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FOUNTAIN THEATRE

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Victoria Platt joins cast of ‘Building the Wall’ at Fountain Theatre

Beginning June 24, actress Victoria Platt will play the role of Gloria, joining actor Bo Foxworth in the Fountain Theatre’s smash hit production of Building the Wall by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwrightRobert SchenkkanBuilding the Wall opened at the Fountain in March, where it was the first in a series of productions taking place across the U.S. as part of a National New Plays Network Rolling World Premiere. The Fountain recently announced an extension through Aug. 27.


Schenkkan penned Building the Wall last November, a week before the election, in what he describes as a “white-hot fury.” In the play, which is set in 2019, the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants. As a college professor interviews the former supervisor of a private prison, it becomes clear how federal policy has escalated to a terrifying, seemingly inconceivable, yet inevitable conclusion.

 
The Fountain production, directed by Michael Michetti, has been called “L.A.’s Hottest Ticket” by the Los Angeles Times, which characterized it as “terrifyingly plausible.” It has been pronounced “mesmerizing” by The Hollywood Reporter, “compelling” by radio station KCRW 89.9 FM and “riveting” by both Broadway World and Arts In LA. National and international coverage has included The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC News Hour, Radio Canada,Agence France-PresseBreitbart News and more.

 
Victoria Platt previously appeared at the Fountain as Roxy in the world premiere ofCyrano by Stephen Sachs. She recently starred in The Gleaner, a film with Angus MacFadyen directed by Harry Lennix, and she can be seen later this summer in the sci-fi apocalyptic film Eruption: LA and on Marlon Wayan’s new sitcom Marlon. Other theater credits include Revolution in a Catsuit at the Bootleg Theatre, Sammy Davis Jr’s wife in Sammy at the Old Globe, and Emilia in Venice, a hip-hop musical loosely based on Othello, at both the Kirk Douglas Theatre in L.A. (for which she earned an Ovation Award nomination) and the Public Theatre in New York. She appeared on Broadway in Jelly’s Last Jam, and has performed on regional stages including the LATC, REDCAT, Geffen Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Ford Theatres and Kennedy Center. TV credits include: Major Crimes, Star-Crossed, Bones, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, The Gates and Castle. Films include Winchell (as Josephine Baker), Jonah Hex and The Baytown Disco. Victoria gender-bended as the chief justice in the film adaptation of Henry IV, entitled H4, which she co-produced and co-starred in with Harry Lennix and Terrell Tilford.

 

Building the Wall continues at the Fountain through August 27, with performances on Saturdays at 8 p.m.Sundays at 2 p.m.; and Mondays at 8 p.m. (dark July 1, July 2 and July 3). There will be additional performances on four Fridays at 8 p.m., on July 14, July 28, Aug. 11 and Aug. 25. Tickets range from $20$40; every Monday is Pay-What-You-Want.

 

The Fountain Theatre is located at 5060 Fountain Avenue (at Normandie) in Los Angeles. Secure, on-site parking is available for $5. The Fountain Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible.

 

For reservations and information, call (323) 663-1525 or go to www.FountainTheatre.com.

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Forever Flamenco presents ‘Entre Jerez y Sevilla’ Sunday, May 21 at the Fountain Theatre

WHAT:
Forever Flamenco presents Entre Jerez y Sevilla — The flamenco styles of Jerez and Sevilla will be on display at this month’s Forever Flamenco event, which stars dancers Fanny Ara (Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance on NBC), Alejandro Vega (making his Fountain debut) and the evening’s artistic director Reyes Barrios; singers Antonio de Jerez andJesus Montoya; and master guitarists Kai Narezo and Antonio Triana. The Los Angeles Times hails the Fountain Theatre’s monthly Forever Flamenco series as “the earth and fire of first-class flamenco,” and LA Splash says, “Being the sensual, intimate art form that it is… the way you feel when you walk out of a Forever Flamenco performance is pretty darn fabulous.”

WHO:

  • Artistic Director:Reyes Barrios
    Dancers: Fanny AraReyes Barrios, Alejandro Vega  
    • Cante: Antonio de Jerez and Jesus Montoya
    • Guitarists: Kai Narezo and Antonio Triana
    • Associate Producer James Bennett
    • Presented by Deborah Lawlor and The Fountain TheatreWHEN: 
    Sunday, May 21 8 p.m.

