02 Feb THEATER REVIEWS BY MORNA
MARILYN, MOM & ME, – Long Beach
In 1956, when Marilyn Monroe was cast as the lead in the film Bus Stop, the author’s mother, Eileen Heckart, was cast as her best friend in the movie. Says author-director Luke Yankee, “Marilyn was the biggest star in the world. She had taken the previous year off to study with Lee Strasberg and had become the poster child for ‘method’ acting, where an actor has to experience every moment truthfully. As a part of her newly discovered style of acting, Marilyn was determined to make my mother her best friend – both on screen and off. Reluctantly, Eileen went along with it for the sake of the film and found herself emotionally entrenched in Marilyn’s life.” The play explores this emotional tie observed by Yankee as a child. Starring Alicia Soper as Monroe, Laura Gardner as Heckart and Noah Wagner as Arthur Miller, Laurence Olivier and Joshua Logan. Produced by caryn desai. At International City Theatre, Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, 330 East Seaside Way, Long Beach. Tickets at (562) 436-4610 or InternationalCityTheatre.org.
TINY LITTLE TOWN – Hollywood
This new musical comedy reimagines Ukrainian playwright, Nikolai Gogol’s 19th century satire, “The Government Inspector” updated to 1970’s America! In this version, a small town is thrown into chaos when it mistakenly identifies a visiting stranger from Washington D.C. The corrupt town leaders believe this is an incognito Investigator sent by the Federal Government to investigate their town. The show is an indictment of corruption and the insecurities of those who maintain their control through deceit and lies. Theatre Movement Bazaar’s award-winning production merges dance, theater and song in the show written by Richard Alger. The music composition is by Wes Myers, with original lyrics by Alger. Direction and choreography are by Tina Kronis. At The Broadwater Theatre Main Stage, 1078 Lillian Way Los Angeles, CA 90038 TICKETS: Tickets: https://theatremovementbazaar.ludus.com/200447012.
CINDERELLA – Santa Monica
Almost four decades after its world premiere at Santa Monica Playhouse, this Rudie-DeCarlo musical is getting a contemporary multi-media makeover. After tours to England, Alaska and Japan and after delighting more than a quarter of a million audience members, young and old, to date, it has become the single most requested Santa Monica Playhouse Musical on three continents! Promo material states “It promises to be a Cinderella like you’ve never seen her before. With new songs, hilarious special FX, a silent movie segment that will have you falling out of your seat, dazzling costumes, amazing magical prestidigitation, and a story about being true to your dreams and loving yourself as you are that’s as true to today as it was then.” Written and directed by the creative team of Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie, the original internationally acclaimed CINDERELLA debuted as part of the Playhouse repertoire in 1984. At Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica. Tickets: 310.394.9779 or firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WIZ – Hollywood
This all-Black adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” that dazzled theatregoers in 1975 had teenage Dorothy (sans Toto) seeking to find her place in our contemporary world. Originally written by William F. Brown with the Tony Award-winning score by Charlie Smalls, some dialogue has been updated by Amber Ruffin for this version. Now packed with soul, gospel, and rock, audiences will still enjoy such hits as “Ease on Down the Road,” the classic “Home,” a revamped “He’s the Wizard” and favorite “Believe in Yourself.” The director is Schele Williams, and choreography is by Jaquel Knight. This all new “pre-Broadway” run is at the Pantages Theatre, 6233 Hollywood Blvd. Tickets online at Ticketmaster.com or at the theatre Box Office.