Arts & Entertainment
GREASE REVIEW: 1950’s Rock & Roll at Rydell High
You have no idea how many times I’ve seen Grease, the movie. Perhaps you’ve seen it a few times yourself and sang along to songs such as “Summer Nights” or “You’re the One That I Want”. Yes, I am a sucker for musicals both on stage and on screen!
For those who aren’t aware, the movie was adapted from the stage performance written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. While the two have similar elements they are still quite different. With Grease, it's been so long since that original Broadway version, most people's point of reference is now the film. When they see a different version of the story it may seem unsettling. (more)
Phantom Projects’ 13th Annual Young Artist Project August 3rd
La Mirada~Each year, nearly 200 young, creative, multi-faceted performers from all across the United States, apply to be considered for The Young Artist Project, an event held annually each August at the 1,300-seat La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Those selected, (this year there are six), are given access to a 5,000 square foot rehearsal space, the theatre, and the financial and creative support of a 22-year-old production company. The participants are between the ages of 16-23 but each have the experience of a seasoned veteran.
They have just 14 days to completely create a polished, finished, professional production that is then presented as the final production in the 18/19 Phantom Projects Theatre Group Season at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday August 3rd at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
For tickets call La Mirada Theatre’s Box Office at 714.944.9801 or visit PhantomProjects.com/youngartistproject
Phantom Projects Announces Pay What You Will Day at LM Theatre for the Performing Arts Box Office
La Mirada~No longer will price have to be a factor for any teen, family, or student who wants to be part of a live theatre experience. For one day only, on October 13, 2018, from 12pm-4pm, patrons may arrive to the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts Box Office and pay what they can for any show in the 4-show season from Phantom Projects Theatre Group. No patron will be turned away.
"The idea that anyone might not be able to be in the audience because of financial limitations pains me greatly. We are a non-profit, yes, and ticket sales are crucial, but at the end of the day, the educational element of what we do is far more important. We want to remove any excuse as to why someone can’t be a theatregoer,” commented Producing Artistic Director Steve Cisneros, who created the company at the age of 17 when pricing often limited his theatre-going abilities.
Pay What You Will tickets will be made available on Saturday October 13th, in-person only, at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts Box Office. Tickets may be purchased from Noon to 4:00 pm. Tickets, available via cash only, will be available on a first come, first served basis.
The 4 Show season, any of which are available for purchase on this day, include: Afflicted: Daughters of Salem (November 15, 2018), The Outsiders (February 21, 2019), Wonder (April 11, 2019) and The 13th Annual Young Artist Project (August 3, 2019)
Phantom Projects Benefit Gala for Arts Education August 4th at La Mirada Theatre
Courtnee Draper, star of Disney Channel’s first original series, The Jersey, and world-wide smash hit video game, Bioshock Infinite will be honored as a founding member of the troupe.
La Mirada~Phantom Projects Theatre Group will host it’s annual event: The Phantom Cabaret: A Benefit Gala for Arts Education, taking place on August 4 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Because of this fundraising event, the group is able to provide over $20,000 in donated theatre tickets and performances to non-profits, schools, and youth groups.
The fabulous evening includes a night of entertainment, dinner, silent auction and more. The event pays tribute to the non-profit organization’s work with at-risk youth through the performing arts.
This year, the first ever Alumni Award will be presented to an outstanding veteran of the troupe, founding member Courtnee Draper who started with the troupe at the age of 11.
She would continue to perform with the group on stage over the next 12 years, while growing her on-camera career. She starred in Disney Channel’s original TV Series, The Jersey, which saw her performing alongside legendary athletes such as Peyton Manning, Tony Hawk and Laila Ali. After starring in a handful of Disney Channel movies, Courtnee transitioned into more adult roles becoming a regular on The Bold and the Beautiful, and making appearances on such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tru Calling, Veronica Mars, and CSI: Miami.
After taking a break to pursue a career in law, she returned in a major way to star as Elizabeth in the world-wide smash hit video games Bioshock Infinite and Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea. The game earned her two Spike Video Game award nominations, one for Best Actress, and winning the other for Best Song.
The event will also feature performances and presentations from alumni and community members, including James McFarlane, Mayor of La Mirada Larry Mowles, Tessa Githens, Angela Griswold, The Jazz Angles, Jargie the Science Girl! and more.
Phantom Projects Theatre Group started in 1997 when a then 17-year old Steve Cisneros approached his high school Language Arts teacher, Bruce Gevirtzman, with the idea of taking plays Gevirtzman had written to local schools.
