Category: A Noise Within

Theater review: 'The Bungler' at A Noise Within

April 9, 2012 | 12:30 pm

'The Bungler' at A Noise Within

Just think of “The Bungler” as a bromance in brocade. A Noise Within’s fluid, effervescent staging of Molière’s 1655 comedy of mishaps feels like a hybrid of “Two and a Half Men” and Judd Apatow’s stoner comedies. Two guys. One’s clueless. And the hot girl is out of reach.

Lélie (Michael A. Newcomer), our Seth Rogen stand-in, falls head over ribboned heels for Célie (Emily Kosloski), the slim-shouldered chattel of grumpy old Trufaldin (William Dennis Hunt). Lélie enlists his ever-resourceful servant, Mascarille (the excellent JD Cullum) in the quest for Célie, then manages to hinder his wingman’s efforts at every (and I mean every) turn.

This sitcom-worthy premise spins into something buoyant and diverting in director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott’s stylish (and stylistically coherent) production. From the center of John Iacovelli’s set, colored lights stretch out over the audience, and a circus mood pervades.

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ACT to honor Annette Bening, A Noise Within founders

December 6, 2011 |  4:05 pm

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San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre -- one of the top theater schools in the country -- is launching a new annual award in January called the Conservatory Awards, honoring outstanding alumni and donors. ACT said it will recognize actresses Annette Bening and Elizabeth Banks at the Jan. 24 inaugural ceremony. In addition, the school will honor the co-founders of L.A.'s A Noise Within -- Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who are also ACT alumni.

Bening will receive the Edward Hastings Career Achievement Award. The four-time Oscar nominee studied at ACT and acted on the mainstage from 1984 to 1986 as a member of the company's core acting group. Banks, who is receiving the Rising Star Award, has acted in movies including "Seabiscuit," "Invincible" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno."

A Noise Within was co-founded in 1992 by the Elliotts, who currently serve as artistic directors. The classical repertory company operated in Glendale for many years before recently moving to its new home in Pasadena. The Elliotts will receive ACT's Contributions to the Field Award.

The Elliotts co-founded A Noise Within with Art Manke, who is also an ACT alumnus. (Manke left the L.A. company in 2001.) When asked why Manke isn't being honored, a spokesman for ACT sent the following reply:

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Theater review: 'Twelfth Night' at A Noise Within

October 31, 2011 |  5:24 pm

Twelfth night 1

It’s official: Pasadena has become a hub for some of Southern California’s most fetching playhouses.

The doyenne, of course, is the Pasadena Playhouse, which has earned the right to be called the State Theater of California by the beauty of its architecture. Then there’s the compact yet deluxe Boston Court Performing Arts Center, which makes all the other 99-seat-or-less venues in town look like poor relations. And now A Noise Within, the classical repertory company celebrating its 20th anniversary this season, has moved from a former Masonic temple in Glendale to spacious new digs on East Foothill Boulevard.

This impressive feat of institutional growth was duly celebrated Saturday with ANW’s inaugural opening-night gala. Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who shares the title of founder and artistic director with her husband, Geoff Elliott, greeted her fancily attired patrons before the start of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” by welcoming everyone to their new home.

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A Noise Within sets open house for new Pasadena theater

October 20, 2011 |  3:30 pm

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A Noise Within classical repertory company will introduce its new Pasadena theater to the public at an open house Sunday.

The event, which will run from 1-4 p.m., will feature tours as well as readings and presentations by the troupe's resident artists. Children's activities will be offered too.

The 33,000-square-foot complex — the result of a $13.5-million capital campaign — includes a 283-seat theater, scenery and costume shops, offices, rehearsal space and education and storage facilities. The three-story structure stands on the site of the Stuart Pharmaceutical Building, a Midcentury Modern edifice designed by Edward Durell Stone.

Previously, A Noise Within operated out of cramped quarters in a 1920s-era former Masonic temple in Glendale. "The old space just wasn't designed to be a theater," says Julia Rodriguez Elliott, who along with her husband, Geoff Elliott, is the company's co-founder and co-artistic director. "Now we have the artistic and physical freedom to tackle plays and projects we couldn't and to expand our audiences."

