Cast Announced for World Premiere Musical ‘Mutt House’ at Kirk Douglas Theatre

CULVER CITY, Calif. (June 8, 2018) — Ryan McCartan (recent Fox remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Disney Channel’s Liv and Maddie, Off-Broadway’s Heathers: The Musical) will head the cast of a fun and furry musical tale for animal lovers of all ages. The world premiere of MUTT HOUSE will play at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City from July 15 through Aug. 5. Previews begin July 10.

McCartan will star as quirky outsider Eddie Corbin. Bullied all his life, Eddie has finally found a place to call home in a neglected downtown animal shelter. When the city threatens to close the shelter, Eddie must do something he’s never done before — stand up for himself and fight for what’s right. With the help of six zany mutts, he faces his fears and makes an unexpected human connection in the process.

Created and written by Tony Cookson, Mutt House features 20 original songs with music and lyrics by John Daniel, Tony Cookson, Robb Curtis Brown and David O, including titles like “Take Home A Stray,” “When He Sniffs Me,” “I’m Lying Here (Scratch Me)” and “When You Hear Barking, I Hear Words Instead.” Director Ryan Bergmann (Die, Mommie, Die! at the Celebration Theatre and Kirk Douglas Theatre), music director Anthony Lucca and choreographer Janet Roston are at the helm.

The shelter’s resident pooches include a cool, salsa-dancing Chihuahua named Pepe, played by Grammy Award-winning musician Gabriel González (smoking hot salsa bands Boogaloo Assassins and La Verdad); a loyal-to-the-bone mutt who goes by the name of Donna, portrayed by Amanda Leigh Jerry (Once at South Coast Rep, Carousel at Musical Theatre West); a haughty French Poodle qui s’appelle Sophie, personified by Valerie Larsen (Frozen–Live at the Hyperion at Disneyland California Adventure); a rambunctious pit bull who answers to Bradley, played by Garrett Marshall (the Beast in Beauty and the Beast at MTW, Carrie: The Musical at La Mirada and Los Angeles Theater); a handsome Lab mix named Digger, embodied by Ben Palacios (Prince Hans in Disney’s Frozen); and a pudgy Corgi called Max, played by Max Wilcox (Gigantic off-Broadway, recurring on Glee). Rounding out the cast of characters are Claire Adams (title role in Violet at Actors Co-op, Incognito at the Rubicon) as Eddie’s love interest, Hannah; Boise Holmes (NAACP and Ovation Award winner for When Jazz Had the Blues at the Matrix, German and Hong Kong productions of Disney’s The Lion King) as Gerry, manager of the embattled shelter; and Heather Olt (The Max Factor Factor at Celebration Theatre, Runaways on Hulu) in a variety of roles including town mayor.

According to producer Christopher Sepulveda, whose credits include Broadway productions of An American in Paris and Deaf West’s Spring Awakening (which got its start at L.A.’s Inner-City Arts and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills), “Beyond the loveable characters, witty dialog and catchy tunes, of which there are plenty, it’s the heartwarming, positive message that I believe truly makes Mutt House sing. Dealing with universal issues in an inventive, fun and relatable way, Mutt House reminds us that even those who seem or feel lost can eventually be found with a little help from a four-legged friend. Of all the wonderful new work currently being developed in Los Angeles, I don’t know of another musical that approaches this scale and style.”

The multiple award-winning creative team for Mutt House includes scenic designer Stephen Gifford, lighting designer Matthew Brian Denman, sound designer Cricket S. Myers, costume designer Allison Dillard, prop master Michael O’Hara and production stage manager Mercedes Clanton. Casting is by Michael Donovan.

Mutt House: The Musical opens for press on Saturday, July 15 and continues through Aug. 5, with performances on Wednesdays at 8 p.m.; Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Preview performances take place July 10–14. Tickets range from $39 – $59.

The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located at 820 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232.

Parking is free underneath Culver City City Hall with validation: enter on Duquesne, just south of Culver Blvd. To purchase tickets and for more information, call 213-628-2772 or centertheatregroup.org/tickets/kirk-douglas-theatre/guest-productions/mutt-house-the-musical/

A Festival of Ideas At Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA

On the fringe of the Hollywood Fringe, there is another festival going on. It’s at a place where audiences can feast on ten new short plays, in less than two hours, and see some of LA’s best actors. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA’s 2018 Playwrights One Act Festival is running in Atwater Village through June 10. It’s an entertaining month of alternating Programs A and B, which includes one-act treasures never previously produced.

