Bradbury on the Boards

Two plays by Ray Bradbury, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit and Falling Upwards, will be staged in the Los Angeles area in early 2009. All the details from the Pandemonium Press appear after the jump, courtesy of John King Tarpinian.

The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit
Try it on for size in January

Five young Latino men from East LA ascribe near-mystical powers to a beautifully-tailored white suit, the luscious color of vanilla ice cream, in the window of Shumway’s Sunshine Suits.

If Martinez had that suit, then Celia, the prettiest girl in the neighborhood, might notice him. If Villanazaul had that suit, then he could impress people as a public speaker. If Gomez or Dominguez had that suit, they’d be hits with the ladies. If Vamenos had that suit, he would cease to be a social pariah and become the life of the party.

The magical power of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit is to imbue its wearer with confidence.

The cast includes Adrain Elizondo, Joaquin Garay III, Daniel V. Graulau, Robert Kerr, Verona Masongsong, Joy Nash, Paul Renteria, Eddie Ruiz, Rusy Rodriguez and Philip Sokoloff. Direction is by Alan Neal Hubbs with Lighting design by Peter Strauss; Sound design by Robert Arturo Ramirez; Scenic design by John Edw. Blankenship and Production staff manager Elliott Woodruff.

This 1972 play was first produced by the Organic Theatre of Chicago. A musical version was presented by Pasadena Playhouse in 1989. The new production marks a rare opportunity for local audiences to see the original play.

Fremont Center Theatre
1000 Fremont Ave. (at El Centro)
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Previews: Thursday and Friday, January 15 and 16, 2009
Opening Night: Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 8 pm
Performances: Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday at 3 pm
Closing Performance: Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 3 pm
Admission: $20
Seniors: $15
Students: $10

Reservations and Information: (323)960-4451
Online ticketing: www.Plays411.com/raybradbury

Falling Upward
A Comedic Irish Fable

Pat Harrington, star of Broadway, movies, TV and regional theatre will lead the cast in this revival of Falling Upward at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.

Falling Upward relates the adventures of the regulars at Heeber Finn’s pub in the village of Kilcock, County Kildare. The boyos assist the victims of a traffic collision, stage an insurrection at the local Anglo-Irishman’s funeral, confront a flamboyant band of travelers arriving from Sicily (with whom there are more similarities than differences), field an entry in a sprinting competition, and generally enjoy the “mighty craic” (camaraderie) that a pub in Ireland facilitates.

The boyos are working-class fellows who defer to Finn, who has provided this haven for them. Their spiritual advisor is Father Leary, who occasionally stops in for a wee nip. Garrity as “Seanchai” (historian) is tribal counselor for the boyos as well as the entire village of Kilcock.

In this new production, Garrity is portrayed by Pat Harrington, recipient of the Emmy, Golden Globe and Drama-Logue Awards. His credits include the rolls of Dwayne Schneider on One Day at a Time and Guido Panzini on The Jack Paar Show. He was also a regular with Steve Allen, The Danny Thomas Show and Owen Marshall: Counselor At Law. His films include Easy Come, Easy Go; Move Over, Darling; The President’s Analyst and The Candidate. His LA theatre credits include The House of Blue Leaves, Love Letters, Blackout, The Pajama Game and Harrington and Storm.

Also in this cast are Abbott Alexander, Atotesfaye Abdu-Hakim, Walter Beery, David Evans Brandt, Roger Cruz, Tom DeBone, Duffy Dugan, Donald E. Giddings, Austin Maloney, Tim Martin, Donald Moore, Ken O’Malley, Christian Reeve, Mik Scriba and Philip Sokoloff.

Director Tim Byron Owen, in a two-week special engagement at Theatre West in 2007, significantly reimagined and reinvented the original piece.  It is this new interpretation of Falling Upward (crafted with Mr. Bradbury’s delighted approval) that a new team of producers brings to the El Portal.  Producers are Mary Todhunter and Joe Everett Michaels, Set Designer: Jeff Rack; Lighting Designer: Peter Strauss; and Costume Designer: Kelly Fluker.  The production is presented by the Sarah Fulton Group in association with Ray Bradbury’s Pandemonium Theatre Company.

El Portal Theatre
(on the main stage)
5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
Previews: Tues., Feb. 26 and Wed., Feb. 27 – 8 pm
Opening Night: Saturday, Feb. 28 – 8 pm
Performances: Thurs. thru Sat. at 8 pm; Sun. at 3 pm
(Pre-show entertainment commences 20 minutes prior to official curtain time.)
Admission:  Gala Opening Night: $40-$50.  All other performances: $30-$40.
Reservations and Information: (818)508-4200
Online Ticketing: www.elportaltheatre.com/events or www.Plays411.com
Website:  www.raybradburysfallingupward.com