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Interview: Laural Meade on MS. TUCKER WILL SEE YOU NOW Celebrating the Life and Bawdy Humor of Sophie Tucker

In her tribute cabaret/theater act, Ms. Tucker Will See You Now, Los Angeles native Laural Meade shares her admiration of Jazz great Sophie Tucker by performing her rollicking songs, bawdy stories, and dirty jokes at the historic Gardenia Supper Club in Hollywood. It’s your chance to travel back to the glory days when such intimate settings were common place, both during and after Prohibition, where regular folks could hang out with Hollywood greats to enjoy an evening of dinner, drinks, music, and laughter in the presence of The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, a moniker Ms. Tucker earned throughout her lifetime.I spoke with Laural about the creation of her Sophie Tucker tribute show.

Interview: Matthew Quinn And Bertha Rodriguez of Combined Artform on the HOLLYWOOD INDEPENDENT THEATER FESTIVAL

Those who attend the Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF) surely know the married couple, Matthew Quinn and Bertha Rodriguez, producers and venue managers who have been putting together many selections since HFF began in 2010 via their company Combined Artform and Asylum venues. Continuing the celebration of independent plays, the duo has created the Hollywood Independent Theater Festival (HITFEST) opening in September featuring encore performances from this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. I interviewed the power couple to find out more about the new HITF.

Interview: Playwright Garry Michael Kluger on the World Premiere of WALKING IN SPACE at Theatre West

Prolific writer Garry Michael Kruger is bringing the world premiere of his latest play, Walking In Space, to Theatre West for a five-week run beginning September 8, directed by Arden Teresa Lewis. It centers on a family in crisis with a drug-addicted single mother needing the assistance of her children to overcome her demons.

Interview: Susan Priver On Returning To Harold Pinter's A SLIGHT ACHE After 17 Years

Seventeen years ago, Susan Priver starred as Flora opposite Henry Olek as Edward with Shelly Kurtz as the match seller in Harold Pinter’s A Slight Ache, a tragicomedy of manners that takes a funny, ominous, and unsettling journey into the human psyche. All three actors will reprise their roles in a visiting production of Pinter’s play, directed by Jack Heller at the Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. from August 26 through October 1. I decided to speak with Susan about her experience with both productions of Pinter’s play.

Interview: Playwright Wendy Graf on EXIT WOUNDS World Premiere at International City Theatre

The world premiere of Graf’s play Exit Wounds is taking place at International City Theatre in Long Beach for a three-week run, August 25 through September 10, directed by ICT producing artistic director caryn desai [sic]. I decided to speak with Wendy on her process for creating the play, being acknowledged as a best new play in such a prestigious competition, why she decided to hold the world premiere at ICT, and how she hopes audiences will connect with its story about healing, hope, and compassion when someone you love has committed a terrible crime.

Interview: David Hunt Stafford on PLAYS IN REP & READING SERIES at Theatre 40

David Hunt Stafford (pictured) is the Artistic Director and Managing Director of Theatre 40, posts he has proudly held since 2000 at the professional theater company located on the campus of Beverly Hills High School. I decided to speak with David about the current plays running in rep during July and August: Doris and Ivy in the Home, in which he appears, and One Moment of Freedom which he produces; and the group’s ongoing Reading Series showcasing new and well-known plays read by company members.

Wake Up With BWW 7/10: What's Coming to Broadway in Summer and Fall 2023, and More!

Top stories: Learn more about what's coming to Broadway in Summer/Fall 2023, plus read our interview with New York, New York star Clyde Alves, and more!

Interview: David Melville on Directing Shakespeare's Gritty Political Thriller JULIUS CAESAR

Given recent events and political drama, including propaganda used to sway the public, nothing should surprise modern audiences when it comes to politics. But perhaps the most well-known dramatic representation of political intrigue takes place in Shakespeare’s classic play Julius Caesar, which centers around the events that led to his assassination by Roman senators on the 'Ides of March' (March 15) 44 B.C.E.  I decided to speak with David Melville about how the production will differ from more traditional staging and why he decided it would be a good fit for audiences.

Interview: Director Susan Leslie on Martyna Majok's IRONBOUND at the Broadwater Second Stage July 14-16

Writer and performer Susan Leslie is probably best known in the theatre world for her long association with writer/director, Del Shores, having appeared in six of his plays. And this month, she will be directing Martyna Majok’s play Ironbound, with three performances July 14-16 at The Broadwater Second Stage. I decided to speak with Susan about her decision to direct this play and why the short run is being presented as a benefit for WomenShelter of Long Beach.

Interview: Rainee Blake Talks Her Award-Winning Play And Performance In TAKE ME AS I AM: A JONI MITCHELL TRIBUTE

Rainee Blake is an Australian-born singer-songwriter, actress and writer based in Los Angeles, perhaps best known for her role as Alannah on CMT’s popular show Nashville. But during this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, Rainee brought her one-woman show Take Me As I Am, which offers audiences an intimate club experience in which she performs memorable songs and shares the stories which inspired them as folk singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell, while playing both guitar and dulcimer. I decided to speak with her about the show’s development, her reaction to its award-winning reception at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival, where she has performed the show before, and what future plans she has to take it on the road.