Marcos Ramirez Garcia and Anthony Garcia in The Skateboard Play by Gabriela Ortega

Producer and Co-Artistic Director Liz Ross tells us that, “It’s an event celebrating new ideas. We offer our annual One Act Festival with company members and our community of theatre artists. This environment encourages the initiation, exercise, and practice of artistic imagination.”

From plays about three generations of superheroes, Evie, Duty Calls by Karen Rizzo, to the demise of a meet-up porn theater, The Long Drop by Astor Bondor, it’s a cornucopia of comedy and drama in these short plays.

Keith Szarabajka is another Co-Artistic Director at EST/LA and has some skin in the game this year at the Festival. His play The Second Coming is in Program A. In an interview with Keith, he describes the event and what audiences can expect at the Festival:

Sharon Freedman and Angela Bullock in Evie, Duty Calls by Karen Rizzo

HR: Why does EST/LA produce a yearly OAF?

Keith: It’s part of an ongoing way for the EST/LA company to create new works. We explore new ideas, and our actors love working on stage. Many cast members in these plays are often working in bigger houses, on film and in TV series but they are artists who love working on stage in front of a live audience. Like Denise Crosby, known for portraying Security Chief Tasha Yar in season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as Yar’s daughter, the half-Romulan Commander Sela, in subsequent seasons. She’s in The Baby Shower by Stevie Stern, and appears along side Sab Shimono who has numerous Broadway credits, as well as Eve Segall and Toni Sawyer. Carol Locatell has a Broadway background and you’ve probably seen her in starring roles on Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Her counterpart in The Syndrome, by Elin Hampton, is Rodney To who has done numerous TV series roles in shows like Modern Family, and Parks and Recreation. Ashley Romans, who stars with Sofia Correa in Cowgirls by Moldred Inez Lewis, just won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for her performance in Rotterdam at the Skylight Theatre.

Carol Locatell and Rodney To in The Syndrome by Elin Hampton

This Festival gives our talented playwrights, actors, and directors more chances to work and to be seen. It’s an important part of the way EST/LA nurtures the development of new plays with theater professionals. It’s a gateway to other development programs here. Our current member playwrights are NYFA, NEA, Guggenheim, Obie, Emmy and Writers Guild Award winners.

HR: What’s your favorite thing about the process?

Keith: When the audience is finally in their seats and I see them enjoying themselves. That’s what I shoot for, good work and having a good time.

HR: Can you give readers the elevator pitch for your play, The Second Coming, in this festival?

Keith: Ha, ok. An alien spaceship is coming to earth on a mission that tasks them with ending the human race. The crew gets into a debate on the pros and cons of whether or not to save them. There are important points to be made on human assets such as baseball, French food, the Honeymooners, and Chicago style hot dogs. Heady stuff.

Will Harris and Lauren Campedelli in The Second Coming

2018 EST/LA PLAYWRIGHTS ONE ACT FESTIVAL runs though June 10, 2017. Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA is located in the Atwater Village Theatre complex 3269 Casitas Ave. LA, CA 90039. Tickets: $20 ($25 at the door). Reservations: dime.io/events/2018-est-la-one-act-festival/ or more information at (818) 839-1197.

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis Hopper’s Final Film Hits the Croissette in Cannes

Cannes: May 12, 2018

NY-based sales company Glass House Distribution has just acquired Dennis Hopper’s final completed feature, the comedy,  The Last Film Festival. 

Written by Michael Leeds and Linda Yellen, and directed by Yellen, the comedy centers on a hapless movie producer, played by Hopper, and his desperate attempts to get his unwatchable movie into a film festival – any film festival.

There are 4,000 film festivals around the world, and Hopper’s film has been turned down by 3,999 of them. But when an obscure festival actually accepts it, the artifice and ruthlessness of Hollywood collides with the homespun innocence of small town America, and neither will ever be the same.

