions by respected theatre companies such as Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, as well as Toronto’s Canadian Stage Company.

On television he has been seen in recurring roles on CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and 11.22.63 opposite James Franco on Hulu/Bad Robot, as well as guest appearances on Reign (CW/CBS), Orphan Black (Space/BBC America), Warehouse 13 (Syfy), Flashpoint (CTV/CBS), Mayday! (Discovery), Queer As Folk (Showtime) and Emily of New Moon (CBC).

Kevin Dennis

Beyond his work in front of the camera, Kevin has garnered over one hundred animation credits to date with voice-over roles in cartoons such as Busytown Mysteries (CBC/CBS), Redekai (Cartoon Network), Super Why! (PBS), Cyberchase (PBS) and Tabaulga and Lilli (Sony Pictures Classics).

We sat down with Kevin to talk about his life, his career and his rise to fame.

Hollywood Revealed: When did you first realize you had an interest in the arts?

Kevin Dennis: As a child, I was always drawn to the camera, as well as the stage. My parents put me into community drama classes and theatre at age eight, where I excelled in front of an audience. I started acting in front of the camera at the age of twelve, appearing on successful Canadian TV shows like Ready or Not, Squawk Box and Nikita.

HR: Where was you first appearance in public? High school?

KD: My first role was Augustus Gloop in a community performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Oakville Centre of the Arts. I was nine-years-old. I really enjoyed the adoring audience of parents and grandparents.

HR: Did you decide then and there to be an actor?

KD: That was it! I truly found what would become my life’s work. Plus, who wouldn’t like it when people clap for you at the end of your work day?

HR: How did you get your ACTRA card?

KD: Actually, I joined both Canadian Actors’ Equity (stage union) and ACTRA the same summer, at the age of nineteen. For CAEA membership I was selected out of hundreds of Toronto actors to join the cast of Forever Plaid at the Charlottetown Festival. I had just graduated high school and it was my first full summer away from my parents. I had also become legal-drinking age in Canada. I’ll just say it was one hell of a summer and an amazing gig. While performing in PEI, I was approached by the CBC to audition for a role on Emily of New Moon which was shooting on the island at the time. I managed to book the role and got to play opposite Martha MacIsaac (Superbad, Family Guy) and joined ACTRA as a result.

HR: Sounds amazing. So would you say that was your luckiest break in the entertainment business?

KD: No, I’d say my luckiest break came in front of the camera in 2014. I decided to shift my attention from a highly successful stage career to try and get more focus on film and television. It wasn’t all glory, trust me. I became highly skilled at waiter-ing, interior painting and special event service. But thankfully, the auditions started surfacing regularly for American TV shows being shot in and around Toronto. My biggest break was being cast in the pilot episode of The Strain for the FX Network. The best part of that gig was that I got to spent four days under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, who recently won the Academy Award as Best Director for The Shape of Water.

Kevin Dennis, Adrienne Merrell in “Young Frankenstein”

HR: Nice. Have you managed to stay in touch with him?

KD: Actually, I have. We spoke recently about working together again, so I am grateful for having met him and hopeful it will happen. I also got to work and become acquaintances with Carlton Cuse, the Emmy Award-Winning Executive Producer of the hit TV show Lost.

HR: How much of a role does networking play in an actor’s success?

KD: Like training and auditioning, networking is an integral part of the daily routine of a professional actor. You can`t wait by the phone for roles to come to you. It is essential to put your product out there and make new connections.

HR: What’s been your favorite role to date?

KD: For stage, the leading role of Frederick in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein at Stage West was one of my absolute favorites. While no one can duplicate what Gene Wilder did, it was exhilarating to play these classic comedy scenes in front of a live audience eight times a week. I also got to play the role opposite my lovely and talented wife, Adrienne Merrell which was a dream come true!

HR: Does being married to another performer help or hinder?

KD: Definitely helps. We understand each other. We both realize that we are in it to win it, so we better make it work!

HR: What were the challenges of playing the role of Mike Quinlan in your last show Paradise Square at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre?

