Sunday, October 29, 2023


The re-emergence of small theatre  in Los Angeles is encouraging. Fear and Loathing of the dreaded dampanic still has some folks masked and cautious, but art must survive. 

We must carry on. We must make art..

Howard Ho's World Premiere play "RESET" takes place in an unlikely bunker? way up yonder in Chernobyl.  Hot Stuff.   An unlikely pair of scientists Aiko Tanaka (Greta Jung) and Lateen Anderson (Zachary Bones) receive a  new 'client':  James (Tyler Perez ). 

When we toss Schrodinger's Cat into the mix and get into quantum physics, do not be dismayed.  The best is yet to come.. 

James arrives blindfolded, wrapped in a hazmat suit  having "passed" some sort of   preliminary test. He's been  romanced to the site of the 1986 Chernoybl meltdown in Ukraine.

The  iffy sci-fi idea of how the  Universe may be affected by a  disaster such as the nuclear accident posits a 'mirror' universe that turns, I think, on the half life of plutonium  239.

"Agency to change.."   "Moral arc of the Universe: MLK" Monkeys on keyboards :  Shakespeare?   Butterfly effect?? 

Jim is a copywriter and as he is coaxed to venture deeper into the experiment  he mentions the "mendacious effect of words." James is tempted to continue because "the sake of humanity hangs in the balance!"  All of these buzz terms factor into Ho's text as we twist and turn with James offered  bizarre opportunities to become a 'better person.' His 'best self. 

The Schrodinger model re:  the living /dead cat factors in.  It is heady stuff.

James 'summons' a gift from the Universe that arrives in a special mailbox with a fortune cookie type message. The message is supposed to guide him to be his 'better self.'   I'm using lots of quotation marks here because this theory  and subsequent presentation is far out  speculation. With a flash bang and black out, we meet another James (Carl Weintraub!) 34 years our current James's senior. His doppleganger? No.. it's really James in an alternate Universe!?  Weintraub's first iteration (there are four!) is practically subhuman. Agitated and manic!  "Nothing Matters" is his mantra and current James takes it all in.

A somewhat mind numbing story now unfolds with James tempted to see what's behind door numbers two, three and four.. so to speak with the "What Ifs" piling up as he is drawn to the ethical and  moral issues that ask .. essentially:  "Does anything' matter?"

Bones and Jung  bring home the scientists.  Bones was a little difficult to understand at times because of his  British accent. Ms Jung with softer projection than the men was basically fine. . 

Carl Weintraub and Tyler Perez

Perez finds all the beats & levels of whom we think is an average American guy, but we begin to see a dark underbelly that plays just fine. 

Weintraub is a trip as he transitions from his wild man to a successful middle class fella to a very successful Dude. to a meglomaniacal  tyrant.

Are each of us always responsible for our personal choices in life? 

Robert Frost's "Road Not Taken" rears its head a couple of times and the term "bifurcated diagram.." divides into two specific parts and has something to do with choices we make and how to take advantage of this "opportunity" to live a better life:   to be a better person. 

Is there a moral arc to the Universe? Does 'God' care  Can mortals create a way to control what "The Universe" may have in store? Is there an Infinite Mind?   Does God make Little Green Apples? 

Existential and a little loopy, Ho's play sets in motion the idea that each of us may... or  may not? have a positive affect on our success as human beings.  Our own humanity. 


Addendum:  Having just read the story of Queen's release of Bohemian Rhapsody and the correlative story of Faust.. and Freddy Mercury.. there may be Faustian elements here, too??  Wow..

Book and Sound Design by 
 Howard Ho  
Directed by
 Darin Anthony  
Scenic and Lighting Design by

Justin Huen

Produced by

Dana Schwartz

PR: Scott Golden


Lateen Anderson: Zachary Bones  
Aiko Tanaka: Greta Jung 
James Gamble: Tyler Perez  
Old Man: Carl Weintraub

RESET  by Howard Ho!

Directed by Darren Anthony

The world premiere 

Full run October 28th through November 20th. Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8pm. Sundays at 6pm.
3191 Casitas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 
(south of Minneapolis St.)
 Fridays/Saturdays/Sundays: $25
Mondays: Pay–What–You–Want

Saturday, October 28, 2023


Two old pals meet in a familiar pub . Famous writers who have 'owned' their literary generes and  come together to chat.

It's a World Premiere Play  thanks to the dedication to new works by our local Actors CoOp .

1963 ..Oxford, England ..The  Rabbit Room of the Eagle and Child pub.  Old wood. Young Bar Maid

A beauty of a set brings the ambience of the Eagle and Child to  life.

It's talky, but fascinating to eaves drop on  fame.

Truth be told, this is a very difficult review to write. The premise is filled with  references to Tolkien's  Trilogy and Lewis's Chronicles of Narnja..  If you have read them and have a take on the stories and the implicatons of philosophy and Christian values  expressed by both Tolkien and Lewis, it helps.  Thankfully the British accents are pretty much Mid Atlantic making the dialogue, which might get lost  in the 95 minute show bearable.

Two old guys chat.

The Bar Maid ..a kid.. is fascinated and tends to faclitate the authors by asking questions and in a way refereeing the sometime combative writers.

I'm frustrated because the basic information for the show has been difficult to access. Below will be a long laundry list that I hope I've been able to copy and paste. 

The bottom line is that if you appreciate dedicated acting with text that flows in the intimate three quarter thrust stage and discusses  the philosophy of these well known authors, I endourage you to go.  The physical action includes some bending of elbows with pints that seem to have no effect to a very short one person darts game and Tolkien losing his hat after a touchng denoument. 

Please forgive the odd spacing and parsing in this review. The way I like to copy and paste basic information seems to be resisting a polite presentation. 

Lewis and Tolkien

Written and directed by Dean Batali

Produced for Actors Co-op by Marc Whitmore, Lori Berg and Rob Loos

October 27 – December 3, 2023     *No Show Friday, November 24*

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm (New Time!)

Sundays at 2:30 pm

Additional Saturday Matinees at 2:30 pm: Nov. 4, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

Approximate running time:  95 minutes     No intermission.

Actor Co-op Theatre Company at Crosley Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St., on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Hollywood, CA 90028

Free Parking in the Actors Co-op lot on Carlos.

Tickets: Adults $35. Seniors (60+) $30. Students w/ID and SAG-AFTRA & WGA union members $25. Group rates available.

For Tickets/Info: or (323) 462-8460.

For Immediate Release

The award-winning Actors Co-op Theatre Company in association with MWO Productions proudly presents proudly presents the World Premiere play Lewis and Tolkien, written and directed by Dean Batali, produced by Marc Whitmore, Lori Berg, and Rob Loos.

Set in Oxford, England in the autumn of 1963 at the famous “Rabbit Room” of the Eagle and Child Pub, this play is something of a return to the familiar for C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) and J.R.R. Tolkien (who wrote The Lord of the Rings). Filled with humor, rousing debate, and reconciliation, the two men learn the true value of their friendship with a little help from a few pints of beer and the energetically curious barmaid, Veronica.

The Actors Co-op cast features the talents of Phil Crowley as C.S Lewis, Michael Beattie as J.R.R. Tolkien and Bianca Akbiyik as Veronica.

The Production Team includes Dean Batali (Writer/Director), Lori Berg (Producer), Rob Loos (Producer), Marc Whitmore (Producer), Joel Daavid (Set Designer), Martha Carter (Lighting Designer), Chris Moscatiello (Sound Designer), Vicki Conrad (Costume Designer), Colleen Darling (Stage Manager) and Beth Batali (Assistant Stage Manager).

About the Playwright/Director

DEAN BATALI (Playwright / Director) Dean Batali worked as a writer on That 70s Show for seven years, serving as an executive producer for the show’s final season. He wrote for the initial two seasons of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, was the head writer for the first season of DisneyJr’s Puppy Dog Pals and was recently executive producer and showrunner for the third and fourth seasons of the Hallmark Channel’s Good Witch. Dean wrote and directed the musicals After the Beginning and Life with Ebeneezie. Lewis and Tolkien is the first play Dean has written where people don’t break into song.


About the Cast

PHIL CROWLEY (C.S. Lewis) Since 2015 Phil has been portraying C. S. Lewis in the one-man play, An Evening with C.S. Lewis in venues across the U.S. including Actors Co-op and the C. S. Lewis Foundation in Redlands, California.  Overseas he has performed the play at Christ Church in Jerusalem, Israel; Free University of Amsterdam; and at the Kilns, C. S. Lewis’ home in Oxford, England. He is also a working voice actor and can be heard as the announcer for the ABC hit show, Shark Tank.  Other stage productions include: A Walk in the Woods, Wit, As You Like it, The Learned Ladies, You Can't Take It With You The Philadelphia Story, The Imaginary Invalid, A Christmas Carol, Days of Wine and Roses, Teahouse of the August Moon, and The Miracle Worker.  He played the role of Cervantes/Don Quixote in Man of LA Mancha and portrayed Nat Miller, the pivotal father character in Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O’Neill, for which he received an ARTS in LA SAGE Award.

MICHAEL BEATTIE* (Tolkien) is an award-winning Canadian-American Actor and Voice Actor who has worked for over 30 years in Theater, Film, Television and Radio as well as Video Games and Television and Feature Film Animation (please visit  At the Actors Co-op: Tartuffe, Something's Afoot, Baby Dance, Twelfth Night , La Bete Recent credits include Marley, Fezziwig and Old Joe in A Christmas Carol at FPCH in 2021 and 2022.  Currently: VNC Anncr and Guru Rick in Minions: The Rise of Gru.   Upcoming:  Sensei O’Sullivan in Despicable Me 4 (2024) and Eccentric Eddie in MegaMind the Series, streaming on Peacock (2024). 


BIANCA AKBIYIK (Veronica) Bianca is thrilled to be making her Actors Co-op debut! She received dual BA’s in Theatre and Communications from Cal Lutheran. She is an actor, teaching artist, and arts administrator born and raised in Los Angeles. She also serves as Co-op’s PR Director. Credits Includes: The Two Gentlemen of Verona, King Lear, Macbeth, As You Like It (Kingsmen Shakespeare), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theatricum Botanicum), A Christmas Carol (FPCH), John Proctor is the Villain, and The Women of Lockerbie - KCACTF Irene Ryan Semifinalist (Cal Lutheran).

About the Production Team

MARC WHITMORE (Producer) is the chief executive officer and founder of the internationally renowned agency MWO Management. Marc has earned an enviable reputation as one of the best executives operating in areas such as talent development and management, as well as guiding companies to become the best version of themselves. He has provided his professional services to a diverse range of celebrities including Matthew McConaughey, Bob Hope, Pat Boone, Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, and countless more. He has also consulted for the White House on several Presidential campaigns and has been a producer of Presidential Inaugurals.

LORI BERG (Producer) Lori Berg has been a part of Actors Co-op for three decades, having been a part of many productions both on and off stage. She is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such a stellar cast and crew to bring this world premiere “home” to our boards. Lori is a professional actress, director and nonprofit visionary who’s garnered myriad awards for her efforts. Mainly. Lori is grateful to God for Actors Co-op and all of you who support L.A’s intimate theatres!

ROB LOOS (Producer) is an Emmy-nominated writer, director, and/or producer of over 900 television & streaming episodes, 13 films, and 2 plays that have won 120 awards. Loos wrote/directed Never Give Up which was released in theatres in September; he is currently producing a documentary on the life and legacy of Henrietta Mears. Loos was Chairman of the Actors Co-op/Inter-Mission Advisory Board for ten years and currently serves on the Co-op’s executive board. Loos is Chairman of Missions & Outreach at Hollywood Pres. He is married to his high school classmate, Dr. Mary Anne Doyle, has two children, and plays competitive tennis.

JOEL DAAVID (Set Designer) Joel has become an award-winning director/set designer since attending the American Film Institute for Cinematography. Joel's most notable awards include the Ovation, LA Weekly, NAACP and LADCC Theater Awards. He directed/designed the award- winning production of "The Miracle Worker" at the Matrix and Edgemar Theatres and the new production of Tennessee Williams’ “Baby Doll” at the Lillian Theatre.  Joel directed/designed the multi-award winning “Frankenstein” for Theatre Tallahassee, the epic story of "Camille" (Claudel) at the Greenway Arts Alliance and most recently the world premiere musical “Caligari’s Cabinet of Curiosities” written by Vanessa Stewart.

MARTHA CARTER (Lighting Design) is based out of Los Angeles. She is Head of Design and an assistant professor at Cal State Long Beach and enjoys collaborating with ensemble companies to create new work that incites positive change within the communities. Some of her recent credits include: The Mystery of Irma Vep (Actors Co-op), Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Rouge Machine), Driving Miss Daisy (The Laguna Playhouse), A Little Night Music (Madison Opera), The Penal Colony (Long Beach Opera), Cinderella (Long Beach Ballet), Famous (The 11:11), Peter Pan and Evita (Panama City Panama).

VICKI CONRAD (Costume Design) Vicki Conrad has been designing for theater for over 20 years.  She is currently designing for many local Los Angeles theatres including Actor’s Co-op Theatre Company, Action Theatre Company, Sacred Fools, and Third Street Theatre, as well as Knightsbridge Theatre Films.  She works closely with several schools on costume, hair, and makeup design.  She is a long-time company member of the Knightsbridge Theatre and National American Shakespeare Company.

CHRIS MOSCATIELLO (Sound Design) is an award-winning sound designer, composer, music editor and music director for theater, television and film. TV highlights include The Walking Dead, Eureka, Psych, Human Target, Caprica, The Cape and Trauma. He has scored series and specials for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Theater highlights include The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institution, The Shakespeare Theatre, Signature Theatre, Roundhouse Theatre, Rogue Machine, Antaeus, A Noise Within, Skylight Theatre, The Fountain Theatre, Odyssey Theater, The Road Theatre, Pacific Resident Theater, and he served as assistant conductor for the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

COLLEEN DARLING (Stage Manager) Colleen Darling’s experience in the entertainment industry is multifaceted including acting as well as working behind the scenes in stage, film, and TV. She has done everything from travel with a repertory theater company to working at Warner Bros. Her theater experience encompasses acting, producing, directing and stage managing. An abbreviated list of her theatrical projects includes Gypsy, The King and I, Watch on the Rhine, The Wizard of Oz, and Cinderella. She’s the director of operations for The Greenhouse Arts & Media, a nonprofit organization that serves the creative community, and also manages her professional voiceover career.

October 27 – December 3, 2023. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm. Additional Saturday matinees at 2:30 pm: November 4, November 25, and December 2.        *No performance November 24.  Tickets: Adults $35. Seniors (60+) $30. Students w/ID and SAG-AFTRA & WGA union members $25. Group rates available. Tickets/Info: or (323) 462-8460. Crossley Theater, 1760 N. Gower St., on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Hollywood, CA 90028. Free lot parking on Carlos.

Monday, October 23, 2023

S H E.. at Antaeus



Camille Ariana Spirlin and Lorenz Arnell
Photo by Jeff Lorch

Recent local theatre productions featuring black folks  have arrived at virtually the same time.  ANW's The Bluest Eye and Blood at the Root at Open Fist bubble with stories  told of  overcoming bias or at least bringing it to light. The pendulum swings and cultures long under the radar are given voice.  Now, the world premiere of "SHE" by Marlow Wyatt.

Beige.  Beige is not a color, exactly. It's more of an attitude that scenic designer Eli Sherlock  has brought  to this tale as a theme for a reason. I don't know what the reason is, but it is very impressive. Certainly the story of "SHE", the ambitious  young woman. ahead of her years with Mickey Mouse puffs  of hair and a gorgeous smile rolls along with few bumps. The couple of bumps for SHE are given fair warning to the audience and may just be for dramatic effect. Joseph Campbell tells us that the Hero must encounter obstacles in the quest.

Physical staging of this play must have been done with a reason that escapes me.  We are asked to presume the fourth wall to the kitchen where SHE works her tail off to present the truly good kid she is.  SHE curries favor with an over worked mom, Bernice (Karen Malina White) who has taken up with  a telegraphed jive ass Casaova, Mr. Lonnie (Jon Chaffin).. 

