NoHo Arts Center Ensemble Opens World Premiere of THE RED ROOM, 9/28

NoHo Arts Center Ensemble Opens World Premiere of THE RED ROOM, 9/28

The multi-award-winning NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHo ACE) presents a world premiere play, THE RED ROOM, written by former WGA President Christopher Knopf and directed by NoHo Arts Center Artistic Director James J. Mellon. THE RED ROOM will begin previews on Thursday, September 20 at 8pm and will open on Friday, September 28 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, October 28 at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.

What happens when an icon of the Golden Age of Movies is tossed aside and left to rot in this family drama pitting father against son, brother against brother and a mother's love and dedication to them all. The story plays out in old Hollywood with an "Industry" family of producers, writers and actors. Success, ambition, jealousy and betrayal are all themes in this compelling story of privileged lives turned into lives of desperation.

CHRISTOPHER KNOPF (Playwright) graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1950, following enlistment in the U.S. Air Corps. He has been a member of the Writers Guild of America, West, since the early 1950s, was elected President of WGAW in 1965, and was appointed National Chairman of the Writers Guild of America, East and West, in 1967. During his career he has written over seventy produced shows for television, among them thirteen Movies For TV, and has created, co-created or developed eight on air series, among them “The Big Valley,” and “Equal Justice.” He has written eight produced motion pictures, among them, “Emperor Of The North,” starring Lee Marvin and Ernie Borgnine for director Robert Aldrich, and “Posse,” starring and directed by Kirk Douglas. Among awards won for his work are a Christopher Award as well as four Writers Guild Awards. Nominations were gained for an Edgar Alan Poe Award, a Humanitas Prize, two Emmys and six further Writers Guild nominations. He recently wrote a published autobiography, (BearManor Media Publishers) entitled “Will The Real Me Please Stand UP,” and is in the process of completing a novel, “Remains To Be Seen.” He lives with his wife, Lorraine, about whom, he’s been heard to say, “ Without her I don’t take this train!”

James J. Mellon (Director) is the proud recipient of the 2012 AATE Award (American Association for Theatre and Education) for best adaptation of a musical for A BOY CALLED LIZARD. As an actor he made his Broadway debut as Riff in WEST SIDE STORY, directed by Jerome Robbins, and performed in many plays and musicals including: A CHORUS LINE, 42ND STREET, and Jesus in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. He has worked at such theatres as The Goodspeed Opera House, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, The Folger Theatre in Washington D.C., as well as The Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Mr. Mellon is also the Artistic Director for the award winning Los Angeles theatre company, NoHo ACE (Arts Center Ensemble). For NoHo ACE, he directed JERUSELEM, A BOY CALLED LIZARD (Ovation nomination - Original Musical), FEED (LA Weekly nomination – Direction), THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (Ovation nomination, LA Weekly nomination – Original Musical), and PEST CONTROL (LA Weekly Nomination – Best Musical). He is also the director/writer/co-composer of ACE’s seasonal yuletide hit, YO HO HO, A PIRATE’S CHRISTMAS.

As a writer, Mr. Mellon adapted Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” into the World Premiere Musical, DORIAN, which premiered at The Denver Center’s Buell Theatre in the fall of 2004. It subsequently opened The NoHo Arts Center’s first season in 2005 and went on to receive Ovation, LA Weekly, Backstage and Drama Critics nominations. James adapted THE GHOST AND MRS MUIR from the novel of the same name as well as A BOY CALLED LIZARD from the Dennis Covington novel, “Lizard.” His original musical, AN UNFINISHED SONG, was nominated for numerous awards and has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Maine and Sydney, Australia.

Two of Mr. Mellon’s original musicals have recently been published by Samuel French: YO HO HO, A PIRATE’S CHRISTMAS and A BOY CALLED LIZARD.

The cast of THE RED ROOM will feature (in alphabetical order): Rob Arbogast, Brad Blaisdell, Chad Coe, Lane Compton, Janet Fontaine Alex Robert Holmes, Karesa McElheny, Don Savage and Jay Willick.

THE RED ROOM has assembled an award-winning design team. The Set and Lighting is by Ovation Award-winnger Luke Moyer (Dracula, Elizabeth Rex). The Sound Design is by Jeff Gardner. The Costume Design is by Shon LeBlanc. The producers are Kevin Bailey, Brad Blasidell and Jay Willick. The stage manager is Diana Copeland.

THE RED ROOM will preview on Thursday, September 20 at 8pm; Friday, September 21 at 8pm; Saturday, September 22 at 8pm; Sunday, September 23 at 2pm; Thursday, September 27 at 8pm and will open on Friday, September 28 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, October 28 at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. Ticket prices are $30.00 for all performances. For tickets, call 818-508-7101 ext. # or visit

THE NOHO ARTS CENTER and THE NOHO ARTS CENTER ENSEMBLE (formerly Open At The Top Productions) were created in 2004, when theatre veterans James J. Mellon and Kevin Bailey partnered with Doug Hutchinson and purchased the American Renegade Theatre. Following extensive renovations, the newly christened The NoHo Arts Center opened its doors in September of 2004. The Center’s resident company — the multiple award-winning NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHo ACE) — is comprised of actors, directors and writers, galvanized into a passionate ensemble that creates new plays and musicals, adopting as their vision statement “Theatre for Its Own Sake.”

In its first season, producing as OPEN AT THE TOP, the company mounted two World Premiere musicals: THE GHOST & MRS. MUIR, and the West Coast Premiere of the musical DORIAN. The season also boasted both parts of Tony Kushner’s ANGELS IN AMERICA, the Los Angeles Premiere of Seth Greenland’s JERUSALEM and four evenings of 24 HOURS OF MADNESS—where six 15-minute original plays are written, fully produced and performed off-book within a 24-hour period. Their second season brought the hit, re-imagined production of the musical BARNUM, the critically acclaimed ELIZABETH REX and the World Premiere musical A BOY CALLED LIZARD.

Season three brought the company even greater acclaim as it presented the world premiere play, FEED; the West Coast Premiere of the hit New York musical revue, BUSH IS BAD; and the award winning play, PALACE OF THE END. The fourth season brought three world premieres, the musicals YO HO HO! A PIRATE’S CHRISTMAS, and PEST CONTROL – THE MUSICAL, and the first mounting of DEPARTURES. The fifth season brought the updated BUSH IS BAD– Alaskan Beauty Queen Edition, the long-running hit revival of DRACULA, the American premiere of EAST OF BERLIN and the world premiere musical from the team of James Mellon and Scott DeTurk, INSANITY. Subsequent productions have included, PRAYING SMALL, BECOMING NORMAN, THAT’S AMORE and the updated version of DEPARTURES.

In its short history THE NOHO ARTS CENTER has garnered three Ovation Awards and 19 nominations; two Garland Awards, along with 10 nominations; eight ADA Awards (including Best Director and Choreography for A BOY CALLED LIZARD) and 24 nominations; three LA Weekly Awards and five LA WEEKLY nominations; and three LADCC Award nominations. In addition, A BOY CALLED LIZARD and YO HO HO, A PIRATE’S CHRISTMAS have been published by Samuel French, with A BOY CALLED LIZARD garnering this years 2012 AATE (American Association of Theatre and Education) award for Best Adaptation of a Musical.


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