The Pasadena Playhouse Announces Three Exciting Productions
The Pasadena Playhouse presents SUMMER AT THE PLAYHOUSE - Music, Mayhem and Madness, three exciting productions playing this July. A Judy Garland Concert with Joey Luft features Judy Garland's son Joey Luft making a rare public appearance (July 10-13) followed by PLAYHOUSE ROCKS! with Tony Nominee Powerhouse MARY BRIDGET DAVIES, a Tony Award nominee for A Night With Janis Joplin which was presented last season at The Pasadena Playhouse and was the venue's highest grossing show in its history (July 17-20). The month will end with Henson Alternative's PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED created by award-winning director, producer, and writer Brian Henson and actor and improvisational guru Patrick Bristow with The Jim Henson Company's renowned puppeteers (July 24-26). The Playhouse continues its tradition of distinctive and entertaining summer programming.
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse said "We are very pleased to bring this eclectic series of offerings to our stage for the summer weeks just ahead. We hope that this programming will bring summer evenings of delight to our loyal audiences, and to those drawn to our theatre for the first time by these dynamic presentations."
Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director of The Pasadena Playhouse said, "Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, and it is a thrill to have this diverse mash of summer entertainment in place to reflect that. It's a way for us to continue to make The Pasadena Playhouse a cultural center for our diverse community. "
A Judy Garland Concert with Joey Luft Through D5 Digital Cinema and re-mastered Dolby Sound, the incomparable performer returns to the screen. Experience Judy's dynamic life in song as she performs her greatest hits, in color for the first time on the big screen, including "Stormy Weather," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "After You've Gone," and "By Myself." Joey Luft will share stories of his mother's personal life and career along with John Kimble, longtime associate of Judy's husband and manager, Sid Luft.
Judy Garland gave her greatest performances on television when she was at the top of her legendary, superstar best. This stellar collection of her most requested songs are chosen from her 1963-64 "The Judy Garland Show." On exhibit will be rare, never-before-seen photos of Judy's life and career along with Michael Siewert's collection of costumes from many of her classic film roles.
A Q and A will follow the show.
A John Kimble and Philip Sandhaus Production.
PLAYHOUSE ROCKS! with Tony Nominee Powerhouse MARY BRIDGET DAVIES
Mary Bridget Davies--Tony Award nominee for A Night With Janis Joplin, which was presented last season at The Pasadena Playhouse--will offer a special PLAYHOUSE ROCKS! with Tony Nominee Powerhouse MARY BRIDGET DAVIES featuring additional world-class musicians and surprise guests for a wild evening. Davies will perform specific selections from several artists. The iconic guitarist Wayne Kramer will music direct PLAYHOUSE ROCKS! with Tony Nominee Powerhouse MARY BRIDGET DAVIES. Kramer is founder of the pioneering Detroit rock group MC5, known for their powerful live performances and radical left wing political stance. With a new record Lexington at #6 on the national jazz charts this May, and as composer on a feature film and network TV series, Kramer is as prolific as he is diverse. The event's co-music director and Kramer's right-hand man will be Carl Restivo, guitarist for Tom Morello's Nightwatchman group and Perry Farrell's Satellite Party.
Henson Alternative's PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED
Following highly successful 2013 seasons in both Edinburgh and Toronto, the grown-ups wing of The Jim Henson Company hit Australia in 2014 with PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED their live show that lets loose the perilous and provocative elements of comedy on stage with a bunch of fine-looking puppets. A night of major laughs, not for minors.
A sell-out hit at the 2007 Melbourne Comedy Festival, Henson puppeteers are unleashed in this live, outrageous and very spontaneous show, featuring over 60 original Jim Henson puppets - a motley group of characters brought to life by a cast of six world-class puppeteers of The Jim Henson Company in a night of off the cuff comedy.
Created by award-winning director, producer, and writer Brian Henson and actor, director, and improvisational guru Patrick Bristow (Ellen, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Whose Line Is It Anyway?), PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED invites audiences to witness the other side of The Jim Henson Company and what happens when the camera stops rolling.
This production delivers "two shows in one" as the hilarious puppet action is projected live on large screens flanking the stage, while the puppeteers race around below - displaying their skills in full view of the audience. Its Whose Line Is It Anyway meets Saturday Night Live meets The Jim Henson Company. This 'psychotic puppet party' features a few recreations of classic pieces originally created by Jim Henson, Jane Henson, and Frank Oz that haven't been seen by live audiences in decades.
Sometimes dark, certainly innovative, and always hilarious, the scenes in PUPPET UP! reiterate the marvelous possibilities of puppets in the hands of masters like these. Each PUPPET UP! show is a unique experience due to its spontaneous nature - and each performance is different, showcasing the wit, technique, and that trademark Henson dryness and sly anarchy.
Joey Luft was born on March 29, 1955 in Los Angeles, California. His mom is Judy Garland, his father is Sid Luft. Joey is the younger half brother to Liza Minnelli. His sister is Lorna Luft. Joe is an avid photographer and had a knack for playing the drums in his youth. He appeared on "The Judy Garland Show" Christmas Special where he sang with his mother and had his own solo performance.
