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BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kristin Towers-Rowles ��" An Award-Winning Director, Tripl Photo BWW Spotlight Series: Meet Kristin Towers-Rowles ��" An Award-Winning Director, Triple-Threat Actress, and Granddaughter of Screen Legend Kathryn Grayson
by Shari Barrett - Mar 24, 2020

With the current theatre world on hiatus, I have created a Spotlight Series of interviews with some of am the many talented artists who make our Los Angeles theatre community so exciting and vibrant thanks to their ongoing contribution to keeping the arts alive in the City of the Angels. And like all of us, how are they dealing with the abrupt end of productions in which they were involved? This Spotlight Series interview features Kristin Towers-Rowles, an Award-Winning Director, Triple-Threat Actress, and Granddaughter of Screen Legend Kathryn Grayson.

Review: THE WEDDING SINGER Celebrates Going After Your Biggest Dream: A New Sound Sys Photo Review: THE WEDDING SINGER Celebrates Going After Your Biggest Dream: A New Sound System
by Shari Barrett - Jul 7, 2019

However, director Mattsson, who helmed the Morgan's sold-out hit production of Mary Poppins last season, certainly should have known about the theater's sound system problems and addressed them in advance of the opening. For as entertaining as this big rock musical should have been, unfortunately it suffers from the worst of all problems in staging such a musical extravaganza - a sound system which cannot handle the volume needed to successfully present such an undertaking. Consequently, even the music track was played too softly to achieve the necessary effect, with the singers often barely audible over it. Perhaps the biggest saving grace in the production is the entertaining choreography which fills the stage with clever, comical, and attention-grabbing costumes and wigs which honor the 'big' outrageous mid-80s fashion trends.

Photo Flash: First Look at THE WEDDING SINGER at The Morgan-Wixson Mainstage Photo Photo Flash: First Look at THE WEDDING SINGER at The Morgan-Wixson Mainstage
by BWW News Desk - Jun 29, 2019

The Wedding Singer, the Broadway musical based on the hit Adam Sandler film, will be presented at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, opening tonight and running through August 3 as the final production of the 2018-19 Mainstage season. The musical is based on the New Line Cinema film written by Tim Herlihy. with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy. directed by Kristie Mattsson, produced by Spencer Johnson, choreographed by Niko Montelibano, music direction by Daniel Koh, and stage managed by Ashley DeFrancesco.

BWW Review: LA DANCE FESTIVAL- 7 YEARS AND COUNTING at Luckman Fine Arts Complex Photo BWW Review: LA DANCE FESTIVAL- 7 YEARS AND COUNTING at Luckman Fine Arts Complex
by Amber Adams - Apr 22, 2019

LA Dance Festival provides a wonderland for dance experience for Los Angeles. Catch what you can of class offerings, events, and the Fringe portion of the Festival April 26, 27, 28 at the Diavolo Space. https://ladancefest.org

BWW Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Rises Above the Initial Controversy and Rocks the  Photo BWW Review: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Rises Above the Initial Controversy and Rocks the Morgan Wixson
by Shari Barrett - Mar 27, 2019

When the initial cast announcement was made for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at the Morgan Wixson in Santa Monica, controversy erupted on social media about the miscasting of the trio of Skid Row urchins as the scripts calls for the roles to be played by African-Americans. Certainly the names of the characters (Ronette, Crystal and Chiffon) pay tribute to 50s rock and roll girl groups these three characters represent through their song stylings. And fortunately, the show's producer Spencer Johnson listened and set about to make things right, hiring a new director, D'Shaun A. Booker, who set out to find the perfect trio of gifted singers to breathe life back into the show. And boy did she succeed!

