LA Theater Scene November 2015

JUST IMAGINE & WINTER DANCE PARTY at the historic El Portal Theatre

Tim Piper as John Lennon in JUST IMAGINE

Tim Piper as John Lennon in JUST IMAGINE

JUST IMAGINE, November 7 & 8, The El Portal Theatre

Just Imagine gives us the gift of John Lennon thanks to the amazing look-and-sing-alike artist Tim Piper who grabs the spotlight and never lets go. For two days only, Saturday & Sunday, Nov. 7 & 8 at the El Portal Theatre, this extraordinary rock concert show celebrates the life and music of John Lennon. Just Imagine intertwines John Lennon’s songs with the stories behind them to create a unique and electrifying multimedia performance experience. Backed by rock band Working Class Hero (Greg Piper on bass; Jerry Strull on guitar, Morley Bartnof on keyboards and Jim Laspera on drums), Piper, with his uncanny resemblance to the late music legend, channels the spirit of Lennon in this critically acclaimed tribute. Visit #

WINTER DANCE PARTY, Nov. 13, 14, 15, at The El Portal Theatre

Winter Dance Party features the music of Buddy Holly & more

Winter Dance Party features the music of Buddy Holly & more

Winter Dance Party, at the El Portal Nov. 13, 14, & 15, is a recreation of Buddy Holly’s final concert featuring music of Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The high-energy show stars the acclaimed star of the Broadway musical The Buddy Holly Story, John Mueller as Buddy Holly. Along with Linwood Sasser as the Big Bopper and Ray Anthony as Ritchie Valens, the show features a rock’n’roll band that will knock your bobby-socks off with a long string of exciting never-to-be-forgotten rockin’ songs. Winter Dance Party is the only tribute endorsed by the Holly, Valens and Richardson estates. Visit #

BREAKING THROUGH at the Pasadena Playhouse, through Nov. 22

Breaking Through at the Pasadena Playhouse

Breaking Through at the Pasadena Playhouse

Breaking Through is a musical about the music industry making its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse, now through Nov. 22. Not unlike Dreamgirls in spirit, however Breaking Through takes a more personal look at Charlie Jane (played wonderfully by Alison Luff), a talented singer/songwriter, as she tries to navigate the perilous star-making machine known as the music business. She embarks on a heartfelt journey, discovering her authentic self and the music that touches her soul. Matt Magnusson plays hot star Scorpio with gusto, and Teya Patt plays her best friend Gwyn with real honesty. Nita Whitaker is the executive who controls Charlie’s career (with the show-stopping song “For the Best”), and Robert W. Arbogast is the scoundrel studio boss. Among the outstanding members of the cast are Kacee Clanton, David Atkinson, Will Collyer, and Katherine Tokarz. All help make the musical hit the top of the charts.

Songs with a variety of styles are featured in the score by Emmy-winning songwriter and producer Cliff Downs (The Voice, American Idol), and Katie Kahanovitz (Girls Night Out Pop Radio), with a book by Kirsten Guenther. The inspiring production is directed by Sheldon Epps, the artistic director at the Pasadena Playhouse which originated Breaking Through as a HOTHOUSE staged reading. HOTHOUSE is the signature new play development program at the Pasadena Playhouse. Visit #

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, Nov. 10 to Dec. 20

Outside Mullingar is John Patrick Shanley’s (Doubt, Moonstruck) play in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse Nov. 10 to Dec. 20. The cast includes Jessica Collins as Rosemary, Jarlath Conroy as Tony, Dan Donohue as Anthony and Robin Pearson Rose as Aoife in an Irish tale about the family farms, feuds and fences that have separated neighbors Rosemary and Anthony since childhood. They must strive to overcome these obstacles and their own romantic fears to find happiness. Full of dry humor and poetic prose from the old sod, Shanley’s tender-hearted story reminds us it’s never too late to take a chance on love. It is directed by Geffen Playhouse artistic director Randall Arney. Visit #

A Variety of Theater and Screenings at The Wallis in November

A treasure trove of performances are featured at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The variety of shows for November include Wiesenthal from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8; The Duet Gala on Nov. 10 is a joint benefit for The Wallis and Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; and on Nov. 11 is a classical music concert “The Soul of Israel,” by the renown Israel Philharmonic Orchestra; The Frank Sinatra Centennial tribute, with screenings– From Here to Eternity Nov. 13, On The Town Nov. 14, and Ocean’s 11 also Nov. 14. Visit #


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.