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Colony welcomes TV star French Stewart to its stage in ‘The

Nerd’

48 HOURS

Tonight, the Colony Theatre Company kicks off its new season with the

opening of Larry Shue’s comedy, “The Nerd.” Making this production

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especially fun is the starring role is filled by French Stewart from

the TV show “3rd Rock From the Sun.”

“We are just thrilled to have lured French Stewart back to the

stage, which is his first love,” Barbara Beckley, producing director,

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said. “He is now enjoying a major film and TV career.”

Apparently, Stewart has been a fan of the Colony for a number of

years.

“We approached him to take the part and he jumped on it,” she

said. “It’s going to be fun for the audiences to see a whole new side

of him in person.”

Directing the play is David Rose, who was also at the helm of the

Colony’s “Fuddy Meers,” and “The Man Who Came To Dinner.”

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The story is about a former GI who finally meets the guy who saved

his life. The man, however, turns out to be an bumbling oaf with no

social sense, little intelligence and less tact.

“This is one of the funniest plays ever written,” Beckley said.

“Larry Shue is best known for ‘The Foreigner’ but this one is just as

funny.”

Lillian Hellman’s “Toys in the Attic” opens Aug. 16. It is

directed by the award-winning Jessica Kubzansky.

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It seems the Colony’s great reputation was impetus for bringing

the play back to Los Angeles after a more than 20-year absence.

“The rights have not been released by the Hellman estate for it to

be performed,” Beckley said. “I wrote them a pitch letter, telling

them of our achievements and they capitulated and we’re thrilled.

Other theaters have tried and tried and were told no.”

Also offered this season are the Los Angeles premiere of the

musical “Gunmetal Blues,” with music and lyrics by Craig Bohmler and

Marion Adler and book by Scott Wentworth, opening Oct. 18. And in its

world premiere, “Clutter” by Burbank playwright Mark Saltzman, opens

Feb. 7.

The April play is yet to be announced.

“We’re looking for something exciting for our final slot, so stay

tuned,” Beckley said.

Show times for “The Nerd” are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2

and 7 p.m. Sundays. Tickets range from $29 to $35 with discounts for

students and seniors. Opening nights are $50. For reservations, call

558-7000. The Colony makes its home at the Burbank Center Stage, 555

N. Third St., Burbank.

SPECIAL EVENTS

MURDER MYSTERY RAISES FUNDS FOR SHAKESPEARE

Shakespeare at Play is raising funds this weekend in order to

produce a Shakespearean Festival in Burbank this summer.

Billed as “A Murder Mystery Show with Dinner and Dessert,” the

event features hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, no-host bar and music

beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at The Castaway in Burbank.

Debbie Gates, executive producer of the company, recently brought

a troupe of actors to Burbank and John Burroughs high schools to

present “Hamlet” to several of the English classes. Those of us

attending were spellbound as we watched the characters we’ve known

from the books come to life.

In a thank-you note Gates received following the performance, one

student said it best.

"...It made me see the play in a different way. I tried to read

the book. It didn’t make sense and then when the Shakespeare At Play

came to our school, it made a big difference...”

Funds to pay the actors to perform the play were donated by Warner

Bros. The Walt Disney Co. recently donated funds for the group to

perform for children.

Gates hopes additional funds will allow her company to go back

into the schools next year to put on a seminar about classical

literature and history.

Tickets for the Murder Mystery dinner to benefit the Burbank

Shakespearean Summer Festival are $75. For reservations, call

566-1925. The Castaway is at 1250 Harvard Road in Burbank.

THEATRE BANSHEE OPENS ‘RED NOSES’

The laughs continue over at the Gene Bua Theatre in Burbank with

Peter Barnes’ “Red Noses,” produced by Theatre Banshee.

Directed by Glendale resident Sean Branney, the play is known as

the funniest ever written about the Black Plague. It’s the tale of a

priest who decides to fight the plague’s suffering by becoming a

clown. He and his followers spread medieval mirth and merriment and

confront forces darker than the plague itself.

The company’s last production, “The Weir,” received awards last

year from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Backstage West, the Valley

Theatre League and received three L.A. Weekly Award nominations.

Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays

through July 13. The Gene Bua Theatre is at 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd.,

Burbank. Tickets are $15, and $12 for students, seniors and groups.

For reservations, call 628-0688.

ON STAGE

CENTRE THEATRE OFFERS ‘THE MUSIC MAN’

Real-life husband and wife Bill Lewis and Charlotte Carpenter, of

Burbank, are starring in Glendale Centre Theatre’s romantic musical

“The Music Man” by Meredith Willson.

Lewis is also directing the play about a fast-talking,

fly-by-night salesman who falls in love with River City’s no-nonsense

librarian. Lewis plays Harold Hill opposite Carpenter’s Marian Paroo.

“The Music Man” continues through July 12. Tickets range from $14

to $17. “Cinderella” continues at 11 a.m. Saturdays until June 28.

Tickets are $12, and $10 for children. For reservations, call

244-8481. Glendale Centre Theatre is at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale.

‘RANDOM ACTS OF THEATRE’ ENDS THIS WEEKEND

Final performances of “Random Acts of Theatre” are being presented

this weekend by the Glendale Community College theatre arts

department.

Show times are 8 tonight and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7, $5 for

students and seniors and $3 each for groups of 10 or more. The

college is at 1500 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale. For reservations, call

240-1000, ext. 5618.

‘OTHELLO’ COMPLETES ITS RUN

“Othello” completes its run this weekend at the Grove Theatre

Center in Burbank.

Othello follows the story of the title character, a very

successful Moorish soldier living in the very white society of

Venice. He secretly marries Desdemona, the white daughter of a

prominent Venetian, whose father immediately complains to the Duke.

But the strong love enjoyed between Desdemona and Othello carry them

through and on to Cyprus, where Othello is dispatched to repel an

invasion by the Turks. