Bring it On The Musical

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor

I’ve had the good fortune of enjoy two good theatrical productions, ‘Bring It On” at the Ahmanson and “Run For Your Wife” at the Clyde Porter West Valley Playhouse.

BRING IT ON

You still have time for you and your family to spend an evening enjoying the singing, dancing and, above all, those cheerleading stunts that encompass this outstanding musical. It’s an outstanding show that your tweens and teens will truly enjoy and perhaps relate to some of the characters. Most of all, it’s the flips and stunts that the dancers and cheerleaders perform in this story — of two cheerleading squads from two very different schools who both want to claim title at the National Cheerleading Championships — that you and your family will find so amazing. You’ll also find the politics, friendships, and romances (some of which most of us adults would just as soon forget some and others we remember fondly) of high school.

Bring it On The Musical
Bring it On The Musical

“Bring It On” brings together Tony Awardwinning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q); Tony Awardwinning composer Lin- Manuel Miranda (In the Heights); Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal); lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity); Tony Award Winner orchestrator Alex Lacamoire (Wicked) and Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights). Director/choreographer Blankenbuehler has put together some gravity- -defying choreography with the co-operation and assistance of Varsity, the organization that oversees the Universal Cheerleaders Association as well as Jessica Colombo, Collegiate National Cheerleading Champion. Their combined efforts brought roars of approval from the audience during the entire performance.

The cast features both professional singers and dancers and 12 championship level cheerleaders who handle the most dazzling stunts for each school. Taylor Louderman stars as Campbell, a student at an affluent school and the captain of the cheerleading squad, who finds that due to a redistricting of boundary lines, she must now attend a not-so-affluent urban school. Adrienne Warren starts as Danielle, who at first rebuffs Campbell’s attempts to start a cheerleading squad at her new school, but then becomes a more than willing participant. Gregory Henry is hilarious as a crossdressing La Cienega. As Bridget, who also has to transfer to the new school, Ryann Redmond stands out as the “too-fat” girl who, at the affluent school consistently tried out for the cheerleading squad but was consistently rebuffed. Yet, at her new school, she is readily accepted by her new classmates. There are laughs galore! The songs, the dancing, and above all those flips and those falls from unbelievable heights, which cause gasps and thunderous applause for the cast. Do hurry on down to the Ahmanson as “Bring It On” closes Friday, December 10th. To obtain tickets, call (877) 870-3674, visit the box office at 135 North Grand, Los Angeles CA 90012, or go to AhmansonTheaterTickets. com.

RUN FOR YOUR WIFE

It’s one laugh after another at “Run For Your Wife,” which is appearing at the Clyde Porter West Valley Playhouse in Canoga Park. Set in a London apartment, this British farce is the story of a taxi cab driver who has gotten away with having two wives in different areas of London. However, due to a good deed, this lifestyle has become quite complicated, and it’s uproarious as he tries to keep his double life from exploding. The one set is the living room of each apartment — two identical sofas, chairs, lamps and telephones. What distinguishes one flat from each other is that the walls are different colors: one blue, one yellow.

What adds to the humor are the different entrances and exits, as the cast moves from household to household. It’s just outstanding. Jon Berry directed the Ray Coney play, which stars Keith Moreton as the hassled cabbie John Smith; Georgan George and Natalie Lynch as the two wives The cast also features Alan Wasserman, Alexander Loy and Quinn Gonzales, alternating in the role of neighbor Bobby Frenkyn, Daniel Krause, Kevin Olsen and Jim Follet. Occasionally one of the cast would lose their British accent but, to this reviewer, it didn’t detract from the hilarity of the play. You’re in for a great evening. “Run For Your Wife” will be playing at the West Valley Playhouse until December 18, 2011. Performance Schedule: Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8:00 p.,m., Sunday 2:30 pm. Ticket prices are $25; seniors and students $23. Group discounts are available. The West Valley Playhouse is located at 7242 Owensmouth in Canoga Park. For tickets call (818) 884-1907.

FOR CHILDREN ONLY

The West Valley Playhouse, along with co-directors Aileen-Marie Scott and Noelle Locke, present “The Elves and the Shoemaker” on Saturday December 10 and December 17 at 10:00 am and at 1:00 pm. A special performance will be held December 24 at 10:00 am with a surprise visit from a very, very special guest. The West Valley Playhouse is also hosting special weekday matinees for school groups on Wednesday December 7 and December 14 at 10:00 am. It is ideal for children ages 3-11 years. Tickets $8 for children; $12 adults. For ticket information call (818) 884-1907.

HOLIDAY MUSIC AT THE WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

There will be a series of special holiday concerts at the Walt Disney Concert Hall that you and your friends don’t want to miss. On Tuesday to Wednesday December 13-14 at 8:00 pm, you are invited to experience the glory of Handel’s Messiah. Nicholas McGegan will lead the Philharmonia Baroque as they perform Handel’s work on period instruments. On Thursday December 15 at 8:00 pm, the Chanticleer, an all-male vocal ensemble, will be presenting a fresh take on seasonal classics from serene chants to vibrant spirituals. On Friday, December 16 at 8:00 pm, the majesty of the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ will be heard in a program of devotional and festive holiday music.

On Saturday, December 17 at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm you’re invited to the annual “Holiday Sing-A-Long.” Your whole family will enjoy this. On Monday, December 19 at 8:00 pm will be the sounds of the Klezmatics, the Grammy-winning group who mix Jewish tradition with gospel, jazz, and African, Arab and Balkan rhythms. On Tuesday, December 20 at 8:00 pm, jazz guitarist/ singer John Pizzarelli will join wife actress/ singer Jessica Molaskey for a swinging evening of seasonal favorites and standards. On Tuesday, December 31 at 7:00 pm and 10:30 pm, celebrate the New Year with Pink Martini’s fusion of Brazilian samba, ‘30s Cuban dance and Parisian cafe music. For more information go to laphil.org or call (323) 850- 2500.

By Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

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