Golden Globe Winner, Jaqueline Bisset is hilarious as an extremely high maintenance movie star, and Academy Award Nominee, JoBeth Williams counters opposite the Hollywood interlopers as the town mayor.

The Glass House Sales Team

A strong supporting also cast includes Golden Globe Nominee, Leelee Sobieski (Joan of Arc) as a stalker, as well as Katrina Bowden (30 Rock) and SNL veteran Chris Katan.

Glass House is offering The Last Film Festival to international buyers at the market in Cannes.

This is the company’s third visit to the festival. Their other titles include the comedy, Dropping the Soap, starring, Jane Lynch, the drama/comedy,The Outdoorsman, with Sasheer Zamata (Saturday Night Live), and the recently completed and highly anticipated thriller, Trauma Therapy.

For more information contact: michelle@glasshousedistribution.com

John Simmons “A Life in Black and White” Exhibit Opens at the Perfect Exposure Gallery

Los Angeles, April 11, 2018

Black and White is beautiful. Photographer, John Simmons proves that with his new exhibit “A Life In Black and White,” opening on April 12, 2018 at the Perfect Exposure Gallery in Los Angeles.

A familiar figure on film and TV sets, Simmons is a well-known cinematographer with 2 Emmy Awards under his belt. Though he has been around since the early sixties, he has kept his many powerful still images under wraps.

In “A Life In Black and White,” Simmons pays tribute to ordinary people living ordinary lives–living in anonymity, till they are immortalized through this photographer’s inquisitive yet unobtrusive lens. Simmons manages to capture insignificant moments that on closer examination have so much to say.

Photographers “can’t help but put a frame around the world we see,” Simmons explains. “We are continually composing and all my pictures tell a story. Each one has its own spirit and soul. I have an affinity for people and whatever they share with me the moment I press the shutter becomes a testament to their lives.”

This rare glimpse in the monochrome world of John Simmons opens with a reception on April 12, 2018 and runs through May 25, 2018, at The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 1125 Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019.

There is no charge for admission.

www.ThePerfectExposureStudio.com

 

L.A.’s Australian Theatre Company Seeks Full-length Plays for Annual Reading Series in June

LOS ANGELES (March 5, 2018) — L.A.’s award-winning Australian Theatre Company is inviting submissions of full-length plays to be presented by a professional director and cast as part of its 2018 Summer Reading Series, scheduled to take place this June at the Zephyr Theatre.

This year the focus is on presenting new works that have not been previously produced in Los Angeles. ATC welcomes new works by both established and emerging writers of any nationality. Australian Theatre Company’s mission is to create a meaningful cultural exchange with American artists and audiences. Although an Australian voice should be present in each piece, that voice could be represented by the writer, a character, the location or an overarching theme.

The Summer Reading Series is part of ATC’s development process for future productions. Previous themes have included “Stage to Screen” (great Australian plays that have inspired films), “Works by Women” (plays by Australian female writers presented on the U.S. stage for the first time) and “United On Stage” (plays featuring the intersection of American and Australian characters). Previous main stage productions of Speaking In Tongues and Ruben Guthrie were both developed in the reading series.

ATC was established in 2014 by founding members Nick Hardcastle, Nate Jones, Jackie Diamond and Josh Thorburn. Critically acclaimed productions have included Holding the Man, Speaking in Tongues, Ruben Guthrie and Grey Nomad, winner of the 2017 Broadway World Award for Best Play- Local Production. A truly collaborative company, ATC continues to harness the rich breadth of Australian talent in Los Angeles along with the finest American theater practitioners.

This annual community event is also a way for ATC to connect with local and international writers, actors and other theater artists, and to develop new audiences — all while enjoying some great Australian wine, courtesy of Penfolds. The readings will take place every Monday in June at 7 p.m at the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, and are presented by the Australian Consulate General of Los Angeles. Admission is always free.

Submissions close Friday March 30. For more information on how to submit a play for consideration, go to https://www.australiantheatrecompany.org/reading-series/

“Arrow” Star Paul Blackthorne and Composer Orpheo McCord To Swim With Sharks For “Ocean Conservancy”

Los Angeles: September 25, 2017

Paul Blackthorne, who stars as Captain Quentin Lance in the hit television series “Arrow” (CW Television Network), and Orpheo McCord, composer/musician for the Grammy award winning group Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (“Home”), will take the plunge into shark infested waters for Golden Gate Sharkfest® Swim on September 30 to raise money and awareness for “Ocean Conservancy” www.oceanconservancy.org.

L-R Paul Blackthorne and Orpheo McCord

Blackthorne and McCord, along with Australian photographer Mister Basquali (co-star and co-producer of Blackthorne’s travel documentary “This American Journey”) and other brave souls, will be swimming 1.6 miles from the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, known for sharks and deep, cold waters.

A 45-year-old nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., Ocean Conservancy is one of the few organizations that helps protect wildlife in the ocean with science-based solutions.

In the last few years Blackthorne has raised money and awareness for a variety of worthy causes including “Air Shepherd” (anti-poaching drones) and “Save the Rhino International” with his “Poach eggs Not Elephants” and “Keep Rhinos Horny” T-shirt campaigns.  Last year Blackthorne travelled to Vietnam with “Save the Rhino” and made a film about the experience, raising money and awareness for the anti-poaching cause (90% of Rhino horn ends up there).

It all began with a call from Basquali who invited Blackthorne to participate in the Golden Gate Sharkfest® Swim. “I’m terrified of sharks and deep ocean waters.  Always have been, always will be, so naturally I initially refused, “Blackthorne comments.  “But after confronting with my initial fears, I agreed to participate as I felt I could be helpful in raising awareness for shark preservation and ocean wildlife protection, which is an important cause.”

The launch of Blackthorne and McCord’s #NoFinToFear T-shirt campaign is key to encouraging others to also become a voice for the ocean by buying at T-shirt in support of their friends at “Ocean Conservancy”.  100% of the proceeds from the sale of this collection go to support Ocean Conservancy.

To purchase go to: https://represent.com/paulblackthorne

About Ocean Conservancy

For 45 years Ocean Conservancy has been working to protect the oceans from some of the greatest global challenges.  They have made incredible progress to safeguard America’s fisheries, combat ocean acidification and restore the Gulf of Mexico with the best available science. The have spearheaded efforts to designate and strengthen marine sanctuaries, protected sea turtle habitats and grown the largest marine volunteer effort in the world through their International Coastal Cleanup.

Their vision for the ocean is a clean, healthy and thriving ecosystem for wildlife and communities that depend on it.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with their partners, they create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org.

photo.l.a. Celebrates 26th Season at Historic LA Mart Building Downtown

Los Angeles, CA – January 5, 2017

The international photographic art exposition, photo l.a. will take place at The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building in Downtown Los Angeles, January 12-15, 2017. The 2017 photo l.a. exhibition will launch with the annual Opening Benefit Gala on Thursday, January 12, from 7-10 p.m., honoring the luminous and pioneering career of Weston Naef, founding curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and author of numerous books on the history and art of photography.

Norman Seeff Photos
John Belushi, 1981, Los Angeles, 16 x 20, Vintage silver gelatin JPEG

For 26 years, photo l.a.—the longest-running art fair in Los Angeles—has engaged the global arts community, bringing together more than 10,000 attendees each year from ardent enthusiasts to serious collectors. What started in 1991 as a casual meet-up for artists, galleries and collectors organized by art dealer Stephen Cohen of Stephen Cohen Gallery, has transformed into an unparalleled global showcase of photographic art, which ranges from 19th-century masterpieces to contemporary, cutting-edge photography-based work.

This year’s exposition aligns with Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA), which has moved from April to January to reflect the fair’s importance in making the city of Los Angeles an international photography destination. photo l.a. 2017 has teamed up with the Lucie Foundation to present 11 days of featured photographic programming, called Converge. For the first four days of this initiative, photo l.a. 2017 will offer dozens of programs, lectures and seminars including an activation with skateboarding legend Arto Sarri and panel discussions on subjects such as Snapchat as a form of photographic art and the synergies between fashion and photography.

