Sunday, March 2, 2008

Let's Talk Theatre-March, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day in advance! Many do not realize that I am of Irish ancestry and hail from Holyoke, Massachusetts, not only the paper city of the country but also home of one of the biggest parades on the East Coast in honor of Saint Pat. It's usually held around March 17, has a week of festivities including a Coronation Ball for the chosen Colleen and has a guest Grand Marshall, like past Marshall Senator Ted Kennedy, or actors such as the late great Pat O'Brien and William Gargan. Remember him? He played the young girl's alcoholic piano playing father in The Bells of St. Mary's. As a kid, I can say with pride that I saw John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline in a St. Patrick's Day Parade before he became the greatest President in history. I was fortunate to play Saint Patrick 6 years ago in The Saint on the Couch in NoHo. It was a tiny part, but me mum would have been so proud!
So happy that Marion Cotillard won the Best Actress Oscar as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. What a magnificent performance! Javier Bardem was charming when accepting his Oscar; he thanked his mom and all his Spanish countrymen and actors who were an inspiration for him. Gracias, Javier, por tu trabajo tan bueno; tu mereces el premio, porque tu eres un actor fuerte y sensible. Felicitaciones!
This month I look forward to reading a wonderful new book written by playwright William Derringer entitled The Passion That Bites Back, A Fun Educational Theatrical Memoir. Bill's play Shiva Warriors gave me the terrfic character role of George, a shabby middle-aged man who laments the loss of his father and tries in his own confused way to come to terms with the lifestyle of his gay brother Sol. I so enjoyed playing this part at the Bitter Truth Playhouse 5 years ago. Bill's sensitivity as a writer is palpable and I can't wait to read his new book. There will be a review of it here in the near future. By the way, Bill and his life partner Bob now live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. More congrats on your book, your plays and so many other accomplishments!
This month S.T.A.G.E. presents their annual gala to benefit AIDS, this year honoring composer Burt Bacharach and presented at the Wilshire Theatre. Favorites like Mary Jo Catlett, Marilyn Maye, Nancy Dussault, Betty Garrett and many others are set to perform, directed by old reliable David Galligan.
Look forward to the world premiere musical of Mask at the Pasadena Playhouse later this month and the return of Eric Millegan to Sterling's Upstairs at Vitello's on March 30, as he joins Jenna Gavigan in her show as guest star. Last December Eric did his own show with Jenna as guest. I reviewed the evening. He was a real charmer, fun and a big hit with his audience. Quite a fine singer as well!

Best of luck to my friend, fellow Roadie and former writing colleague Travis Michael Holder as he ventures to New Orleans for the annual Tennessee Williams Festival. He is hoping that he will get a chance to redo his fun role in the The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore with the marvelous Karen Kondazian. If you remember, he shared the part of the Witch with Scott Presley in the riveting remounting of the play last fall at the Fountain Theatre. Buena suerte, queridos!
Will chat at 'ya again real soon! Hasta, amigos! And wear GREEN March 17!

Easter comes early this year - March 23, so Happy Easter as well!
Spring and summer are right around the corner! Am eagerly awaiting Eden Espinosa (no longer in Wicked) in Reprise's Flora the Red Menace in May, and Beth Kennedy and Susan Sullivan in a new play at the Falcon in April. Congratulations to Brian Childers and company for their Palm Springs engagement of The Kid from Brooklyn, The Danny Kaye Musical later this month through June! What a grand success for the El Portal! My interview with him remains in Past Interviews on the Interview page. Check it out!
Hasta! Felices Pascuas!


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