We have mostly realistic dialogue with an occasional  underscore of Anthony Newley's "Feelin' Good" , probably introduced to SHE by Nina Simone.  It's a message of hope! Hope, is the four letter word that keeps SHE on track and hungry to fly.  

Nick Santiago's projections are spectacular with text to boost the feeling of flight and hopin' for the wings to carry SHE to the place where she belongs. 

It's summer, 1970 . 

Clark County,USA

SHE: Sojourer Freeman Johnson (Camille Ariana Spirlin) is almost fourteen.  Her dreams and self confidence are blossoming as the summer is upon us.  SHE races home from the last day of school with her pal, Davie, (Lorenz Arnell). Davie is already fourteen, but as is with most guys, not as mature as sophisticated wanna be SHE. He's content to be a kid. SHE is ready for the big time.

Truth be told, it's a somewhat pedestrian story of the hopes and dreams of the kid who has the innate talent to make it out of Dodge to show the world something. Of course, there are hurdles to handle and the stuff of life to encounter even before it's really time for tough challenges.

Bernice, is SHE's mother (Karen Malina White)  who, being swept away by low life casanova Mr. Lonnie (Jon Chaffin) falls victim to his charms. Stock characters  include nosy old Miss Jane (Veronica Thompson also the elegant regent of SHE's  fancy boarding school) and the not so good fella from the other side of the tracks Othalee (Gerard Joseph) round out the cast. 

On entering the performance space, it is clear that there is serious money on the stage.  At times the beige set outshines the story.  Eli Sherlock's brilliant scenic design with truly amazing projections by Nick Santiago amplified by Andrew Schmedake's lights and Jeff Gardner's sound, provide a serious challenge for the actors.  Andi Chapman's direction confused me with actors crossing the width of the stage from left to right that forced an odd entry to the stoop of SHE's house?  The beautiful set was 'painted' all beige with projections for wall paper and later, a county fair with Ferris Wheel, a gorgeous river view and a moving train.  Brilliant Tech! Brilliant.

SHE and Davie present well the teen  lovers to be, but the levels of performance start high tend to  stay amped. .

  It may have been playwright Marlow Wyatt's intention for this piece to feel presentational and broad. Certainly, SHE's monologues are heartfelt.  It is simply the basic story of a bright kid with ambition lumbered by circumstance.  In spite  of being a way better than average scholar (only one B on her report card!), the dream of Vanguard Academy seems out of reach.  With luck, SHE may be given a ride to  a real education out of this dreary dead end town. 

The eventual exposure  of  Mr. Lonnie's hand makes for an over long evening. That said.. if the theatre lover enjoys a full production and appreciates excellence in the way a scenic design and projections and sound bring this rather simple story to life, it's a show not to be missed. 

Antaeus Theatre Company is a Bright Jewel in the crown of The Jewel City. Sponsoring new work like this World Premiere is important  and The City of Glendale should show support for the work being done by this group of talented professionals.


SHE Sojourner Freeman Camille Ariana Spirlin

Davie Mansaw,  Lorenz Arnell;   

Bernice, Karen Malina White  

Mr. Lonnie Jon Chaffin

Miss Jane Veronica Thompson  

Othalee Gerard Joseph   


Scenic designer Eli Sherlock, 

Lighting designer Andrew Schmedake, 

Sound designer Jeff Gardner, 

Video designer Nick Santiago, 

Costume designer Wendell C. Carmichael

Properties designer Katie Iannitello. 

Assistant director  Jessica Williams 

Production stage manager Camella Cooper.


Written by Marlow Wyatt
Directed by Andi Chapman

Antaeus Theatre Company

Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center
110 East Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205

Previews: Oct. 15–Oct. 19
Performances: Oct. 20–Nov. 20
Tuesday at 8 p.m.: Oct. 17 ONLY (preview)
Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Oct. 18 ONLY (preview)
Thursday at 8 p.m.: Oct. 19 (preview), Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 ONLY
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 20 (opening), Oct. 27, Nov. 3, Nov. 10, Nov. 17
Saturdays at 2 p.m.: Nov. 11 and Nov. 18 ONLY
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 21, Oct. 28, Nov. 4, Nov. 11, Nov. 18
Sundays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 15 (preview), Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19
Mondays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 30, Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20 (dark Oct. 23)

Tickets and Information
(818) 506-1983



Sunday, October 15, 2023

Bottom's UP!

