JUSTIN LOVE World Premiere Kicks Off Celebration Theatre's 30th Season, 9/7
Celebration Theatre in association with DEMAND PRoductions and Peter Schneider have announced the first show of its celebratory 30th Anniversary Season, the world premiere musical, JUSTIN LOVE, with book by Patricia Cotter and David Elzer, story by David Elzer and Bret Calder, music by Lori Scarlett and David Manning and lyrics by Lori Scarlett. The show will be directed by Michael Matthews with choreography by Janet Roston and musical direction by Gregory Nabours. JUSTIN LOVE will begin previews on Friday, September 7, and will open on Friday, September 21, running through Sunday, November 18, 2012, at Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood.
Justin Rush is Hollywood’s biggest movie star who has it all; a beautiful, devoted wife, more money than he knows what to do with, a huge summer action blockbuster set to open - but he’s finding it harder to keep his secrets secret in our TMZ, twitter-addicted, celebrity-obsessed culture. Justin's wife Amanda, (rumored to be under some sort of "contract"), is getting frustrated by the growing questioning of her husband’s sexuality and the endless scrutiny about their "alleged" arrangement. When Chris Andrews, his publicist’s assistant and Mitchell Matthews, her old high school sweetheart (and now tabloid photojournalist), enter their lives, things start to get complicated.
What if the rumors aren't true? But if they are...will any major movie star ever come out, or will they continue to retreat into the closet for career’s sake? Someone has to go first…will it be Justin Rush?
To open this historic 30th season, Celebration Theatre has brought together many of its champions from over the years. Director Michael Matthews served as Celebration Theatre’s Artistic Director from 2005 -2008; Book writer and co-producer David Elzer has produced many shows at the theatre including the recent smash-hit production of The Color Purple as well as having served as its publicist for almost a decade; musical director Gregory Nabours has worked on half a dozen shows; choreographer Janet Roston most recently choreographed The Color Purple and much of the design team have together created innumerable designs for its productions throughout the years.
Comments Celebration Theatre’s Artistic Director John Michael Beck, "Reaching our 30th Season is a momentous occasion for Celebration Theatre and its patrons. There are few theatre companies in Los Angeles who can boast such longevity and we want to celebrate this landmark with a unique, energetic and relevant original musical production that will speak not only to our long time patrons but bring new ones through the doors. With the talent assembled both on and off the stage, Justin Love will continue Celebration's tradition of first rate musicals and amazing ensembles."
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
Michael Matthews (Director) Los Angeles: All Your Hard Work (World Premiere), Very Still and Hard To See (World Premiere), The Color Purple, Nerve (LA Premiere), What’s Wrong With Angry?, Take Me Out! (OvationNomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director) The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director, Ovation Award Best Musical; West Coast Premiere), The Temperamentals (West Coast Premiere), Haram! Iran! (West Coast Premiere), Three Tall Women, The Santa Land Diaries (2009, 2010, 2011), The Jazz Age (West Coast Premiere), The Prodigal Father (World Premiere), Porcelain, Stupid Kids (LA Premiere), Beautiful Thing (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Play), The Bacchae (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Play), Four; Dead End (Assistant Director) Ahmanson Theatre & The Cherry Orchard (Assistant Director) Mark Taper Forum.
Broadway: Butley (Assistant Director). Chicago: What’s Wrong With Angry? (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), In The Blood (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), Porcelain (Jeff Nomination, Best Director), The Judas Kiss (Chicago Premiere), Being 11 (World Premiere), and...for colored girls who have considered suicide…. International: The Bacchae (Edinburgh Theatre Festival, 2010) Michael served as the Artistic Director of Celebration Theatre from 2005-2008 and is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, National Shakespeare Conservatory, NY, and an alumnus of Director’s Lab West 2008.
