Coming October 4, 2014…..Performances on Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 1pm (Special Halloween Performance Times at 7pm and 10pm.)
Presented by the Actors Coalition Network of Los Angeles a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation in conjunction with the Stages of Gray Theatre Company.
Performances to be held at the Hudson Theatre on Theatre Row. 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Order your tickets today at http://www.plays411.com/startrek
Feel free to come in costume. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.
All About the Stage
Mary E. Montoro reviews Los Angeles theater
August 5, 2014
Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’. from the 1990 film, Pretty Woman
Who doesn’t have a desire be a star in Hollywood? The sound of applause, fans screaming out your name during a premiere or accepting the greatest gift of all…the Oscar. Yes, Hollywood is the land of dreams and for a mother and son; it’s the only thing until love steps in and makes you go hmmm. This original production brings out classic songs from Broadway’s most recognizable musicals. “Cats,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Sunset Boulevard” and many others. Writer/director Randall Gray fastens the songs to tie-in with the modern love stories, which unfolds at an even pace.
Playwright Sarah Dulane (the richly talented Cynthia Caldwell) and aspiring actor/son Billy (a mesmerizing Dave Leon) come to Hollywood to make their individual marks on the boulevard of dreams. She holds to life her manuscript with hopes of producing it. With his stunning good looks and captivating blue eyes, Billy looks like a member of a 90s boy band. The two move into an apartment where their next-door neighbor happens to be big-shot Broadway producer Peter Legacy (the multi-talented Randall Gray) and daughter Christine (the spunky Courtney Daniels). One day, Sarah catches Peter’s attention with her beautiful voice singing “As If I’d Never Said Goodbye,” (Sunset Boulevard). After that, Peter became joyfully hooked. As Peter and Sarah connect, the same air of electricity catches Billy and Christine. The power couples find themselves attracted to one another and are very public about it.
Every love story has an opposing force trying to break the happy couple apart. In this case, it is Gillain Morrow (wonderfully played with venom by Elizabeth Adabale) a questionable talent agent. She had her eye on the gorgeous blonde Adonis and makes the switch to the more charismatic Peter. And of course, what love story wouldn’t be complete with a loving couple breaking up. Sarah never loses her faith and is determined to make her and Billy’s dreams a reality.
Musicals aren’t easy to make. For starters, you need permission from the songwriters to use their material in the production. God only knows how Gray managed to get the ok from these talented but cagey writers in allowing their music to be used. The director/writer/actor creates a fun, wholesome yet sexy story with a little bit of danger to make it more alive. Re-live the entertaining songs from different musicals all coming together nicely into another exciting show by Gray.
Hollywood Façade plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. until Sunday, August 24 at Hudson Theatre, located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., in Los Angeles. For ticket information, call (310) 960-7776 or reserve online at http://www.plays411.com/HollywoodFaçade
Hollywood Facade – The Epic Musical
Burbank Entertainment Industry Examiner
The new musical “Hollywood Facade” instantly got my full, complete and joyous attention as it opened with a powerful and captivating rendition of the Leslie Briscusse and Frank Wildhorn classic “Facade” from the sensational hit musical “Jekyll and Hyde.” The entire five member cast delivered the song with power and poise and “Facade” is a great theatrical song. But to be completely honest it instantly fired up my personal memory of my beloved daughter Kari Irwin performing the same song along with the entire cast of the DOMA production of “Jekyll and Hyde” almost exactly two years ago. This is a great start on a personal level but then the show gets even better.
We are soon introduced to a group of people everyone in Hollywood knows because to be brutally honest to some extent we are them and they are us. A burned out and recently widowed former Broadway queen arrives in Hollywood with her young son determined to get him into the movies and make him a star. The son is more than eager and does have “the look.” Soon she “Executive Produces” (that means pays for at least in part) the production of a film based upon her script and starring her son. The assumptive well known Writer/Director at first declines interest but his attitude changes with the transfer of cash to his hands. The entire cast combined presents a group of Hollywood stereotypes we all know and love to talk about. They are vain and vacuous and driven in pursuit of fame and fortune. You quickly come to the understanding of “Hey I know these people.” It instantly becomes extremely fun to join in this theatrical journey.