 Pasadena's A Noise Within Theatre Company rides again with the Bard and a band of merry actors all watched over by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott.   This production is  an amazing romp! Magritte meets Fellini?


Frederick Stuart and Trisha Miller
Photo by Craig Schwartz


My first exposure to the wonderfulness of this most excellent of the Bard's comedies was with the Royal Shakespeare Company's spectacular production directed by Peter Brook in the Ahmanson Theatre.  The beauty of the play itself is that it lends itself to absolute magic. Directors Rodriguez-Elliott & Elliott, the founders of the ANW company, don't spare the horses to create this swift moving and professional production that might stand toe to toe with The RSC!

In  this ANW production, we are greeted by   Frederica Nascimento's simple blank stage with a dozen black chairs and a huge backwall that shows promise.  We are not disappointed.   Lighting by Ken Booth brings the magic to life.  The Ensemble / Fairies have some odd business with hand held lighting that calls attention to itself as a device, but it adds the Fellini texture to the production. The Ensemble is dedicated to a person!

It's Puck, of course, Mr. Kasey Mahaffy, the catalyst and mordant that  brings the show together with a touch of La Dolce Vita. Indeed, The Elliots have  a cast willing and able to kick out the jams and literally run (and briefly fly) for the length of the show.  

Doubling as Theseus and Oberon and Hippolyta & Titania are Zach Kenney and Trisha Miller.  I still have a hard time 'getting' why Oberon is nuts about the kid that Titania has brought from India. (The gorgeous pram is a nice touch.)  If I read the text again, t might be clear. Regardless, in both roles each actor shines.  In fact the entire cast is glowing like anything. Titania is hot!

If for no other reason (There are two, actually) to be sure to see this show, is The Lovers' Fight. I still get Hermia (Erika Soto) and Helena (Jeanne Syquia) mixed up. Both are wonderful.  It's poor Hermia, of course, who faces the convent or death. Helena has an allergy or something. The women and the guys, Demetrius (Rafael Goldstein) and Lysander (Riley Shanahan) Knock it Out of the Park.

In every production of this play I've seen it still comes to the Rustics: the Mechanicals.. the guys who have signed up to entertain the Duke and company  for pending nuptials. Bottom (Big old Frederick Stuart) steals the show and steals the business of the interstitial "Pyramus and Thisby: a tragedy!"  

Die! Die!! Die!!!!!

Whomever made Bottom's Ass.. well the ass's head, deserves a medal.

We must never forget that the crew that manages to do the heavy lifting, becomes a character in the play. The huge upstage wall rises to take us to Fairyland where Oberon and Puck plot to prompt the line "Oh What Fools These Mortals Be.." 

Lavish** Costumes by Angela Balogh Calin  with wigs and makeup by Tony Valdez transform the actors flawlessly!  (Okay, one bowler hat  needs blocking. I mentioned Magritte, right?)

 Fast paced dialogue and  genuine appreciation for Shakespeare's words all meld to create a fun and funny production.  Applause!

More and more, the dream that The Elliotts have birthed and nurtured, especially since being in the warm and friendly embrace of the City of Pasadena, bring strong and important Theatre  to the stage.  

Please!  Just head to Pasadena and enjoy the show.

(**Really really wonderful! )

Demetrius   .    Rafael Goldstein*
Hermia . .         Erika Soto*
Helena .            Jeanne Syquia*
Puck .                Kasey Mahaffy*
Peter Quince    Alex Morris*
Nick Bottom    Frederick Stuart*
Titania/Hippolyta Trisha Miller*
First Fairy .      Cassandra Marie Murphy*
Lysander  .        Riley Shanahan*
Oberon/Theseus  .Zach Kenney*
Egeus/Flute        Ed F. Martin*
Snug .                 Brendan Mulligan
Starveling/Ensemble Hakop Mkhsian
Snout/Ensemble  Erick Valenzuela
Ensemble        Greta Donnelly, Rachel Han, Lauren SosaU/S Peter Quince/Snug: Edgar Landa*, U/S Hermia: Tania Verafield*,