Janet Roston (Choreography) has worked nationally and internationally in a wide range of styles, media and venues. Theater choreography includes The Color Purple at the Celebration Theater, Once On this Island, A…My Name is Alice and Bed and Sofa at International City Theater, Avenue X and Tracers at the Odyssey Theater, Footloose at the Rubicon Theater as well as productions at the Matrix Theater, Hayworth Theater and Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Her concert choreography has been presented at many theaters in Southern California, at the Royal Academy of Music in London and Theatre de la Ville in Cannes, France. As Director/Choreographer Janet’s work includes Tonya and Nancy, The Rock Opera at American Repertory Theater’s Club Oberon in Boston, CarnEvil at Sacred Fools Theater, Walk’n Thru the Fire at the Hayworth Theater and The Wanting at Highways Performance Space. Janet was the Director/Choreographer for Los Angeles Rock Opera Company’s shAme, (King King Nightclub) Push Play (Highways Performance Space) and Possession (Unknown Theater). She has directed music videos (Dhana, Jamie Kennedy, Sammy Chand) and created choreography for tv including series choreographer for The New Adventures of Old Christine, film, commercials and corporate shows (Tiger Claw Elite at Disney World, The Subterraneo Tour for Cuervo). Janet has received, for her choreography, an L.A. Weekly Award, two American Choreography Awards, and an NAACP and Ovation nomination.
Gregory Nabours (Musical Direction) has been performing both on and off the stage for the past decade. Musical direction credits include Falsettos (2011 LADCC Nominee - Musical Direction), Having It All (2011 Ovation Nominee), The Women of Brewster Place (2010 Ovation Winner, 2010 NAACP nominee - Musical Direction), The Color Purple, [title of show], A New Brain, Spring Awakening, Into the Woods, Assassins, The Full Monty, and The Last Five Years. Gregory was awarded the 2011 Ovation Award for "Best Music and Lyrics for an Original Musical" for his song cycle, The Trouble With Words (also awarded "Best Musical" in the Hollywood Fringe Festival). His band, The Anix, has toured both nationally and internationally. Gregory is the proud Resident Composer for the Coeurage Theatre Company.
LORI SCARLETT (Music and Lyrics) is an award-winning composer/lyricist (Ovation, L.A. Drama Critics' Circle, and Garland Awards for The Break-Up Notebook: The Lesbian Musical. Her musical F**King Hipsters! (Book by Keythe Farley, Co-composed with John Ballinger) was an official 2011 Next Link Selection of the New York Musical Theater Festival and premiered at New York's Signature Theater. Her critically acclaimed musical Sneaux! (The Sin-Sational Gothic Figure-Skating Musical) was directed by Andy Fickman and ran for six months at L.A.'s Matrix Theater.
PATRICIA COTTER (Book) Her musicals (librettist/adaptations) include: The Break-Up Notebook; The Lesbian Musical, (based on her play) Productions: (Revision Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ September 2011; Diversionary Theatre, Peter Schneider, Director; Hudson Theatre, LA); Readings: (National Alliance of Musical Theatre, Festival of New Musicals, NYC, The Vineyard, NYC), Mulan, Jr. (adaptation, additional lyrics, based on the Disney film Mulan) licensed through MTI, currently being performed throughout the United States.
Readings held at Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY (directed by Kathleen Marshall), The Los Angeles Festival of New American Musicals and ASCAP's staged reading in 2011, The New York Theatre Barn’s D-Lounge at the Daryl Roth Theatre, NYC in September 2012). Rocket Science will premiere at The Village Theatre, Seattle in 2013. Patricia co-wrote the cabaret show, “So Far – Beth Malone” (Joe’s Pub, NYC, The Triad, NYC, Upright Cabaret, LA). Plays include: The Break Up Notebook (Renberg Theater, Los Angeles; GLAAD Award nominee, starring actress Jane Lynch); Three; Best/Worst: (Apartment A Theatre, Venice, CA). Screenplays include Personal Injuries co-written with Dustin Hoffman for his company Punch Productions; Patricia has also written for Twentieth Century Fox Television, Disney Theatricals and Patricia has an Emmy Award for her comedy writing on Comedy Central’s Win Ben Stein's Money. Patricia is originally from Massachusetts.
