Category Archives: Pantages Theatre Reviews

The Bodygaurd at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood Is One Moment in Time To Remember. The Bodyguard Musical is a Must See!

The Bodyguard
Grammy-Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox stars as Rachel Marron in the Bodyguard now showing at The Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by Joan Marcus/Pantages Theatre

By Margie Anne Clark – Opening night, mini review

Hollywood, Calif. – THE BODYGUARD mesmerized audiences who attended the opening night at The Pantages Theater in Hollywood on Tuesday.  An award–winning musical based on the smash–hit film of the same name, The Bodyguard musical stage version packed a powerful punch, with a star-studded dose of nostalgia, drama and romance, depicting the heights and depths — and dangers of super-stardom.

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Opening Night of the Bodyguard at the Pantages Hollywood, Tuesday, May 2, 2017 Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron, played by GRAMMY Award-nominated and multi-platinum recording artist Deborah Cox, from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge – what they don’t expect is to fall in love.

But Audiences can expect to fall head over high heels in love with the glitz and pizazz of The Bodyguard at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  Sheer magic and edge-of-your-seat fun, all rolled into one!

U.S. NATIONAL TOUR OF THE SMASH HIT WEST END MUSICAL
WILL PLAY HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES THEATRE
THREE WEEKS ONLY | MAY 2 – 21, 2017
Hollywood, Calif The first U.S. National tour of the hit musical THE BODYGUARD, will celebrate its Los Angeles premiere at Hollywood Pantages Theatre for a 3-week engagement; May 2 – 21, 2017.
Tickets for THE BODYGUARD are on sale and are available for purchase at www.HollywoodPantages.com or www.Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-982-2787, and at the Hollywood Pantages Box Office (6233 Hollywood Boulevard). The box office opens daily at 10am except for Holidays.
Grammy® Award-nominated and multi-platinum R&B/pop recording artist and film/TV actress Deborah Cox stars as Rachel Marron.  In the role of bodyguard Frank Farmer is television star Judson Mills.
Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. film, and adapted by Academy Award-winner (Birdman) Alexander Dinelaris, THE BODYGUARD had its world premiere on December 5, 2012 at London’s Adelphi Theatre. THE BODYGUARD was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Best Set Design and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards.  The UK production of the musical recently completed a triumphant return run in London’s West End after a sell-out 16-month UK and Ireland tour.
Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. A romantic thriller, THE BODYGUARD features a host of irresistible classics including So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My   Love, Run to You, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and one of the biggest selling songs of all time – I Will Always Love You.
Rounding out the principal cast are Alex Corrado (Gotham, Hannibal) as Tony Scibelli, Rachel’s personal security guard, Jarid Faubel (Black & White, X-Men: First Class) as FBI agent Ray Court, Charles Gray (Broadway: The Color Purple, Tour: The Lion King) as manager Bill Devaney, Jonathan Hadley (Broadway: Jersey Boys, A Class Act) as publicist Sy Spector, Jorge Paniagua (Regional: The Full Monty, Oregon Shakespeare Festival) as the Stalker, Jasmin Richardson (Tour: Memphis, Dreamgirls) as Rachel’s sister Nicki Marron, and Douglas Baldeo (Broadway: Kinky Boots, Tour: Motown) and Kevelin B. Jones III (Idlewild Music Festival) alternating in the role of Rachel’s son Fletcher.
The ensemble includes Brendon Chan, Willie Dee, Megan Elyse Fulmer, Alejandra Matos, DeQuina Moore, Bradford Rahmlow, Benjamin Rivera, Sean Rozanski, Matthew Schmidt, Jaquez André Sims, Maria Cristina Slye, Nicole Spencer, Lauren Tanner, and Naomi C. Walley.
Direction is by Thea Sharrock.  Set & costume design is by Tim Hatley, lighting design by Mark Henderson, sound design by Richard Brooker and video design by Duncan McLean.  Choreography is by Karen Bruce, orchestrations by Chris Egan, musical supervision by Richard Beadle and production musical supervision by Mike Dixon.  Musical director Matthew Smedal conducts the live orchestra.
The U.S. National tour of THE BODYGUARD is produced by Michael Harrison, David Ian and Nederlander Presentations, Inc.
The performance schedule for THE BODYGUARD is Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. Opening Night is Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 8pm. Deborah Cox is not scheduled to perform at the matinee performances.
THE BODYGUARD is recommended for ages 13 and up. (Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.)
Individual tickets for THE BODYGUARD start at $35.  Prices are subject to change without notice.
For more information, visit www.TheBodyguardMusical.com
For tickets or more information about the Los Angeles engagement of THE BODYGUARD, please visit the official website for Hollywood Pantages Theatre: www.HollywoodPantages.com/TheBodyguard.
Jay Manuel Beauty is the official makeup sponsor for the US tour of THE BODYGUARD  www.jaymanuelbeauty.com
DATES:
MAY 2 – 21, 2017
VENUE:
HOLLYWOOD PANTAGES THEATRE
6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
Tuesday – Friday at 8pm
Saturday at 2pm & 8pm
Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm
OPENING NIGHT:
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 8pm
TICKET PRICES:
Individual tickets start at $35
Ticket prices subject to change without notice.
PARENTAL ADVISORY:
Ages 13 and up Children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre. All patrons must have a ticket, regardless of age.
HOW TO PURCHASE:
Online:             HollywoodPantages.com or Ticketmaster.com
Phone:             1-800-982-2787
In Person:        Hollywood Pantages Box Office (opens daily at 10am) and all Ticketmaster Outlets
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https://www.hollywoodpantages.com/seasonpackages

