Profiles

Opening the Dialog for Women in Theater

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Summer 2015 was the genesis of a thought: Write about powerful women in Los Angeles Theater. Focus upon a more cohesive picture of theater culture. Open up a dialog about what the landscape really looked like for women. And discuss their integration in the performing arts. There was this temptation of course to be the underdog. In the last year alone, I’ve read article after ...

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L.A.’s Latino Theater Company Evolves the Narrative

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José Luis Valenzuela and Evelina Fernández are an all-in-one husband and wife theatrical team.  José Luis Valenzuela is The Latino Theater Company Artistic Director and the head of the UCLA MFA Director Program.  Evelina Fernández is writer of The Mexican Trilogy which opens this month with José directing.  The pair recently sat down with me to discuss the evolving role of theater in Los Angeles: ...

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Wendy Worthington’s Tour de Force

Wendy Worthington landscape wicked Madam Morrible

Wendy Worthington is an actor, producer, and founding member of Neo Ensemble Theatre.  She joined Actors’ Equity Association only a few years ago.  Her motivation was to throw in with fellow Los Angeles actors protesting their union’s termination of the 99-Seat Plan – the vehicle which has fostered the development of intimate theater throughout Los Angeles.  Says Wendy: “I had come to Los Angeles to ...

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Garry Marshall – Cultural Titan and Family Man

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If you are of a certain age, your cultural life was dominated by Garry Marshall’s touch.  The Odd Couple. Happy Days. Laverne & Shirley. Mork & Mindy. Pretty Woman. The Princess Diaries.  He helped Ron Howard get cast in his first film (George Lucas’ American Graffiti) and directed Jackie Gleason in his last (Nothing in Common  with Tom Hanks). And these are just a few ...

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This Is a True L.A. Story: ‘Recorded In Hollywood’

footlights recorded in hollywood musicals

Dolphin’s of Hollywood was not just a record store with a DJ or an iconic music gathering place for rebellious teens during a time of segregation in Los Angeles. For many people who traveled to the original Central Avenue shop, sometimes even secretly, it was a home. Legendary owner and music producer John Dolphin opened his doors to all ethnicities. By doing so he opened ...

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Ben Hill’s Hollywood Fringe – Part II

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Last month, Hollywood Fringe Festival founder and director, Ben Hill, spoke with FootLights  about the 2016 Summer lineup and the general direction of the festival going forward. Fringe has uniquely positioned itself as a front-runner in the U.S. festival scene, successfully promoting local Los Angeles talent as well as attracting shows from other cities across the country including New York. So it occurred to me ...

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Ben Hill’s Hollywood Fringe: Part I

footlights ben hill hollywood fringe festival

The 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival has been gearing up for months with a constant stream of excitement and information appearing on Facebook and Twitter, where local participants are already posting notices of their shows.  I caught up with Festival founder and director Ben Hill in a semi-calm-before-the-storm call to find out, “what’s new”. Radical change has happened on Hollywood Row with Sacred Fools taking over ...

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New Fools On The Block

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“I must learn to love the fool in me – the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.” ~Theodore Isaac Rubin The survival of Los Angeles Theatre on Hollywood Row may not rest solely in the hands of one ...

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Steve Julian – A Voice in the City of Angels

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Sometimes you can be a strong presence without being a physical presence. If you lived in Los Angeles in the past 15 years, it’s likely you’re familiar with Steve Julian’s voice.  I can’t remember a time when I was in my car in the morning when he wasn’t there with me.  He was the morning man for NPR station KPCC, the station’s call letters alluding ...

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Orson Bean: ‘The Most Lucky Fella’

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Just ask yourself every morning when you wake up, ‘Are you or are you not the luckiest son of a bitch you know?’ It’s funny.  Here I was scheduled to meet with cultural icon Orson Bean minutes post a Sunday afternoon performance of his solo show, Safe at Home: An Evening with Orson Bean, at the Pacific Resident Theatre and the one thought that crammed ...

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