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Los Angeles Scene
by Bill Kaiser
April 2006
—— Recently Seen

The Children’s Hour

Sarah Taylor, Liz Pellini
photo: David Elzer  

Celebration Theatre continues the Michael Matthews season with the Lillian Hellman classic, “The Children’s Hour.” Deftly directed by Matthew Bankston, this first-rate production poses important questions about deceit, righteousness, and self identity.

The play tells the story about a vengeful child who destroys the lives of two women who run a girl’s school.

The cast is strong with Sarah Taylor (Martha) and Liz Pellini(Karen) outstanding as the teachers accused of “unnatural acts” by a genuine bad seed Stephanie Marquis (Mary) to her indignant and powerful grandmother, Mrs. Tilford (Laura Julian).

The reactions of the present-day audience are certainly different than those of 1934, when it was first produced, but the tragic outcome resonates and is extremely moving.

The show runs through May 7, 2006 at Celebration Theatre, 7051-B Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood; 323-957-1884.

Carnival

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) presented “Carnival” on March 31-April 2 at The Alex Theatre in Glendale, in preparation for their fall tour to South America. Under the direction of Bruce Mayhall, there was a blend of Chorus favorites, lively Latin tunes, and some serious political agenda. Much of the concert was inspiring, and it will be exciting to hear how the audiences in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay react where gay liberation is just beginning.

There were many highlights including three tangos created by guest artists Sandor and Parissa. Especially moving were “Cancion Con Todos,” Armando Terada Gomez’ “Song for Everyone” with music by Cesar Isella — which speaks to all the oppressed people of South America — and “White Scarves on Thursday” by Mark Weigle, a tribute to the mothers of the missing in Argentina.

Of course, there were lighter moments including a Carmen Miranda look-a-like who came out of a trunk, a spirited “We Are What We Are” by Jerry Herman, and “The Boy from LA” adapted from Stephen Sondheim and Mary Rodgers.

The Chorus is a proud treasure of our Community and we wish them bon voyage and break a leg on their goodwill tour to South America!

The next concerts for GMCLA are: “The Classical Ensemble” June 2-3, 2006 at USC’s Newman Hall; and “Ready for Love: The Music of Burt Bacharach,” July 21-23 at Alex Theatre in Glendale.

GMCLA information: 800-636-7464.

Rossetti’s Circle

Daniel Kaemon, Adam Smith
photo: Stephen Verona  

A fascinating new play written and directed by Anne Hulegard is “Rossetti’s Circle” about the infamous painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which included John Everett Millais, William Morris, and Edward Burne-Jones.

Charismatic Daniel Kaemon plays the enfant terrible Rossetti, who is the center of a circle of men and women who adore him. Kaemon captivates us as the real Rossetti must have captivated his circle. Adam Smith as the stalwart William Morris, and Brian Graves as Burne-Jones emit a gay sensibility that may not have been realized, but certainly was there, as Rossetti attracted both men and women. Surprisingly, the women are less important in this circle as the men search for, and covet, the ideal models for their paintings.

Don’t miss the fascinating period play that parallels the charismatic celebrities of our own pop culture.

Playing through April 29, 2006 at The Ruby Theatre at The Complex in Hollywood; 323-960-7792.

—— Coming Attractions

Theater in Los Angeles is heating up for the Summer.

Equinox

Ralph Lister, Carolyn Hennesy, Robert Stephenson
photo: Michael Lamont  

Opening April 15, 2006 is “Equinox” by Joyce Sachs about the Bloomsbury Group which will be at The Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles; 310-477-2055.

1001 Beds

Tim Miller
photo: John Aigner  

Tim Miller brings his new performance work, “1001 Beds” to Highways in Santa Monica on May 12-20, 2006; 310-315-1459.


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