Immediately the idea grew from one touring show, rehearsed out of Cisneros’ parents’ 2-car garage, to a full six-show season at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The touring program has expanded to three touring shows, an education department, a costume rental dept and much, much more. The troupe’s home is now a 5,000 square foot facility.
The non-profit theatre troupe which aims to build theatre audiences of tomorrow through inspirational theatrical pieces, has performed for over 500,000 teens through its combination of shows.
Tickets for the Phantom Cabaret Benefit Gala start at $45 and can be purchased by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at 714.994.6310 or visiting: PhantomProjects.com/gala
Life is a Cabaret at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is now showing Cabaret, a sexy, modern rendition of a timeless production.
Set in Germany during the 1930’s, an American writer, Clifford Bradshaw, travels to Germany in search of a story for his novel and stumbles upon the beautiful, yet eccentric Sally Bowles.
Sally, who is a performer at the famous “Kit Kat Klub”, entices Cliff and unexpectedly leads him on a journey that is novel-worthy.
The emcee of the Kit Kat Klub exclaims, “Leave your troubles at the door” and sets a sensual, racy tone that lingers throughout the remainder of the show. The performers heat up the theater and enchant the audience with amazing vocals.
Aside from the glitz and glamour, the play also showcases the hysteria that arose within Nazi Germany and presents morals that are still pertinent to this day.
The writers and performers brilliantly intertwine drama, romance and comedy to keep the audience entertained from start to finish. This show is marvelous and truly sticks with you. So much so that you may find yourself imitating a German accent and attempting to the dance like the performers days after leaving the theater!
Don’t miss your chance to see Cabaret at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts now showing through February 11th.
Lowest Prices Prices Ever Offered to La Mirada Residents for Theatre Subscription Deals
Guests were given historic tours of the Theatre; viewed a panel discussion with several key individuals who discussed building the Theatre, the early days of the Theatre, and ways it has evolved over the last four decades; and saw free rotating performance by theatrical groups.
If you missed the Theatre’s Open House event, do not worry because the celebration is not over yet. The Theatre is currently offering its lowest subscription prices ever!
Purchase both screenings of the Angels in America series for the low price of $25. The series include Part one: Millennium Approaches and Part two: Perestroika. Purchase tickets before they are all sold out to this must-see theatrical event of the year!
The Your Theatre Your Seat promotion allows each La Mirada resident household one free ticket to a show of their choosing. Some restrictions may apply.
Low priced subscription deals are still available for La Mirada residents. The four-show package deal is currently 45 percent off and the three-show package deal is 40 percent off.
The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard.
For additional information on upcoming shows and package deals, visit lamiradatheatre.com or call (562) 944-9801.
Reunited and It Feels So Good; Theatre Piano Used By Bennett in ‘77 Restored by Same Piano Man for Special Reunion Concert in La Mirada
By Brooklynn Ackerman
La Mirada~As you may or may not know, this year marks the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Art’s 40th anniversary and in celebration of this milestone, Tony Bennett is returning to the stage where he performed back in September of 1977 for the Theatre’s grand opening night.
On Thursday night October 12, 2017 the theatre is not only welcoming back Bennett, but also welcoming back its old piano, the same piano Bennett played on 40 years ago. But the chain of homecomings doesn’t stop there.
The piano Bennett played on that opening night in 1977 was installed and tuned by a man named Ed Whitting. Mr. Whitting prepared the piano for opening night and had the pleasure of meeting Bennett. After all these years the piano was retired and replaced, as it was in need of major repairs and adjustments to get it back into its old tune.
In preparation for this big night, the city financed the piano’s restoration and so Mr. Whitting was called upon to work his magic and prepare the piano once again. Mr. Whitting will complete the restoration of the Theatre’s old piano just in time for Bennett’s show.
This grand reunion adds to excitement of the night as well as to the extensive history of the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. Stories such as these truly highlight how theatre has been and will continue to be such vital part of our community.
REVIEW: La Mirada Theatre Kicks Off New Season in 40th Year
The La Mirada Blog is very pleased to announce the addition of Brooklynn Ackerman to our team of contributors.
As the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts celebrates its’ 40th anniversary this year, it kicks off the season with the lively, jazz musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, a tribute to the famous musician Thomas “Fats” Waller.
This rendition of the original Tony awarding-winning production in 1978, not only showcases Waller’s great musical talents, but his knack for entertaining the crowd with his great personality.
The cast, Frenchie Davis, Thomas Hobson, Boise Holmes, Natalie Wachen, and Amber Liekhus, flawlessly perform hits such as, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”, “The Joint is Jumping”, “Squeeze me”, “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Black and Blue” and what seemed to be the crowd’s favorite, “Your feet’s too big”.
