Arts & Entertainment
REVIEW: “First Date” at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
|The company performs in the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts/McCoy Rigby Entertainment Southern California Premiere Production of the Broadway Musical "FIRST DATE" - directed by Nick DeGruccio and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.|
Welcoming in the new 2015-16 McCoy Rigby Season is First Date, a musical comedy fresh from Broadway making its Southern California debut!
This charming and hilarious performance is set in real time as first time blind-dater, Aaron, and “dateaholic,” Casey, enjoy a few drinks and get to know one another. Nothing says awkward like, well, a First Date.
Casey (Erica Lustig) is energetic and artistic yet when it comes to meeting the right guy, her track record proves otherwise. Aaron (Marc Ginsburg), is an investment banker recovering from a previous relationship and is everything Casey isn't.
So how does their First Date go? Exactly as one would suspect; fellow restaurant patrons transform into best friends, family members, and those oh-so-bad boyfriends.
Talent is not limited though, as we see the intentions of a wickedly creative waiter also at hand.
Throughout the night, Casey directs Aaron over what questions he should ask (and not ask) and Aaron overshares his previous dating history or lack thereof.
What makes First Date truly unique is the quick wit of the other couples in the restaurant portrayed by supporting cast members Kelley Dorney (ex-fiancé/ Miss Google-thang herself), Scott Drier (a most musically and creatively inclined waiter), Stacey Oristano (Casey's perfect sister /Jewish grandmother), Justin Michael Wilcox (Aaron's best friend/"voice of reason"), and Leigh Wakeford (Casey's BFF/ Previous Rocker Boyfriend).
REVIEW: The Wonderfully Magnificent Mary Poppins at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts
|Brandi Burkhardt stars as Mary Poppins (center) and Leigh Brian Wakeford (on knee) stars as Bert with the company in the LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS/McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT production of MARY POPPINS, directed by Glenn Casale and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.|
Editor’s note: We would like to introduce Sandra Green to the La Mirada Blog team as a theatre reviewer. Welcome aboard Sandra!
La Mirada~As the last showcase of the McCoy Rigby Entertainment series for the 2014-2015 season, the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts welcomes the wonderfully magnificent Broadway musical Mary Poppins, now showing through June 21st.
Not just for kids, theatre goers of all ages and tastes will enjoy this production directed by Glenn Casale and choreographed by the late Dan Mojica. In no way do you need to be familiar with the Disney movie or original book by PL Travers-- Mary Poppins brings to life the fun and magical antics of a British nanny trying to tame the mischievous Banks children.
For those who are familiar with the Disney film Mary Poppins (also celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year), you will enjoy the beloved score featuring “Chim-Chim Chiree”, “Step in Time”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, and many more.
Brandi Burkhardt (Mary) and Leigh Wakeford (Bert) lead the strong vocals in this show as well as engage the crowd with their show-stopping performances both “above” stage and crowd (choreographed by Paul Rubin).
Porcelain Ceramicist Highlights March Arts Meeting
La Mirada~The Arts Colony of La Mirada will hold their March meeting on Monday, the 2nd , at 6:30 P.M. in the La Mirada Resource Center, 13710 La Mirada Blvd.
This meeting will feature Michael Tyler, a ceramicist who works with porcelain. His work is inspired by Asian technique and design, especially the carving of porcelain.
Michael has been exhibiting and demonstrating at the Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts since 1995.
The art appreciating public is welcome to join us. For information call 562-941-4116 or find us at www.acolm.com.
The Electrical Billy Elliot Opening at La Mirada Theatre
La Mirada~The ten-time Tony Award-winning musical Billy Elliot will play La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, presented by La Mirada and McCoy Rigby Entertainment.
The production will begin performances Jan. 16, 2015, prior to an official opening Jan. 17, and will continue through Feb. 8.
Billy Elliot, adapted from the film of the same name, features music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall.
La Mirada Theatre’s very own artistic director, Brian Kite will direct.
The cast features Mitchell Booooo as Billy. Booooo replaced Noah parets who broke his arm in rehearsals.
Also featured is Vicki Lewis as Mrs. Wilkinson, David Atkinson as Billy's Father, Jake Kitchin as Michael, Stephen Weston as Tony, Jamie Torcellini as George, Marsha Waterbury as Grandma, Kim Huber as Billy's Mum, Brandon Forrest as Adult Billy, Neil Dale as Mr. Braithwaite, Sammy Gayer as Debbie and R.J. Higton as Tall Boy.
La Mirada Theatre Receives 17 Ovation Award Nominations
La Mirada~The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and McCoy Rigby Entertainment recently received 17 Ovation Award nominations from the LA Stage Alliance for their 2013-14 season. The La Mirada Theatre received the second most nominations for a theatre in the greater Los Angeles area.