©Grey Villet
Richard and Mildred Loving on their couch, King and Queen County, Virginia, 1965

Among the many other highlights of this year’s photo l.a. are two curated installations by Monroe Gallery of Photography. The first showcases LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet’s intimate images of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, whose marriage in segregated Virginia in the 1960s is chronicled in Jeff Nichols’ newly-released feature film, Loving. The other, Tony Vaccaro: War, Peace, Beauty, exhibits work of the Pulitzer-Prize winning war photographer, exploring combat photography and its impact on public perception of war on the home front. Vaccaro’s fascinating life story is also the subject of a recent and well-received documentary.

“Our mission is to continue engaging and supporting the international community, which shares our passion for photography, while cultivating new audiences through distinctive programming across creative disciplines,” says photo l.a. director Claudia James Bartlett. “We are proud to now have over 80 exhibitors, who foster an ongoing dialogue about the changing landscape of photography and its important role in the art world at large.”

©Tony Vaccaro
Georgia O’Keeffe, Taos Pueblo, NM, 1960

The work of award-winning Canadian-born artist Penelope Umbrico will also be featured in a contemporary installation that combines photographic prints with various elements—repurposed plexiglass sourced from recycling centers, frame shops or the streets of Los Angeles; plastic lenses from deconstructed LCD screens and televisions; house paint, cardboard boxes. By presenting these abstract by-products as formal compositions, the artist presents a new twist on technology with their own visionary aesthetic evocative of abstract Modernism.

Tickets for the Opening Gala on Thursday, January 12, from 7-10 p.m. are $80 in advance or $100 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Lucie Foundation and John Wayne Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing courage, strength and grit to the fight against cancer. Funding novel and innovative programs that improve cancer patients’ outcomes, the cause saves lives through pioneering research, education, awareness and support.

General admission to photo l.a. is $20 in advance; $25 at the door. A three-day pass is available for $30 online or $40 at the door. Seniors and students receive a $5 discount. Programs are ticketed separately. A limited number of all-access passes, which include admission to the Opening Gala, the three-day photo l.a. exposition and all of its programs are available for advance purchase at $450. The exposition is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.photola.com.

The 2017 photo l.a. exposition, Gala and programs will take place on the second floor of The Reef, located in the historic LA Mart building at 1933 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. The Reef Mart offers affordable onsite parking and is also accessible by Metro.

For more information, visit: www.photola.com.

For the complete list of programming, visit www.photola.com/programs.php

Follow photo l.a.: #photola

All Photographs Courtesy of Monroe Gallery of Photography

2017 Golden Globe Nominations Announced

Hollywood, CA: December 13, 2016

The 2017 Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday in Beverly Hills.

Actor Don Cheadle, Laura Dern, and Anna Kendrick were joined by the Miss Golden Globe trio — Sophia, Sistine, and Scarlet Stallone as well as Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Lorenzo Soria, and Barry Adelman in revealing the nominees.

The Golden Globes are presented by the HFPA, which consists of journalists who cover American film and television for international outlets. The membership requirements however are not tough. Members are only required to publish four articles per year in almost any publication, meaning that many of the members are not full-time journalists who work for big-name outlets. In fact it has been said that legitimate journalists from major international publications are often denied HFPA membership.

It would seem it’s who you know, not what you know.

Many in Hollywoodlala-land consider the Golden Globes a second-class trophy compared to the Oscars and the Emmys, so why does Hollywood continue to support the ceremony? Because the public doesn’t know the difference and the telecast is a fun, alcohol fueled party with great gift bags for nominees and presenters.

And… as the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.

This year the nominations seem to be on track with what’s popular in the mainstream. La La Land, the fresh musical starring,Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone leads with seven.

The well deserved acclaim for the Matt Damon produced, Manchester By The Sea with powerful performances from Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and Lucas Hedges is also growing and both these films will surely get Oscar nods.

Lion is another heart-tugging film that is gathering traction and is worthy of it’s nomination. The HFPA got these right.

The somewhat overrated Arrival is a surprise on the list, butManchesterbytheSea_Trailer we are happy to see Annett Bening recognized for her honest and believable work in 20th Century Women.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon’s fine work in Nocturnal Animals was overlooked by the HFPA but hopefully the SAG and Academy Awards will rectify that.

There are rumblings that Fences did not get a best picture nod. While the performances in the film are exceptional, it feels much like an over the top play that is more suited to the stage, the medium for which it was conceived.

