Behind the Curtain

Official Blog of International City Theatre

Spend Your Valentine’s Day with Cole Porter

February 11th, 2014

Let's Misbehave

Jennifer Shelton, Lindsey Alley, Marc Ginsburg & Brian Baker
Photo Credit: Suzanne Mapes

It’s that time of year again for all those hopeless romantics to indulge their loved ones with flowers, chocolates and fancy dinners. Thankfully, International City Theatre’s new musical Let’s Misbehave is running and it has something going for it that no expensive dinner does. That something is Cole Porter.

Let’s Misbehave is a critically acclaimed new musical featuring the music of Porter – an American composer who wrote some of the most recognized love songs ever penned. Go online and listen to “Night and Day,” “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love),” and “You’d be so Nice to Come Home to” and you will quickly see why many of Porter’s songs are chosen for a wedding couple’s first dance. In addition to seeing this beautifully romantic show, you will also receive personalized seating in the theatre, a rose and chocolates for your loved one.

Let’s Misbehave features over 30 Cole Porter songs: “Anything Goes,” “De-Lovely,” “Friendship,” “I Get a Kick Out of You” and more. Late one night three single friends make a pact to fall in love by the Fourth of July. Soon it becomes clear that the two lovely ladies have each set their heart on the same leading man.

At this point you are probably wondering how expensive such a lovely evening would cost you, right? The answer is just $96. Let Mr. Porter help you make your loved one feel special this Valentine’s Day. No one knows better than him.

The Valentine’s Day package is available only on February 14. To purchase, use code CUPID when buying over the phone or online. Let’s Misbehave runs through February 16. All performances are held at International City Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

Meet the Cast of Let’s Misbehave

December 12th, 2013

Let's Misbehave Cast

As they prepare for their upcoming 29th season in 2014, International City Theatre is very happy to announce the cast of their season opener – Let’s Misbehave. This California premiere of a new book musical featuring the music of Cole Porter has a seasoned cast that will be lighting up the stage during the show’s four-week run.

Playing Dorothy will be the very talented Lindsey Alley. Many people will remember Lindsey from her years acting alongside Brittney Spears and Ryan Gosling on The Mickey Mouse Club TV show. She has since gone on to co-star on How I Met Your Mother as well as on Broadway in Hollywood Arms. Marc Ginsburg will play Walter, and he is more than up to the task. He was a part of the national tour of Oliver! and just starred as Artie Green in Musical Theatre West’s Sunset Boulevard. ICT veteran Jennifer Shelton completes the cast as Alice. She was part of the first national tour of Ragtime, and most recently starred at ICT in Master Class. These true triple threats will have no problem entertaining audiences.

Let’s Misbehave features the classic songs of song master extraordinaire Cole Porter. This elegant production features over 30 Cole Porter songs: Anything Goes, De-Lovely, Friendship, I Get a Kick Out of You, Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love), and the title song. Late one night in the glamorous 1930′s, three single friends make a pact to fall in love by the Fourth of July. Soon it becomes clear that the two lovely ladies have each set their heart on the same leading man.

Let’s Misbehave runs January 22 – February 16. All performances are held at International City Theatre at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. For tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

A Free Play for Families!

October 23rd, 2013

nicetrunk

In an effort to introduce children to the incredible world of theatre, International City Theatre is proud to announce their next Free Saturday Family Theatre Series performance! For those unfamiliar with this outreach program (ICT conducts six outreach programs in addition to their main stage productions), it is an opportunity for children to experience the magic of the performing arts for free. Everyone is welcome – bring your kids, bring your neighbors, bring your neighbors’ kids!

In theme with the holiday season, this upcoming production will focus on scary stories. The free performance of We Tell Scary Stories will take place Saturday, November 2, at 11 a.m., and will be presented by We Tell Stories.

This program of scary stories is taken from classic literature and cultural folktales for the Autumn season.  With an odd trunk full of costumes and props, these stories are more fun than spooky and involve the WE TELL STORIES trademark style with plenty of audience participation.

The performance will not exceed one hour in duration. While attendance is free, reservations should be made through ICT. Space is limited. Parking in adjacent city-owned parking structure is $10.

International City Theatre believes in the power of theatre and its ability to educate and entertain while creating a sense of community and fostering understanding. Introduce your children to the exciting world of theatre and enjoy a day at ICT!  This production is made possible in part by the generous support of the Josephine Gumbiner Foundation.

To make your reservation, please call Amanda at 562.495.4595, ext. 10 or email her at ict@ictlongbeach.org. Visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org for more information.

HS Students Can Come to ICT For Free

October 2nd, 2013

DontDressCast

International City Theatre (ICT) is working to cultivate the next generation of theatregoers. At a time where arts education is slashed and fewer youth are being introduced to professional theatre, ICT has been offering high school students free admission to two preview performances of every 2013 production.  Next up is the hilarious “Don’t Dress For Dinner,” by Marc Camoletti, best known for writing the staged classic “Boeing-Boeing.”

ICT understands a well-rounded education includes an appreciation and understanding of the arts. Arts education fosters creativity and creativity fuels the development of not only future artists, but future researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors as well.

