Two is the Beginning of the End

peter-panuserpic=dramamasks“All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, “Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!” This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.” — The Adventures of Peter Pan, J. M Barrie.

Growing up is on my mind in many ways. First, my daughter has just completed her first year at UC Berkeley, and is no longer the little girl. My wife is up in Berkeley picking her up and bringing her home. This led directly to the second thing that put growing up on my mind: while they were out I took the chance to go to Hollywood and see the Ovation-recommended play Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers” at the Blank Theatre in Hollywood.

Most people are familiar, yet not familiar, with J. M Barrie‘s Peter PanFirst and foremost, forget the Disney adaptation. I’ve actually never seen it, but I’m pretty sure it was Disney-fied and lost some elements of the story. My familiarity with Pan comes from the 1954 musical with book by J. M. Barrie, and music by Jule Styne, Moose Charlap and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. The story in Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers hewed very close to the story in the 1954 musical (no surprise, as both used Barrie’s book as the basis) — in face, there were points where Michael Lluberes‘s script almost seemed word for word with the older musical (this was especially true in the opening nursery scenes). But there were also some significant differences — the major one being the catalyst in the story. In both the Disney version and the 1954 musical, there were three children who go off with Peter: Wendy, Michael, and John. In this version, there is only Wendy and John; Michael had died some unspecified time earlier at an ambigous age (the script makes you think 5-6, the props make you think it was while he was an infant). Michael’s death is the reason for discussing Peter Pan: Does Peter take the souls of children who die too early? Is he a real boy?  Is he a boy lost in childhood? It is never made clear.

This Peter Pan, unlike many of the other versions (and I’m intentionally ignoring the prequel Peter and the Starcatchers and the sequel Hook), is a drama and is not played either for laughs or for the children. That’s not to say there isn’t humor in the piece; rather, it means level of the story is not simplified for children. Peter is petty and mean; he is an immature little boy thinking only of himself. Whereas the musical and the Disney version leave one with the message that one grows up only if one wants to, and that you need to embrace the child in you… this play leaves a very different message indeed. This is where the subtitle of the play comes in.

This play is titled Peter Pan: The Boy who Hated Mothers. The subtitle is important. One might ask: why, if Peter hated mothers, did he go to the effort to bring Wendy back as a mother for himself and the lost boys? Why does the period in Neverland revolve around the presence of Wendy as the mother… even to the point of where Capt. Hook (who is the reflection of the grown Peter) talks about the importance of the mother and as the mother as Peter’s weakness? The answer is that Peter’s relationship with mothers was that of wanting one, but of making choices that always seemed centered around himself and hurting mothers. This becomes especially poignant at the end of the play. We all remember how the musical ends: Peter comes back annually to Wendy to bring her back to Neverland for a week in the Spring; as Wendy grows up he does the same thing with Wendy’s daughter, Jane. In fact, the play ends exactly as the book ends:

“As you look at Wendy, you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter’s mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless.”

The last line of the play mentions how this is heartless — and just think about this: Having someone come in and take your daughter away — every year, unthinkingly — is the act  of someone who doesn’t feel the pain of a mother, and essentially hates them. Peter also takes away from Jane Darling and the children the last physical reminder of Michael — and I’m sure there are some aspects of hatred in that action as well.

The play also has a number of commentaries about growing up. Peter refuses to grow up, even though he is clearly a man in a physical sense (although with a baby’s skin and teeth). I saw this as saying that although Peter may grow up someone physically, he remained mentally and emotionally immature — and there are far too many men today who are the same. All the other “lost boys” eventually found their way to maturity (and Lluberes script actually describes how they matured)… but not Peter. Whereas other versions portray remaining a child as a good thing, this play gives the impression that it is somehow wrong — that remaining immature can hurt the others around you, and in your immaturity you won’t see the pain it causes (for when you are immature, you think only of yourself … in fact, a sign of maturity is starting to think and care about others around you). Wendy, although a little girl, is mature before her age. John is maturing with the help of Wendy. Peter never grows up. It’s not something to crow about.