    WHERE:
    The Fountain Theatre
    5060 Fountain Ave.
    Los Angeles CA 90029
    (Fountain at Normandie)

    HOW:
    (323) 663-1525 or www.fountaintheatre.com
    • Visit us on Facebook

    TICKETS:
    • VIP seating (first two rows): $50
    • Regular seating: $40
    • Senior/Student: $30

    PARKING:
    Secure, on-site parking: $5

 

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Quick Takes: KENDRICK LAMAR/ARINZE STANLEY/FOUNTAIN THEATRE/CENTER THEATRE GROUP

Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group (CTG) announced its block party casting and lineup recently – Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre.  According to a write-up at Playbill.com, CTG will revisit: Coeurage Theatre Company’s production of Failure: A Love Story, Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric, and Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land. All will be staged at the Kirk Douglas Theatre from April 14–May 21.

From Playbill:

“As we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on other stages,”

said Center Theatre Group’s artistic director, Michael Ritchie.

“Coeurage Theatre, Echo Theater and Fountain Theatre, as well as others throughout L.A., regularly produce excellent, boundary-pushing work and we’re so glad they are sharing some of that work with us.”

Playbill’s article continued:

Coeurage Theatre Company’s Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins opens the celebration April 14–23. The piece is set in Chicago of the 1920s and focuses on the three Fail sisters. It’s a chronicle of their lives together and the man who fell in love with all of them. The cast features Joe Calarco, June Carryl, Cristina Gerla, Kristina Johnson, Margaret Katch, Denver Milord, Gregory Nabours, Theodore Perkins, Kurt Quinn, Brandon Ruiter, Nicole Shalhoub, Gina Torrecilla, and Brittney S. Wheeler.

The Fountain Theatre’s production of Citizen: An American Lyric (April 28–May 7) was adapted for the stage by Co-Artistic Director Stephen Sachs. The production, based on Claudia Rankine’s poetry, merges multiple art forms to meditate on the struggle against racism in America. The cast features Bernard K. Addison, Leith Burke, Tony Maggio, Simone Missick, Monnae Michaell, and Lisa Pescia. Directed by Shirley Jo Finney.

Echo Theater Company’s Dry Land by Ruby Spiegel is the last in the series of remounted shows, running May 14–21. Set in the locker room of a central Florida high school, it’s a hauntingly truthful portrait of hope, fear, abortion, and the strong bond between teenage girls. The cast features Daniel Hagen, Ben Horwitz, Connor Kelly-Eiding, Teagan Rose, Jenny Soo, Jacqueline Besson, and Alexandra Freeman, as well as USC School of Dramatic Arts students Francesca O’Hern, Bukola Ogunmola, Sidne Phillips, and Tessa Hope Slovis. Alana Dietze directs.

There are “pay what you can” performances for Failure, April 14; Citizen, April 28; and Dry Land, May 12.

For more information, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FOUNTAIN THEATRE!

A birthday message from writer/producer/director Stephen Sachs on April 1:

Deborah Lawlor and I founded the Fountain Theatre 27 years ago today. Launched on April Fools Day, the journey has been anything but foolish. For more than two decades, hundreds of artists have expertly and passionately performed their craft here and hundreds of thousands of patrons have shared in the magic of live intimate theatre. All of this happening in this cozy building on Fountain Avenue. My respect, admiration and gratitude to all the actors, designers, and production teams over the years who have made, and continue to make, the Fountain Theatre the success it is today, to our loyal audiences who travel with us on this glorious ride, our donors who make it possible, and our extraordinary Board of Directors who guide our way. And my love to our staff, most of us together for so many years, who work so hard, give so much, and care so deeply: Simon Levy, Scott Tuomey, James Bennett, Barbara Goodhill, Licia Jaccard, Lucy Pollak, Jose Lomeli, Marisela Hughes, Baltazar D. Gaytan, Nora King. Happy Birthday to this miracle on Fountain Avenue. Onward!

More theatre and Forever Flamenco at www.FountainTheatre.com.

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KENDRICK LAMAR:

The Compton rapper (or is he an MC?) released a video, ‘Humble,’ and a single, ‘The Heart Part 4,’ presumably from his upcoming album, last week.  Peeking from behind his cryptic Instagram message earlier – a simple, single Roman numeral IV – many believe it to be the lead-in for his anticipated fourth studio album. NPR’s Andrew Flanagan writes:

The song, less exploration of contrition on the part of Lamar than an instruction to his peers, picks up a thread NPR Music first examined following that album teaser: how the “best rapper alive” might explore the theme of God, religion and personal growth. (In the previous non-album single, “The Heart Part 4,” Lamar stuck to a similar narrative: “Tell ’em that God is comin’.”)Lamar opens with ‘Wicked or weakness, you got to see this.”And what do you say to God?