The open house is free, but reservations are required and available at (626) 356-3127.

A Noise Within, which is marking its 20th anniversary, will launch its 2011-12 season with Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." The production, set in pre-revolutionary Cuba, will open Oct. 29 and run through Dec. 16.

RELATED:

A Noise Within announces its first season in its new home in Pasadena

A Noise Within sets groundbreaking for new Pasadena home; announces last season in Glendale digs

— Karen Wada

Photo: A Noise Within's new 283-seat theater in Pasadena. Credit: Michael Gutstadt

Theater review: 'Fleetwood Macbeth' at the Falcon Theatre and La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts

July 14, 2011 |  5:00 pm

Fleetwood Press 2 Stevie Nicks meets the Scottish play in the Troubadour Theater Company’s loopy musical mash-up “Fleetwood Macbeth,” now at the Falcon Theatre. (The show also makes an appearance at La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts this weekend.) An inspired concept that doesn’t entirely deliver, the evening is sloppy, good-natured silliness with one or two decent renditions of Fleetwood Mac gems. Believe me, your unconscious still knows the words to “Tusk.”

Kudos to director Matt Walker and clan for finding the secret affinity between this classic band’s '70s psychodrama and Shakespeare’s darkest power couple, but the results are mixed. Led by the sheepish Macbeth (Morgan Rusler), thanes run around in tartans and big fake feet while witches cavort in bustiers and fishnets. No pun is left unturned. (King Duncan: “You’ve probably heard of my doughnuts.” A weird sister: “I’m Erin Brocawitch, and I’ve blown a lot of whistles.”) The best moments are when the comedy actually comments on the play, as in the demented murder of Lady Macduff (Annalea Rawicz Arnold) and her annoying Mini-Me offspring (Jason Turner) — that solemn scene was always ripe for parody. 

Despite a tight five-piece band led by Eric Heinly and the power vocals of Lisa Valenzuela as Lady M, the Fleetwood Mac songs don’t evoke the spookiness you wish for; most are delivered the same way: belted, supported by the chorus of witches. More work on arrangements would give these irresistible hits stronger dramatic impact. To their credit, the Troubies don’t overstay their welcome. As the guy sitting next to me said at the curtain call, “Funny show, and you’re drinking by 10:00.”

— Charlotte Stoudt

“Fleetwood Macbeth” Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays. No performances July 15-17. Ends Aug. 14. $27-$38. Contact: (818) -955-8101 or www.FalconTheatre.com. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes.

La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. 8 p.m. Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17. $15-$50. Contact: (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310 or www.lamiradatheatre.com.

Photo: Andy Lopez, left, Evan Arnold, Joseph Keane, Rob Nagle, Jason Turner and Matt Walker. Credit: Chelsea Sutton. 

A Noise Within announces its first season in its new theater in Pasadena

July 7, 2011 |  4:36 pm

Anw-interior A Noise Within will open its new home in Pasadena with a season of Shakespeare and other old favorites as well as some less frequently performed works.

The classical repertory company -- which will be marking its 20th anniversary -- is building a 33,000-square-foot theater complex, where it will move this fall. Currently, it occupies a '20s-era former Masonic temple in Glendale.

The 2011-12 lineup, which was announced Thursday, will begin with the Bard's comedy "Twelfth Night," set in pre-revolutionary Cuba, which will run Oct. 29 to Dec. 16. An opening night gala will include a Champagne reception, followed by the show and a dinner party.

Other offerings include Eugene O'Neill's "Desire Under the Elms" (Nov. 19-Dec. 18), a reprise of the company's 2009 staging of Michael Frayn's "Noises Off" (Jan. 6-15), Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" (March 3-May 13), "The Illusion," Tony Kushner's adaptation of the Pierre Corneille play (March 17-May 19), and Moliere's "The Bungler," translated by Richard Wilbur (April 7-May 27).

In Glendale, A Noise Within operated in tight quarters and performed in a 145-seat theater. The Pasadena site includes a 281-seat theater, expanded backstage, rehearsal space, offices, a classroom and storage and support facilities.

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