Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Special from Stan Mazin/Up the Mississippi

The American Queen
Stan Mazin is an actor/director/contributing writer to my Outside LA page who will occasionally appear on my blog page as well.
Traveling all over the world between acting/directing gigs, he recently went up the Mississippi and tells us about it below.

I recently returned from a wonderful 'down in the South' 7 night cruise from New Orleans up the Mississippi. The boat, and be careful NOT to call it a ship, was the American Queen, advertised as the largest working paddleboat in the world. And a glorious boat it was...having had its maiden 'boatride' in 1995. The boat is simply pristine in its furnishings and motif, with ample cabin space and absolutely delicious cuisine. And the talent is wonderful, beginning with Phil Westbrook performing in the Captain's Bar, Jackie Bankston playing in the Engine Room Bar, and Paula Betlem, Brian Smith, and Lindy Eller accompanied by the Bobby Durham Quartet performing in the Grand Saloon. Wherever you turned you were destined to be entertained. And the cruise director, Steve Spracklen, also proved himself to be a superb pianist, as well as an engaging MC for the nightly Grand Saloon shows.
If you get a chance to travel aboard this boat, you won't regret it. There's something for everyone...and who could feel bad about that?
Stan Mazin

I admire those who are always traveling and seeing the exciting entertainment away from LA. Stan will soon visit New York and write a play by play description of what's happening on Broadway, including Young Frankenstein, August, and hopefully Gypsy with Patti Lupone. Watch for his report on my Outside LA page in late April! Stan also travels to Egypt in late October-November, to Italy, of course to London at the end of December-January and makes several other excursions yearly. If you are interested in learning more about the trips that Stan takes, or are even more interested in participating in one or all of them, write to us here and Stan Mazin will get back to you promptly.
Bon voyage!
Interesting to note, Stan's production of Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential opens at LCGRT in NoHo on April 4 and will enjoy a 3 month engagement through June. I am helping to promote this production. I adore Ayckbourn, and from what I have seen in rehearsals, this presentation will be delightful with truly sperb casting! Stan Mazin loves comedy, and when in England in January, he spoke to Janie Dee after a performance of Shadowlands who was in the original West End production of Comic Potential. She offered some great advice, as only a true Brit can. They know more about farce than anyone on the planet.
Break a leg!


Moving away from travel, I am thrilled to announce here that I am venturing into the world of PR with my first big job, Athena Theatre's production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses to be directed by Patrick Varon and to be presented either in NoHo or over the hill, at a theatre that we will announce very soon. The play is scheduled for fall, but may happen this summer depending upon location. For those of you that have followed the successes of the Athena Theatre for the last few years, actress Veronique Ory has done a meticulous job mounting acclaimed productions in the San Fernando Valley as well as in Hollywood.I am exceedingly proud to be a part of this incredible team of artists. Watch for announcements very, very soon! I guarantee it will be a very thrilling year for Athena Theatre. Stay tuned!

As far as my acting career is concerned I am doing a reading of John Hopkins' Find Your Way Home at The Road on April 7 with fellow Roadies Liz Herron, Sean Wing and Vince Tula. I am directing for the first time, as well as playing the husband. This should be a fun experience.

I have also written a new one-act play whose first scene will hopefully be enacted at The Road during an upcoming Sunday workshop. Casting is now in progress. It's semi-autobiographical about my years as an actor in New York in the 70s with my dear friend Shelley Werk and an acting coach at HB, the famous William Hickey. It was fun to write as I recalled vividly the way these people spoke and the crazy things that they would say and do in given situations. These years were joyous and I miss them tremendously. I've set the play on Christmas Eve, my favorite day of the year.
Talk soon!


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