Tuesday, April 26, 2011

House of the Rising Son

Reviewed by Andrew Holinsky for "The Alternative"

”House of the Rising Son”, a new play written by Tom Jacobson and directed by Michael Michetti, is a lot like watching a David Lynch film. This quasi-love story between Dr. Trent Varro, played by Paul Witten, and Felix Martin, played by Steve Coombs, also centers around Trent’s multi-generational family, with Patrick John Hurley playing Garrett Varro and Rod Menzies playing Bowen Varro. “House of the Rising Son” is set primarily in post Katrina New Orleans. This thinking man’s play interweaves science, gay marriage, the supernatural, and generational differences. The set by Richard Hoover was superb. It is highly recommended you see the show at least twice.

“House of the Rising Son” is currently playing thru Sunday, May 29th, 2011 at EST/LA @ Atwater Village Theatre in Atwater Village. By the way this is a brand new theater complex wonderfully designed the Artistic Director is Gates McFadden from the Star Trek days where she played Dr. Beverly Crusher.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Reviewed by Andrew Holinsky for “The Alternative”

Lust n’ Rust, the original trailer park musical, written by Frank Haney, Dave Stratton, & Carol Kimball and directed by Thomas Colby, is a good time trailer park musical. Lust 'n Rust is the story of Steve, a big-city corporate manager who is transferred to a small Illinois town played by Sal Cecere, and Connie, the soon-to-be-divorced waitress who is his neighbor at the Redbud Mobile Estates played by Joyanna Crouse. Steve's life is further complicated by a difficult assignment - an action that could have a disastrous impact on the local economy. Throughout are toe tapping numbers by the gifted cast of Redbud Mobile Estates residents. The costume design by Gen Anderson is wonderfully deliberate, especially in the 2nd act. The refreshing musical is highly recommended. I loved the music and the book this play is a MUST SEE. Lust n’ Rust is currently playing thru Saturday, April 30th at the Lyric Theatre, 520 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles 90036. For tickets call 626-695-8283

"Caught" a wonderful play

Reviewed by Andrew Holinsky for “The Alternative” “Caught”, written by David L. Ray and directed by Nick DeGruccio, is a MUST SEE for everyone gay or straight. The play opens on a Sunday in July of 2008 in Los Angeles as Kenneth, superbly played by Mackenzie Astin, and his boyfriend Troy, played by understudy Derek Daniels Meeker, are finalizing their wedding plans for the following Saturday. Kenneth’s sister Darlene, a Preacher’s wife, and niece Krystal show up unexpectedly from Georgia at their home. Kenneth has not told her of his upcoming wedding nor about his relationship with Troy. This causes tension between Troy and Kenneth. Kenneth finally shares the truth with the disapproving, pious Darlene. Further during their conversation Darlene reveals she caught her husband J.P. cheating on her with another woman. The first act ends with J.P. heading to LA to find his estranged wife and daughter. Micah McCain as Splenda and Amanda Kaschak as Krystal nearly steal the show with their performances. Deborah Puette’s portrayal of Darlene was perfect as was Richard Jenik as J.P. The chemistry between Mackenzie Astin and Derek Daniels Meeker and between Mackenzie and Deborah Puette was convincing and electrifying. The stucco set by Adam Flemming was also outstanding and authentic. “Caught” is currently playing thru Sunday, May 15th at the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles. 90046. For ticket information call 310-945-5786. You can also go online at Caughttheplay.com for more information.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

30 Years of HIV/AIDS

To move forward in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is important to see where we have been… We invite you now to join us in commemorating 30 years of HIV/AIDS. We know that your story is vital in remembering our fight through the past 3 decades, the challenges that we have encountered, and the countless lives lost throughout the epidemic. This online forum allows us to raise our collective voices to remind ourselves of the accomplishments in the past 30 years, and to honor all those who have died from the disease. We hope to build a community of support to help inspire us on the road ahead- as we work together to prevent new cases of HIV, care for those who are infected, and educate the world about the truths about HIV/AIDS. Click here to register for the community, and begin sharing your story. * You can begin by sharing your own personal “HIV Story,” by selecting a few pictures that reflect your milestones throughout your HIV history, or sharing a personal video about your experiences. **You can also begin having conversations with people in your community through open discussion forums. These past 3 decades have been full of inspiring people in clinics, community organizations, health departments, government agencies; people advocating for patients’ rights, researching treatments and looking for a cure; and living with HIV/AIDS. Please share the link to this community with others in your world, so they can join in sharing their experiences. * If you are unable to follow the link, please paste cdcnpin.org/communities/hivstory into your browser. You may also sign up for the community by using your Facebook, Twitter, Google, or Yahoo login information. ** Please review the Terms of Service for specific photo and video sharing guidelines.

Announcing: “Caught” Extended thru May 15; Mackenzie Astin Joins Cast on February 19

MACKENZIE ASTIN JOINS THE CAST OF CAUGHT WORLD PREMIERE PLAY, WRITTEN BY DAVID L. RAYAND DIRECTED BY NICK DEGRUCCIO EXTENDS RUN FOR SECOND TIME, THROUGH MAY 15, 2011AT THE ZEPHYR THEATRE David L. Ray’s world premiere play, Caught, presented by Buttermilk Productions in association with Drumfish Productions, and directed by three-time Ovation Award-winner Nick DeGruccio, has extended its run through Sunday, April 3. Mackenzie Astin will assume the role of Kenneth on Saturday, February 19, when Corey Brill departs to join Robin Williams and the Broadway cast of Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. The story of Caught centers around the upcoming wedding of Kenneth and Troy, a committed gay couple living in Los Angeles. Kenneth’s estranged, culturally-conservative sister, Darlene, and her daughter Krystal unexpectedly visit the couple’s home from south Georgia only days before the event. Through this set of circumstances, Caught explores the meaning of ‘marriage,’ and how the family can find a way to meet in the middle while navigating long-standing religious values and staying true to each’s core beliefs. Mackenzie Astin, the son of legendary actors Patty Duke and John Astin, is perhaps best known for his three seasons on the hit NBC sitcom The Facts of Life. His film credits include Dream for an Insomniac, Stranger Than Fiction, Long Island Incident, Last Days of Disco, Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor (with Nathan Lane), In Love and War (with Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell), and the Disney feature Iron Will. Other television work includes appearances on Without A Trace, Lost, House, Justice, and My Name Is Earl. The full cast features (in alphabetical order) Astin, Will Beinbrink, Richard Jenik, Amanda Kaschak, Micah McCain, and Deborah Puette. The design team includes set by Adam Flemming, lighting by Lisa D. Katz, sound by Elizabeth Rhodes, and costumes by Katherine Hampton Noland. Casting is by Raul Staggs, and the production stage manager is Darlene Miyakawa. The Ovation Recommended production of Caught is now extended through May 15. Regular performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm. There will be no performances on Friday, February 18 and Sunday, February 27. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased by visiting http://www.caughttheplay.com/ or by calling (800) 595-4849. The Zephyr Theatre is located at 7456 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, 90046. # # #