Photo Flash: The Morgan-Wixson Theatre Presents LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS Photo Photo Flash: The Morgan-Wixson Theatre Presents LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
by BWW News Desk - Mar 18, 2019

The Morgan-Wixson Mainstage presents the beloved musical comedy Little Shop of Horrors. Directed by D'Shaun A. Booker and produced by Spencer Johnson with musical direction by Esin Aydingoz and choreography by Mori Edwards, this classic hit opens March 16 and runs through April 13. The cast features (in alphabetical order): Matt Artson, Tyra Dennis, Steven Flowers, FreXinet, Jess LaFever, Patrick Olsen, Marc Ostroff, Brian O'Sullivan, and Brayon Rollison. 

BALLERS is Available for Digital Download This November Photo BALLERS is Available for Digital Download This November
by TV News Desk - Oct 22, 2018

Dwayne Johnson is back as Spencer Strasmore in one of HBO®'s highest rated comedies, Ballers®: The Complete Fourth Season, available for Digital Download on November 5th. Exploring the glamorous, and often cutthroat world of pro football, the fourth season features new guest stars including Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek), Tony Hawk, Joy Bryant (Parenthood), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), Grace Zabriskie (Big Love) and more.

BWW Review: MARY POPPINS The Broadway Musical Proves Anything Can Happen When You Let Photo BWW Review: MARY POPPINS The Broadway Musical Proves Anything Can Happen When You Let It
by Shari Barrett - Jul 3, 2018

When Santa Monica's Morgan-Wixson Theatre decided to present MARY POPPINS The Broadway Musical as the final production of their 2017-18 Mainstage season, the group had no idea how the old theater adage "The Show Must Go On" would prove the title character's belief that "anything can happen when you let it." You see, the original directing team deserted the production a month before it was due to open, with an incomplete cast in place and tickets already having been sold. How could the challenge be met on time? Let me assure you, thanks to its new directors Kristie Mattsson and Aric Martin, musical directors Andrew Lederman and Daniel Koh, choreographers Lauren Blair and Holly Weber, and producers Anne & Larry Gesling, Spencer Johnson, and Meredith Wright, I would never have known such an additional challenge had been in place given the incredible quality of the production I saw!

BWW Review: Spectacular SEUSSICAL Takes Audiences on Flights of Fancy at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre!
by Shari Barrett - Jun 27, 2017

Have you been waiting for the perfect musical extravaganza to which you can take your entire family, from the youngest to oldest member? Now is your chance by experiencing SEUSSICAL the musical at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. It is such a fabulous production from its perfect cast, direction, lighting, set, and more incredible costumes than you can count, I guarantee you will walk out thinking just 'How Lucky You Are' to have seen it.

BWW Review: COMPANY Musically Examines the Benefits and Pitfalls of Marriage
by Shari Barrett - Mar 6, 2017

Over the years, I have seen many productions of COMPANY and am pleased to tell you the current production at the Morgan-Wixson in Santa Monica is by far the best one I have ever seen thanks to the brilliant direction and fabulous casting done by Kristin Towers-Rowles, herself a triple-threat performer who could no doubt shine in any of the musical's roles herself. The entire revival is perfect in all aspects including musical direction by Daniel Koh, the glorious 70s costumes designed by Michael Mullen, the fabulous multi-level New York-inspired set designed by William Wilday, evocative, attention-focusing lighting designed by Donny Jackson, and the fun choreography by Jaime Pierce, which all combine to make this the perfect introduction to Sondheim's body of work.

BWW Review: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Reveals How the Saga of Peter Pan Began
by Shari Barrett - Oct 3, 2016

Before Peter had the last name Pan, he was a browbeaten 13-year old orphan shipped off with his two mates from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. The boys know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain's cabin, containing a precious, otherworldly cargo, given to a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training, who realizes that the trunk's precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful it must never fall into the wrong hands. During the journey, the ship is taken over by pirates - led by the fearsome Black Stache (who will later be known as Captain Hook in The Adventures of Peter Pan) - a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own, making the journey quickly become a thrilling adventure. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER playfully explores the depths of greed and despair... and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.

