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Theater and Dance

18 Mar 2013
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In Sacramento, Beauty and the Beast was a hit—especially the strapping young man who plays Gaston. “Under the direction of Rob Roth, (Joe) Hager steals the show as the larger-than-life Gaston, always preening and flexing his muscles,” wrote Saunthy Nicolson-Singh in the Marysville Appeal-Democrat. “The town’s womenfolk follow him around, pumping up his already inflated ego. You want to hate him, but his affectations reminiscent of Steve Martin and Jim Carrey are hilarious.” Following that March 6-17 Sacramento run—as well as a two-day stop in San Luis Obispo—Hager and his Beauty and the Beast cast mates will stop at the McCallum Theatre for five shows this weekend (March 22-24). The Independent spoke to Hager in the midst of the show’s Sacramento stop, and he said the cast was enjoying the ability to settle down a little bit following a stretch that saw them in 17 cities within 20 days. “My…
15 Feb 2013
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Being a brand-new startup sometimes has its advantages. Just ask the folks at the Desert Rose Playhouse. The next play on the boards for the LGBT and gay-friendly company—British playwright Joe Orton’s controversial (during its debut in 1964, at least) Entertaining Mr. Sloane—was originally slated to open this week. But the play wasn’t quite ready, so artistic director Jim Strait and managing director Paul Taylor decided to push the opening back a week. Then came a last-minute casting change, so Strait and Taylor decided to delay the opening yet another week: The show is now scheduled to debut on Friday, March 1. “We’re determined not to put up a show unless it’s up to a certain standard,” Strait says. Of course, an established company could never do what the Desert Rose has done—at least not without upsetting season-ticket holders and sponsors. “We have no subscribers,” Strait says. “So our schedule…
23 Jan 2013
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For the Coachella Valley Repertory theater company, this season is all about tolerance. “We live in a society that isn’t tolerant,” says Ron Celona, the CV Rep artistic director and the director of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, which opens Wednesday, Jan. 22, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 10. That intolerance (undeniably a bad thing), combined with the increasing diversity in our not-so-little-anymore community (undeniably a good thing), led CV Rep to make tolerance the theme for the three adult plays (plus one children’s show) the company is presenting this season. And how does Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks—a comedy by Richard Alfieri focusing on the widow of Southern Baptist minister and her gay dance teacher—fit into that theme? “It brings up issues in the community that need to be addressed,” Celona says. “(The play) sort of pushes the tolerance of both of the characters.” The woman, Lily…

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