Interview: Writer/Performer Romy Nordlinger on GARDEN OF ALLA: The Alla Nazimova Story at Theatre West

During the Roaring 1920s until its closing on July 27, 1959, West Hollywood’s landmark Garden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Blvd. hosted the Hollywood elite looking to have a great time socializing and mingling without the prying eyes of the media or autograph seekers in their faces, or their beds for that matter. I decided to speak with Romy Nordlinger, the playwright and performer of Garden of Alla in which she shares the life of Alla Nazimova, a Jewish immigrant from Tsarist Russia who became a Broadway and silent film superstar, visionary Hollywood director and producer, LGBTQIA trailblazer, and creator of the hotel which became world famous on many levels, both famous and infamous.

Wake Up With BWW 6/26: Broadway's Upcoming Summer/Fall Shows, and More!

Today's top stories: Find out what's coming to Broadway this summer and full, Sara Bareilles will hold a benefit concert to save Rockwood Music Hall, and more!

Review: ACCOMMODATION, a World Premiere Guest Production at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble

Certainly, those of us who have been (or currently are) school teachers, administrators, and counselors will recognize the clashes and motivations expressed in Burdick’s exploration of the challenges of pursuing a profession meant for those who deeply care about the welfare of students, even in the face of overwhelming odds. And caring parents and students will no doubt identify with trying to make the best out of what can only be described as a bad situation seemingly out of their control. In other words, this is a play everyone should see and thank your teachers in your hearts and minds afterwards.

Interview: Leslie Sloan on Creating HIGH HEELS ON WHEELS The Musical at the Hudson Backstage Theatre

Those of us who remember the 60s no doubt were fans of Roller Derby on television. But ever wonder what it was like behind-the-scenes when the rough and tough female skaters let their hair down? The new musical High Heels on Wheels, with lyrics and book by Leslie Sloan and music by Eliza Jane McNamara, is part of this month’s Hollywood Fringe Festival and shares the story of Doris Selander, the best carhop in town, who decides to try out for the open spot of the local derby team in 1965. Her life takes many directions once she makes the decision to follow her dreams to roller derby stardom, despite the roadblocks in her way. I decided to speak with Leslie Sloan about the process of bringing it to the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Interview: GMCLA Executive Director & Producer Lou Spisto on the Los Angeles Premiere of Disney PRIDE in Concert

As Gay Pride celebrations continue during the month of June, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) is presenting the Los Angeles Premiere of Disney PRIDE in Concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. In Disney Concerts’ first-ever choral production, Disney’s beloved songs will be reimagined in a celebration of Pride featuring 200 Chorus members performing nearly 50 classic Disney songs, with a 25-piece orchestra and stunning video projections. I interviewed Lou Spisto, Executive Director & Producer of GMCLA about the origination of the concert, how the Disney songs were chosen, and how the subjects of inclusion and acceptance will be represented.

Interview: Hannah Wolf on Directing Last Summer at Bluefish Cove on the Fountain Theatre Outdoor Stage

Forty years ago, the Fountain Theatre presented the groundbreaking comedy/drama, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove by Jane Chambers, one of the first playwrights to depict love between women as happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. I decided to speak with the play’s director Hannah Wolf about the history and importance of the play, the challenges of presenting it outdoors, how she was selected to direct it, about the characters who make up the story, and why its message of acceptance speaks to the new generation of theater goers just as it did for those who saw Jean Smart in the original 1983-85 Fountain Theatre production.

Interview: Writer/Actor Nick Gillie on THE DARKNESS: GODDESS REVEALED at The Actors' Gang

The next production to take The Actors' Gang stage is The Darkness: Goddess Revealed, written and performed by Nick Gillie and directed by Dwain Perry. Presented as a special co-production in partnership with Black University and Okan Entertainment, the story is told through the perspective of three vastly different characters (played by Gillie) who enter the afterlife and meet sacred female beings called The We. But have they gathered to hear the new arrivals’ life stories or have a more spiritual lesson in mind? I was curious to hear about the genesis of the play, more about the characters, the purpose of The We in the storyline, and Nick Gille’s personal involvement with Black University.

Interview: Playwright Jerry Mayer on his Writing Career and New Comedy Jews R 2 Much Fun

Jerry Mayer, a nonagenarian from St. Louis has written and/or produced for many classic TV shows and specials. In 1986, his first play, Almost Perfect, debuted at Santa Monica Playhouse which has led to almost a dozen more - so far! I decided to speak with him about his latest comedy, Jews R 2 Much Fun, at the Santa Monica Playhouse as well as his long-running and extremely successful TV writing career.

Interview: Playwright Elizabeth Dement of NO PLACE LIKE GANDERSHEIM at Skylight Theatre

In the spirit of their 40th season with its focus on Her Vision, Her Voice, Skylight Theatre Company is presenting the second of three new plays by female playwrights and directors, Elizabeth Dement's No Place Like Gandersheim, directed by Randee Trabitz. Opening on May 20, the play features an all-female creative and production team. I was curious to find out the inspiration for Dement's lead character Roz, the time-traveling aspect of the play, and what insights the playwright learned along the way about women in the entertainment industry.

Interview: Josh Welsh on BRING THE NOISE: IF THESE WALLS COULD SING at The Wallis

Josh Welsh, President of Film Independent, directly oversees all Film Independent programming, including Bring The Noise: If These Walls Could Sing at The Wallis on May 18. The evening is planned as a celebration of renowned photographer and filmmaker Mary McCartney’s film, If These Walls Could Sing about the many music industry artists who recorded inside Abbey Road Studios in London, which is now streaming on Disney+. The evening at The Wallis will include a live orchestral performance of songs recorded at Abbey Road Studios conducted by Mark Graham, and a Q&A with Mary McCartney moderated by Academy-Award winning filmmaker Morgan Neville.

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