More from NPR Music on Kendrick Lamar:

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/03/24/521359304/kendrick-lamar-fires-a-warning-shot-with-new-song-the-heart-part-4

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/03/23/521244445/kendrick-lamar-releases-new-song-the-heart-part-4

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Arinze Stanley:

The Nigerian artist works with graphite and charcoal pencils on large sheets of cartridge paper, creating larger-than-life portraits. According to Colossal (www.ThisIsColossal.com) writer Christopher Jobson,

Stanley can devote up to 200 hours on a single illustration, painstakingly deliberating over minute details to capture reflections of light, droplets of sweat, or tangles of hair. Where some hyperrealistic artists lean towards idealized perfection, Stanley instead focuses on pure realism, infusing portraits with a raw sense of emotion and drama. The scale of each piece, always slightly larger than life, adds an uncanny three-dimensional aspect.

Stanley recently exhibited work at Omenka Gallery and you can see more of his works (and pieces in progress) on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Harinzeyart/). (via ARTNAU, juxtapoz)

Article at Colossal.com: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2017/03/arinze-stanley-hyperrealistic-portraits/

Video of work as it progresses:

https://www.facebook.com/Harinzeyart/videos/1578649285797051/

Written by: Kato Cooks, RM Entertainment Contributor

 

 

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Exclusive Interview with Fountain Theatre’s Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director, Stephen Sachs

Stephen Sachs is co-founder and co-artistic director of the Fountain Theatre, and a director, screenwriter, and playwright of considerable note.  I recently caught Stephen’s thought-provoking, profound and riveting  play, My Name Is Asher Lev, taken from Chaim Potok’s 1972 novel of the same  name, adapted for the stage by Aaron Posner.

The play is  set in the 1950s, in the Brooklyn home of a Hasidic Jewish family, where a  six-year-old boy named Asher Lev discovers an amazing gift bubbling within him. At a young age, the precocious Asher developed within him a strong fixation for art along with a focused, relentless, and positive can-do attitude. Asher’s gift sends him on an amazing expedition of self-discovery and self-worth.  The journey puts him at odds with his family’s expectations and religion, all for the sake of his passion for art.

‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ is a moving, challenging and thought-provoking play that crosses the lines of organized religion, ethnicity, and color, presenting for examination, on a universal level, readily identifiable social – human – conflicts.  Follow me as we journey though the world of Director and Playwright Stephen Sachs.

 

Renisha  Marie: Who is Stephen Sachs?

Stephen  Sachs: I am the Co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles,  which I co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. I am a theatre director and playwright. I’ve been creating theatre in Los Angeles for thirty years.

Renisha Marie: Were there any personal parallels that brought you to the  story?

Stephen  Sachs: My parents were always very  supportive of me wanting to be a theatre  artist, so I never faced the intense  parental conflicts that Asher battles in  the play. For me personally, the closest parallel to Asher’s need to be an artist lies with my 18-year-old son, Daniel. He’s an artist. Like Asher, he’s  been drawing since he was a little  boy and it’s very clear that art is the path he is meant to follow. Daniel reminds me of Asher in that he, too, has a gift and is passionate and determined to become who he is meant to be.  I wanted to do this play for my son.

Renisha  Marie: What mindset did you have to possess in order to come out winning over your adversities?

Stephen  Sachs:  Whether guiding the Fountain Theatre for twenty-four years or simply surviving as an artist, the mindset that has served me best is when I trust my own artistic instincts and follow my heart. The more one does that, the more you develop an inner voice that speaks the truth to you and the more you learn to listen to it.The times when I’ve gotten myself into artistic trouble are the times when I refused to  listen to what that inner voice was whispering.

Renisha  Marie: What qualities were you probing for during casting?

Stephen  Sachs: The play requires three exceptionally talented actors who must possess a  very unique set of acting skills. Two of the actors play a variety of roles and  must change character quickly, so you need actors with the technical skill to do  that and who also possess the professional craft to be specific with each character and also have a deep emotional well that is truthful and honest. The actor playing Asher has the challenge of serving both as narrator and participant in the story. He must lead us on this journey and hold our attention, all the while being engaging and charming while wrestling with these very deep, profoundly personal struggles over family and self-identity. We must care about him deeply and want him to find his true way.

I’m blessed to have Jason, Joel and Anna– three gifted actors who worked very hard and are utterly dedicated to serving the play at the highest level possible.