From beginning to end, the cast captivates the audience with a combination of bold, entrancing vocal performances and comedic duets and interludes. Upon returning from a brief intermission, the audience is able to appreciate the music from the band before the show resumes.
Whether or not you are familiar with Waller’s music, or the swing-jazz era as a whole, this show is guaranteed to keep your feet tapping and shoulders swaying in your seats throughout its entirety. Together, the cast’s performance, stage set, and wardrobe bring the jazz era to life and leave the audience in awe.
This production will be at the La Mirada Theatre until October 8th, so don’t miss out on your chance to see this phenomenal show while you can!
Performances are 7:30pm on Wednesdays & Thursdays; 8pm on Fridays; 2pm and 8pm on Saturdays; 2pm on Sundays. There will be no performance on Saturday, September 16 at 2pm. There will be an Open Captioned performance on Saturday, September 30 at 2pm and an ASL interpreted performance on Saturday, October 7 at 2pm. Tickets range from $20 - $70 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre’s website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Student, Senior and group discounts are available. $15 Student Tickets available for the first 15 performances of the production.
Return of Tony Bennett to Highlight Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Weekend Celebration
La Mirada~The city’s original movie theatre was opened by Stanley-Warner on December 20, 1962 along Luitwieler Avenue (La Mirada Boulevard) with the west coast “Hollywood” premiere of Barrabas starring Anthony Quinn.
For the next 13 years or so the La Mirada theatre was the place where adults, families & kids went to see the latest releases. Teens and others packed the house for Saturday matinees as this writer can personally attest to.
The movie theatre closed on August 19, 1975 a day before the “La Mirada 4” theatre opened at the new, adjacent La Mirada Mall and the City Council approved converting the old movie house to a performing arts theatre.
Two years later, on September 16, 1977, the La Mirada Civic Theatre opened its doors with a premier performance by Tony Bennett and the opening weekend also included an Open House featuring ongoing stage performances viewed by attendees.
Now, forty years later, the La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts as it is now called, will be re-creating the events of that weekend as part of its 40th anniversary celebration.
It begins on Thursday, October 12 (change of date) at 8:00 p.m. with a gala return performance by the legend himself, the Theater’s original star performer, Tony Bennett.
On Sunday, October 22 from noon to 4:00 p.m. there will be a Open House featuring Phantom Projects, La Mirada Symphony and musical theatre performances who will pay tribute to the Theatre’s tradition of Broadway hits.
In addition, the Theatre will host a fascinating discussion with several key individuals who were part of the building and early days of the Theatre. A behind the scenes tour will also be available.
As part of the celebration, the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts has an exclusive special offer available only to La Mirada residents as a show of gratitude for their support of the Theatre: 50% off all subscriptions to the 2017/18 McCoy/Rigby series at the theatre!
The upcoming season features five incredible shows including South Pacific, Cabaret, Disney’s Newsies, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and End of the Rainbow.
Tickets to the October 12th Tony Bennett performance go on sale to La Mirada residents and theatre subscribers only on August 21-23 (CODE: GoldTony2) with tickets going on sale to the general public September 1st.
For more information on the 40th anniversary celebration or other exclusive special offers visit the theatre website or call the theatre box office at (562) 944-9801. Purchase tickets in person at the box office weekdays between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m and Saturdays Noon to 7:00 p.m.
Phantom Projects Presents #TheWall at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
"We need to be present today with our kids, it's not OUR generation...but we still have influence in shaping THEIR generation"
La Mirada~Shining a light on the emotional turmoil caused by cyber-bullying, #TheWall examines a new method of perpetuating one of the oldest teen issues known to society, Thursday May 18th at 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m at the La Mirada Thetare for the Performing Arts.
The themes include real-life stories picked right out of the ashes of tragedy, depicting actual accounts involving teen suicides brought upon by cyber bullying, catfishing and the posting of sexually exploitative photos, which when posted, live on forever. This show focuses heavily on short-term actions, which levy very long term consequences.
Teens and families alike will absolutely resonate with the stories told, and through the medium of performing arts, will gain a heightened awareness of the world in which young people are growing up. There are many lessons to be learned from this play, and given many tragic stories of late, this feels timely.
Watch a behind-the-scenes video here. Listen to an in-depth with Director Steve Cisneros, as he chats about #TheWall with LA Talk Radio here. Enter an opportunity drawing to see Hamilton at The Pantages Theatre here.
#TheWall tickets start at $10 (Backstage Tour VIP Tickets start at $37). Purchase here.