Donna McKechnie’s autobiographical show about becoming a Broadway
star has evolved.
On and off for nine years, she’s been producing “Inside the Music”
on stages with sets built for other plays and playhouses lacking good
sound quality. Now, through a new liaison with The Colony Theatre in
Burbank, the singer/dancer is finally seeing her creation moving into
a professionally staged presentation.
“This is a jewel box of a theater,” she said, looking around the
Colony’s digs inside the city-owned Burbank Center Stage facility.
“This is what my show needs.”
The show is a collaboration of East Coast and West Coast
professionals, she said. The Colony covered the expense to fly out
her own director Thommie Walsh from New York. The text is written by
Obie Award-winning Christopher Durang, also from the East Coast.
West Coast influences are Larry Miller on set design, Robert L.
Smith creating the lighting, Drew Dalzell perfecting the sound and
Scott A. Lane doing costumes.
What is exciting for her is the new ideas being generated.
“I love the fact that it’s still evolving,” she said. “It takes on
a life of its own.”
Letting go of complete control of a project coincides with her
mantra “Kiss it up to God.”
“I will never stop working hard -- it’s that Midwestern work ethic
and the bane of my existence,” she said. “I have always placed
demands on myself to be perfect and it got me into trouble. I’ve
learned you can’t control everything.”
Directing the music for the production is Burbank resident Tom
Griffin. He conducts the three-piece combo while playing the piano.
Joining him are bassist Dana Decker and percussionist Tom Bowe.
It’s been an interesting experience for Griffin because the combo
is right on stage with the performer. He has the opportunity to sing
a song with McKechnie and even says a few lines.
“She is a wonderful lady to work with -- extremely musical,” he
A lot of the music is from shows she’s done in her career -- “A
Chorus Line,” “Promises, Promises,” “Sweet Charity” “How to Succeed
Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and
7 p.m. Sundays through May 11. Tickets are $26 to $32 and can be
reserved by calling 558-7000. Burbank Center Stage is at 555 N.
Third St., Burbank.
PHOTOGRAPHER LOOKS FOR BEAUTY IN LITTLE THINGS
Glendale photographer O’Ross captures the beauty of small things
In her third photo exhibit, she is showing her framed photos of
people portraits, florals, little scenes of nature and objects of
interest and beauty at Patrick’s Cafe, 6320 San Fernando Road in
After spending decades working as a secretary in the music and
film industries and writing songs and screenplays on the side, O’Ross
took up photography in 1994. She bought a bare-bones, 35mm, student
camera from a fellow employee. Under his guidance, she began shooting
flowers, bridges, fences and other things.
“It wasn’t perfect, but it was pure love,” she said. “Over time
and many errors, I learned to see the beauty in small things and how
to put it on film, trading up in camera equipment as I went along.”
Today, she shoots with twin Canons, a couple of lenses, a few
filters, a flash and better film -- Fuji’s Provia or Velvia. They are
slower slide films with rich color saturation for tapping the true
colors of tulips, irises, flowering trees and grasses in seed.
“In recent years, I have turned also to people of all ages. Never
mundane or boring, people have a spark, the essence of life I feel
lucky to capture,” she said.
At Patrick’s Cafe, the emphasis is art, and that includes the mix
of coffees, teas, smoothies, pastries, salads and sandwiches.
Upstairs in the cafe is a loft where artists hang photos and
paintings. For this exhibit, additional works have been displayed on
the ground floor. The exhibit will be up throughout the month.
‘THREE LITTLE PIGS’ OPENS AT FALCON THEATRE
“Three Little Pigs” incorporates an adventure in storytelling with
architecture in this family play written by Carole Unter and opening
today at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.
Joseph Leo Bwarie directs this story of three barnyard buddies who
playfully rewrite their own classic tale as they learn about the
power of the imagination and the importance of friendship.
Tickets are $10. Show times are 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m.
