Arts & Entertainment

‘Newsies’ Coming to LB

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Newsies to hit Long Beach this July. Southern California’s premier theatre company, Musical Theatre West (MTW), is bringing Broadway to the beach with the Tony Award-Winning Disney musical, “Newsies.” Based on the 1993 Disney film of the same name, “Newsies” follows a group of Newsboys at the beginning of the 20th century who take on the Pulitzer and the World Newspaper … and win!

An inspiring story of young heroes fighting for justice and freedom, MTW’s production of “Newsies” will run for a limited time, July 12 - July 28, with an official opening night celebration on Saturday, July 13th. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $20 each and are available by phone at (562) 856-1999 or online at musical.org.

“Summer is the perfect season to celebrate friendship and cheer for the underdog, which is why we’ve chosen Newsies to share with our audiences,” shared Paul Garman, Executive Director and Producer for Musical Theatre West. “The timeless tale of finding the courage to collectively stand together in solidarity is a message that transcends the ages and encapsulates a feeling of hope that will inspire our audiences to seize opportunities that affect positive change in our shared human experience.”

The rousing tale of Jack Kelly and his fellow “newsies,” inspired by the true story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899, will have theatre-goers rooting for the underdog as they take on a publishing powerhouse to challenge unfair conditions and ultimately stand up for what’s right. “Newsies” will inspire audiences of all ages to consider the power of the press and remember the age-old adage: “All for one and one for all!” Featuring the Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Sister Act”), Jack Feldmen, and a book by Harvey Fierstein (“Kinky Boots”), ticket-holders can expect to be thrilled by high-energy dance performances and MTW’s renditions of now classic songs “Seize the Day,” “Carrying the Banner” and “Santa Fe.”

Musical Theatre West’s production of “Newsies” will premiere at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on select dates, July 12 - July 28, with a special ASL-interpreted performance on Friday, April 19. More details to be announced soon.

Tickets start at $20 and are available for purchase by phone at (562) 856-1999 or online at musical.org. Fees may apply. Student rush tickets for $15 are available at the box office one hour prior to showtime, with a valid student ID. More information, a full line-up of performances, and additional details can be found at https://musical.org.

The Addams Family

At the Long Beach Playhouse, June 29 – August 4

In 1938, Charles Addams created cartoons featuring a spooky family for New Yorker Magazine. In 1964, the creepy, kooky, and altogether ooky Addams Family became a TV show. Millions tuned in to watch the extended family that included Gomez, his wife Morticia, children Pugsley and Wednesday along with Grandma, Uncle Fester, and Lurch. In the musical, Wednesday, the ultimate daughter of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love … with a not-spooky-not-kooky normal man named Lucas Beineke.

“As anyone who’s watched the Addams family knows, Gomez and Morticia are wildly in love. They are not a pair given to keeping things from one another,” said Executive Director Madison Mooney. “When Wednesday confides in her father, she begs him not to tell her mother about her new boyfriend.”

Of course, that kind of secret can’t be kept forever. Uncle Fester summons the ancestors to intercede and break up the new couple. But who doesn’t want love to win? The Addams’ decides to host a dinner party so the two families can meet and get to know one another.

Lucas and Wednesday beseech their families to “act normal.” As the evening progresses, chaos ensues, and the two families find themselves admitting deep secrets and coming together in ways they never would have imagined. Ultimately friendship and love carry the day.

“It’s the Addams Family, there has to be creepy elements,” said Sean Gray, producing artistic director for the Playhouse. “This is a show that lets our technical side pull out all the stops. From the gothic costumes to the lighting, sound, and set design our team has created the perfect spookily-immersive Addams Family experience for our audiences.”

Gregory Cohen is the director. He brings his well-honed comedic and dramatic sensibilities to bring out the best in the 18-member cast. His wife, Kysa, a talented choreographer, is working with actors to bring sparkle to musical numbers and stage movement.

The Playhouse is also happy to announce that The Port of Long Beach is sponsoring the production.

The cast is a mix of returning and debuting actors. Making their debuts are Isabel Van Wye, Milo Cote, Josie Bella Magana, Lisa Meert, Sander Acheron, Cassandra Angerosa-Korrie, Jennifer Harmon, Madeline Schultz, Daniella Steedle, and Nathan Truong. Returning actors are Lawrence Ingalls, Amanda Webb, JD Rinde, Serena Bottiani-Henderson, Quinn Vann, Christopher Hutchinson, Grant Thackray, and Kelsey Weinstein.

“Come and see the show! Audiences will snap their fingers to the Addams Family theme and love every minute of the play.”

Tickets are: (Friday) adults $25, seniors $20 and students $20; (Saturday and Sunday) adults $30, seniors $25 and students $20.

Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday, 3-8 p.m. and Sundays, 1-2 p.m. on scheduled matinees.

Recipients of the 2024 Footlighters Scholarships

Musical Theatre West (MTW) announced the recipients of the 2024 Footlighters Scholarships, honoring exceptional talent and dedication in the performing arts among high school students across Orange and Los Angeles Counties. The scholarships are a testament to MTW’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of performing artists and supporting their educational journeys.

This year’s scholarship recipients were selected based on their outstanding achievements and potential in various areas of the performing arts, including music, dance, theater, and stage management. The winners are as follows:

Orange County

  • Ken and Dottie Reiner Scholarship: Makayla Palos Rodriguez, Trinitas Arts Conservatory, La Habra
  • John Bisom Scholarship: Conrad Mai, University High School, Irvine
  • Footlighters Scholarship: Francisco Ochoa, University High School, Irvine
  • Stevi Meredith Scholarship: Avani Arhin, Northwood High School, Irvine
  • Dr. Frances Grover Scholarship: Anna Mut, Mission Viejo High School, Mission Viejo
  • James H. Ackerman Scholarship: Gigi Coo, Trinitas Arts Conservatory, Santa Ana
  • Maloney and Spiegel Families Shining Star Scholarship: Mollie Holbrook, Fullerton Union High School, Buena Park
  • Garman Family Scholarship: Daniel Sidoni, OC School of the Arts, Aliso Viejo
  • Mu-ZAK Scholarship: Macaila Dorney, Huntington Beach High School – APA, Westminster
  • Footlighters Scholarship: Miranda Young, Tesoro High School, Rancho Santa Margarita

Los Angeles County

  • Jan Ritschel Scholarship: Ava Carolina Jimenez, St. Joseph High School, Whittier
  • Don Knabe Scholarship: Ava Isabella Miranda, Whitney High School, Artesia
  • Footlighters Scholarship: Jaclyn Goshert, Woodrow Wilson High School, Long Beach
  • Don Temple Family Scholarship: Kai Maldonado, St. John Bosco High School, Long Beach
  • Jane Netherton Scholarship: Evan Garcia, St. Joseph High School, Norwalk
  • Cathy Crane Scholarship: Case Fulton, Redondo Union High School, Redondo Beach
  • Footlighters Scholarship: Giovanna Bearman, Palos Verdes High School, Rancho Palos Verdes (Dance)
  • Footlighters Scholarship: Kayla Epstein, Palos Verdes High School, Rolling Hills Estates, (Stage Management)

MTW extends heartfelt congratulations to all the scholarship recipients and their families. The organization also expresses its deepest gratitude to the Footlighters and other generous donors whose support makes these scholarships possible. These scholarships not only recognize the students’ hard work and dedication but also help pave the way for their future successes in the performing arts.

For more information about Musical Theatre West and its educational programs, please visit www.musical.org.

Vote on Mural Program

The City of Long Beach opened the public voting period to select the final concepts for nine murals that will be placed in parks and public facilities for its Public Mural Program, part of the city’s Creative Economy Grants Program that is funded by the Long Beach Recovery Act and administered by the Arts Council for Long Beach. The Creative Economy Grants Program provides funding to local arts, culture and history nonprofits and professional artists to be utilized for operational recovery, public murals, community projects and professional artist fellowships.

A total of 27 artists and their concepts were selected as finalists, with three finalists identified for each of the nine mural sites. Now through Monday, July 8, community members are invited to vote for the concept they’d like to see implemented at each mural location. Concept details and renderings for the 27 finalists, as well as a link to the voting forms, is now available on the Arts Council for Long Beach website: https://artslb.org/public-art-project/lbra-creative/.

The Public Mural Program will present new murals in communities most heavily impacted by COVID-19, with the goal of uplifting the spirit of the neighborhood and improving the experience of public spaces. Earlier this year, the city and the Arts Council for Long Beach conducted a community survey to determine themes that best reflect the local community. Mural locations were also selected based on the availability of walls at public sites throughout the city. The selected mural locations include:

  • 125 Elm Ave., future new location for the LB Senior Center
  • Bixby Park Community Center
  • Davenport Park
  • El Dorado Park, Thomas J. Clark Community Center
  • Heartwell Park Community Center
  • McBride Park Gymnasium, Interior
  • Multi-Service Center
  • Ramona Park Community Center
  • Recreation Park Community Center

The city, in partnership with the Arts Council for Long Beach, first launched the Creative Economy Grants in 2022 as part of its Recovery-related programs. The Arts Council for Long Beach continues to administer the Creative Economy Grants Program, which includes $135,000 to support a Public Mural Program, for which the city has made public facilities citywide available to artists for new mural artwork.

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