Renisha Marie: What individual qualities did you see in Jason Karasev, Anna Khaja, and  Joel Polis that made them stand out above the rest?

Stephen Sachs: I prefer working with actors I already know and trust. Jason was new to me; I had never seen him before. But, when Jason auditioned, there was no question in my mind that he was my Asher. He naturally had everything I was looking for: the right look, the intelligence, humor, charm, the ability to hold the stage as a storyteller, and the complexity and emotional depth as an actor Anna and Joel are both actors I’ve known and respected for years, although this is the first project we’ve actually worked on together. Anna has a remarkable authenticity as an actress; her river runs deep. Joel has tremendous versatility and a fierce dedication mixed with a delicious sense of humor. Together, the three of them blend marvelously and have developed into an extraordinary, seamless ensemble.


Renisha Marie: What do you love about your  work?

Stephen  Sachs: What I love most about theatre is when I see how the work we create changes lives. The moments of artistic expression that have given me the most satisfaction are the ones when I see audiences profoundly moved — and somehow changed — by what we’ve just experienced together. It’s hard to pinpoint but you know it, you feel it, when it happens.

A connection happens between the actors on stage and the people in the audience, and between audience members themselves, when we all share in this deeply human experience and are somehow lifted and exalted by it. Moments like that make everything else worthwhile.

If you have a passion of any kind, then ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’ is the play for

the mindset that has served me best is when I trust my own artistic instincts and follow my… Click To Tweet

Stephen Sachs Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Sachs

Fountain Theatre Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/TheFountainTheatre

Fountain Theatre website: https://www.fountaintheatre.com/

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Quick Takes: PRINCE/FOUNTAIN THEATRE/CARLEASE BURKE/ENCHANT TV

Photo Credit:Google Images

PRINCE: The esteemed entertainment portal Shadow and Act follows up on an initial post by Screen Daily that a second Prince documentary, titled Prince: Pop Life, impends.  This documentary is said to feature exclusive footage and other extras. We’ll keep our eyes open for it as there isn’t a release date announced presently. More information: http://shadowandact.com/2017/02/09/a-second-prince-documentary-bio-is-in-the-works-promising-a-comprehensive-work-with-lots-of-exclusive-footage/

Photo Credit: The Fountain Theatre

FOUNTAIN THEATRE: Hollywood’s acclaimed Fountain Theatre, intimate theatre at its best, ends its run of writer/director Stephen Sachs’ wonderful globetrotting smash, Bakersfield Mist, on February 26. The production stars Jenny O’Hara and Nick Ullett reprising the roles they created with the show’s premiere at the Fountain in 2011. OnStageLosAngeles.com called it, “A brilliant new play.” Information and tickets: 323-663-1525 and http://www.fountaintheatre.com/event/bakersfield-mist-2016/

 

Photo Credit: Compersion/EnchantTV

ENCHANT TV: Award-winning filmmaker Jackie J. Stone launched Enchant TV in May 2016 with a commitment to ‘original programming with a kick.’ The launch of its topical and trending Compersion series met with critical excitement. Now preparing for season two, the production reopened its quest for crowdfunding with a direct appeal on its web site. View the gallery for Season One at: http://www.enchant.tv/new-gallery

Photo Credit: Google Images

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS: HBO has set an April 22, 2017 release date for this film adaptation of the biography and medical practice history by Rebecca Skloot. “Doctors took her cells without asking. Those cells never died. They launched a medical revolution and a multimillion-dollar industry. More than twenty years later, her children found out. Their lives would never be the same.” (from the book cover) Truth is more intriguing than fiction. Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne star. More: http://www.hbo.com/movies/the-immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks

Photo Credit: Zimbo.com

CARLEASE BURKE: One of our favorite celebrities, the producer/director/actor/comedian Carlease Burke, is selling her Long Beach, California condominium “to help raise funds to care for a loved one.” We didn’t ask for details; we know Carlease and the hugeness of her heart, so here is some of what she wrote:

If you are looking for a charming spot near the ocean as your personal residence, an office or a relaxing getaway make an appointment to see it as soon as possible. You could also purchase it as an investment property since it comes with a bonus tenant! The current resident has rented from me for three years, pays his rent before it’s due and has never had a complaint.

We’ve got offers on the table so don’t hesitate if you want a piece of the action. Property is shown by appointment only.

Call Marilyn Jefreys at (949) 887-3454 to set up a time.

Click the following link to view the Listing:  http://www.carleaseburke.com/laugh-a-latte.htm

Written by: Käto Cooks, RM Entertainment Senior Editor

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