The creative team includes 

Scenic designer Frederica Nascimento; Lighting designer Ken Booth; 

Composer and sound designer Robert Oriol; Costume designer Angela Balogh Calin; 

Wig and makeup designer Tony Valdés; Properties designer Stephen Taylor; Dramaturg Dr. Miranda Johnson–Haddad. Production stage manager   Angela Sonner,  Talya Camras assisting.


by William Shakespeare

A Noise Within
3352 E Foothill Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91107

Previews Oct. 8 – Oct. 13
Performances Oct. 14 – Nov. 12
Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.: Oct. 11 ONLY (Preview)
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.: Oct. 12* (Preview) and Nov. 2 ONLY
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 13 (Preview); Oct. 20**; Oct. 27**; Nov. 3**; Nov. 10**
Saturdays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 21; Oct. 28; Nov. 4; Nov. 11 (no matinee on Oct. 14)
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 14 (Opening Night); Oct. 21; Oct. 28; Nov. 11 (No evening performance on Nov. 4)
Sundays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 8ϯ (Preview); Oct. 15; Oct. 22**; Oct. 29; Nov. 5; Nov. 12
*The preview on Thursday, Oct. 12 will be sensory-friendly; a handout detailing when an abrupt or intense moment of lighting, sound or on-stage action will occur, and a discreetly-placed lantern will provide a visual indication of when these moments will occur.
**Postperformance conversations with the artists every Friday (except the preview) and Sunday, Oct. 22
ϯAn INsiders Discussion Group on “Studying Shakespeare” will take place prior to the matinee on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 12:30 p.m.–1:30 p.m. (separate admission: $25).

In addition, there will be 13 student matinees scheduled throughout the run. Interested educators should email

Tickets and Information:
(626) 356-3100



Friday, October 13, 2023

Van Helsing's Dracula

 Van Helsing's Dracula! 

One of the most ambitious and erotic ideas I've ever encountered is this  'Immersive" event scheduled to open October 21st. See details below.

Having had the unique experience of seeing a 'preview' of this show in Highland Park and a bit of the tech rehearsal at the venue (see below) this is to give readers of onstagelosangeles a heads up should the terms 'LAVISH' and "EXTRAORDINARY" be on your wish list for an evening of gourmet dining and an acrobatic /erotic movement piece with an onbard musical ensemble.

My friend, Laurence Cohen, is the public relations representative for this show. I mention him because he has always been a class act and taking on this extravaganza is a tour de force promotion!

Kudos to the producers for this imaginative trip just in time for Halloween. 


A poetically sapphic interpretation of the classic tale, Van Helsing's Dracula follows Van Helsing after she receives a mysterious invitation to an ominous dinner where the Countess Dracula steals Van Helsing's lover and lures Van Helsing into a psychologically tormenting and sensually seductive trap. Van Helsing is faced with a decision: cross over fully into Dracula's dark and twisted lifestyle or walk away and leave her lover behind.


Van Helsing's Dracula is a circus dinner theater experience produced by Sarah Mann and Madmann's Playground. The show features an 8-person all-female circus cast, 4 live musicians, and a curated 3 course Romanian-style menu. The original story was written by Katie Rediger and Corrin Evans, and is accompanied by an original classical gothic score composed by two-time Emmy-award winner Hummie Mann for violin, harp, keyboard, and percussion. 


Van Helsing's Dracula opens Saturday, Oct 21 with subsequent shows on Nov 4, Nov 11, and Nov 18 at Vatican Banquet Hall (6913 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91405) from 6-9pm. Tickets range between $225-325 depending on proximity to the stage and level of interaction with the performers. The show is appropriate for ages 16+ and includes haze, flashing lights, and simulated blood sucking.


A 10% discount on ticket tiers 1, 2, & 3 is available for the first two performances (Oct 21 & Nov 4) for those who show proof of blood donation attempt at an American Red Cross blood drive site. Email with proof of donation attempt.