The play does retain the one thing that always made me uncomfortable: the involvement of the audience in the saving of Tinkerbell after she drinks the poison. This time, it is having the audience shout out their belief in fairies with the lights out, but it is a hook that is also present in the musical version. Perhaps I don’t like it because I’ve never had the imagination to truly believe in fairies (which is why I’ve always been in the role of fan-at-a-distance, not the fanboy fanaticism many get. I’d love to be able to believe in fairies again; alas, I think I’m too grown up.

This version of Peter Pan works especially well because of the excellent direction of Michael Matthews and the excellent performance of the cast. Matthews kept the cast small, forcing most of the background players (the lost boys) to double as pirates and other characters. When combined with the limitations of the black box theatre, this plays up the emphasis of the Neverland side of the piece as being a large effort in Make Believe — pretending many things that are not real are fully real. One comes out asking the question: Was Peter real? A true question for the ages. LA Stage Week has a nice writeup on the genesis of this version.

The cast does an excellent job at making this all become real. In the lead positions are Daniel Shawn Miller as Peter Pan and Liza Burns as Wendy Darling. Miller’s Peter is childish and angry, strong and unthinking, and decidedly not mature. He doesn’t play Pan with the spritish-nature that most of the actresses has given (Peter is traditionally played by a woman); he is that mean little boy who only thought about himself. Still, Miller’s Peter does have his tender side, especially when playing father to the Lost Boys. Burns’ Wendy is much more mature. In fact, you can sense that she wants to do more with Peter and have a deeper (perhaps adult) relationship with him, but he never understands what she is hinting in. A typically clueless man-boy! Wendy’s pretend mother highlights the disciplinary aspects of being a mother, but you can see that underlying love and concern for the Lost Boys. Burns’ portray of Wendy does a great job of bringing out both the mature and the childish, often turning from one to the other on a time (as children growing up will do). At one moment she is playing; at the next, she’s remembering her mother and thinking about the pain she is causing. Contrast this with Peter: he never thinks about the pain he causes — he happily takes actions that hurt adults.

Miller and Burns are supported by an excellent ensemble. As John Darling, Benjamin Campbell mostly blends in with the Lost Boys,but especially in the closing scenes he shines as you can see his maturity beginning. Trisha LaFache doubles as both Mrs. Darling and Capt. Hook. This casting creates a different impression than the traditional approach (which has Wendy’s father doubling for Hook): the notion of a female captain lusting after little boys is very disturbing, especially with some of the implications the script creates. LaFache is versatile as both characters, bringing out both the mother and the devious Captain. The remaining ensemble members double as both Boys and Pirates, as well as other Neverland characters. Amy Lawhorn plays the lost boy Nibbs, the pirate Bill Jukes, as well as Tiger Lily and (essentially). Tinker Bell. Each comes off with a clearly different persona, and you get the sense that Amy is having fun with all the different characters. You see the same thing with Jackson Evans (Tootles/Smee) and David Hemphill (Slightly/Starkey). Evans’ Smee is particularly fun — you can see that he has a very different attitude towards Hook than does any of the crew. All of the actors were just remarkable, and appeared to truly be having fun with their roles. They are also very creative and versatile, switching from character to character with ease.

Technically the production is a very clever hoot. The set design by Mary Hamrick was remarkably clever, making great use of the Blanks’ black box space. She created a raised floor with compartments underneath, simple bedroom furniture that with imagination easily became places on the island or the ship, and wonderful use of flowing silk for water or blood. Her creative approaches to the crocodile were also fun. She was aided in this with the property design of Michael O’Hara. Kellsy Mackilligan‘s costume design was equally clever, creating the run-down clothing of children lost on an island, yet still retaining the echo of Victorian bedclothes. Rebecca Kessin‘s sound design was particularly noteworthy — usually sound design focuses on amplification, but I really noticed Kessin’s design in the sound effects and ambient noise. This was particularly emphasized during the ship scenes where the stereophonic effects and the creaking made my mind think we were actually on a ship. The lighting design by Tim Swiss and Zack Lapinski was also strong — both in the use of overhead lights to create the mood and establish scenes, but even more in the use of floor and prop lighting to create the magic, and the use of lighting to create Tinkerbell in a way I haven’t seen before. Dialect coaching was by Coco Kleppinger and was mostly good, creating the British flavor of the story. However, at one of two points the heavy accent combined with fast narration made it hard to follow the words. Sondra Mayer provided the fight choreography, and it is always fun to see swordplay on stage. The production was stage managed by Rebecca Eisenberg (who also served as assistant director), assisted by Jillian Mayo. It was produced by Noah Wyle, Sarah A. Bauer, Stephen Moffatt, and Matthew Graber; Dawn Davis, Emily Mae Heller (who we know from Temple Beth Torah); Even Martin, and Noelle Toland were associate producers. Daniel Henning is the founding Artistic Director of the blank; Ed Murphy is the Managing Director, and Noah Wyle is the Artistic Producer.

Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers runs through June 2 at The Blank Theatre and is well worth seeing. Tickets are available through the Blank Box office, and may be available through Goldstar.

Seeing this production reminded me of how impressed I am with the productions at the Blank. If the Colony subscription dies (we still don’t know), the Blank is on my short list of places that might replace that subscription (other places include the Falcon Theatre in Burbank or the Odyssey in West LA). However, none of these has the mid-size feel we got with the Colony or its predecessor, the Pasadena Playhouse. I’ve considered the Playhouse if Colony dies, but their season just doesn’t excite me. I am open to suggestions.

Dining Notes: Dining out before the show was at Eat This Cafe, which is across the street from The Blank and part of the building that houses the Hudson Theatre.  It is a simple place, but very good and very nice. If I’m attending theatre at the Hudson (they are soon doing Rent, which is a possibility), the Blank, or any of the theatres nearby on Santa Monica, I will be back to Eat This.

Upcoming Theatre and Concerts:   Sunday brings “Falling for Make Believe” at The Colony Theatre. The last weekend of May brings “To Kill a Mockingbird” at REP East and The Scottsboro Boys” at the Ahmanson Theatre. June brings “Priscilla – Queen of the Desert” at the Pantages, and (tentative) Sweet Charity at DOMA (although DOMA may be replacing it with “Nine“). June will also bring a Maria Muldaur concert at McCabes.  I’m also considering Rent at the Hudson Theatres or A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum at the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks. July is currently more open, with “9 to 5 – The Musical” at REP East in the middle of the month, and “Legally Blonde – The Musical” at Cabrillo at the end of the month. August is currently completely open due to vacation planning. I’m also keeping my eyes open as the various theatres start making their 2013 season announcements. Lastly, what few dates we do have open may be filled by productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411, or discussed in the various LA Stage Blogs I read (I particularly recommend Musicals in LA and LA Stage Times).


A Message for Our Times: History Repeats Itself

Problems with unions. Union busting. The power of the privileged class to control the media and the message. These are concerns currently in the news today (cough, Wisconsin, cough), but they are nothing new. Back in 1937 there was a musical called “The Cradle Will Rock” about the subject written by Marc Blitzstein, produced by the Federal Theatre Project. The musical was a Brechtian allegory of corruption and corporate greed. Set in “Steeltown, USA”, it followed the efforts of Larry Foreman to unionize the town’s workers and otherwise combat wicked, greedy businessman Mr. Mister, who controls the town’s factory, press, church, artistic, medical, and educational organizations. It portrays a whole panoply of societal figures: Mr. Mister’s vicious, outwardly genteel philanthropic wife and spoiled children, sell-out artists, poor shopkeepers, immigrant families, a faithless priest, and an endearing prostitute named Moll. The point was demonstrating the power of the union against corporate greed. Timely subject, isn’t it. So, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Blank Theatre produced a revival of its 1994 revival of this musical, which we saw this afternoon at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood.

