LA Theater Scene & Charity Events on the Calendar
The play Love Struck will be playing at the Beverly Hills Playhouse from May 11 to 27. The show is seven one act plays about “the search for, the disappointment in, the hope for, the joy of love. It’s all there,” says Barbara Bain of the classic Mission Impossible series.
Bain is part of Love Struck’s stellar cast and says, “The short plays are richly textured. Each one has something we all can relate to with the well-observed experiences.”
Co-star Nick Ullett agrees, “The show illuminates all aspects of love.” Co-star Peter Van Norden explains, “Every piece in the show has a little twist in it. Some are serious and some are humorous.”
Van Norden praises the scripts of award-winning playwright Dale Griffiths Stamos, “who gives every play a unique tone and hook to keep the audience very satisfied.”
Bain credits Stamos with bringing variety and tremendous depth to the show. “These are small plays, but they’re not small in thinking.” The wonderful show and cast comes together for the Three Roses Players and Venice Sky Production directed by Maggie Grant, at the historic Beverly Hills Playhouse.
Tennessee in the Summer
Another show that illuminates in a different way is Tennessee in the Summer, a play based on the life of Cat on A Hot Tin Roof playwright Tennessee Williams. The small but intense production is playing at the Sidewalk Studio Theatre in Burbank, Calif., running April 13 through May 20.
Starring as Tennessee is Jack Heller, who says, “I find his characters so colorful, and I remember a line in Streetcar Named Desire, ‘The one thing in life I can not abide is deliberate cruelty.’ With that line, I determined him to be compassionate man. Yet researching I learned that he could be quite cruel.”
“It was because of his fears, plus a great deal of guilt due to family turmoil and his sexuality.” All of that is revealed in the riveting show. And Heller points out that “90 per cent of the dialog is based on actual quotes from Williams.”
The show written by Joe Besecker, and directed by Sal Romeo. Also starring is Tamara Braun, Louise Davis, Robert Standley and Lisa Thayer. All give outstanding performances worthy of Williams’ legacy.
“He is the American poet of the theater, writing in such a lyrical way,” that is what Heller hopes the audiences will remember about the play. “Along with the thought that no matter how talented a person is, addiction and fear can destroy creativity.
Worthy Charity Events
The stars lined-up for the Survivor Mitzvah Project “Celebrity Reading” (April 22), at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance. Among those appearing: Ed Asner, Frances Fisher, Elliott Gould, Lainie Kazan, and Valerie Harper, who explains it is a fund-raiser to help the elderly and forgotten Holocaust Survivors in Eastern Europe.
“We are all familiar with movies like Sophie’s Choice and Schindler’s List, but the Survivor Mitzvah Project puts names and faces to those isolated Holocaust survivors living in poverty. I was thrilled with the chance to help in a way that would directly support these people. For those who truly want to offer a mitzvah [a kindness] to another human being, this is a golden opportunity,” says Harper.
The Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers are dishing up the 24th annual Vintage Bouquet on April 29, from noon to 4 p.m. at the historic Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. It is open to the public and the popular food and wine festival benefits the BH Bar Foundation’s pro bono legal services programs. Go to www.vintagebouquet.com.
Another worthy event is the 10th annual Bogart Wine Aficionado Dinner on May 10, set up at The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel in LA. It is to benefit the Bogart Pediatric Cancer Research Program, and is themed “Going out in Style: 10 Great Wines for 10 Great Years,” with world-class wines matching the gourmet cuisine. Go to www.bogartfoundation.org. It should be the connoisseur’s dream evening.