Monday, October 27, 2008

LA Weekly says GO! to U.S. DRAG

posted by Nick Cernoch at 12:35 PM
 “I want a lot. What do we have to do get a lot,” says Angela (Megan Goodchild) to her best friend, Allison (Katie Davies), as the pair traverse Manhattan in search of . . . a lot, in this West Coast premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's scintillating comedy. Angela's every perky/snide conversation is punctuated by the monetary value to be derived from it, whether speaking to an employer or partner. The two smart young women are not smart enough to be rich, and money seems to be the play's driving force, accompanied by a triptych of fears – fear of loneliness, fear of squandered opportunities (such as fame) and fear of physical attack. Within this cosmopolitan universe, Gionfriddo populates her play with sundry support groups -- one led by Evan (Noah Harpster) counsels its members to refuse to help anybody in order to avoid attack -- a Wall Street neurotic (Nick Cernoch), a would-be literati (Shawn Lee), and a “helper” (Eric
Pargac) with a deranged compulsion to track down and give baked goods and the like to victims of any urban trauma. Gionfriddo's snappy dialogue is both urban and urbane, reflecting cultural values that have clearly gone off the tracks. Among the play's delightful conceits is its open question of whether the fears we shape our lives around are actually real, or our own speculative inventions. Darin Anthony's very slick staging includes riffs of techno pop (original music by Doug Newell) and a set/lighting design by Dan Jenkins that's cements the play's matrix of consumerism and death with boutique windows and streetlife – one character actually arrives on a slab withdrawn from a gutter. The performances are mostly excellent, with a glorious cameo by Johanna McKay as a befuddled attack victim, though some mumbled lines and aimless movement don't quite match the director's mat-knife precision. Pasadena Playhouse, Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino
Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 p.m.; through Nov. 22. A Furious Theatre Company production. (Steven Leigh Morris)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

For Free or Not For Free? Post 2 of 4

posted by brad at 12:00 PM

So, I should clarify a couple of things. One, I realize the tone of the first post may have projected a negative opinion on this initiative, which was not the intent. We are happy to offer the tickets and would love to see this kind of program work well for all theatres in America who participate. We have often talked about trying to find a way to make our own business/revenue model work so that we didn't ever "need" to sell tickets... but the question sort of looms - how much do/will people value something (particularly the arts) if it is free?

Secondly, I was incorrect in my last post about how many tickets we had allotted. Turns out it was 12 for the first night we offered tickets and then 14 more tickets over the next three nights. Not 12 on each night like I originally posted.

Last night we had preview #3.
Free night of theatre attendees - 0 for 4. Although someone did call before the show to politely cancel and say they had mistakenly reserved Free Night tickets to our show on two different nights and would be coming on the next night, we don't have their name on our list of reservations that were sent to us for any night. ?

More info coming regarding other LA theatres' experience with this year's initiative, but in the meantime, an interesting announcement in the LA Times today about Center Theatre Group's "Entertainment Stimulus Package." Hopefully they will share with everyone how it works for them/theatre audiences/the local scene.

Be furious.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Free Night of Theatre 2008 - Post 1 of 4

posted by brad at 1:45 PM
Ok, here is post 1 of 4 that we'll be doing this week regarding the Free Night of Theatre initiative for 2008.

Last time Furious participated in this program... the results were less than stellar. Read about it here. This time around, we have offered free tickets on four different nights, which has coincided well with our extended preview period. Within 24 hours of posting our offer for the west coast premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's U.S. Drag, all of the tickets we were offering had been reserved - 12 per night for four nights.

This past Sunday, we were expecting our first attendees of "Free Night." It was our second preview for the show and out of the 12 who reserved through Free Night, only 3 showed up. We also had two walk ups say they were there for Free Night, but they hadn't reserved, which was no problem. We happily welcomed them. So, we saw either a 75% or 65% no show rate through this "groundbreaking and remarkably effective" program.

Granted, we have three more nights (our remaining previews) left to participate, so maybe we'll see a better rate of attendees. We'll try and do some surveying of other theatres (smaller and larger) about how the program is working here in the LA area and post the info for those who are curious.

Be furious.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Have YOU seen Ed?

posted by Nick Cernoch at 4:03 PM
This is Ed.
Allison and Angela want to find him.
Do you?

To find out more about Ed and to watch videos about staying SAFE visit:

To find out more about Allison, Angela and Furious Theatre Company's West Coast premiere production of U.S. Drag by Gina Gionfriddo...

The Theatre @ Boston Court Announces its 6th Season!

posted by Nick Cernoch at 11:15 AM


PASADENA, Calif., October 10, 2008 – The Theatre @ Boston Court will present two world premieres, a west coast premiere and a production of a classic comedy play during its sixth season in 2009 at Boston Court Performing Arts Center. Moliere's "Tartuffe" opens the season on February 21, the world premiere of Laura Schellhardt's "Courting Vampires" opens May 9, the west coast premiere of Bruce Norris' "The Pain and the Itch," a co-production with Furious Theatre Company, opens July 25, and the world premiere of Deborah Stein's "God Save Gertrude" opens October 10.

"Tartuffe," directed by Josh Chambers, upends the expectations of a Comedy of Manners in the pastel washes and smog-stained environs of "The Other Hollywood," the San Fernando Valley. Suburbia becomes the battleground for a spiritual and cultural civil war between art and commerce, charlatan and saint. Pop art and industrial music lift Moliere's delicious rhymes and indictment of hypocrisy and drops them in our own back yard.

In "Courting Vampires," a deeply moving allegory that straddles graveyard and courtroom, Nina, a vitally alive, headstrong young woman falls victim to a fatal blood disease, and her protective older sister, Rill, vows revenge on the vampire who infected her. With righteousness and impassioned love Rill puts the vampire on trial for his life. But does anything – even justice – avenge death? "Courting Vampires" will be directed by Jessica Kubzansky, co-artistic director for The Theatre @ Boston Court.

In the "The Pain and the Itch," a young daughter is in serious need of attention while her parents worry if the milk is organic. A ravenous creature may be prowling the upstairs bedrooms. And an average Thanksgiving for this family unravels into an exposé of disastrous choices and less-than-altruistic motives. "The Pain and the Itch," directed by Dámaso Rodriguez, co-artistic director of Furious Theatre Company, is a scathing comedy about the politics of class and race, a controversial examination of denial and its consequences.

In "God Save Gertrude," a punk rock riff on "Hamlet" directed by Michael Michetti, co-artistic director of The Theatre @ Boston Court, angry crowds gather outside an abandoned theatre as Queen Gertrude takes the stage. She riffs on Patti Smith and sings about her many loves and her many mistakes while her country simmers in a volatile state of transition. As the bombs rain down and her coked-up son sells out to MTV, Gertrude hopes to incite one more riot before she goes.

Each play previews for six performances prior to its opening date and runs for four weeks, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets for individual plays in the 2009 season are $17 for previews and $32 for regular performances and may be purchased online at Season memberships and discounted senior/student tickets are also available.

The Theatre @ Boston Court is the non-profit company that programs the state-of-the-art 99-seat main stage theatre in Boston Court Performing Arts Center at 70 North Mentor Avenue at Boston Court. Z. Clark Branson is the developer of the center and founding director of The Theatre @ Boston Court. Michael Seel is the executive director of Boston Court Performing Arts Center.

The Theatre @ Boston Court productions are made possible in part by the generosity of Branson, patron donors, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.