The LA Stage Alliance announced the nominees at Native Voices at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. La Mirada Theatre award nominations include those for Best Season, Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre), Acting Ensemble of a Musical, Music Direction, and several individual performers nominated for Best Lead Actor/Actress in a Musical.
Brian Kite, Producing Artistic Director for the La Mirada Theatre, is nominated for Best Director of a Musical for Les Misérables.
“We are honored and excited to be nominated among an incredible group of artists and theatres. We are proud of our 17 nominations and hope that they reflect the Theatre’s work in providing high quality programs to audiences throughout the Southern California region,” says Kite. “We look forward to the awards ceremony in November.”
La Mirada Symphony Opens the 2014-15 Season
52nd Season Features Another Offering of Free Concerts
La Mirada~The 2014-15 season of the La Mirada Symphony opens with the Masters of Inspiration concert Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. with works by Bernstein, Mozart, and Beethoven featured under the direction of new conductor, Alan Mautner.
Playing Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet will be soloist Helen Goode-Castro, a popular performer with many Southern California orchestras.
Admission is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. Doors open at 2:30 pm, no reservations are required. The performance will take place at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. For more information visit LaMiradaSymphony.wordpress.com or call (562)-941-5779 or (714)-521-0774.
Freelance Photographer Featured on Discovery Channel Program to Guest at LM Arts Colony Meeting
La Mirada~The Arts Colony of La Mirada will hold their October meeting on Monday the 6th at 6:30 PM at the La Mirada Resource Center, 13700 La Mirada Blvd in the Civic Center.
The guest demonstrator will be Pamela Fall, a freelance photographer and artist based in Southern California. She combines her love for art and photography and has chosen to take a number of her images to a new level.
Her works are in collections around the world and were featured on a Discovery Channel program.
The art appreciating public is welcome to join us. For information check the Arts Colony website, www.acolm.com or call 562-941-4116.
REVIEW: In The Heights at Chance Theatre
Anaheim Hills~A big round of applause is in order for the Chance Theater’s epically successful production of “In the Heights”. Captivated audience members laughed, cried, and danced in their seats as the talented cast welcomed everyone to Washington Heights, New York. Directing this unprecedented production could not have been an easy task, however director Oanh Nguyen captured the spirited, fiery essence of “In the Heights’” with much finesse.
Raising questions on racial and personal identity, “In the Heights” explores the social and political lives of a vibrant latin community living in Washington Heights. Whether seeking to escape life in the barrio or desiring to thrive within its boundaries, community members aim to discover the meaning of home. Transcending a merely physical nature, they ultimately come to find that home is a self-defined concept that can consists of a variety of personal attachments such as family, friendship, and love.
FEATURE: Fundraising Gala to Honor Phantom Projects Founder
After 17 years, La Mirada High’s Cisneros and his theater troop continue to produce work aimed at teen audiences
La Mirada~A special Fundraising Gala, “From 17 to 17” will be held on August 9th at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts to commemorate the 17th Anniversary of Phantom Projects Theatre Group and honor its founder, Steve Cisneros, for his years of dedication to the arts.
Cisneros had the idea for Phantom Projects on the campus of La Mirada High School when his teacher Bruce Gevirtzman had written a play titled No Way to Treat a Lady that had a message about teen pregnancy. The show’s success is what led Cisneros to take the play beyond La Mirada High School.
“I noticed that people were really impacted through theater, with a message that may not have been appealing if it was shown any other way, Cisneros said. “I approached Bruce and he gave me his script and I invited educators to come to a reading of the play and then we booked a five month tour.”
The troupe that Cisneros assembled began rehearsing in his parent’s garage and they began getting requests for their performance from other schools. The unique thing about Phantom Projects is that the group actually uses teenage performers to play the roles, according to Cisneros.
After years of Cisernos personally funding Phantom Projects, the group now has a partnership with the City of La Mirada and they utilize a 5,000 sq ft practice facility.
REVIEW: Graceful Production of Les Miserables Now Showing Through June 22nd in La Mirada
|James Barbour (with Nathaniel Irvin on ground) star in the LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS/McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT production of LES MISERABLES, directed by Brian Kite and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.|
The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts could not have ended their 2013-2014 season in a more spectacular manner. Their production of Les Miserables was epically successful as the audience riveted at the company’s ability to stage one of the most emotionally compelling musicals in such a graceful manner. It is to no surprise that the production was such a huge success when taking into account the talented cast and creative team.
Set in France during the 1800’s, Les Miserables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a man who rebuilds his life after being freed from 19 years of slavery for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. After being showed mercy and kindness by a bishop, he is inspired to live a life guided by love. Engulfing the audience into a revolutionary period in France, Les Miserables reminds viewers of the power of love during times of despair.