International City Theatre

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A Little Night of Theater: Mar. 27th – 31st

Published March 27, 2013 by mickala

So many must sees!!!

“Complete” – Last Weekend – The Matrix Theatre – Hollywood
My Night Musing

“Songs of Bilitis” – Last Weekend – Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles

**”Chapter Two” – Runs Till Apr. 6th – Little Fish Theatre – San Pedro
My Night Musing

“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” – Runs Wednesdays Till Apr. 10th – Theatre Asylum – Hollywood
My Night Musing

“Trainspotting” – Runs Till Apr. 13th – Elephant Theatre – Hollywood
My Night Musing

“Dreamgirls” – Runs Till Apr. 14th- MET Theatre – Hollywood

“Master Class” – Runs Till Apr. 14th – ICT – Long Beach
My Night Musing

“Tomorrow” – Runs Till Apr. 21st – Skylight Theatre Complex – Hollywood

“Mrs Warren’s Profession” – Runs Till Apr. 21st – The Antaeus Company – North Hollywood

“On The Spectrum” – Runs Till Apr. 28th – The Fountain Theatre – Hollywood

**”Paradise” – Runs Till May 4th – Ruskin Group Theatre – Santa Monica
My Night Musing

**”Walking the Tightrope” – EXTENDED Till May 18th – 24th Street Theatre – Downtown
My Night Musing

** = YOU MUST SEE THIS

Taking a “Master Class” with Opera Legend Maria Callas at ICT

Published March 26, 2013 by mickala

Master Class_2There are singers, and then there are performers, people who envelope themselves in the role and are able to convey emotions through song that someone just singing the notes is incapable of. Maria Callas, the famed Opera Singer of the 40’s and 50’s was a true performer. She was known for her fierce ability to throw herself into many of the great female opera roles, as well as a personality to go with that capability. Callas lost her voice after a short career due to her reckless carelessness with her voice. She spent the short remaining years of her life teaching classes to opera students at refined schools such as Julliard. Hard headed, wounded and a genius in her own right she is a fascinating character to observe.

And observe we get to, in Terrance McNally’s Master Class now playing at ICT in Long Beach. You are treated to what it would be like sitting in an auditorium as a student at Julliard watching Callas help tutor opera students. Gigi Bermingham plays Callas to her best ability, trying to capture that star power that shot Callas to stardom, as well as her wounded bird interior. Thoroughly entwined in herself, Callas cannot make it through one student’s song without remembering her own rendition of the piece or claiming that the student will never be one of the greats, never leaving her own name off of the noteworthy list.

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Todd Nielson’s production is slow at times, with Bermingham often pacing back and forth, and at times even leaving the stage at will, trying to get across the difficult behavior that made working with Callas such a bear. However the entire thing is an interesting character study. It is like watching a fascinating wild animal in a strange environment. Callas was not used to teaching, to letting others perform, she could not let go of her own memories and desires.

The cast is exceptionally talented, the three opera students have beautiful voices,  yet the repetitiveness of the singing that comes with a classroom environment does get a little boring. Though the portrayal of Callas is fascinating, it does leave a little to be desired, Bermingham fights to possess the presence Callas was known for, but comes up shy. If you are adverse to Opera singing, there is a lot of it, so perhaps this is not for you. However, if you, like me, are fascinated with taking a look into the life of a genius you may never have known had existed, then head down to Long Beach to take a Master Class with one of the greats.

–Mickala Jauregui

Master Class Runs Till April 14th at International City Theatre in Long Beach.

A Little Night of Theatre: February 14th – 17th

Published February 13, 2013 by mickala


**PICK OF THE WEEK – A MUST SEE**
“Around the World in 80 Days”
Last Weekend!International City Theatre – Long Beach
My Night Musing

“Pick of the Vine”Last Weekend!Little Fish Theatre – San Pedro
My Night Musing

“The Snake Can”Runs Till Mar. 2ndOdyssey Theatre – West Los Angeles
My Night Musing

“Walking the Tightrope”
Runs Till Mar. 30th24th Street Theatre – Downtown
My Night Musing

A Family Thing:Runs Till Mar. 17thStage 52 – Los Angeles
Night Musing Coming Soon

A Little Night of Theater: February 7th- February 10th

Published February 6, 2013 by mickala

Here at ALittleNightMusing, I have decided to make it as easy as possible to go enjoy some great local theatre in and around Los Angeles. Every Tuesday I will post what is playing that weekend.