KD: It was very exciting to see my role expand into a larger, adversarial one during rehearsals and development of the show. The play digs deep into the roots of American politics, immigration and race-relations, which made it extremely poignant for the acting company and audience. My character went to the Civil War, came home badly injured to discover his job was taken and a Federal Draft had been issued. What better drama could you ask for as an actor? As the story unfolded, my character was given some very radical dialogue. In the second act, after I delivered one of my final lines, I could hear the audience literally gasp while they shifted in their seats. That’s the power of live theatre. That is why I want to continue this pursuit in the United States, the biggest theater market in the world.

Kevin Dennis in “Paradise Square.”

HR: How much of an impact does social media have on an actor’s career in this day and age?

KD: While I love posting videos of me goofing off, or pics of my cat, there is simply no denying the power and reach of social media. Facebook, I keep mainly for the fun stuff. Twitter is strictly professional. Instagram is a hybrid of the two. I enjoy posting about my professional experiences in theatre and on screen and seeing how far it can go. It’s a great tool to get your portfolio exposed to a wider audience. Plus, producers look to see how you represent yourself online and how many engagements your posts create.

HR: So, what’s next?

KD: I’m currently in Toronto re-immersing myself in the film and television scene. I had a great guest spot on Murdoch Mysteries last year, and I’m now looking at some on-screen roles for the spring and summer. Beyond that, Paradise Square has a very solid chance of making it to Broadway in the next few months, and that has always been the biggest dream of my life.

HR: Let’s hope it comes true. Thanks for chatting with us, Kevin.

KD: Thank you.

Don’t Spoil The Big Surprise in “Small Engine Repair”

Review by Peter Foldy

First produced in L.A. in 2011, and off Broadway in 2013, SMALL ENGINE REPAIR is a taunt, character-driven drama that uses humor to draw you in before taking us to the dark side.

Written by John Pollono, who starred in both previous incarnations, the story introduces us to three former high school friends from New Hampshire who are slowly drifing into a life of mediocrity. Despite a rift that keeps widening, Frank, (Nick Reinhardt) Packie (Brandon Irons) and Swaino (Johnny Rivas)  share a lifelong brotherhood that Frank hopes will help him carry out his soon to be revealed scheme. Calling a summit at his out of the way garage, he suggests to gullable, kind hearted Packie that he may have received a cancer diagnoses while promising sex obsessed Swaino a night of booze and strippers. A single dad since the age of 17, Frank knows exactly what motivates his pals.

Johnny Rivas, Brandon Irons and Nick Reinhardt in “Small Engine Repair”

Pot and alcohol quickly fuels the impromptu reunion and the nature of their relationships are cleverly revealed through sharp, snappy banter that only best buds can pull off with ease. Much of the dialogue is sprinkled with insults and dick jokes, and many are frickin’ hillarious. Social media, and our current obsession with it, is also cleverly woven into the fabric of the story and that thread ultimately pays off in the jaw dropping reveal that is to come.

Brandon Irons, Johnny Rivas

When Frank finally informs Swaino and Packie that he has invited a 19 year old part time drug dealer to drop by with some Ecstasy, the guys know for sure that Frank has an agenda.

When Chad arrives it is clear that he is not cut from the same cloth as the other three. A spoiled, good looking frat boy, Chad wastes no time in letting them know that he’s got it all going on. Sex, drugs, a basketball scholarship and a daddy who is available to get him out of any jam if need be. Chad oozes white privilege and it wasn’t hard to feel an Eric Trump or a Jared Kushner vibe as he shared his background and point of view.

Declan Laird, Johnny Rivas and Nick Reinhardt

We soon discover the real reason Chad has joined the party. It’s not for the Ecstasy that he is peddling but infact something far more damaging and personal to Frank. Lets just say the kid is in deep shit and his presence and loose lips rapidly helps shift the dynamic.

It takes strong chemistry to make us believe the close bond that is at the heart of this story. All four actors have it in spades. Rivas and Irons get their moment to shine, and shine they do, particularly Irons who gets the biggest laughs of the night, but it is Nick Reinhardt who grounds the performance. He has the depth and conviction to make us believe that Frank is capable of pulling off what he has planned.

Declan Laird, Nick Reinhardt, Johnny Rivas

We only meet Declan Laird as Chad half way through the play. He saunters in with an upper class swagger that soon turns to panic. In a solid performance, Laird pulls the transition off effortlessly. Like the other three, he is an actor to keep an eye on.

