Archived entries for Pasadena Playhouse

The Fantasticks (

The Fantasticks The Fantasticks is at The Pasadena Playhouse September 6-October 2nd

The Fantasticks
By Ken Werther

The Fantasticks is the longest-running musical in recorded history. It opened off-Broadway on May 3, 1960 and ran for 42 years! The show played 17,162 performances before closing on January 13, 2002. And then … a revival opened off-Broadway on August 23, 2006 where it continues to run today! Jerry Orbach, the beloved Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order, was in the original cast of The Fantasticks. He created the role of El Gallo (pronounced guy-o), the character that opens the show with the now iconic song, “Try to Remember.”

The allegorical story revolves around two neighboring fathers who trick their offspring into falling in love. They build a wall (portrayed by one of the characters known as The Mute) between their houses to keep the kids apart, and at one point in the story, the fathers hire two old actors, Henry and Mortimer, to stage an abduction of the young girl.

To see how all these pieces fit together, head out to The Pasadena Playhouse this month where Hal Linden, still going strong at 85, will be playing Henry in a new production of The Fantasticks. Personal note: I played the role of The Mute in high school and my dad kept telling me to “go rehearse my part.” (True story.) Go see the show — I promise you a delightful time!

For show times and tickets, click here.

Spotlight! (

Spotlight - April - LAArtsOnlinePhotos (L-R): Once cast members at Opening Night top, Perez Hilton at Casa Valentina Opening bottom, Patty Onagan and Ken Werther at LGBT Spotlight Mixer, pasta donated by Il Fornaio Beverly Hills, Pantages’ Martin Wiviott, Lorraine O’Brien, and Jeff Loeb, scene outside Pantages theatre, Fabiolus Cucina’s sandwiches at Pantages, cast members of Once, The Pasadena Playhouse’s Sheldon Epps and friend on Opening Night, Press Team for Casa Valentina, Alanna Ubach on red carpet at CV Opening Night, Entire cast of CV, Promo’s Donuts, Ken Werther, Tiffany Fuller, Patty Onagan at LGBT, scene in courtyard at The Pasadena Playhouse, and delicious sandwiches by Fabiolus Cucina.

Sponsored Events!

Story / Photos By Paige Petrone

This month LAArtsOnline was proud to sponsor three amazing events. First up on March 15th we hosted the Opening Night for Once inside the legendary Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Cast members mingled and enjoyed scrumptious cuisine from Chef Sergio Corbia of Fabiolus Cucina and cocktails sponsored by Diabolo, Evian, Leese – Fitch, and John & Pete’s Fine Wine & Spirits.

Second up we sponsored the Opening Night for Casa Valentina at The Pasadena Playhouse on March 20th in the courtyard. This was a super lively and an excited group. The entire cast and all the guests were treated to a feast graciously provided by our partners, Essential Chocolate Desserts, Fabiolous Cucina and Primo Donuts. We also would like to thank Diabolo, Evian, John & Pete’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Leese-Fitch, and Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin for the abundance of support.

Finally, we were so proud to sponsor the “LGBT Spotlight Mixer” for Casa Valentina at The Pasadena Playhouse on Saturday, March 26th. This was a special partnership between LAArtsOnline, Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A and the playhouse. Our guests mingled prior to the show in the elegant “Library” space (upstairs inside the theatre) while nibbling on bites from Fabiolus Cucina, Il Fornaio Beverly Hills, and The Counter in Pasadena.

To check out all the photos from our events, click here.

Press Release: Impro Theatre Celebrates Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday on Friday, April 25 at 8pm



Shakespeare UnScripted artworkImpro Theatre is set to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on Friday, April 25 with a special performance of its currently running production, Shakespeare UnScripted, a post-show discussion, and a champagne reception complete with birthday cake. The curtain will rise at 8pm at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre (upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse) in Pasadena.

Shakespeare UnScripted, directed by Brian Lohmann and Dan O’Connor, is a completely improvised play in the style of William Shakespeare. The Impro Theatre ensemble starts with a single audience suggestion and builds improvised, full-length, never-before-seen plays inspired by Shakespeare’s poetry, colorful imagery and bawdy innuendo. Every show is totally unique and brings to life the monarchs, spirits, lovers and fools that make up Shakespeare’s world.

Critical raves for the work of Impro Theatre continue. Of Shakespeare UnScripted, The Tolucan said, “Like a fine Chianti, the show can be sipped and enjoyed. And like a whiskey, it packs a punch. Shakespeare would be overjoyed to know that his works can be interpreted in boundless ways.” enthused, “Great improv, like the kind Impro creates, takes comedy and turns it into an art.” And from, “ … as high a degree of general excellence in writing, acting, and direction as I have seen in any theater company in America.”

The cast is a rotating ensemble, including (in alphabetical order) Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Kelly Holden-Bashar, Brian Jones, Stephen Kearin, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Paul Rogan, Michele Spears, and Floyd Van Buskirk. The set and costumes are by Sandra Burns, the lighting design is by Leigh Allen, stage manager and lighting improviser is Michael Becker, and sound improviser is Alex Caan.

Impro Theatre is an Unscripted Repertory Company that has brought innovative, unscripted theatre to Los Angeles and the world. The company’s goal is to take core narrative and style elements of great playwrights and writers, and create a new play using no more than the essence of an author’s work and an audience suggestion. Most recently, unscripted explorations of great literary figures has included Shakespeare, Dickens, Stephen Sondheim, and Tennessee Williams. For more, visit

Shakespeare UnScripted plays through Sunday, May 4 only. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm through May 4 only. (No performance on Thursday, May 1.) Tickets are $25 ($15 student tickets are available; student ID required at the door) and are available online at, or by calling (626) 356-7529.

The Carrie Hamilton Theatre is located upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, in Pasadena, 91101. Lot and street parking are available.

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