ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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July 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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THEATRE!

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein presented by LATW

Frankenstein

  • By Arlene Winnick

LA Theater Works newest ‘radio play’ is the original Frankenstein, the gothic masterpiece by Mary Shelley. The role of Dr. Frankenstein is played by Adhir Kalyan, a South African actor best known for his TV roles in Rules of Engagement and Arrested Development. This was Adhir’s second performance for LATW. He was featured in Tom Stoppard’s The Hard Problem last year.  I spoke with Adhir about his character and playing opposite veteran actor Stacy Keach as The Monster. “I was always fascinated by the story growing up. So many great actors have played the role; I tried not to watch them and let my character slowly evolve during rehearsals. Dr. Frankenstein possesses dangerous knowledge and sadly loses all humanity over time. Is it madness or ego?” Trivia note: In 2016 he starred in a TV series Second Chance about a modern-day Frankenstein.

“Working with Stacy Keach was an incredible opportunity.  Ironically he was able to develop and exhibit a real humanity in The Monster.” And how is a radio play performance different from a full stage or film experience. “You need to convey your character with just your voice in front of a microphone.  I was lucky to be surrounded by a cast of experienced radio performers.” LATW’s Frankenstein was recorded earlier this year at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA. It will available for digital download on July 8th.

For more details, click here.

Coronials

Coronials is an online musical

Coronials

  • By Ken Werther

Back on March 13, members of the Box Elder High School Theatre Department in Brigham City, Utah, had spent the day making final preparations for its regional competition — packing hundreds of costumes, organizing props, and putting final touches on set pieces. The cast was running through final rehearsal. Then came the announcement that school would close for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns. Two weeks turned into six, followed by the cancelation of the entire remaining school year. Drama Coach Melanie Day contacted her friend Jeffrey Scott Parsons, an alumnus of BEHS and musical theatre professional living here in LA. They agreed upon a collaboration that would act as a consolation for the difficult and dedicated work the students had put in but would not get to perform in the regional competition.

Parsons invited the students to journal their feelings and experiences using musical theatre songs. Upon submission of their thoughts and accompanying songs, two things quickly emerged — (1) the students were dealing with various degrees of anxiety about their futures, and (2) they were craving social interaction. Using their journal playlists as a guide, Parsons created the story for an original musical. He and the students then wrote, filmed, edited, and performed a 40-minute original musical. In telling its stories, Coronials shows how the next generation can share its light with the world. This honest, funny, and inspiring online musical is highly recommended viewing!

To view please click here.  

Broadway World

Broadway World

  • By Arlene Winnick

For those of you like me suffering from theater withdrawal – four months without a life performance and it looks like another six months before the theaters open again – I highly recommend Broadway World. It’s a website sure to satisfy your theater cravings in so many ways. I always like to start with their Hot Stories section – the theaters may be closed but there is a lot of news, announcements, updates…and a fun quiz like which character from Hamilton are you. The Video section has a great variety to choose from: at home concerts; Broadway Rewind with flashback performances (Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch); exclusive performances (Bette Midler and Patti LuPone singing along Fran Dresher); cast member Zooms (loved the sizzling Cell Block Tango featuring the ladies of Chicago); past Tony Highlights; and so much more.

Broadway World’s Calendar of Streaming events will fill your days and nights with dance and choreography classes; Lincoln Center from the Vault; Singing techniques; Advice from Producers; cast member discussions, writing advice and so much more. I really enjoyed Behind the Curtain interviews with stage managers, dressers, and technicians which reveal the secrets to making it all happen on stage. There are contests too where you can pick the “Next on Stage” singer. I will be content with my daily dose of Broadway World until the curtains rise again.

For all the details, click here.

Young Playwrights

The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwright Academy

Young Playwrights

  • By Ken Werther

Exciting news for a stay-at-home summer! The Blank Theatre in Hollywood has announced the inaugural season of the Young Playwrights Academy. All classes, which will begin on July 20 and run through August 16, will be conducted live via Zoom. YPA offers a platform for young writers to expand their skills in a professional environment, with small class sizes, enhancing what they already know. Said Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director of The Blank, “We are thrilled to launch this exciting extension of our premiere Young Playwrights Festival program to offer classes that provide professional development for new and diverse artistic voices.”

The YPA experience will create a safe and nurturing atmosphere, empowering young people to enhance their creative perspectives and enrich their writing. The Blank believes that artistic education and mentorship must focus on eventually working in the professional world so YPA will offer hands-on practical learning. Classes will be taught by Beth Bigler, a versatile and creative writer, development executive, dramaturg, and teacher. She is a dynamic, engaging, and caring arts educator and is an instructor in the producing and screenwriting departments at New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles and New York campuses. As a sought-after dramaturg and script consultant, she collaborates with authors of all ages and developmental levels. Classes are available to students of varying ages and skill levels, and are open to students from anywhere in the United States. Registration is now open!

For more details, click here.

What's Hot!

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve adjusted our content this month.

LAArtsOnline now features two NEW pages: BOOKS and EXTRA! We’ll look at what’s hot in the world of books and reading along with some suggestions of EXTRA! things to check out, read about, and do!

Stay positive, stay safe.

Paige Petrone
Founder / Publisher

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