Los Angeles Theater Preview: ONE STARRY NIGHT (Pasadena Playhouse)

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by Tony Frankel on January 1, 2014

in Theater-Los Angeles


If anybody knows how to put together a night of eclectic songs and singers, it’s Bruce Kimmel. While he has created some terrific revues, this prolific producer, playwright and performer has been the driving force behind cast albums, vocal albums, and (a personal favorite of mine) an original series known as Unsung Musicals and Lost in Boston—collections of trunk songs tossed away from musicals before they hit town.

Now, Kimmel is directing One Starry Night, in which Hollywood and Broadway entertainers come together to fight ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). For one night on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 8pm, a seasoned cast—many of whom I have seen on Broadway—will perform at the Pasadena Playhouse to raise critically needed funds for The ALS Association: Golden West Chapter.

The roster of talent is eye-popping. The fact that $25 seats are available, frankly, shocks me. To be entertained by cream-of-the-crop artists and give to a worthy cause is a match made in heaven. With musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Allen, here are the performers* (with more names to be announced, if you can believe that):

Obba Babatundé (Original Cast of Dreamgirls)
James Barbour (Assassins on Broadway)
Susanne Blakeslee (Forbidden Broadway)
Kay Cole (Maggie in the original A Chorus Line)
Micky Dolenz (The Monkees)
Daisy Eagan (Tony winner for The Secret Garden)
Crow Garrett (Magic Castle illusionist)
Jason Graae (original off-Broadway production of Forever Plaid)
Ilene Graff (original cast of I Love My Wife)
Juliana Hansen (event co-producer, West Side Story with the SF Symphony)
Melora Hardin (TV’s The Office)
Jean Louisa Kelly (TV’s Yes, Dear)
Jason and Nolan Livesay (musicians, composers and identical twins)
Gary Morgan and The Flying Morgans (multi-talented artistic family)
Karen Morrow (Edwin Drood on Broadway)
James Mulligan (Les Miserables at the Hollywood Bowl)
Kerry O’Malley (Into the Woods on Broadway)
Amy Paffrath (Host on E! and MTV)
Reagan Pasternak (TV’s Being Erica)
Barry Pearl (Doody in the film version of Grease)
Jonathan Pendragon (magician)
Christy Carlson Romano (the voice of TV’s Kim Possible)
Joan Ryan (Original Cast of Ruthless!)
Drew Seeley (TV’s Lovestruck: The Musical)
Richard M. Sherman (Mary Poppins composer)
John Sloman (AMC’s Mad Men)
Rex Smith (Broadway’s Pirates of Penzance)
Daniel Tatar (Hairspray at the Hollywood Bowl)
Terri White (dazzling in the revival of Follies)
Bruce Vilanch (Edna in Broadway’s Hairspray)
Featured appearances will be made by Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless)
and Charlene Tilton (Dallas).

Lou Gehrig first brought national and international attention to ALS in 1939 when he abruptly retired from baseball after being diagnosed with the disease, first described in 1869 by the noted French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. People with ALS eventually lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration modestly extends survival. Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the last decade has brought a wealth of new scientific understanding about the disease that provides hope for the future.

One Starry Night
Hollywood and Broadway Stars Come Together to Fight ALS
produced by Juliana Hansen and Jonathan White
One Night Only Benefit Performance and Silent Auction
Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena
Monday, January 13, 2014 at 8pm
for tickets, call (626) 356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org
prices range from $25—$100, with premium seating available at $250
VIP post-show meet and greet is available for an additional $75
*artists are subject to change

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