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Coast-to-coast talent influences Donna McKechnie

48 HOURS

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”

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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.

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“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.

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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

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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

said.

A lot of the music is from shows she’s done in her career -- “A

Chorus Line,” “Promises, Promises,” “Sweet Charity” “How to Succeed

in Business.”

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.

SPECIAL EVENTS

PHOTOGRAPHER LOOKS FOR BEAUTY IN LITTLE THINGS

Glendale photographer O’Ross captures the beauty of small things

on film.

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

Glendale

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

12th grade.

Best of Show winners are Ricardo Aguilar, an 11th-grader from John

Burroughs High School, and Curran Wedner, a 12th-grader from Burroughs.

ON STAGE

‘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

955-8101.

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

“Providence.”

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

would err.

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

mercy.

The former Masonic temple building is at 234 S. Brand Blvd.,

Glendale. Tickets range from $18 to $38 and can be reserved by

calling 240-0910.

‘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

www.gtc.org.

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.

ART EXHIBITS

‘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,

floral/still life.

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

music.

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

no minimum.

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.

MUSEUMS

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,

call 845-3300.

ATTRACTIONS

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.

CONCERTS

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.

* If you have press releases for the 48 Hours column, please call

JOYCE RUDOLPH at 637-3241 or e-mail joyce.rudolph@latimes.com or fax

them to 241-1975.


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