Sundays through June 22. The Falcon Theatre is at 4252 Riverside
Drive in Burbank. For reservations, call 955-8101.
BEST CHEVY 2003 SOUGHT BY ROAD’ERS
A special trophy will be awarded to the best Chevy 2003 when the
Road’ers Car Club honors Chevy Night at its monthly Cruise In from 6
to 9 tonight at Bob’s Big Boy, 1407 W. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale.
Several other trophies will also be awarded. There will be
raffles, prizes and D.J. Jim spinning his oldies but goodies. All
classic, antique and hot rods are welcome. For more information, call
Rick Fox at 240-9461.
SCHOOL STUDENTS PERFORM ORIGINAL DANCES TONIGHT
The Glendale/Burbank Dance Invitational for middle and high school
students will be at 8 tonight at Glendale Community College in the
Sierra Nevada Gym Dance Theater.
Students from area schools will showcase original choreography, as
well as present a dance performance for the adjudicated event.
Tickets are $5 each at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Seating
is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. For more
information, call 240-1000, ext. 5646.
YOUNG ARTISTS DISPLAY WORKS AT CENTER
Top art students throughout Burbank are featured in the “Aloha
Art!” Youth Art Expo 2003 continuing through Friday at the Burbank
Creative Arts Center, 1100 W. Clark Ave., Burbank.
The event is co-sponsored by the Burbank Park, Recreation and
Community Services Department and the Burbank Fine Arts Federation.
The exhibit shows art from students ranging from kindergarten through
Best of Show winners are Ricardo Aguilar, an 11th-grader from John
Burroughs High School, and Curran Wedner, a 12th-grader from Burroughs.
‘GRETTY GOOD TIME’ AT THE FALCON
Pamela Gordon stars in John Belluso’s “Gretty Good Time,”
continuing at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.
Joe Regalbuto directs this West Coast premiere of the play.
Frustrated by her life of dependency, a paralytic woman with a
death wish and an irascible sense of humor escapes the confines of
her 1950s nursing home into a surreal dream world. But even amid this
world of fantasy, she finds she still must reconcile the horrors of
her past with the painful reality of her future.
The play continues through May 4. Show times are 8 p.m. Wednesdays
through Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $25 to $37.50 with
group senior discounts available, except for Saturday shows. Falcon
Theatre is at 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. For reservations, call
TV AND FILM STAR JOINS IMPROV TROUPE
The Really Spontaneous Theatre Company welcomes actor Bodhi Elfman
to The Third Stage in Burbank.
Elfman has appeared in the films “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “The Mod
Squad.” On TV, he has been seen in “Malcolm in the Middle” and
The improv troupe performs at 7 p.m. Sundays at The Third Stage,
2811 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Tickets are $15. For reservations,
call (323) 969-4991.
A NOISE WITHIN PRODUCING CLASSICS
A Noise Within’s “The King Stag” continues through May 18 at the
Glendale playhouse. It plays in repertory with “O Pioneers” and
“Measure For Measure.”
Carlo Gozzi’s classic is directed by Joe Graves. The story is
about Deramo, King of Serendippo, who longs for a queen who honestly
loves him. Having already seen all the lovely ladies in the land,
Deramo seeks the help of a magician to conjure up his true love. But
when the magic falls into the wrong hands, life changes in the
kingdom and a struggle ensues between good and evil.
Artistic co-directors and husband and wife, Geoff Elliott and
Julia Rodriguez Elliott, direct “O Pioneers,” a stage adaptation of
Willa Cather’s novel. Heroine Alexandra Bergson leads her family into
the 1880s Midwest to carve out a living from a forbidding land.
It runs in repertory through May 15 with Shakespeare’s “Measure
for Measure,” which continues through May 10.