‘Avenue Q’ Muppet parody opens at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre –

By Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif., – Taking its cue from the groundbreaking years of public television’s Muppet lore, Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical ‘Avenue Q’ is sweeping the clouds of political correctness away during its whirlwind stop at the Pantages Theater. The show opened tonight and runs through Sunday in a special limited engagement.Image and video hosting by TinyPicDavid Colston Corris, Ashley Eileen Bucknam, Michael Liscio Jr. (Top-Bottom) Actors Michael Liscio, Jr., David Colston Corris and Ashley Eileen Bucknam pose at the opening night of “Avenue Q” at the Pantages Theatre on March 1, 2011 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images North America) _________________________________________________________________________Reflecting on the early days of ‘Sesame Street’ which starred the likes of Bert and Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster, ‘Avenue Q’ cast member Ashley Eileen Bucknam who stars in two roles as “Kate Monster” and “Lucy the Slut,” told City Life that audiences are sure to enjoy the show’s unique and risqué format.

“You have to come into the show with an open mind, and by the end of the show you end up really feeling for these puppets,” said Bucknam who was born and raised in South Jersey where passion for the arts took flight at the age of two while growing up along the beaches of the Jersey Shore.

“There are many similarities to the original characters of Sesame Street but there is a lot more to it than a-b-c and one two three. You get involved in their lives and every character is someone you can relate to and have fun with.”

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, ‘Avenue Q’ has not been authorized or approved in any manner by The Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.

In a departure from Sesame Street, the puppeteers of ‘Avenue Q’ take to the stage more in the tradition of a ventriloquist than a muppeteer.

Bucknam and her fellow cast members are fully seen on stage as they provide the voices for their colorful furry, Styrofoam-eyed characters with their lips moving in full sight.

“All of the actors wear black, but as the show progresses they are watching the puppets – it’s like watching the subtitles in a movie,” explains Bucknam of the challenge audience members may have of suspending belief with the actor’s faces and moving lips in full view. “Eventually you get used to it end up watching the puppets.”

As the play opens, ‘Avenue Q’ introduces audiences to a young man named Princeton, a bright eyed, college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone is looking for the same thing he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a “purpose.”

“Every show is different because the characters evolve over the course of the tour,” Bucknam said of the show that has been seen in more than 96 cities in the United States and Canada.

Bucknam stars opposite David Colston Corris Princeton, Rod), Michael Liscio, Jr. (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bear & Others), Lisa Helmi Johanson (Christmas Eve), Tim Kornblum (Brian), Anita Welch (Gary Coleman) and Kerri Brackin (Mrs. T, Bear & Others). Rounding out the company are ensemble members Ben Hart, Kate Lippstreu, Katie McCreary, and Zach Trimmer. Avenue Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, a book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; and is directed by Jason Moore. Puppet design is by Rick Lyon, with orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Lew Mead. Associate director is Evan Ensign and music supervisor is Andrew Graham.

“We’re thrilled and excited to be performing right in the heart of L.A.,” said Bucknam in between performances during her San Francisco stop prior to making her way down to the streets of Hollywood’s storied Tinseltown.

“Everything in life is for now only,” the classically trained actress added borrowing a line from the last song of the show when the characters come to the realization that growing up isn’t so bad at all.

“I hope that LA will love it as much as we do – and you never know what will happen next!”

Tickets to ‘Avenue Q’ may be purchased by visiting www.broadwayla.org or by call 800-982-ARTS (2787). Parental warning, Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity), ‘Avenue Q’ may be inappropriate for kids under 13. (Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre).