Photo Flash: Shoshana Bean, Jesse Eisenberg and More Light Up the Stage in First Ever 24 HOUR MUSICALS: LOS ANGELES
Last night, stars of the stage and screen dazzled a full house at the Theatre at ACE Hotel during the first ever The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles. The event raised money for the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit arm of the Dramatists Guild of America, which advocates for the freedom of expression on behalf of all who are confronting censorship on stages across America. Scroll down for photos from the event!
Participants including Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos), Retta (Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce), Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots, Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Michelle Visage (RuPaul's Drag Race), and Jesse Eisenberg (The Spoils) offered audiences a special glimpse into their musical capabilities through four never-before-seen (and never to be seen again) original musicals.
"This was an unbelievable experience," said Mark Armstrong, Executive Director of The 24 Hour Plays. "To see this group of artists come together and throw themselves into this challenge, both showcasing their incredible abilities and revealing new sides of their enormous talent was revelatory. Bringing The 24 Hour Musicals to Los Angeles has been a dream come true. We'll be back."
The evening kicked off with romantic comedy "Greek to Me" (book and lyrics written by Tasha Gordon-Solmon) that found Garrett Clayton (Hairspray Live!) and Amanda Seales (Insecure) at a crossroads in their relationship. With a little guidance from Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots, Whose Line Is it Anyway?) and Michelle Visage (RuPaul's Drag Race), the "Geniuses of Pro and Con," and a Greek-speaking stranger (Sam Tsui), the two worked things out with some fancy songs (by composer Rona Siddiqui) and dance moves along the way.
The next musical, titled "Wash Your Hands," found Jonah Platt (Wicked) playing ill-fated President James A. Garfield. Alongside a portrait of his former wife Karen (Ashley Fink, Glee) and an equestrian nurse (Isabelle Fuhrman, Masters of Sex), Garfield succumbed injuries resulting from his extremely unsanitary surroundings. Maria Thayer (The Catch) played a comic newsboy, constantly charging the stage to announce the latest development in Garfield's health, and composer/lyricist Nellie McKay pulled double duty, memorably taking the stage as a mysterious unicorn that comes to take Garfield away to the great unknown.
"'Napped!" found Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) as a reality TV star about to be robbed and kidnapped by three clumsy thieves played by Retta (Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce), Alicia Witt (The Walking Dead), and Greg Worswick (Groundlings). Grace Parra (The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore) rapped impressively, detailing her life as the assistant to Sigler's character, all set to music and lyrics by Matt Schatz and a book by J. Holtham.
The evening concluded with a hilarious comedy with music and lyrics by Jesse Eisenberg (The Spoils) and written by Liz Meriwether (New Girl). "Shoshana and Her Lovers" featured "four lesbian sisters" who discover they are all dating the same girl (Shoshana Bean, Wicked). The sisters, played by Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood), Janina Gavankar (True Blood), Herizen Guardiola (The Get Down), and Andrew Leeds (Cristela) delivered Eisenberg's clever lyrics with spunk, before yielding the floor to Bean's showstopping number "Always the Bride."
Directors Bart DeLorenzo, Jackson Gay, Kate Sullivan, Casey Stangl were aided by choreographers Ken Roht and Joseph Corella, music directors, designers and a live band led by Zac Zinger! Playwright Lydia R. Diamond (Stick Fly) was the featured speaker for the evening.
The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles is an intensive theatrical endeavor where a team of over 100 (including artists from Broadway, film, television and music) came together to write, compose, rehearse and perform four original musicals within a 24 hour time span at the beautiful Theater at Ace. For 22 years, The 24 Hour Plays have brought together extraordinary artists to create time-limited theater around the world, raising millions of dollars for charity.
Retta. Photo by Howard Sherman.
The cast bows at the curtain call. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles.
The marquee. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles.
Actress Alicia Witt. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles.
Actress Alicia Witt and actor/playwright Jesse Eisenberg. Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The 24 Hour Musicals: Los Angeles.
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