Think of this as your one stop shop, find out what’s playing and if it’s any good!

“The Magistrate”
Feb 9th OnlyJames Bridge Theatre – UCLA

“Pick of the Vine”Runs Till Feb. 16thLittle Fish Theatre – San Pedro
My Night Musing

“Around the World in 80 Days”
Runs Till Feb. 17thInternational City Theatre – Long Beach
My Night Musing

“The Snake Can”Runs Till Mar. 2ndOdyssey Theatre – West Los Angeles
My Night Musing

“Walking the Tightrope”
Runs Till Mar. 30th24th Street Theatre – Downtown
Night Musing Coming Soon

5 Actors go “Around the World in 80 Days” with 39 Different Characters

Published February 1, 2013 by mickala

A rich time-obsessed Englishman, Phileas Fogg, takes a challenge he is sure he will win, while everyone else deems it impossible. He grabs his French servant and embarks on the most absurd, well put together and exceptionally funny stage adaptation of “Around the World in 80 Days”, now playing at International City Theatre in Long Beach. This well-renown Jules Verne novel is now a play by Mark Brown, and it features a true farce of an adventure as Fogg sets out to prove that a person can in fact travel around the world in 80 days. This production is filled with more quick changes than you have ever seen before and on opening night they nailed every single one of them. However, be at peace, for these performers are well trained in improve and if anything does go wrong, such as facial hair falling off during a scene, they take it and run, working it right into the hilarity that is the context of the play.

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Full of somersaults, slap stick, prat falls and everything that has been in the theatre since Vaudeville, this play has something for everyone. Each actor, except for Jud V. Williford who plays the venturing Fogg, plays a dozen roles at least and they act all of them superbly, with absolute no overlap of expression, gestures or accents, which there are dozens. Each actor is so phenomenal that I must highlight all five of them, which is something I do not normally do.
Williford plays the straight man to the entire cast. His Fogg is direct, concentrated, determined and he never lets any of the highly absurd situations dissuade him from his plans. Michael Uribes cartwheels his way into your heart with his rendition of Fogg’s servant as well as other whacky loveable characters. Brian Stanton has mastered the art of stair pratfalls and though he features it throughout the play it never gets old, he keeps it fresh, which is a real talent. Mark Gagliardi is one of the most versatile character actors around. He plays multiple characters within two minutes of each other and never misses a step. The lone female of the cast, Melina Porto is perfection. From her long faced Chaplin-esque butler, to her enchanting Indian princess. The entire cast is superb and their stellar talent alone makes it worth seeing this show.

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To rein in a cast of this talent is a feat in itself,  but the staging of this play is just as important as the level of acting you must find. Director Allison Bibicoff has taken this madness of a play and presented it to its full potential. Bibicoff obviously has a talent for directing and her presentation of this play could very well be remembered throughout the year and be in the running for many “Best of” lists. I don’t say this much, but this production is a MUST SEE. So head down to Long Beach and thank me later.

“Around the World in 80 Days” plays through February 17th.

–Mickala Jauregui

ICT’s “Ghost Writer” Unleashes the Secrets of Being a Writer

Published August 28, 2012 by mickala

As a writer, you spend a lot of time staring off into nothing-ness waiting. Waiting for what is hard to describe. An idea, a story, a way out of a sticky situation or sometimes, just the right words. Michael Hollinger’s Ghost-Writer  presents that experience in a very strange and somewhat mysterious manner. Set in the year 1919, Myra Babbage is the faithful typist of famed (fictional) author Franklin Woolsey, who has passed away. After years of ignoring other aspects of her young life, Myra Babbage has found herself in an unfamiliar world without her one task in life, typing Woolsey’s dictations. However, her task does still remains. An unfinished book is left lingering in her head and she is the only one left capable of finishing it.

