NoHo Arts Center Ensemble to Present 'Bush is Bad: Alaskan Beauty Queen Edition' Starting 10/3

The multi-award-winning NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHoAce) presents an new and updated production of the hilarious and scathing musical, BUSH IS BAD; ALASKAN BEAUTY QUEEN EDITION, concept, music and lyrics by Joshua Rosenblum, and directed by Jay Willick & James J. Mellon.  BUSH IS BAD will preview on Thursday, October 2 at 8pm and will open on Friday, October 3 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, November 16 at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.

BUSH IS BAD: The Alaskan Beauty Queen Edition – is a new and updated version of the LA WEEKLY AWARD-WINNING production for Best Musical! All gloves are off in this satiric, musical skewering of the present White House administration.  The updated version includes musical parodies of the newly minted Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin.  It's for adults who like their politics raw and unedited.

Composer/Lyricist Joshua Rosenblum has been described variously as “the new Tom Lehrer, except he can’t sing,” “much funnier than I used to think he was,” and “about to find himself in serious trouble with the federal government.” His musical Fermat’s Last Tango received a critically acclaimed production at the York Theatre in 2000, and the DVD of the production has been screened at dozens of colleges and universities all over the world. When he is not attempting to bring down the federal government with musical satire, Rosenblum moonlights as a Broadway conductor, having led the orchestras for twelve Broadway and Off-Broadway shows. His specialty is flying vehicles (Miss Saigon and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). This fall, he takes a detour to Whoville, leading The Grinch at the Hilton Theatre. On the classical end, Rosenblum has served as guest conductor for the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the American Repertory Ballet. As pianist, he has appeared with The New York Pops and The New York Chamber Symphony. He is also a music journalist, and has contributed over 300 CD and concert reviews to Opera News.

Jay Willick (Director) is an Associate Artistic Director and Board Member of Open At The Top.  He has been on the boards in many of our premiere productions such as Bush is Bad, Elizabeth Rex (William Shakespeare), Jerusalem, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  On the other side of the footlights, Jay has been a constant, piloting a play in every one of our popular 24 Hours of Madness productions.

James J. Mellon (Director/Choreographer) is the Artistic Director of The NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHoAce), the resident theatre company of the Center.  His extensive background in the entertainment industry covers theatre, television, film, recording and dance.  As a Director/Choreographer, Mr. Mellon recently staged the Broadway bound productions of Pest Control; The Musical and the workshop production of The Thief, for Canum Entertainment.  He directed the World Premiere of his musicals, Yo Ho Ho, A Pirates Christmas and Lizard, based on the novel by Dennis Covington, Dorian, a contemporary adaptation of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” at the prestigious Buell Theatre, the crown jewel of The Denver Theatre Center and the West Coast Premiere at The NoHo Arts Center.   He adapted and directed the World Premiere of the award-winning musical, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and last season he directed the critically-acclaimed world premiere production of Feed, a play workshopped and developed by Open at the Top at The NoHo Arts Center for which he received an LA Weekly nomination for direction.  He created for the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. the highly acclaimed ‘expanded’ version of The Fantastiks, starring “Greater Tuna” stars Joe Sears and Jaston Williams.  Mr. Mellon staged the New York workshop of his original musical, An Unfinished Song, as well as the subsequent Boston production at the Charles Playhouse and the West Coast Premiere at the Tiffany Theatre, which received a nomination for Musical of the Year.  Mr. Mellon has been nominated for numerous Ovation Awards, an LA Weekly Award, a Garland Award and is the recipient of 4 ADA Awards for writing, directing and choreography.


The cast of BUSH IS BAD features (in alphabetical order): Roger Ainslie, Stefanie Black, Curtis C, Sabrina Miller, Kathryn Percival and Jonathan Zenz.

The production has assembled an award-winning design team the Set Design is by Lacey Anzelc.  The Lighting Design is by Ovation Award-winner Luke Moyer (Feed, Elizabeth Rex).  The Costume Design is by Curtis C and David Matwijkow (Feed, Jerusalem).  The Sound Design is by Jonathan Zenz (Barnum, Elizabeth Rex).   Musical tracks are by Scott DeTurk.

BUSH IS BAD will preview on Thursday, October 2 at 8pm and will open on Friday, October 3 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, November 16.  Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in the heart of North Hollywood.  Ticket prices are $35.00 for all performances; $25 for previews.  Student & Senior Tickets are $30.  For tickets, please call 818-508-7101 or visit

THE NOHO ARTS CENTER ENSEMBLE (NoHoACE – formerly OPEN AT THE TOP) was formed in 2004 by theatre veterans James J. Mellon and Kevin Bailey.  NOHO ACE is the Center’s resident company and now numbers over 60 actors, directors and writers who passionately fulfill their vision statement, “Theatre for its own sake.”  In its first season, OPEN AT THE TOP produced 2 World Premiere Musicals, THE GHOST & MRS. MUIR as well as the West Coast Premiere of the musical DORIAN, both parts of ANGELS IN AMERICA, the Los Angeles Premiere of Seth Greenland’s JERUSALEM, and 7 evenings of 24 HOURS OF MADNESS, whereby it produces six fifteen minute plays in 24 hours. Their second season brought the hit musical production of BARNUM, the critically acclaimed ELIZABETH REX and the World Premiere musical LIZARD.  This past season OATT presented the World Premiere of FEED, a play written by OATT Founding Member Jim Lunsford and directed by Artistic Director James J. Mellon as well as presenting the West Coast Premiere of the New York hit musical revue, BUSH IS BAD, THE MUSICAL.  In their first three years, OPEN AT THE TOP has received 17 Ovation Award nominations; 3 LADCC Award nominations; 2 Garland Awards and 10 Garland nominations; 2 LA WEEKLY Award nominations; 6 ADA Awards and 12 ADA Award nominations.

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