David Elzer (Book, Story, Producer) is making his writing debut with this production, a show he conceived and commissioned for the stage. He is also an Ovation, Drama Desk, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, and Garland Award-winning theatrical producer. He most recent productions include the Celebration Theatre production of The Color Purple, the multi-Ovation nominated, critically-acclaimed, world premiere musical Having It All and the Ovation-nominated world premiere play Girls Talk, starring Brooke Shields. He also produced the record breaking, 19-month run of The Marvelous Wonderettes and Winter Wonderettes at the El Portal Forum Theatre and for the smash-hit production of Life Could Be A Dream, which ran for a year at the Hudson Mainstage in Hollywood. He also produced the Drama League nominated Off-Broadway and Laguna Playhouse productions of The Marvelous Wonderettes as well as the Laguna Playhouse production of Life Could Be A Dream. Also a producer on Daddy Long Legs, the Drama Desk award-winning The Best Is Yet To Come: The Music of Cy Coleman at the Rubicon; Dracula at the NoHo Arts Center, title of show and Women Behind Bars at the Celebration, Sister Act: The Musical (Pasadena, Atlanta, London and Broadway), Jewtopia - Off Broadway, The Laramie Project at the Laguna Playhouse He is also developing several other projects for production next year. He also runs one of the cities most respected theatrical marketing and public relations firms, DEMAND PR.
Peter Schneider (Producer) is the Tony-Award-winning producer of the internationally acclaimed Broadway musical, The Lion King, director of My Life with Men...and Other Animals, starring Florentine performance artist Maria Cassi and produced and directed Sister Act, The Musical, West End London. He produced the award-winning documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, about Disney Animation from 1984 – 1994. During a seventeen-year tenure at the Walt Disney Company, he was responsible for creating and distributing over fifty animated and live-action movies as well as several Broadway shows. He was the Associate Director of the 1984 LA Olympic Arts Festival, has an honorary doctorate from Purdue University, and is a world champion bridge player.
The cast of JUSTIN LOVE will feature: Tyler Ledon as Chris; Steven Good as Justin; Alet Taylor as Buck; Carrie St. Louis as Amanda; Ciaran McCarthy as Mitch; Terrance Spencer as Donovan; Grant Jordan as Syd; Joe Donohoe as Lou; Gina Torrecilla as Mary; Afton Quast as Sue; Adam Joseph Reich and Sabrina Miller as everyone else.
JUSTIN LOVE is produced by DEMAND PRoductions & Peter Schneider in association with Celebration Theatre and features an award-winning design team. The Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford (Having it All, The Savannah Disputation). The Projection Design is by Jason H. Thompson (Broadway: Baby, It’s You, Los Angeles: NoGoodDeed). The Lighting Design is by Tim Swiss (All Your Hard Work, The Color Purple). The Sound Design is by Cricket S. Myers (Tony Nominee – Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo). The Costume Design is by Naila Aladdin Sanders (Neighbors, The Color Purple). The Props Design is by Michael O’Hara (Take Me Out). The Casting Director is Michael Donovan, CSA. The stage manager is Marcedes Clanton. The production team is being led by Celebration Theatre’s Artistic Director, John Michael Beck, and Executive Director, Michael C. Kricfalusi.
JUSTIN LOVE will preview on Friday, September 7 at 8pm; Saturday, September 8 at 8pm; Sunday, September 9 at 2pm; Thursday, September 13 at 8pm; Friday, September 14 at 8pm; Saturday, September 15 at 8pm; Sunday, September 16 at 2pm; Thursday, September 20 at 8pm and will open on Friday, September 21 and run through Sunday, November 18 at Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd (1/2 block east of La Brea) in Hollywood.
Performances are Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets are $34.99 for all performances. Previews are $25. For tickets, please call (323) 957-1884 or visit www.celebrationtheatre.com to purchase tickets online or to view a complete schedule or for further details.