This musical was very controversial when it first opened. It was directed by Orson Welles, and produced by John Houseman. Originally set to open at the Maxine Elliott Theatre in New York in June 1937 with elaborate sets and a full orchestra, the production was shut down due to political pressure and budget cuts within the Federal Theatre Project. The theatre was padlocked and surrounded by security to prevent anyone from stealing props or costumes, as all of this was considered U. S. Government property and could not be used in a for-profit theaterical production. According to The New York Times, “Within three days their theater the Maxine Elliott…was invaded by a dozen uniformed W.P.A. guards bearing strict orders prohibiting the removal of such Government property as scenery, props and costumes.” after receiving a memo prohibiting the performance of the play. The production was targeted by the government because of its leftist politics. The production was forbidden to be performed onstage, with the government threatening arrest to any actor appearing onstage. On the spur of the moment, Welles, Houseman, and Blitzstein rented the much larger Venice Theatre and a piano, for a performance on June 17, 1937. They planned for Blitzstein to sing/play/read the entire musical to the sold out house which had grown larger by inviting people off the street to attend for free. Cast members sang their lines from the audience, so that they wouldn’t run across union rules for performing from the stage. Just after beginning the first number, Blitzstein was joined by Olive Stanton, the actor playing Moll, from the audience. During the rest of the performance, various actors joined in with Blitzstein and performed the entire musical from the house. Actors sang across the theatre to one another. The success of the performance led Welles and Houseman to form the Mercury Theatre.
*: Historical information and synopsis from Wikipedia

Luckily, today we are free to present works such as this, uncomfortable as their message might be for some. The question of government funding of political art is still a relevant question, so it is worth being reminded that it is nothing new.

So what is “The Cradle Will Rock” about? As noted above, it is an allegory. It opens with Moll, a worker forced into soliciting due to only having work two days out of five. She is arrested and jailed for refusing her services to a police officer loyal to Mr. Mister, the owner of the steel factory — and everything else in town. Members of the Liberty Committee, a group of prominent citizens who oppose the union, are also arrested because a policeman misunderstood his orders from Mr. Mister and thought they were union organizers. At night court, Moll meets Harry Druggist, who is continually arrested for vagrancy after having lost his drugstore because of Mr. Mister. Harry tells Moll that the Liberty Committee are bigger prostitutes than she is; he explains how they, and even he himself, has sold out to Mr. Mister. In a series of flashbacks, we see this happen: Reverend Salvation is convinced by Mrs. Mister to make sermons on World War I that are convenient to the profits of the steel industry, Editor Daily of the Steeltown News runs stories against union organizer Larry Foreman and gives Junior Mister a correspondent’s job in Honolulu. Harry’s son Stevie is killed trying to save Gus Polock, an immigrant steelworker, from a bomb planted by one of Mr. Mister’s henchmen, after Harry had agreed to stay quiet in order to keep his store. More flashbacks show other Liberty Committee members selling out to Mr. Mister. For example, we learn that the painter Dauber and the violinist Yasha work for Mrs. Mister, using their art to support her husband’s ideals. In the present, Larry Foreman is beaten by the police and jailed for “inciting to riot”. He explains the principle behind unions, and says that the time is coming when “the cradle will rock” and overthrow Mr. Mister and others like him. In another flashback, Mr. Mister has President Prexy and other faculty at College University get students to take extra military training to be anti-union thugs. Doctor Specialist, Mr. Mister’s personal doctor as well as the one that treated a worker who died in a machine accident, is threatened with the loss of his chairmanship of the Liberty Committee if he does not report that the worker was drunk. Ella Hammer, the worker’s sister, knows that he was pushed, and angrily confronts the doctor. When Mr. Mister arrives at night court to release the Liberty Committee, he offers Foreman a place on the Committee if he will give up his union activities. Foreman refuses: though a common man, he stands up to the corrupt forces of Mr. Mister. Mr. Mister feels that his monopoly may be slipping away. He confronts Foreman, but as the musical ends the workers are rising up.

The Blank production was excellent, building upon musical direction and staging of the previous award-winning 1994 production… which was easy, as the original director (who is now the Artistic Director of the Blank), Daniel Henning was involved. The cast also included individuals who were involved with the 1994 production, and was uniformly strong. In fact, it was so strong as an ensemble that it is hard to single out individual performances (hmmm, perhaps that’s the strength of a union). So let me at least introduce you to the cast and share some observations.