Sully, a basically well made TV movie was left out of the mix, leaving Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood batting zero for the time being. Truthfully, there are many other deserving potential nominees who join Hanks and Eastwood on the sidelines.

In the foreign kills-on-wheels-posterfilm category, the strong Hungarian film, Kills On Wheels was sadly bypassed, perhaps because Son of Saul, also from Hungary, swept last year. This is a unfortunate because Kills On Wheels is a well made, action-packed film with heart and deserves to be seen.

Here’s a full list of nominees for the Golden Globes.

Winners will be announced in a live telecast on January 8, 2017, starting at 5pm PST.

 

 

Best motion picture, drama:
Hell or High Water
Hacksaw Ridge
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best motion picture, musical or comedy:

20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

Best TV series, drama:

Netflix‘s The Crown
HBO’s Game of Thrones
Netflix’s Stranger Things
NBC’s This Is Us
HBO’s Westworld

Best TV series, comedy:

FX’s Atlanta
ABC’s Black-ish
Amazon‘s Mozart in the Jungle
Amazon’s Transparent
HBO’s Veep

Best TV movie or limited series:
ABC’s American Crime
Starz’s The Dress
AMC‘s The Night Manager
HBO’s The Night Of
FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best actor in a motion picture, drama:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best actress in a motion picture, drama:
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy:

Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy:

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best supporting actor in a motion picture:
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best supporting actress in a motion picture:

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Skylight Theatre Company’s Board of Directors present “Salute 2016”

Los Angeles, Ca – SHARON LAWRENCE (Rizzoli & Isles) and BARRETT FOA (NCIS: Los Angeles) lead the list of celebrities who join event hosts FRENCH STEWART (3rd Rock from the Sun, Mom) & VANESSA CLAIRE STEWARD (Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara) as Skylight Theatre’s Board of Directors celebrates the artistic achievements of GARY GROSSMAN and the Skylight Theatre Company for this year’s annual Skylight French & Vanessa names from internetSalute being held December 4th at the Colony Theatre in Burbank.

Over the past three decades, from Camelot Artists Productions to Katselas Theatre Company and in 2013 becoming Skylight Theatre Company, the one constant thread has been Gary Grossman. First as a producer and eventually becoming its Artistic Director in 2008, Skylight and Gary have become synonymous with nurturing artists, producing live theatre in Los Angeles and developing new work.

Over 2500 different artists have graced Skylight’s stages including 204 Los Angeles based writers. Skylight and Grossman have helped to craft, develop, workshop and mount a large body of original works, generating 166 readings, 157 workshops, and 69 world premiere productions.

Works developed under Skylight’s auspices have gone on to garner awards and accolades for their playwrights, around the world. Sigrid Gilmer, a member of Skylight’s resident writers’ PlayLAb received the coveted 2014 USA Artists Ford Fellowship and PinkLemaireCraginColemanJames_edited-1$50,000, while Nathan Allan Davis’ play “Dontrell, Who Kissed The Sea” received the prestigious Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association 2015 New Play Citation. The Humanitas PlayLA workshop, launched in 2015 with support from the Center Theatre Group, has selected Skylight resident writers to fill five out of the ten available positions from over 200 candidate submissions. Louisa Hill, another of Skylight’s resident writers, won Third Place in the inaugural year of the associated Humanitas PlayLA Playwriting Prize.

Through Grossman’s leadership, Skylight’s plays have made their way across the United States to New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco, while internationally they have been performed in Paris and Edinburgh, with additional productions scheduled for Australia, Canada and Greece.

Skylight has been a community leader, providing artistic opportunities for at-riskTM_2A022 teens and helping to feed the hungry. In the last three years, 1250 teens in Los Angeles detention centers and high schools have experienced Lyric Project writing workshops. Supported through partnerships with ASCAP Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, and Boeing’s Employee Community Fund, 45 of the young lyricists have been mentored and teamed with professional songwriters to create new songs that are performed in a unique and fully realized musical event for the stage. Since 2012, Skylight artists have been putting Art Into Action, donating their time and talent to help feed LA’s hungry on Thanksgiving Day; since the program began over 1200 hungry people have been fed in the Downtown and MacArthur Park areas.