Special performances of “Don’t Dress For Dinner” for high school students are on Wednesday, October 9, and Thursday, October 10, at 8:00 PM at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.

In “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” Bernard’s rendezvous with his Parisian mistress includes a gourmet caterer with an alibi courtesy of his friend, Robert. But when Bernard’s wife learns that Robert will be visiting for the weekend, she stays in town for a surprise tryst of her own … setting the stage for a collision course of mistaken identities and outrageous infidelities, with more twists than a corkscrew.  Everyone is guaranteed a good time at this hilarious romp through the French countryside.

This is a chance for teenagers to see a professional, Broadway-quality play for free.  Parents or chaperones may pay $15 (regular price is $29) to attend with their child.

If you are a high school student and want to attend on October 9 or 10, reservations are required. To RSVP, please contact Erik Garcia at either 562.495.4595, x13, or erik@ictlongbeach.org.

“Don’t Dress For Dinner” runs October 9 through November 3. To purchase tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

John Logan: Oscar-Nominated and Tony-winning Playwright’s of RED

August 28th, 2013

John Logan

Credit: Deadline.com

Could one small thing inspire your entire future? For writer John Logan, playwright for International City Theatre’s upcoming production of the Tony-winning Best Play Red, reading Shakespeare with his father while confined indoors as an asthmatic child stimulated his love of theater and his passion as a writer.

Equally as adept writing for stage or screen, Logan is a three-time Academy Award nominee for his screenplays “Hugo,” “Gladiator,” and “The Aviator.”  He is a Golden Globe Award winner for “Sweeney Todd.”  Screenwriter of the most recent James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” Logan is set to write the next two Bond movies.

On the stage, Logan premiered two plays in 2013 alone. Peter and Alice, starred Judi Dench and is based on the meeting of the real-life inspirations for Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.  On Broadway, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers starred Bette Midler as the notoriously larger-than-life Hollywood agent of the stars.

Red, winner of six Tony Awards including Best Play, is based on real-life abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko.  Set in the 1950s, the play is a riveting exploration of the creative process.  Rothko is working on his biggest commission, murals for the Four Seasons restaurant.  As the actors paint live onstage, his new assistant challenges Rothko as he grapples with fame and fortune versus artistic expression and integrity.

Logan himself has conceded the connection between Rothko, the artist in Red, and himself, a playwright in Hollywood.  As quoted in the Chicago Tribune, “You might say,” Logan allows, “that the demons in the play are my own.”

International City Theater invites you to experience John Logan’s Red.  Performances run August 21 to September 15 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, home to ICT.  For tickets, please visit InternationalCityTheatre.org or call (562) 436-4610.

Rothko – The Subject Of & Inspiration for Red

July 25th, 2013

Credit: New York Observer

Credit: New York Observer

ICT patrons have known for a year now that we are producing the 2010 Tony Winner for Best Play, Red, by John Logan. Some know it is about Mark Rothko. Mr. Rothko has had quite a cultural impact in our country and abroad.

Born Marcus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz in 1903 in the Russian Empire (now Latvia), he emigrated to America in 1913 with his family to escape being drafted into the Imperial Russian Army and anti-Semitism. He grew up in Oregon and then attended Yale University on scholarship. He dropped out after his sophomore year and moved to New York.

Upon visiting a friend at an art school, his love for art began to foster and he began to take classes at various art schools in the city. After being part of numerous art shows in the city, his reputation began to grow and he was able to live off the sales of his paintings.

“Orange, Red, Yellow” by Mark Rothko Credit: Artsfanatic.com

Characterized as an abstract expressionist (a label he hated), his work was inspired by WWII and Nietzsche and could be identified by large rectangular fields of color. His rise in prominence lead to what is the source of the plot for Red, a commission by beverage company Joseph Seagram & Sons to create paintings for their Four Seasons restaurant in their newly designed office building. As a passionate artist, he justifies this huge commission but is later torn between commercialism vs. art (This is where the play Red begins.)

These works, known as the Seagram Murals, now hang in three places: London’s Tate Museum, Japan’s Kawamura Memorial Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Struggling with failing health and depression, Rothko committed suicide in 1970 the same day his Seagram Murals paintings arrived in London at the Tate Museum.

His popularity and influence have skyrocketed since his passing. A book published in 1998 cataloged all 838 of his paintings. His work has broken the record three times for nominal-value of a post-war painting at a public auction, capped in 2012 for Orange, Red, Yellow, which sold for $86.9 million.

Mark Rothko once said this of art, “A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky and unfeeling act to send it out into the world.”

We are Giving Back to Military Families in Celebration of Memorial Day

May 22nd, 2013

Credit: weheartit.com

Credit: weheartit.com

In celebration of Memorial Day and in tribute to all who have given much to protect our country, International City Theatre is taking a positive step to help. ICT will donate $5 dollars from every ticket sold to its upcoming award-winning play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” to the Long Beach VA Fisher House – a charity that provides free accommodations for families to support military patients in hospitals.

The details are simple. Simply use the code FAMILY13 when purchasing tickets, and ICT will make a $5 donation to the Long Beach VA Fisher House, and ICT will take an additional $5 off each ticket you purchase. For those interested in supporting the families of these brave servicemen and women, the campaign will run until Tuesday, May 28, at 6 PM. Not only will you get to support an organization providing needed assistance to our military, but you will also save money and get to see the quirky comedy Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl.

The play starts like this:  An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet cafe. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. It is the outlandish comic odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

Memorial Day is our chance to give thanks and acknowledge the many sacrifices of our military families.  In the process, you receive the added bonus of seeing great theatre at a reduced price.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs June 5 – 30. To purchase tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

Genius Playwright’s Work Comes to ICT

May 14th, 2013

Credit: MacArthur Foundation

Credit: MacArthur Foundation

The term genius gets tossed around more than it probably should, but that doesn’t detract from the value of the word. International City Theatre’s upcoming production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone is written by Sarah Ruhl, a playwright many consider a genius.

A graduate of Brown University’s graduate playwriting program, it is safe to say that Ruhl began her career firing out of the gate. Her poetic use of language brought her an immediate legion of fans. Two plays have been Pulitzer Prize finalists – The Clean House (produced at ICT in 2010) and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play). The latter was her Broadway debut and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. It should also be mentioned that Ruhl has accomplished all this by the age of 38.

Her achievements in the theatre led to a MacArthur “Genius” Grant after only five years as a professional playwright. The announcement from the fellowship stated the following acknowledgement for her award: “…vivid and adventurous theatrical works that poignantly juxtapose the mundane aspects of daily life with mythic themes of love and war.” This can be seen in Dead Man’s Cell Phone.

The play starts like this:  An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet cafe. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. It is the outlandish comic odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

If you want to see the work of a living genius, head on over to ICT.  This quirky comedy fits the bill.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs June 5 – 30. To purchase tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

High School Students Can See ICT plays for FREE

May 6th, 2013

DeadManRecConnectionWe are working to cultivate the next generation of theatregoers. At a time where arts education is slashed and fewer youth are being introduced to professional theatre, we are offering high school students free admission to two preview performances of every 2013 production.  Next up is the Helen Hayes Best New Play winner, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient Sarah Ruhl.

We understand that a well-rounded education includes an appreciation and understanding of the arts. Arts education fosters creativity and creativity fuels the development of not only future artists, but future researchers, scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors.

Special performances of Dead Man’s Cell Phone for high school students are on Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, at 8:00 PM at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd.

The play begins with an incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet cafe. A stranger at the next table has had enough. And a dead man who has a lot of loose ends. It is the outlandish odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

This is a chance for teenagers to see a professional, Broadway-quality play for free.  It is a chance for parents to expose their children to an academic field that is not given enough attention in school.

If you are a high school student and want to attend on June 5 or 6, reservations are required. To RSVP, please contact Erik Garcia at either 562.495.4595, x13, or erik@ictlongbeach.org.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs June 5 through June 30. To purchase tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

Meet the Cast of Dead Man’s Cell Phone

April 24th, 2013

DeadManRecConnection

Dead Man’s Cell Phone

Premise: A lonely woman is forced to confront her assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world as she steps into the life of a dead man by taking his cell phone calls. What starts as a moment of frustration quickly turns into a bond of curious loyalty when Jean finds herself caught in the middle of another’s man tangled web of relationships and family. Acting as his mouthpiece, Jean soon discovers different types of connections that go beyond the physical, tapping into the psychological, the emotional and even…the afterlife.

Cast: A talented collection of individuals that can be both humorous yet genuine, quirky but believable.

Under the steady direction of award-winning director Richard Israel, ICT is happy to announce the cast of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, the Helen Hayes winner for Best New Play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and MacArthur “Genius” grant recipient Sarah Ruhl.

The ICT production stars Alina Phelan as Jean. She previously appeared here in All in the Timing.  She has also won a Garland Award winner for her portrayal of Hamlet in Hamlet: The First Quarto at Theatre of Note. Joining her will be Trent Dawson, who will play both Gordon and Dwight. His resume included appearing on Broadway in The Herbal Bed,  and Off Broadway in Macbeth and Brothers in Crime. He also earned three Emmy Nominations for his role as Henry Coleman on As the World Turns.

Susan Diol, who will play the role of Hermia, has been seen in You Never Can Tell at Circle in the Square with Uta Hagan and Victor Garber and Opera Comique at the Kennedy Center with Eli Wallach.  Heather Roberts will play The Other Woman. Her past credits include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Ark Theatre and Twelfth Night at A Noise Within. Rounding out this fine cast is  Eileen T-Kaye. She has previously been seen at ICT in Death Defying Acts, Black Comedy, On the Twentieth Century, Cabaret and The Threepenny Opera; and was acted at the Geffen in Coney Island Christmas.

The title alone is reason enough to come see this play. If you need other reasons, simply scroll up to see the talent that is about to bring to life this incredible story. That should do it for you!

For tickets to see Dead Man’s Cell Phone at International City Theatre, please call 562-436-4610 or visit www.InternationalCityTheatre.org.

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