BWW Review: THE ADDAMS FAMILY Guarantees a Fun-Filled Macabre Time for All
by Shari Barrett - Jun 27, 2016

Anne Gesling directs many shows, especially musicals, for the Morgan-Wixson. But this time she has outdone herself with the perfect casting of each actor in the entire THE ADDAMS FAMILY production, making the show a guaranteed hit. Along with her show producer Meredith Wright, musical director Daniel Koh and frequent collaborator, choreographer Lauren Blair, be prepared for a spectacular and gloriously fun time. Be sure to bring theatre lovers of all ages so you can celebrate the joy of laughter together.

Photo Coverage: Kentwood Players' FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Celebrates Its Spectacular Opening Weekend!
by Shari Barrett - Mar 16, 2014

Audiences and critics are raving about the Kentwood Players production of the Tony Award winning FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, presented at the Westchester Playhouse during the musical's 50th anniversary celebration of its 1964 Broadway debut. With packed houses during its opening weekend, be sure to call (310) 645-5156 to get your tickets in advance for performances through April 19.

PHOTO FLASH: First Onstage Photos of Kentwood Players' FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Opening 3/14
by Shari Barrett - Mar 7, 2014

Kentwood Players proudly presents the Tony Award winning musical "Fiddler on the Roof" with book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Jerry Bock, and music by Sheldon Harnick from March 14 to April 19 with 20 performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, and Thursdays on April 3, 10, and 17 at 8pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045.

PHOTO FLASH: First Look at Kentwood Players' FIDDLER ON THE ROOF Opening 3/14
by Shari Barrett - Feb 16, 2014

Kentwood Players proudly presents the Tony Award winning musical "Fiddler on the Roof" with book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Jerry Bock, and music by Sheldon Harnick from March 14 to April 19 with 20 performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm, and Thursdays on April 3, 10, and 17 at 8pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045.

iUniverse's “My Mother's Secret” to be Published Globally
by BWW News Desk - Nov 21, 2013

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, LLC, imprint and a leading supported self-publishing provider, announced Wednesday that foreign publishing rights to 'My Mother's Secret' have been sold after being acquired and republished by G.P. Putnam's Sons, one of the world's leading trade imprints.

BWW Reviews: SPAMALOT Brings the Magic of Broadway to Santa Monica
by Shari Barrett - Jul 6, 2013

It's difficult to know where to start with my praise for this outrageously spectacular production. Starting with a remarkable cast able to transform themselves into what seemed to be hundreds of characters in a matter of seconds, every single element combined brilliantly to make the production shine from start to finish.

Photo Coverage: Greg Abbott, Jeannine Barba and More in Kentwood's RAGTIME
by Shari Barrett - Mar 27, 2013

Kentwood Players presents RAGTIME - the quintessential American musical - through Saturday, April 20 on Fri/Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045.The production is directed by Susan Goldman Weisbarth, with Musical Director Bill Wolfe, Choreographer Victoria Miller, and produced by Margie Bates and Gail Bernardi.

STAGE TUBE: Kentwood Players' RAGTIME - Highlights!
by Stage Tube - Mar 16, 2013

Kentwood Players presents the 1998 Tony Award-winning musical 'RAGTIME' with book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty now playing through April 20 at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, Calif. The production is directed by Susan Goldman Weisbarth, with Musical Director Bill Wolfe, Choreographer Victoria Miller, and produced by Margie Bates and Gail Bernardi by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. BroadwayWorld brings you video highlights from the show below!

Photo Flash: First Look at Amanda Majkrzak, Drew Fitzsimmons and More in Kentwood's RAGTIME
by BWW News Desk - Mar 16, 2013

Kentwood Players presents the 1998 Tony Award-winning musical 'RAGTIME' with book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen Flaherty now playing through April 20 at the Westchester Playhouse, located at 8301 Hindry Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045. The production is directed by Susan Goldman Weisbarth, with Musical Director Bill Wolfe, Choreographer Victoria Miller, and produced by Margie Bates and Gail Bernardi by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. BroadwayWorld brings you a first look at photos from the production below!

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