Gary Grossman’s unselfish efforts for the Los Angeles theatre community were recognized at the 2016 Stage Raw Theatre Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He continues to be an adSandersAnassiCASTvocate for the Los Angeles theatre community leading interactions with Actors Equity Association and LA Theatre Producers for a workable agreement between the actors union and Los Angeles producers.

Eileen Barnett, Gigi Bermingham, Dale Kristien, Marcelo Tubert, and Denise Woods, will be performing along with additional surprise guests. Directed by David Galligan, Choreography by Lee Martino, Musical Direction by Michael Sobi, and hosted by French Stewart & Vanessa Claire Stewart.

David Galligan has directed all the S.T.A.G.E benefit shows in LA since 1984 and began directing for Grossman and Skylight back in 1985 with a celebrated production of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

French Stewart is perhaps best known for his roles in the television series Mom and 3rd Rock From the Sun. He is a member of Sacred Fools Theater Company, playing the title role in their 2012 hit production of “Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton” which moved to the Pasadena Playhouse.PRISON BOXING Leah Joki Group-102

Vanessa Claire Stewart is recognized as a quadruple threat – singer, actress, director and writer. She is most often recognized for her performance as Keely Smith in Louis and Keely Live at the Sahara (Los Angeles, Chicago) that she co-wrote with Taylor Hackford and Jake Broder, but she has also opened the Newport Jazz Festival as a vocalist, and penned and then directed the wildly successful “Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton,” which starred her husband French Stewart.

SALUTE kicks off at 6pm with a VIP dinner and 7:30pm for the stage show on Sunday, December 4, 2016. The Colony Theatre is located at 555 N. 3rd Street, Burbank CA. 91502. Tickets range from $150 – $425. Proceeds benefit Skylight’s Artistic Development Programs. Dinner reservations and show only tickets can be purchased online at http://skylighttix.com with more information at 213-761-7061. All performers are subject to availability.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ktcla and Twitter: @SkylightThtr

Glass House Distribution – Generating Buzz at the American Film Market

November 2, 2016

GLASS HOUSE DISTRIBUTION, a new sales company has been generating buzz at the 2016 AMERICAN FILM MARKET for one important reason. They deliver to both filmmakers and buyers exactly what they advertise. A straight-forward approach, transparency, fairness, and hard work on the films they are selling.

The companyIMG_3374 was created as a partnership between well known indie film producer/actor/writer (and author of the book BANKROLL, the gold standard book on film financing), TOM MALLOY, and BRYAN GLASS, a wall street broker-dealer with a keen eye and a strong interest in films.

“When I was approached by Bryan to start this company, I stated my goal was to not do what distribution companies had been doing to me as a filmmaker for years,” says Malloy. “Glass House has producer-friendly contracts, numbers we have to hit, or rights revert back to the filmmaker, pic5and transparent spending. The name Glass House was taken from Bryan’s surname, but it ended up serving another purpose. You can look inside and see everything that’s going on.”

The company was launched at last year’s AFM, Malloy’s eleventh consecutive market, but the first time he was an exhibitor. He brought in MICHELLE ALEXANDRIA, formerly in acquisitions for several companies, and the pair hit the ground running.

“Our approach positions Glass House to become to be the number one trusted and transparent “go-to” distribution company of choice for the independent film community,” states Bryan Glass. “If last year is any indication, 2016 will be ever strongerIMG_3388 for us.

“Glass House has recently added film producer, ROBERT DEEGE, to the company’s roster. With credits that include Soul Surfer and the Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, Deege’s expertise is an important asset for Glass House.

“What attracted me to Glass House is the immediate focus on well-crafted movies,” says Deege. “I’m excited to help develop the company’s reputation for quality.”

Glass House brings several high profile indies to this year’s AFM. Stand is an intense thriller that stars LUKE ALBRIGHT. Turnabout, another thriller that isIMG_3372 racking up festivals and acclaim with PETER GREENE, and the award-winning, Warren, starring ALEX BEH, JEAN SMART and JOHN HEARD, a dramedy that RogerEbert.com says “recalls the Graduate.”

With so much in play, Glass House Distribution is sure to climb the ranks of the top sales and distribution companies who are offering their films to the world market.