Strong Coffee Premieres ASSISTANTS Musical Comedy at Hollywood Fringe Tonight

Strong Coffee Premieres ASSISTANTS Musical Comedy at Hollywood Fringe Tonight

Hollywood gets the Broadway treatment in the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival! Strong Coffee Productions will produce the world premiere musical comedy Assistants, written by Bryan Blaskie and Manny Hagopian.

"This is a close and personal show for me," says Blaskie, who is following up with a second Fringe show in as many years after last year's sold-out run of the musical comedy Victorian Courting & Zombies. "When I came to Los Angeles to start my career in entertainment, I had no idea what kind of world I was getting into or what kinds of characters I would meet along the way." Hagopian, who appeared in Zombies last year, is a musical comedy writer in his own right. His show Tonya Harding: the Musical ran for five months at the Upright Citizens Brigade, where it just underwent an expansion for a re-mounting this summer. "I come from comedy first. I love making people laugh. And I love a good tune!"

Director C Ryanne Domingues was first drawn to the show after she and Blaskie discussed the themes of Hollywood dreams, self-worth, and the millennial problem of finding one's path in this world. "What struck me about this show was how all the characters seem to put their own goals on hold for their bosses just for the chance that karma might return the favor one day. It's a show about the process of making it-not just the end result." Domingues moved to LA from Philadelphia where she was the co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of the award-winning company Simpatico Theatre Project. "I think there's something in the piece for everyone, no matter what career path they are on. We all know these characters in our own lives."

Performances will be held at the Actors Company Let Live Theater, located at 916 North Formosa Avenue in Hollywood from tonight, June 6th through June 28th. Tickets are $5 for the preview performance and $15 for all other performances. For ticket reservations and more information, visit or

Following a group of hopeful assistants, this world premiere musical explores the superiority complex of Hollywood and the glamorous lifestyle that seems to elevate its participants above "ordinary" people. Through a string of heartfelt songs, four industry aspirants maneuver around long hours, degrading work, and hostile environments in the name of their big dream. All alone in the bustling city of L.A., the characters find that in order to survive, they may need some assistance of their own.

Assistants is new musical set in contemporary Hollywood. Bryan Blaskie, a musical theatre writer and connoisseur, and Manny Hagopian, a punk rock improviser, join forces to tell a tale that is all-too-familiar to a lot of young Los Angeles professionals. Taking place at The Actors Company Let Live Theater, the show's nineteen heartfelt songs mix with witty comedy to produce at story that conveys both sides of the Hollywood dream. Climbing the ladder is only the beginning. In today's world, social media and online press are more important than ever, and these characters struggle to find a sense of self amidst the late night mixers and constant "selfies." Assistants is a love letter to Hollywood; to both those in and out of the limelight. It is a play about the definition of success, finding your footing in a world of endless competition, the process of "making it," and heartfelt dreams.

Assistants features a cast of four industry professionals, whose credits feature such television shows as Arrested Development, The Office, Glee, CSI: NY, Life On Mars, and Criminal Minds, and whose theatre experience includes the popular shows The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Fiddler On the Roof, Peter Pan, The Last Five Years, and Spring Awakening. As funny as they are charming, these four actors have formed an ensemble with incredible range and enormous energy.


Liz: Ali Axelrad

Isaac: Christopher Renfro

Tara: Abigail Eiland

Nick: Daniel Amerman

Production and Artistic Staff:

Music and Lyrics By: Bryan Blaskie and Manny Hagopian

Director: C. Ryanne Domingues

Assistant Director/SM: Federico Cibils

Stage Manager: Lindsey Norris

Sound Designer: Mark Caspery

Costume Coordinator: Kait Kaufman

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