Tiffany C. Adams (Moll) was the first character we see, and she exhibited just a timeworn character, who was soliciting not because she wanted to, but because she needed the money. She represented the audience: the downtrodden public who didn’t understand why unions were important. Helping to narrate the allegory was Jack Lauferæ (Harry Druggist). Forming the Liberty Committee were Christopher Carrollæ (Reverend Salvation), Rob Roy Cesaræ (Dr. Specialist), Matthew Patrick Davisæ (President Prexy), Jim Holdridge (Yasha), Roland Rusinekæ (Dauber), and David Trice (Editor Daily). All were strong and seemingly slightly crazy, with some exaggerated characteristics fitting the allegory. This made them appear more comical, knocking them down a peg. The Mister family consisted of Peter Van Nordenæ (Mr. Mister), Gigi Berminghamæ (Mrs. Mister), Adam Wylieæ (Junior Mister), and Ashley Adleræ (Sister Mister). Again, all were strong. I particularly enjoyed Van Norden’s portrayal of the capitalist, and Wylie and Adler’s portrayal of the children. Rex Smithæ portrayed Larry Foreman, the union leader, with a clear strength of conviction. Rounding out the ensemble were Matt Wolpeæ (Gus Polack, Gent, Mamie, Reporter), Penelope Yates (Sadie Polack), Will Barker (Cop/Bugs/Trixie), Mikey Hawley (Dick/Stevie/Scoot/Reporter), and Lowe Tayloræ (Ella). I particularly enjoyed Taylor’s singing and the comic portrayal of Walpe, Barker and Hawley as the university professors—especially WIll Barker’s hilarious portrayal of Prof. Trixie!
[æ denotes members of æ Actors Equity ]

Music was provided by David O, who played the piano onstage and introduced scenes.

Technically, the production was very simply designed. The scenic design by Kurt Boetcher was primarily a bare stage with a few props. Most of the scenic design came from the properties by Michael O’Hara and the excellent costumes of Maila Aladdin Sanders. The lighting design by J. C Gafford was equally creative, combining traditional leikos with scrollers (which were a bit noisy)… as well as the stage ghost light, harsh overhead florescents, and bright halogens. As noted earlier, the production was directed by Daniel Henning, assisted by Caitlin Eckstein and Tamara Williams. Irma Alejandra Gomez was stage manager, assisted by Tamara Becker. I’m not listing all of the numerous producers.

The Cradle Will Rock” continues at the Stella Adler Theatre through March 20, although I understand many shows are sold out. Tickets are available through The Blank (use the code ADLER to save $5), and may be available through Goldstar.

Upcoming Theatre, Concerts, and Dance: March 19 brings “Having It All” at the NoHo Arts Center. Lastly, March 26 brings “The Diary of Anne Frank” at Repertory East. April 2 will hopefully bring Glory Days” at the Lillian Theatre (pending ticketing). April 9 will bring the Renaissance Faire. April 16 brings “The Producers” at Cabrillo Music Theatre, with Lust N Rust: The Trailer Park Musical” at the Lyric Theatre on April 17. April 23rd, which is during Pesach, brings the last show of the current Colony season, “The All Night Strut” at the Colony Theatre. The last weekend of April is being held open (i.e., pending ticketing) for Brian Stokes Mitchell at the new Valley Performing Arts Center. May 7 will bring God of Carnage at the Ahmanson Theatre (pending Hottix). The weekend of May 12-14 will bring the “Collabor8 Dance Festival” at Van Nuys High School, which is always excellent. The third weekend in May is currently open, but I expect that to change. The last weekend of May brings Cabaret” at REP East on May 28, and (pending ticketing) Dear World” at the Lyric Theatre. June begins with “Year Zero” at the Colony Theatre on June 5, with the rest of June being lost to Confirmation Services at Temple and a college visit trip (but who knows — we might hit a show in Nashville or St. Louis). Lastly, July should hopefully start with “Les Miserables” at the Ahmanson on July 2 (pending hottix).


Writing a Relationship

This afternoon we went down to Hollywood to see “Setup and Punch” at the Blank Theatre Company. I wasn’t in the greatest of moods going down (more on that in my next post [LJ-Friends-Only, so join LJ]), but I was looking forward to seeing something at a new theatre. The Blank is an interesting theatre: their mainstage focuses entirely on new plays; their artistic producer is Noah Wyle; and they are theatrical West-Coast home of Michael John LaChiusa. They are also the home of the Young Playwrights Festival. I do have to say I was impressed with the quality of today’s production, and I look forward to seeing more of their work.