Jo Galloway’s direction is fluid. She has her cast using every inch of the small but impressive set as she cleverly raises the tension. Clocking in at just over 70 minutes the show is a roller-coaster ride. The ending may have the squeamish closing their eyes, but the rest of us will surely be talking about it long after we’ve left the theater. Which ever camp you fall into, I can promise that you will not be bored. This production of “Small Engine Repair” is clearly a winner.

Brandon Irons, Nick Reinhardt, Johnny Rivas.

When: Running Fridays and Saturdays from February 8, 2019 through March 2, 2019 at 8:00pm

Where: The Broadwater Second Stage, 1078 Lillian Way | Los Angeles CA 90038 (enter from Santa Monica Blvd)

How Much: $25

For tickets and more info log onto: https://www.showorksentertainment.com/smallenginerepair

Photos by: Sean McGee




“Hello, Dolly” is a Pure Delight

Review by: Peter Foldy

The musical, “Hello, Dolly” has been around since 1964 when the late, great Carol Channing first introduced us to the loveable marriage broker, Dolly Levy. Fifty four years later, Dolly is back on the Broadway stage where she was recently brought to life by Tony award winning songstress, Bette Midler and later replaced with a much acclaimed Bernadette Peters in the title role.

Betty Buckley as Dolly Levi (Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

Truth be told, it was with a tiny bit of trepidation that I went to see this national tour. Like so many people, I was familiar with the classic title song, but not really having loved the movie with Barbara Stresand, I didn’t quite know what to expect from a show that some might consider an old theatrical chestnut.

I’m here to say that all my fears were totally unfounded. “Hello, Dolly” is a charming, feel good musical romp with an air of innocence that washes over you like a warm summer breeze.

Betty Buckley, Lewis J. Stadlen in Hello, Dolly Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Broadway veteran, Betty Buckley is irresistable in the title role. She delivers a  kind, matronly Dolly, a woman that might remind you of a favorite aunt. With impressive vocal and dance skills, Miss Buckley also brings humor and emotion to the role. Her performance certainly touched the opening night audience at the Pantages and had them on their feet more than once during the two hour and twenty minute show.

“Hello, Dolly” tells the story of a marriage broker, Dolly Gallagher Levi, who is on the hunt to find a match for the cranky Hoboken “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder.

The Cast of Hello Dolly. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Vandergelder is hoping to pop the question to milliner Irene Molloy (Analisa Leaming) back in New York. Once he leaves, Vandergelder’s slightly dim witted store clerks, Cornelius Hackl (Nic Rouleau) and Barnaby Tucker (Jess LeProtto), also decide to sneak off to Manhattan for a bit of adventure, and hopefully to kiss some girls. As expected, Dolly’s penchant for meddling soon pairs everyone up. They all find love, including Dolly herself with Vandergelder whom she is sure to tame. Lewis J. Stadlen plays the old curmudgeon and Stadlen almost steals the show with his fluid, vaudvillian delivery and imressive comedic timing. He and Buckley are a fine pair indeed.

With a book by Michael Stewart, (based on the Thornton Wilder play “The Matchmaker”) and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, “Hello, Dolly” is joy to behold. Director, Jerry Zaks and choreographer Warren Carlyle have rounded up a rock solid cast that moves like a well oiled machine.

Charming cornball humor and impressive production numbers such as “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” and “Before The Parade Passes By” hustle the show toward the moment we were all waiting for. To hear that iconic song. When it finally came and Dolly sashayed down the staircase of the Harmonia Gardens with the cast crooning, “Hello, Dolly, most of the audience could not wipe the smiles off their faces. It was theater magic. There’s no arguing, fellas. She’s back and looking swell. If you love Broadway musicals, this Dolly should not be missed.

Where: Hollywood Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles

When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays; ends Feb. 17

Tickets: $35 and up

Running time: 2 hours, 40 minutes


Arena Cinelounge Launches New Ultra-Independent Film Distribution Venture

January 28, 2019 – Los Angeles

ARENA CINELOUNGE, the premier boutique arthouse cinema in Los Angeles since 2011, is poised to launch a distribution arm with its first theatrical and digital acquisition of the new film MOOP. CINELOUNGE will put out both new releases and cult classics. Led by Christian Meoli, an independent film champion who owns the Arena Cinelounge Theater, the distribution arm will be looking to acquire films of all genres that align with the companies ultra-independent vision.

