By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor
Want a fun evening for you and your family? Then, head over to the historic Pantages Theatre in Hollywood to see the Smash Hit Musical based on the songs of ABBA, MAMMA MIA! Leading the cast of 30 is Kaye Tuckerman as Donna Sheridan, the independent single mother whose daughter, Sophie Sheridan (Chloe Tucker) has invited three men who could possibly be her father to her wedding to Sky (Happy Mahaney). Also invited are Donna’s best friends and former back-up band Rosie and Tanya (May Callanan and Alison Ewing). The three men from Donna’s past and Sophie’s possible dads are Christian Wheelan (Sam Charmichael), John-Michael Zuerlein (Bill Austin) and Paul de Boy (Harry Bright). The cast also includes Stephanie Barnum (Ali), Elean Marisa Flores (Lisa), Ethan Le Phong (Pepper) and James Michael Lambert (Eddie).
The MAMMA MIA!’’s ensemble features (in alphabetical order) Jeff Applegate, Justin Berkobien, Julius Chase, Jeff Diebold, Eileen Faxas, Thomasina E. Gross, Alyuson Lange, Marlene Martinez, Brian Ray Norris, Elana Ricardo, Christopher Sergeeff, Jennifer Swiderski, Travis Taber and Michelle Weissgerber. I was present opening night and found that these numbers were exceptionally good were “Money, Money, Money” sung by Donna, Tanya, Rosie, Sky, Sophie and Company, “ Dancing Queen,” sung by Tanya, Rosie and Donna, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Sung by Sophie, Ali, Lisa and Company, the hilarious “Take a Chance on Me” sung by Rosie and Bill and the encore numbers “Mamma Mia”, “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo.” Performance Schedule: Tuesday through Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm & 8 pm, Sunday at 1 pm & 6:30 pm. Running time is 2 hours and 40 minutes including intermission. Orchestra Level tickets start at just $25. For tickets please go to the Pantages Theatre’s website, www.BroadwayLA.org.
Coming to the Pantages Theatre’s 2012-2013 season are these Broadway hits:
THE BOOK OF MORMON (Sept 5-Nov 25, 2012); DONNY & MARIE CHRISTMAS IN LOS ANGELES (Dec.4-23, 2012); Cathy Rigby as PETER PAN (Jan. 15-27, 2013); JEKYLL & HYDE ( Feb. 12- Mar. 3, 2013); CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (Mar. 12-24, 2013) WEST SIDE STORY (APRIL 9-14); Bette Midler presenting PRISCILLA (May 28-June 16, 2013) In addition to the regular subscription, BROADWAY LA will also be presenting on the Pantages stage RAIN (Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2013); BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Mar. 26-April 7, WEST SIDE STORY (April 9-14, 2013) and CHICAGO (May 15-27, 2012). For ticket information please call (866)-755-2929 or go to BroadwayLA.org. A 7-show package can start as low as $241. The Pantages Theatre is located at 6333 Hollywood Boulevard, one block east of historic Vine Street. The cars run every 10 minutes until midnight. Seniors, like me, and the disabled only pay 25 cents each way. Quite a savings from the parking lot fees around the theatre. San Fernando Valley residents will find that the ride on the subway from the North Hollywood Station to Hollywood and Vine a quick, comfortable ride. You can save money, gas and a lot of stress.
CONCERTS AT THE “BOWL”
The Canoga Park Bowl and the San Fernando Valley Symphony presents Concerts at the “Bowl” in the Royal Room at the Canoga Park Bowl on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm. WEDNESDAY: APRIL 4- The Symphomaniax perform their classical repertoire of “Bach and Vivaldi,” plus original compositions and arrangements featuring James Domine, guitar; Ruth Bruegger, violin; Glenn Grab, cello and Larry Muardian, bass.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11- The San Fernando Valley String Quartet will perform the music of Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Cole Porter, Leroy Anderson and the Beatles in a medley of tangos, waltzes and more. Featured performers Ruth Bruegger, violin; Florence Titmus, violin; Robin Ross, viola and Glenn Grab , cello. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18- Jimi Dee, guitar; Gary Herbig, saxophone; Adrian Miller, trumpet; Larry Muradian, bass and Chuck Burkinshaw, drums will perform tunes from the “Great American Songbook.” WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25- The Blues Bandits perform the “Blues,” featuring David Reo, guitar and vocals; Jimi Dee, guitar and vocals; Gary Herbig, saxophone; Larry Muradian, bass guitar and Chuck Burkinshaw, drums. The Canoga Park Bowl is located on the corner of Winnetka and Vanowen, 20122 Vanowen Street, Winnetka CA. For more information call (818) 347-4807. FREE admission but a one-drink minimum. Sorry but persons under 21 years of age are not admitted.
AT THE VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
OSCAR WINNER GEENA DAVIS will be performing at the Valley Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 19, at 8 pm in the beautiful Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus. Ms. Davis will be speaking about her life and passions as part of the California State University Northridge Spoken Word series which is held on campus. Ms. Davis works to promote equality in sports opportunities. She is also working to expand knowledge about gender discrimination in United States educational institutions. For more information please contact Therri Donnelly, Community Outreach, and Valley Performing Arts Center by calling (818) 677-8837 or e-mail: therri.donnelly@csun. edu.
The EMERSON STRING QUARTET
One of the world’s most esteemed chamber music ensembles, will be joined by pianist Wu Han for a concert at 8 pm on Wednesday, April 18, in the Valley Performing Arts Center at California State University, Northridge. The Quartet, Eugene Drucker and Phillip Setzer (violins), Lawrence Dutton (viola) and David Finckel (cello) will be playing works by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Schumann. The New York quartet was formed during the United States Bicentennial year (1976) and named after poet Ralph Waldo Emerson has been together for 35 years and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier chamber ensembles, winning nine Grammy Awards and an Avery Fisher Prize, to name just two. For ticket information go to www. valleyperformingartscenter. com, Ticketmaster, or call (8180 677-8837. The Valley Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of CSUN, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge CA 91330. Paid Parking is available in the parking structure which can be reached by entering off Lindley or Prairie Streets.