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‘Mask’: Movie jumps to stage

Makeup designer Michael Westmore was the facial creative force for the 1985 movie “Mask.” Now he’s doing the same for the Pasadena Playhouse musical of the same name based on the true story of Roy L. “Rocky” Dennis, a Southern California teenager diagnosed with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. The show runs through April 20. (http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/) (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
The 1985 movie “Mask” starred Cher and Eric Stoltz (pictured in the movie still). A similar pieced-together latex mask is being used for the stage musical. Makeup designer Michael Westmore says the show’s creative team briefly considered a more subtle approach, but ultimately decided “you have to put the third dimension on, or it really wouldn’t work.” (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Allen E. Read, who stars as Rocky in the Pasadena Playhouse production of “Mask,” spends more than a few minutes in the makeup chair before each performance. Attaching the latex extended jaw line are makeup artist Brad Look, left, and makeup designer Michael Westmore. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
With his skin prepped before each phase, portions of the latex mask are attached to Allen E. Read’s face. Each segment begins with liquid latex that’s whirred in a blender then poured into plaster molds, made using clay models. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Because of the demands of singing on stage, this mask (as opposed to the movie mask that came in three segments) is built from five pieces — forehead, nose, two cheekbones and chin — for easier facial movement. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
The pieces come together with connective makeup backstage at the Pasadena Playhouse. Surprisingly, says actor Allen E. Read, the mask “really feels like an extension of me, rather than an appendage.” (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Toward the end of the hourlong process, makeup artist Brad Look brushes on layers of skin tone. (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
In the final step of Allen E. Read’s transformation into Rocky Dennis, a flame-colored human-hair wig is attached to the latex mask with spirit gum. With the difficulties of Dennis’ deformity, Read says, the boy -- who died at 16 -- was particularly proud of his thick mane. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
At last, the re-creation of Rocky Dennis is complete. On two-show days, actor Read leaves the mask and wig on between performances. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Allen E. Read — in the trappings, persona and burdens of Rocky Dennis — takes center stage with Sarah Glendening as Diana at the Pasadena Playhouse. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)