The Writer/Director Peter Legacy is played by Jonathan Colunga. Colunga hails from Houston, Texas where he cut his teeth on stage while a sophomore in High School. He played Friar Lawrence in “Romeo and Juliet” before moving on to numerous professional theatrical engagements. He quickly proves that he has the vocal chops that could easily reach all the way to Broadway.
Legacy’s daughter Christine is portrayed by California native Courtney Daniels. Courtney has a solid background in music and has already traveled the world in a Disney production for two years. Her character Christine Legacy has reached her majority and is extremely tired of all the Hollywood pretense, a facade if you will.
Cynthia Caldwell has a long and deep background in musical theatre and her beautiful, rich and powerful voice clearly display her magnificent skills. In “Hollywood Facade” her character Sarah Dulane is the once glorious Broadway actress turned stage door mom with far more than a wee bit of interest in Peter Legacy.
Sarah’s son Billy Dulane is played by Spanish heart throb Dave Leon. Even I, an admitted lifelong raging heterosexual, could not avoid the obvious fact that Leon has truly stunning great looks. As I described him to my wife, “I am sure that Dave Leon is to women what Shakira is to most guys.” Happily his talent reaches well beyond his appearance. He delivers a solid Billy Dulane.
Gillian Morrow is a powerful Hollywood talent agent who is accustomed to getting what she wants professionally but she has failed at love. That character is brought brilliantly to life by Penn State University graduate, comedian and musician Beth Goldberg. In the end…well you will just have to see the end and then you will understand.
This most intriguing and deeply entertaining show evolves to a very unexpected and shocking conclusion. It is always the journey and not the destination that rules and in the case of “Hollywood Facade” currently premiering at the venerable Hudson Theatre in Hollywood it is truly a fascinating and often riveting journey. It is written and directed by Randall Gray who has written and directed 118 theatrical productions so far typically receiving high critical acclaim. It is also appearing in a very diminutive and intimate venue of less than 50 seats. However it is always quality and not venue size that matters. A really big show with a giant assembly of talent on an intimate stage makes for superb entertainment. Do check it out between now and August 24th at the Hudson Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90038. Reservations and information are available by calling 323-960-7776 or online at: http://www.plays411.com/Hollywood Facade.
Copyright 2014 Ron Irwin
From the same people who brought you the 2013 Best New Musical of the Year “Ready For The Storm”, and the 2013 Best Revival of a Stage Play “True West” by Sam Shepard, Comes
The Epic New Musical
Featuring, by special permission, music from some of the best known and well loved composers of our current time, opens July 11, 2014 at the Hudson Theatre Guild at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles, CA 90038.
Come Enjoy the great Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andy Chesterton, Frank Wildhorn, Claude-Michael Schonberg, Tim Rice, and many more in an amazing Love Story Epic Event!
“Keep your friends close And your enemies closer.”
“Don’t you ever die?”
Harry Mandrake to Byron Meade
Unfortunately, all good things have to end so a new chapter of life can emerge. In the last section of Randall Gray’s mesmerizing The Lake House Chronicles, starring the egomaniac and brilliant writer Byron Meade (this time played by the great Rich Neher) meet his end. Or does he? Writer/director Gray purposely keeps the audience guessing on whether Meade dies at last or continues to make hell for the surviving members. This irritating bug resembles the 1980s nighttime soap opera Dallas when fans had to wait until the fall who killed JR Ewing. Remember that. That blasted Byron Meade, does he live? Is he dead? No, seriously, is he dead? Will he die? The last chapter is no different from the previous two. Just when you think you got it figured out, another twist comes in and completely changes the scene.
Famous mystery writer Byron Meade (Rich Neher) is living comfortably at the lake house with his first love Evelyn Townsend (the wonderful Wendy Rostker). It appears the couple is deeply in love. She remains with him after Byron tells her the sordid story on what has previously occurred. He considers Evelyn to be ‘his only true friend” and professes his love to Evelyn. As the couple reunite, Evelyn’s pissed-off child Josh (the excellent Dash Porter) ruins their moment. Josh reminds Meade that he is “dead” but his new identity as Richard Crowne is alive and kicking. Evelyn is still confused on what’s going on and quickly pours herself a drink. Apparently, the whole family turns to the bottle when bad news arrives.