As part of his plan to arrest the moral decay plaguing his beloved
city, the Duke of Vienna abdicates power to his trusted subordinate
Angelo in order to travel incognito throughout his realm. Angelo, a
man of unblemished reputation, sentences Claudio, an unwitting
citizen, to death for “sinful indiscretions” as an example to all who
Claudio’s tenacious and pure-hearted sister, Isabella, rushes to
her brother’s aid, unleashing a deadly passion in Angelo. Thus begins
the age-old confrontation between compassion and intolerance, public
morality and private lechery, in Shakespeare’s tale of the measure of
The former Masonic temple building is at 234 S. Brand Blvd.,
Glendale. Tickets range from $18 to $38 and can be reserved by
‘PETTICOAT FEVER’ AT CENTRE THEATRE
“Petticoat Fever,” a comedy by Mark Reed, runs through May 17 at
Glendale Centre Theatre.
The play had a successful run in London and on Broadway in 1935,
as well as on tour around the United States. In 1937, MGM released
the motion picture starring Robert Montgomery and Myrna Loy.
The story is about a young man stuck in a remote radio outpost in
Northern Canada. When the girl of his dreams (and her fiance)
literally drop into his world, it’s a recipe for fast-paced hilarity.
This production is directed by Burbank resident George Strattan.
Tickets range from $14 to $17. For reservations, call 244-8481.
Glendale Centre Theatre is at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale.
The children’s musical “Cinderella” plays at 11 a.m. Saturdays through June 18.
‘2ND WIND THE MUSICAL’ IS BACK ON STAGE
The revival performance of the rock opera, “2nd Wind the Musical
2002,” has returned with two new songs. Show time is 8 tonight at
the Gene Bua Acting For Life Theatre in Burbank.
The story is about an acting coach, Teacher, who rallies together
three celebrity volunteers to help him with a new program at
Strawberry Fields Residential Treatment Center. They attempt to teach
three street kids how to turn their rage, fear and shame into
positive energy through acting.
Tickets are $25 with discounts available for seniors, groups and
teens. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Here’s To Life Foundation,
reaching at-risk youth through art and entertainment. For
reservations, call (310) 680-9109. The play continues through May 3.
The playhouse is at 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank.
‘LEND ME A TENOR’ AT GROVE THEATER CENTER
Grove Theater Center Burbank is producing Ken Ludwig’s zany comedy
“Lend Me a Tenor.”
Trouble begins for the Cleveland Grand Opera when tenor Tito
Merelli overdoses on sleeping pills right before his debut with the
company. The fun begins when the company’s office assistant (and
aspiring opera singer) Max offers to impersonate him.
The company might have pulled it off, except for the three women
who throw themselves at Tito. Then his jealous Italian wife appears.
Hilarity abounds when a mad lunatic dressed as Otello tries to break
into the theater.
For more information and to buy tickets, call 238-9998 or go to
Performances are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays
through April 26. Tickets are $17.50 for Thursdays and Sundays,
$19.50 for Saturdays. There is a $5 discount for Burbank residents.
GTC Burbank is at 1111-b W. Olive Ave. in Burbank. It is in the
back of the George Izay Park, behind the Olive Recreation Center. For
tickets, call 238-9998 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday
and prior to all performances.
‘LOVE BUG’ WINS SPRING EXHIBIT’S BEST OF SHOW
Ruben Jadao received the Best of Show honor for his painting “Love
Bug” in the Glendale Art Assn.'s Spring Juried Exhibit continuing
through May 2 at Casa Verdugo Library, 1151 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.
First-place winners are Izabella T. Wardas, landscape; Annie
Stephanian, portrait; Dorothy Shepherd, animal; and Ruben Yadao,
Juror was watercolor artist Tom Fong of Alhambra. His work has
been included in national juried exhibitions and he was the featured
artist in the Watercolor Page of the American Artist June 2001 issue.
For information, call 548-2047.
A LITTLE JAZZ WITH DINNER
RUSTY PELICAN COOKS WITH LIVE MUSIC
Glendale’s Rusty Pelican, 300 Harvey Drive in Glendale, serves
dinner and Sunday brunch, but really cooks with its live singing and
2AZZ1 and The Body & Soul Band, featuring Burbank residents Craig
and Mary Durst, performs at 7:30 p.m. Fridays. There is no cover and
There’s karaoke from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays, live jazz from
7:30 to 11 p.m. Fridays and live blues from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Saturdays. For information or to make reservations, call 242-9191.
BURBANK HISTORICAL SOCIETY OFFERS EXHIBITS OF BURBANK
The Burbank Historical Society’s Gordon R. Howard Museum Complex
features exhibits of early Burbank. There are extensive collections
of vintage vehicles, costumes, dolls, cameras and special sections on
the history of Lockheed, Disney and Warner Bros. studios.
Hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. The complex is at
1015 W. Olive Ave., Burbank. Parking is available at George Izay Park
lot off Clark Avenue.
For more information, call 841-6333.
BURBANK MUSEUM DEDICATED TO AVIATION
Burbank Aviation Museum is dedicated to the memory of the men and
women who made aviation history in the San Fernando Valley.
Located at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery, artifacts are
displayed in the Portal of the Folded Wings-Shrine to Aviation, an
ornate domed building that is listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. Visitors can enter on Valhalla Boulevard behind
Fry’s Electronics, off Hollywood Way or use the main entrance at
10621 Victory Blvd.
The Portal building is accessible from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for
viewing the cenotaphs and burial stones.
The aviation displays can be viewed from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Admission is free, but donations are accepted. For more information,
SKATING IS COOL FUN AT PICKWICK ARENA
Pickwick Ice Skating Arena, 1001 Riverside Drive in Burbank, has
public skating, figure skating and ice-hockey lessons. It is also
available for private parties. Public sessions are from 2:30 to 4:30
p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; 8 to 10 p.m. Saturdays; 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and 8:15 to 9:45 p.m. Wednesdays.
Admission is $6, $5 for 17 and younger, and $3 extra for skate
rentals. Call 846-0035.
EQUESTRIAN CENTER GREAT FOR HORSING AROUND
The Los Angeles Equestrian Center, 480 Riverside Drive in Burbank,
has horse events throughout the year but also rents out the animals
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Horse rentals are $20 for one hour,
$30 for 1 1/2 hours, and $35 for two hours, all with a $15 deposit,
cash only. Private hourlong lessons are $35.
Private parties can take night rides or, for the summer only,
sunset barbecue rides. The sunset rides are also open to the public.
To horse around, call 840-8401, or for general information about the
center, call 840-9063.
MOONLIGHT ROLLERWAY IS THE PLACE TO SKATE
Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale offers skating for children and
adults throughout the week. Admission ranges from $4.50 to $6.75.
There is a $2 skate rental fee or skaters can bring their own in-line
or regular skates.
There is a session for children 12 and younger and their parents
from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
Public sessions are from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and
1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Adult Disco Night for those 18
and older is from 8:30 to 11 p.m. Monday. Old-timers Night with live
organ music is from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesdays.
Skaters receive a discount on the public session from 8 to 10:30
p.m. Wednesdays. Adult admission is $5 with $2 skate rental. The rink
is reserved for private parties Thursday.
Moonlight is at 5110 San Fernando Road in Glendale. For more
information, call 241-3630.
PASADENA POPS UNVEILS SUMMER SEASON AT DESCANSO
The programs have been announced for the Pasadena Pops Orchestra’s
summer season performed at Descanso Gardens.
A “Red, White and Blue” salute featuring the music of the Andrew
Sisters is June 27 and 28. Then it’s a night of music, “Fit for a
King,” with highlights from “The King and I” and Elvis on July 18 and
19, followed by a dance theme Aug. 15 and 16. “Beyond the Stars” is
the topic Sept. 5 and 6 and Cherish the Ladies, a non-subscription
event, is Aug. 2.
Rachael Worby is music director and conductor.
For tickets, call (626) 792-7677.
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