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PARADISE Extends Through 5/4 Ruskin Group Theatre


The World Premiere new musical PARADISE, is extending through May 4th, 2013, at Ruskin Group Theatre, 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, Calif. The run will take a hiatus from March 31st - April 12th, no performance on April 28th. Award winning director Dan Bonnell has assembled an outstanding cast for this memorable new musical, with live music on stage.

From the company that brought you eight sold out months of Sideways The Play (now slated for La Jolla Playhouse), comes the never before staged musical comedy extravaganza PARADISE - A Divine Bluegrass Musical, with the live band Old #7.

Catapulted from coalmine to prime time, a small town sees hope for salvation. On the verge of living the American Dream, this satirical musical lowbrow hoedown is about to be outsourced. Can a charming new preacher and his bombshell sidekick, rescued from the stripper pole at the Innuendo Lounge, save the day?

Dan Bonnell (Director) was a regular participant at the Skirball-Kenis Theatre Projects new play development programs in LA and has been in residence as a director at the William Inge Theatre Festival and Seven Devils New Play Festival. He was Co-Artistic Director of Ensemble Studio Theatre-Los Angeles from 2006 to 2008. Dan is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Directing Award, the LA Weekly Directing Award, the NAACP Directing Award, the GLAAD Media Award and has been nominated for TCG's Alan Schneider Award.

PARADISE - A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm through March 30, 2013 and then on hiatus until April 12th when performances continue on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm through May 4, 2013 (no performance Sunday, April 28th). Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, Calif. Tickets are $25 ($20 for students, seniors, and guild members) and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244. For more information, visit Free parking is available at the theater.

RUSKIN GROUP THEATRE has been making an impact on the Los Angeles theatre scene with an eclectic mix of thought provoking plays, garnering numerous "recommendations" from local critics. Last season, they launched the WORLD PREMIERE of Rex Pickett's Sideways The Play, now slated to move to La Jolla Playhouse for the 2013 season. Ruskin's Fostering Imagination program sponsors foster kids in theatre & film classes that produce several original shows each year. The CAFÉ PLAYS, created by RGT are produced monthly and are the culmination of writers, actors, and directors who meet at 9am, where they are given a theme. They then write, produce, and perform a show by 7pm the same day. When celebrating their 8th anniversary, RGT supporters Ed Asner, Dylan McDermott, Chris Mulkey, Olivia d'Abo, and other industry celebrities joined to produce the Best of Café Plays (both shows sold out within hours). Anthony Hopkins and Anthony Franciosa were some of the first teachers at Ruskin School of Theatre.


Jonathan Root (Preacher John Cyrus) Broadway/Las Vegas: Avenue Q (Tony Award-Winning Best Musical); Off-Broadway: The Toxic Avenger (Drama Desk Award-Winning Best Musical); Regional: Les Miserables, Romeo and Juliet, Waiting For Godot, A Flea In Her Ear, All's Well That Ends Well. Film: Premium Rush, Henry. As a voiceover artist, he has been heard on hundreds of TV commercials and, now records for video games and movie trailers.

ELIJAH ROCK (Tater) is a soloist for The Los Angeles Jubilee Singers, and has headlined in the annual KJAZZ (88.1) FM Hollywood and Highland Summer Jazz Concert Series for years. He was the lead singer of The Downtown Project. Rock co-stars in the feature film, 3 Blind Saints and recently joined the cast of the new crime drama web series Blood Brothers. In New York City Elijah debuted his one-man big band review Off Broadway, called Things Are Still What They Used To Be and there he became the featured vocalist with the Jazz ensemble Ensemble Uniqua, led by trumpeter Antonio Dangerfield. He played the lead role of Coalhouse Walker Jr, in Ragtime, and Adrian in Smokey Joe's Cafe. Elijah's newest release is the Jazz vocal single, That First Time and his debut Jazz Vocal EP, Elijah Rock LIVE in Hollywood.

Robert CraigHEAD (Old Man Johnson) was seen in The Fountain Theatre's A House Not Meant To Stand and has appeared in over 50 theatrical productions ranging from Petruchio in Shakespeare's Taming Of The Shrew Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls. He spent three years on the daytime drama The Bold And The Beautiful as detective, Lt. Frank Conran and has appeared in numerous Guest Star and Supporting Roles in TV and Feature Films including Criminal Minds, NCIS, Rizzoli & Isles, Ben & Kate, and Tony Goldwyn's 2013 AMC Pilot, The Philly Lawyer. This year he will be seen in three feature films, Saving Lincoln, A White Trash Christmas, and Demon Lake.

Additional cast: Kristal Lynn Lockyer, Rachel Noll, Nina Brissey, and Jason Rowland, and Michael Rubenstone


STEPHANIE KERLEY SCHWARTZ (Set Design): LA Weekly Awards including PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR, Garland Award, Ovation nomination, CTG/Mark Taper Forum: Costume Design-Randy Newman's Harps and Angels, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, and Resident Designer for Rogue Machine Theatre. Dan Weingarten (Lighting Designer): over 400 productions; Rock of Ages (LA and Las Vegas Productions) and works with (Rogue Machine), Boston Court, Ovation Nominee), Great Men of Science (The Lost Studio, Garland and LA Weekly Award, Ovation Nominee), Catch the Fish (Winner NY Fringe Festival), Bootleg's production of Stranger (LA Drama Critics Circle Nominee), The Ebony Repertory Theatre's production of Two Trains Running (Ovation Nominee). He is the Lighting Designer for Universal Studio Hollywood's Theatrical Operations unit.

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