The distributor’s first title, MOOP (Matter Out Of Place), will open summer, 2019. Arin Crumley’s millennial romance, set against the background of Burning Man, is a visually stunning piece of film art which explores the ideas behind “What is love? What is reality?” and captures the fear of intimacy and the detached journeys of two couples searching for answers…Meoli plans to open the film at the Arena Cinelounge, then expand nationally.

Arena Cinelounge’s strategy of leveraging exhibition experience by entering distribution has been deployed by many entities over the years, including recently by the likes of Alamo Drafthouse, Cohen Media, and most recently, The Metrograph in NY.

“What stands out at Cinelounge” said Christian Meoli, Founder and President of Cinelounge Pictures, “is our dedication to presenting intelligent programming and the trust that is being built with our audience base. We aim to continue to be a definitive conduit to great stories
and films and bring our titles and Cinelounge driven programming to theaters and digital platforms. Cinelounge is an extension of what we have been successfully building with our film programming at Arena Cinelounge theater in LA” said Meoli. “And now we can focus on bringing these films to audiences around the country.”


Award-winning Play “Nude/Naked” to Premiere in L.A.

NUDE/NAKED playwright, Paul Hoan Zeidler’s captivating and unique examination of the dangers––and new tools––of the mob mentality, has been honored at the Stanley Drama Awards, earned a semi-finalist spot at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and received high praise from The Royal High Court Theatre in London, which called it “mesmerizing.” Now Lightning Rod Theater will give NUDE/NAKED its world premiere, playing from January 18 to February 17 at the McCadden Place Theatre in Hollywood.
In NUDE/NAKED, Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Bennett Duquesne and his daughter Addy have had their controversial work collected by major art museums all over the world. When Addy’s trust funder boyfriend shoots one of Duquesne’s students in their living room, photos meant to be viewed on art gallery walls or in coffee table books become plastered all over the Internet. The Duquesnes struggle to hold onto their unique, intuitive relationship while the local District Attorney pressures them to reveal more about their personal lives, and the mainstream and social media launch brutal attacks.

“The way social media connects groups of scattered people is a positive thing, but occasionally those groups can accelerate into engines of conformity that try to run over anything that doesn’t fit their view,” Zeidler said. “With the mainstream media quick to hop onto any story gaining traction online, an incident in twoartists’ personal lives can blow up into a public catastrophe overnight. That’s what we’re exploring with this work.”

Zeidler is a stage veteran, having written, directed and produced a number of plays. His original work Time’s Scream and Hurry has two successful runs in L.A. before going to New York. He’s also been a regular contributor to the Hollywood Fringe both with his original shows like Acts of Possession, Glennie and Maple Break Up, and Woof-Woof, as well as producing pieces like Craftsman and This Side of Sweetwater. Zeidler, with Charles Pacello, is the co-founder, of Lightning Rod Theater, and also its artistic director. The company was formed with other artists during the collapse of the Elephant Theatre Company.

“When Charlie Pacello and I first started pulling together Lightning Rod out of the ruins of the Elephant, one of our goals was to put stories and relationships on stage that had never been seen before,” Zeidler said. “We think we accomplished the latter with NUDE/NAKED.”

Certainly helping is an all-star cast and crew, from co-producer and Sacred Fools leader David Mayes to a cast that includes Keith Carradine’s daughter Sorel Carradine, Broadway actor Bjorn Johnson, Jonathan Grey and more.

With NUDE/NAKED, Zeidler is most excited about getting audiences talking about his main characters’ personalities as artists and their creative relationship, as well as the powers of the mob mentality in the social media age in a production that holds a mirror up to society. “I’ve always been interested in artists who crossed the boundaries of their culture, and morality of their times,” he said. “The best create visions of possibility in an almost shamanistic way. I’ve also been fascinated by how intensely personal trauma can inspire the creative process. The private artist vs. the public culture is a great dynamic to work with.”

January 18 – February 17
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 4 p.m.
*No show on February 3.

McCadden Place Theatre
1157 N. McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90038

General Admission: $25

(310) 204-4883