Arts & Entertainment

Detroit ‘67 at Playhouse

Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau is at the Long Beach Playhouse, May 18 - June 15.

Motown music is the soul of the party in 1967 Detroit as Chelle and her brother Lank make ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. The “long, hot summer of 1967” is now a half-century behind us but many of its struggles persist. Issues of police harassment, injustice and systematic oppression pepper the conversations and steer the action of the drama. The Motown sound integrated listening audiences but it couldn’t undo deeply held bigotries.

The play is set in a basement where Chelle dreamily listens to records played on her childhood phonograph. The basement serves as a friends’ cozy hangout, a stranger’s haven, and a bunker from the horrors unfolding outside. Playwright Dominique Morisseau artfully weaves the songs of the time with the struggles that play out between family members, friends, and a mysterious woman whose presence is unsettling.

Sean Gray, Producing Artistic Director for the Playhouse observes, “Detroit ’67 uses Motown to illustrate and reinforce the story’s setting and the characters’ perspectives and feelings. Morisseau’s story shows us that some things have changed since 1967 while some have not.”

Gray chose Robyn Hastings to direct the play. She’s appeared in several Playhouse shows including Fences and Intimate Apparel. Hastings says she nearly leapt out of her chair when asked to direct Detroit 67. In her notes, she says that Chelle and Lank wage a battle with change. Chelle represents the status quo, while her brother Lank wants to prove he can be successful despite the racism that threatens to keep him down. In the end there is only one winner: change.

Executive Director, Madison Mooney, said, “Detroit 67 is an important show. It blends hard topics with great music and humor. It reminds us to dream our dreams, even when that seems hard to do.”

The five-member cast includes returning actors Alisha Elaine Anderson and Allison Lynn Adams. Making their debuts are Marc Morris, Cassandra Carter-Williams and Jonathan D. Wray.

Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling (562) 494-1014, option 1.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday, 3-8 p.m. and Sundays, 1-2 p.m. on scheduled matinees.

Youth Chorus Summer Arts Institute Returns

For the third year, the Long Beach Youth Chorus will offer its Summer Arts Institute, an all-arts immersive camp for children in grades 2-12. The camp is designed to give children training and exposure to a wide variety of arts and expression, with emphasis on diverse cultural traditions. The institute will be June 24-28 and culminates in the Long Beach Family Arts Festival on Saturday, June 29.

The exact programs offered will be decided in mid-May. Last year’s Institute included sessions on Vietnamese dance, Mariachi, percussion, string art, songwriting, monoprinting and an introduction to Ainu music, in addition to choral singing. There was also a field trip to L.A. that includes a clinic with a choral director at USC, Dr. Tram Sparks, and the Grammy Museum.

In 2022, the Institute campers painted a rose mural at St. Matthew’s church, under the guidance of artist Cody Lusby, that can be prominently seen when driving east on 7th Street just past Temple Ave.

The Institute campers will then take part in the Family Arts Festival on June 29. That festival features performances by four organizations that work with children and youth in the arts. This year the performing groups will be the Jazz Angels, Jewel Box Children’s Theater Company, the Long Beach Children’s Theater Company and the Long Beach Youth Chorus. The festival also features food trucks, games and art activities for kids and the Long Beach Symphony’s Instrument Petting Zoo.

The Summer Arts Institute will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of St. Matthew’s Church at 672 Temple Ave. The Long Beach Family Arts Festival will be held on the grounds of Grace First Presbyterian Church, 3955 N. Studebaker Road. It will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is free to the public.

For more information about the Festival or the Summer Arts Institute, contact Executive Director Stan DeWitt at (562) 72-3324 or stan@longbeachyouthchorus.org or visit the LBYC website at www.longbeachyouthchorus.org.

Terrace Theatre Events

Experience the timeless enchantment of “Swan Lake” in an original new production at Terrace Theatre on May 19 as part of the World Ballet Series’ U.S. tour. With a multinational ensemble of 50 dancers, stunning hand-painted sets, intricate costumes, and live music by the Lake County Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vadim Nikitin, this performance brings Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece to life with Marius Petipa’s original choreography revitalized by Nadezhda Kalinina. Produced by Gorskaya-Hartwick Productions, tickets are available now.

Get ready for a trip down memory lane with the “Unforgettable 90s” concert featuring Kumar Sanu and Sadhana Sargam at Long Beach Terrace Theater on May 25. Presented by Stage Paint Promotions, this mesmerizing show celebrates Bollywood’s golden era with the iconic voices that shaped Indian cinema during the 90s. Don’t miss this evening of nostalgia, romance, and timeless classics. Tickets available now on Ticketmaster.com.

Turkish Festival Returns

The Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC) announced the highly anticipated return of the California Turkish Festival for its third consecutive year. Scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 9th, the festival promises a vibrant celebration of Turkish culture, cuisine, and entertainment at Shoreline Aquatic Park in Long Beach.

Building on the resounding success of previous editions, organizers are gearing up to welcome over 7,000 attendees from across Southern California for a day filled with culinary delights, live performances, and family-friendly activities. Festival Chairperson Nilay Senel-Nylund extends a warm invitation to all, emphasizing the event’s focus on unity and diversity.

The festival will showcase a diverse array of Turkish cuisine, including beloved favorites such as doner, kebabs, baklava, Turkish coffee, tea and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to savor these delectable offerings while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere of traditional Turkish street foods.

Entertainment will be a highlight of the event, with a lineup of talented musicians and performers gracing the stage throughout the day. Musicians set to perform include Ali Tolga, Burak Besir, AKM Turkish Music Chorus, San Diego Turkish Music Chorus, and Group Anatolia Folk Dance. Additionally, attendees can look forward to captivating performances by belly dancer Laman Museyava and DJ Volkan Duygun.

As part of this year’s festivities, the festival will shine a spotlight on Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most enchanting destinations known for its stunning rock formations known as “fairy chimneys.” Festival-goers will have the opportunity to learn more about this magical region.

Admission to the festival is free, and all are welcome to attend.

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