Tickets on Sale for 25 QUESTIONS FOR A JEWISH MOTHER, Written by Kate Moira Ryan

Written by Judy Gold and Kate Moira Ryan
Directed by Karen Kohlhaas
Performed by Judy Gold
November 29 – December 15, 2019

Part memoir and part stand-up routine, this hilarious and affecting play breaks down just what makes Jewish mothers so lamentable, laughable, and lovable. In 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, comedian Judy Gold and playwright Kate Moira Ryan seamlessly weave actual interviews with Jewish mothers across the United States together with memories from Gold’s childhood and her own experiences as a Jewish mother in order to create a performance piece that explores it all: from rugelach to rabbis, matzoh to marriage, Ann Landers to Anne Frank, and guilt to G-D. Judy is a Primary Stages ESPA Instructor and 2019 Einhorn Mentorship Award recipient. 

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African-American Experience in New Iberia Explored Through Workshop Led by Ifa Bayeza

Ifa Bayeza

Shadows-on-the-Teche held a community writing workshop Saturday that gave a sneak preview of the dramatic work “First Light.”

Led by Ifa Bayeza, who had previously worked on “Bunk Johnson Out of the Shadows!,” a production presented by Shadows-on-theTeche, the work took place at the Shadows Visitors Center with a full room of interested attendees.

Bayeza was chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to present a play about New Iberia jazz trumpeter Bunk Johnson, and was chosen again for “First Light.”

The piece is part of a larger effort called “Telling the Full History,” which will be released next year. The work was filled with people involved in the workshop who took part in the dramatic piece.

A packed audience attended ‘First Light,’ a sneak peek at a piece by Ifa Bayeza, on Saturday November 24, 2019.

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“First Light” presents African-American experiences in New Iberia, from its African, Native American and European roots to the Civil Rights Movement.

Participants in the workshop included Charles Porter, Kelly Porter, Elton Broussard Jr. Jackie Reedom, Mary Margaret Bell and Phebe Hayes. The hour-long event Saturday was presented in five movements.

“Telling the Full History” showcases homegrown talent and the traditions, cultural impact and history of New Iberia’s black neighborhoods and families in an original performance to be presented in September 2020 at The Shadows.

The full article available by Corey Vaughn from the Daily Iberian here.

Praise for Sean Cawelti’s Puppets in the Pasadena Playhouse Production of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in Pasadena: Secrets of a radically reconceived Audrey II

“Strange.” “Weird.” “Exotic little beauty.” “Like something from another world.”

These are ways in which the plant of “Little Shop of Horrors” is initially described by its characters. They’re perplexed by its presence, its mysterious origins, its unidentifiable genus. But the botanical fascination is so enticing that it boosts the business of a skid row flower shop — and convinces its caretaker to commit a bit of murder in exchange for fame and fortune.

Countless stagings of the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical have remained visually devout to the sprout that debuted off-off-Broadway in 1982. Based on the 1960 Roger Corman cult classic and popularized by Frank Oz’s 1986 musical film, the Faustian fable has been mounted again and again with a green, podlike growth resembling a Venus flytrap and a bountiful head of lettuce.

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The 1986 film starred Rick Moranis opposite a pod-like creature, often re-created onstage.
(Warner Bros. / Shutterstock)

“The classic look can be nostalgic but also predictable,” said Mike Donahue, who directed the Pasadena Playhouse production set to close Sunday. “All of the language that’s in the piece is about how the plant stands out, how it catches people’s eyes immediately when people are walking by. There’s gotta be something about it that, in this drab and depressed and bleak world, just pops.” Advertisement

The Playhouse questioned those optical expectations and answered with a radical redesign of the plant, Audrey II, nicknamed Twoey. Housed in a large tomato can, its flower is a fantastic fuchsia hue, the five appendage-like tendrils glistening and sparkling. When closed, a bud of polka dot petals resembles a head with lips. It opens into a lily with a playful yellow tongue. This Twoey is indeed a new sight for those onstage and in the audience, and now that the run is ending, her secrets are being revealed in new photos presented exclusively here.

“I wanted to make something that seems alien and extraterrestrial but also that gives an emotional reaction — you can’t help but smile,” said Sean Cawelti, who led the show’s puppet design, direction and choreography. “And when the plant opens its petals for the first time and reveals what’s inside, it’s not inherently scary but surprisingly whimsical and magical.”

Twoey (also known as Audrey II), the carnivorous plant in “Little Shop of Horrors.”
With a new look and strategic puppetry, Twoey comes off as friendly and adorable to Seymour and the audience.
(Courtesy of Pasadena Playhouse)

Fear is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind during the song “Grow for Me.” A first version of Twoey — which “faints” via remote control — is swiftly swapped for a rod puppet plant with hard-to-spot cables controlled by three puppeteers under a metal table.

Read the full review by Ashley Lee from the LA Times here.