It’s easy to understand why once you learn the broken family roots. Everything finally makes sense and comes to a brutal end. Let’s just say everybody gets what they so richly deserve. There are no “aw-shucks” moments or feeling bad for anyone. Gray does an excellent job in making it clear who the bad guy is and who’s the one that should live. Meade is somewhere in between, especially with Neher’s portrayal. His version is calmer and less combative. His character tries to find a solution to the many chaotic moments in the story.
Jay Antonos, who played Meade in Dead Men Have No Voice and Lakehouse Project plays him rough and ready to do battle. By the last episode, Meade becomes more relaxed and accepts the wrongs he did to others especially his daughter Becky. Could it be, Meade has found peace and is willing to lead a legit life as a husband and father? That’s all up to creator Randall Gray, who does an excellent job as escape convict Harry Mandrake. He beautifully shows off Harry’s descent into madness when he takes the family hostage at the lakehouse and that’s when the fun really starts as the truth is revealed with steady accuracy and painstakingly details.
If you haven’t been able to watch the first two episodes, no need to worry. The third installment answers many questions and even discloses a few surprises. Mandrake’s End plays Fridays (May 23rd and 30th) and Saturday, (May 24th) at 8 p.m., until Saturday, May 30th, at the Hudson Theatre Complex, located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., in Hollywood. For ticket information, call (323) 960-7776 or reserve online at http://www.plays411.com/mandrake
I only caught one production on the weekend to tell you about
A World Premiere murder mystery and the third in a trilogy of related plays. Written with complex and eerie suspense by Randall Gray, this one marks the final segment in his “Lake House Chronicles,” and the trio will be united as a motion picture in 2015. Although this production stands on its own as a compelling evening of theater … having not seen the prior two plays, it was tricky for me to follow at times. However, all was revealed and explained in the final scenes. With more “twists ‘n’ turns” than a roller coaster … this is a wild ride! Directed by the playwright with suspenseful pizzazz, assisted by Barb Woods, the dark secrets of his characters revealingly explode, one after another. Set in modern day … the story unfolds at the eclectic lakeside home of world class murder mystery writer, Byron Meade (passionately played by Jay Antonos). The complex and eye appealing set design … also by the multifaceted playwright, set the mood brilliantly! Dealing with the darkly deceitful realities of Byron’s family secrets through the years, he invites the forever “love of his life” Evelyn to his home for dinner (a heartfelt Wendy Rostker), along with her grown son Joshua, who is Byron’s protégé (played with youthful exuberance by Dash Porter). Byron, reflecting on his life up until now, must face the bitter truths of his darkly secretive past, and try to make amends. At the same time, he must advise his daughter, Rebecca, and her estranged husband Christopher, who are facing complications of their own (solid performances by Erin Poland and Sean Randall Crayne). As the complex plot unfolds, Harold Mandrake, the villain in all the others’ existence, returns to complicate their lives further. As devious and hateful as ever, he is out for blood … and no one’s destiny is secure. Who will survive and at what cost? The playwright, Randall Gray, who never performs in his own plays, makes an exception this time … and plays the conniving and heartless Harold Mandrake with creepy and heartless zeal. I’ve given you as much of the plot as I dare … without spoiling your journey, when you see it. For a complex and eerie theatrical experience … this is one to catch. The Hudson Theatre Complex is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles running thru’ May 30. For reservations call (323) 960-7776 or online at plays411.com/mandrake.
So far, I have no plays booked for next weekend … but that can change in a flash! On May 9, I will cover the opening night performance of The Ghost of Gershwin, at The Lonny Chapman Theatre in North Hollywood.
Hot Tip … If you also book seats for “Opening Night” … you will enjoy a complimentary buffet of food and desserts … and a chance to chat with the cast afterwards. This has been a long standing “treat” at all of The Group Rep’s opening night performances. Call (818) 763-5990 to reserve your seats.