Directed as an open ended mystery, Ghost-Writer  is currently being presented by the International City Theatre in downtown Long Beach. Directed by ICT’s artistic director caryn desai, Ghost-Writer envelopes the audience in the mystery of the deceased author and his typist and the question of who is really finishing the novel. Is she being haunted or is she just crazy? The  roles in this play are portrayed beautifully by the cast. Paige Lindsey White’s Babbage never leaves the stage, and narrates the entire play. White shows her confused, infatuated and heart broken emotions through her eyes and facial expressions during her narration of her life before and after Woolsey’s death.  Leland Crooke’s solemn , lost in thought, intense Woolsey paces the back ground of the set through out most of the play, representing the presence ever lurking in Myra’s mind. Their interactions, during the flashbacks scenes are intense and heart felt. The romantic tension between the two can be felt, like electricity shooting waves throughout the entire theater.

The play consists of constant changes between the past and the present. Babbage recounts her interactions with Woolsey, which are played out by the actors. To differentiate  between the times, light designer, Donna Ruzika, has done a beautiful job altering the lights. From bright during the years Woolsey was alive, to dark and shadowed when Babbage is without her author.

As for the mystery of the play, in my mind I believe that after all of the years working so closely with Woolsey’s creativity and with the stories; Myra has finally become much more than just a typist. She is a writer herself. Yet she is unfamiliar with how the words come in one’s mind. She believes that being a writer must be so different from being a typist,  where you are waiting for the words to appear from the narrating author. But in actuality that is exactly what being a writer is. The narrator may be your own thoughts, but you still wait and wait, hoping for the rest of the words to come to you. And sometimes when they do, you try with every fiber of your being to be able to write them down as fast as they pour out of your head and through your fingers. This is being a writer. It is a surreal feeling and when anyone asks, where did that idea or phrase come from, more often than not a writer will not know and neither did Babbage. She just assumed that it must be coming from her beloved, late dictator, thinking herself incapable of forming the story on her own.

But that is just this humble writer’s opinion, or at least that is what I felt compelled to write down.

Ghost-Writer plays at ICT until September 16th. Visit their website for ticket information and to view their newly announced 2013 season.

“Leading Ladies” Not leading in with Laughs

Published June 11, 2012 by mickala

Amidst the Long Beach convention center, the Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific is the International City Theatre. An elegant little theatre, filled with plush purple seats and tiered seating all facing the small stage. “Leading Ladies” by Ken Ludwig has been billed as “Some Like It Hot” meets Shakespeare. Now as a huge fan of both I was prepared to be wowed. That preparation was further settled when the woman sitting next to me, assured me with through the roof enthusiasm, that I would absolutely love the show.

Ludwig is known for writing fabulous comedies that are some of my favorites, including “Moon over Buffalo” and “Lend Me a Tenor”. However, to me, “Leading Ladies” was more of a lack luster rip-off of “Some Like It Hot”. This sounds harsh and I will assure you that I did not hate the show. There are charming performances within this production, personally I think the problem either lies in the deliverance of the lines or the lines themselves. However, from the laughing occurring throughout the theatre this conclusion could be mine and mine alone.

This play focuses on a small town, York, PA, two down on their luck actors and an old woman who is dying and searching for her long lost nieces. Leo (David Engel) and Jack (John J. Joseph) have one dollar to their name and a suitcase filled with Shakespearean costumes. Leo leads the way in his idea to pose as the two nieces in order to inherit the millions of dollars. The only problem is she is not yet dead and she expects them to hang around for her niece Meg’s (Jamison Lingle) wedding, which is in four weeks. The obvious occurs when Leo falls in love with Meg and Jack falls in love with a local named Audrey (Lyndsi LaRose). The story is not new and it is cute, but the funniest lines were forced and all of it seemed way too over the top.

LaRose happens to be the one who stole the show. Her portrayal of the not-too-smart but dying to be educated Audrey was endearing and hysterical. She is pulled to play a man in a play within the play in the second act and decides to do her character in her best Marlon Brando impersonation, for me that moment alone is worth admission.

Overall this particular production of “Leading Ladies” is not fabulous. There will be some laughs, but perhaps not as many as Ludwig intended there to be. However this production just opened and runs through July 1st. I always like to give a show the benefit of the doubt that it will improve with the several weeks left in its run, and personally I really hope it does.

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