The name of the play, “Setup and Punch”, refers to how comedy pairs work: one serves to set up the story, and the other delivers the punch line. In this play, our comics are a theatrical ex-couple, Brian (Andrew Leeds) and Vanya (Hedy Burress). The story, which is told in a series of letters and flashbacks, is about their relationship as a music-and-lyrics writing team. This relationship started when they graduated Cornell, and continued through their successful “Fairy Tale Theatre”. They’re last project was for a revue about New York, and it was for this project that they met Jan (P. J. Griffith), the former lead of the Byronics and a sex-god in his own mind. Through these letters, as well as a few songs, we learn how Brian discovered his orientation, and how Vanya uncovered her ambition, and what happened when everything came together with Jan, thanks to a mustard seed planted by Miguel (also P. J. Griffith), a college colleague and a divinity student.

Although billed in a sense as a musical, the musical numbers (music by Berton Averre, lyrics by Rob Meurer) were not really about the characters singing their inner thoughts or advancing the story — rather, they were songs being written by the various songwriting teams. In that sense, they were more of a prop than an integrated part of the story (although the first number, about the couple on the subway, was quite humerous). The story was really about Brian, and to a lesser extent Vanya, and how they grew (and didn’t grow) over the letters. It was quite a joy to watch this growth, and to see the mustard plant grow. But of course, out in Southern California, wild mustard can be a noxious weed, so if you let it grow too much, you have trouble.

The actors in this were a joy to watch: Andrew Leeds had a nerdy playfullness to him that was just fun to watch. Hedy Burress seemed to be a playful emotional bundle, and P. J. Griffith struck me as nothing other than a young Steven Weber. Their enthusiasm combined with the excellent writing by Mark Saltzman, just made this a fun play.
[All actors are members of æ Actors Equity ]

Turning to the technical side: The Blank is a small Equity-Waiver house, so one has to be creative with sets. For “Setup and Punch”, the set by Ian P. Garrett is stacked boxes — some movable — that hint at the New York skyline. Spartan, but it works. The props by Michael O’Hara are equally simple: some laptops, a keyboard, a piano. The costumes by Michael Mullen are suitably playful — especially those for Vanya and Jan. The lighting design by R. Christopher Stokes did an effective job of lighting the space and evoking mood, and made good use of what lighting equipment they had. The sound design by Warren Davis was unnoticable, which is a good thing in a sound design (I don’t believe the actors were amplified). The production was directed by Daniel Henning, who is also the Artistic Director of the Blank Theatre Company, assisted by June Carryl. Ilona Pacek was Stage Manager, assisted by Brenda Goldstein. The production was produced by Henning, Michelle Lander, Stacy Reed, and Noah Wyle; June Carryl, Daniel C. Garcia, and Stephen Moffatt were associate producers.

Setup and Punch” continues at the Blank Theatre Company through June 21; it is unknown if it will extend. Discount tickets may be available through LA Stage Tix and Goldstar.

Dining Notes: Grabbing a quick lunch before the show we hit Astro Burger at Melrose and Gower. Quite good, and quite fast — we’ll have to remember that the next time we go to the Blank Theatre Company or West Coast Ensemble. While at The Blank, we picked up a flyer for Lucifers Gourmet Pizza in Los Feliz. We’ll have to try them — they have Gluten-Free crusts, and quite a few interesting toppings.

Upcoming Theatre: So far, we have no theatre the weekend of June 6: I’ve been interested in “Breaking the Code” at The Production Company in North Hollywood (5/15-6/20/09), but they only seem to put up 2 tickets on LAStageTix, and they don’t have anything on Goldstar. The weekend after that is Fathers Day, and nothing is currently scheduled. June 20 @ 8pm is “The Little Foxes” at The Pasadena Playhouse. Lastly, July 11 will bring “Fat Pig” at Repertory East Playhouse. Other shows pending scheduling and ticketing include “Spamalot” at the Ahmanson (7/7-9/6/09), the “Guys and Dolls” concert at the Hollywood Bowl (7/31-8/2/09), and Liza Minelli at the Hollywood Bowl (8/28-8/29/09). Also of potential interest are: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Neighborhood Playhouse (Venue Goldstar) (7/9-7/26/09); and “The Apple Tree” at Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood (6/5-6/28/09) (LAStageTix). I’m also always looking for interesting productions on Goldstar and LA Stage Tix.