For twenty years John Kimble was the business partner of the late Sid Luft, Judy Garland's ex-husband and manager and has been a lifelong friend of their son, Joe Luft. John currently manages the extensive list of assets of the Sid Luft Trust. John is responsible for utilizing the assets for projects that are marketed through live stage shows, broadcast TV, satellite, cable, Internet, DVD and digital distribution.
In the late 80's and early 90's, John spent his entire career in the music business as an artist, performer, musical producer and talent developer. As an acclaimed guitarist and member of numerous successful rock bands, he has firsthand experience in the challenges of talent development. He has also established a valuable network of record industry performers, producers and executives.
PLAYHOUSE ROCKS! with Tony Nominee Powerhouse MARY BRIDGET DAVIES
Mary Bridget Davies was nominated this year for a Tony Award in the "Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical" category for A Night With Janis Joplin which was presented last season at The Pasadena Playhouse. Hailed by The Washington Post as "a remarkable, exhilarating portrait," the show was a hit Broadway musical and traveled to Washington, DC, Cleveland, Portland, San Jose, Milwaukee and more. The New York Times said, "Mary Bridget Davies, whose positively uncanny vocal impersonation of Joplin keeps the house rocking...has captured the Joplin sound perfectly."
Mary Bridget Davies' journey as a Blues Diva began in 2002 with a Robert Lockwood Jr. (March 27, 1915 - November 21, 2006) jam one night at the original Fat Fish Blue in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio and had the opportunity of sitting in with the maestro on several future occasions including a Katrina benefit in 2005 joined by Buddy Miles. She met her first band around this time and it didn't take long before the band was touring nationally and representing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the International Blues Challenge two years in a row. The band has been nominated several times by the Cleveland Scene and Free Times for "Best Blues Band" and Davies won the "Best Vocalist Award" in 2004.
In 2005, Davies secured an open-call audition for the smash Off-Broadway musical, Love, Janis, when they needed a new lead actress/vocalist to portray Janis Joplin. She auditioned and out of roughly 150 actors, she came out with the lead role. Love, Janis has toured the country with Mary at the "Janis" helm since. Big Brother & the Holding Co., Joplin's original band, asked Mary to sing for them in 2006 and she has enjoyed European tours and shows all over the US with the guys since.
Another amazing opportunity presented itself during the summer of 2007 when Mary was asked to join the cast of the Tony Award nominated Broadway musical It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues performed at Theatre Aspen in Colorado. This musical revue traces the history of blues music with more than three dozen songs.
In 2010 Mary moved to Kansas City, recorded her debut blues album, Wanna Feel Somethin', at West End Studios, in KC and was nominated "Best Blues Album" by Kansas City Pitch. Mary and her band recently competed in the 2011 International Blues Challenge and won 2nd place in the band category out of 110 bands. Davies also received the 2013 Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical and was nominated for a 2013 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical.
PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED
Brian Henson (Creator, Producer) is Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and an award-winning director, producer, writer and puppeteer. Henson served as Executive Producer on the television projects "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" (which he also directed) and "Jim Henson's Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story" (which he also co-wrote and directed). He directed "Battleground," an Emmy Award-winning episode of the "Nightmares & Dreamscapes" anthology for TBS. Previous television projects that Henson produced include "Farscape," "Gulliver's Travels," "Muppets Tonight," and "Dinosaurs." Henson's film directing credits include "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Muppet Treasure Island."
Most recently, Henson has served as an executive producer of the Emmy-nominated science-readiness pre-school series "Sid the Science Kid," airing daily on PBS KIDS. The series features his groundbreaking work at Jim Henson's Creature Shop, one of Hollywood's preeminent character building, digital and physical visual effects facilities. Henson was part of the team that first created and utilized the Henson Performance Control System, a powerful custom-based interface for puppeteers, which won an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award in 1992. He also led the Shop's work with its revolutionary digital puppeteering technology, the 2009 Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio that is featured in PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED as well as "Sid the Science Kid" and "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America."
PUPPET UP! - UNCENSORED Co-Creator/Host Patrick Bristow is best known for his television appearances, most notably as "Peter" on the groundbreaking ABC series "Ellen." Other small screen appearances: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Seinfeld," "Friends," "Mad About You," "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and others. Film credits include "The Longest Yard," "Austin Powers," "So I Married An Ax Murderer," "Twilight of the Golds," and the accidental comedy "Showgirls." He performed, directed and taught at The Groundling Theatre. Directing credits include the Off Broadway run of "Stuffed and Unstrung," "Hot Dog TV" for The Cartoon Network, numerous theatre productions and the 2004 L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards Show. His improv company, "Improvatorium" produces costumed and improvised short plays in Hollywood. And just like everyone else, he has a first draft of a screenplay somewhere in his house.
Henson Alternative is The Jim Henson Company's label for content created specifically and exclusively for adult audiences. Previous credits include "Tinseltown" for Logo, "Puppet Up! - Uncensored" for TBS and the upcoming feature film "Happytime Murders" currently in development.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. Tickets are available by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday - Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday - Saturday from 1:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.