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MEN, MONEY AND MADNESS Opens July 15 At Theatre West

Written and performed by Tessa Bell.

MEN, MONEY AND MADNESS Opens July 15 At Theatre West

Men, Money and Madness. The award-winning cabaret show, written and performed by Tessa Bell, directed by Victoria Lavan and produced by Dina Morrone comes to Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West, in Los Angeles, CA 90068. July 15-July 17, 2022. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:00.

The title of this show speaks to its themes: men (from a woman's perspective), money, and the craziness of life in post-Covid America.

The song-filled show is packed with tunes from The Great American Songbook, with the addition of a few songs by our favorite modern European composers for good measure.

Singer-actor Tessa Bell returns to the radical roots of cabaret, moving away from the mere aggregation of sentimental love songs, and confronting and commenting on the world as it is today with humor and compassion, making sense of the chaos that surrounds us by the strength and beauty of her vivid rendition of classic songs.

Tessa's inspiration for this show came from the events around her. She elaborates: "9/11 was this moment in time....The world changed..... I needed a show that looked at the world in general, and how we came to be in this crazy place where we have people from around the world who hated us so much.

This is cultural hatred. Our women's rights are strong compared to many other countries, so

it got me thinking that if these people find us so distasteful and we're not hurting anyone, yet due to our strong women, they want to keep women down. The more regressive a culture is, the more economically repressive it is.

Repressed and Repressive. This is not natural, trying to make people fit into a box. The confluence of gender, power and money and the insanity of 9/11 gave rise to the show.

Today, with women's reproductive rights under attack, this theme is more relevant than ever.

The current show presents the same concept of looking at how gender and power and insanity all are intertwined..."

Tessa Bell began her career in Washington, D.C., acting in The Bald Soprano and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She then pursued her education at SUNY Purchase, receiving the Presidential Award for a documentary she produced on African American neighborhood dislocation and subsequent devastation. Post-graduation, she worked at CBS' 60 Minutes and CBS Evening News. In a career pivot, she began producing cabaret shows off-Broadway, creating and performing four of them. The last of these, Men, Money and Madness, ran at Judy's and Don't Tell Mama and earned her a nomination for the Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs Awards. Moving to Los Angeles, she began producing films, among them Life Inside Out, which starred Academy Award winner Finneas O'Connell and won numerous festival awards across the country. Her production company Wild Flower films LLC is currently in development with a feature film, Nice Trick, and a television series about a female pope based on her award-winning screenplay The Legend. In February 2022, she appeared in Theatre West's Valentine cabaret, which played to near-capacity audiences.

Victoria Lavan directs. Victoria Lavan enjoys a varied and accomplished career as a singer, actress, teacher and vocologist. Known for her skills and success in many styles and genres of music, she has been praised by the Los Angeles Times as "...a soprano with first-rate, high soaring vocal skills...and a warm, lyrical, uncluttered way with a song..." (Don Heckman). Favorite collaborations and roles include: The Sundance Institute with San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship Program; Salt Lake Opera Theatre Rigoletto (Gilda); Opera Unplugged, La Boheme (Musetta); Albuquerque Chamber Orchestra, The Telephone (Lucy); New West Symphony, Ventura Music Festival - Bach B Minor Mass, soprano soloist, Grammy Award winning conductor, Vance George; Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson and Love Letters with her late husband, Bruce Liberty, Rubicon Theatre Co.; Glitter and Be Gay: A Tribute to Barbara Cook, El Portal Theatre and regional tour, numerous cabaret and concert performances and several new musical theatre works, including The Tango Singer at Theatre West and Swan Lake the Musical - a Sold Out concert performance in Los Angeles.

Established in 1962, Theatre West is the oldest continually running professional theatre company in the city of Los Angeles. It is a membership collective of actors, playwrights, directors, and technicians. Theatre West's alumni members include Ray Bradbury, Beau Bridges, Richard Dreyfuss, Sally Field, Betty Garrett, Martin Landau, Lee Meriwether, Jack Nicholson, Carroll O'Connor, Sherwood Schwartz, Joyce Van Patton, and Paul Winfield. Theatre West has produced more than 300 plays and musicals. Of these plays, nearly 70% are original works developed in its workshops and many have led to Broadway, regional tours, and feature films including A Bronx Tale by Chazz Palminteri and A Very Brady Musical by Lloyd Schwartz and Hope Juber. Our season continues with WestFest (a festival of new works), a new play by one of the company's resident playwrights in September 2022, and Moose on the Loose by Dina Morrone in April 2023. Our Storybook Theatre's Little Red Riding Hood will tour throughout the area in June and July 2022, supported by an NEA grant. Theatre West is supported in part by The Ahmanson Foundation, California Arts Council, Peter Glenville Foundation, Kaplan-Loring Foundation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, and Lloyd E. Rigler- Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.

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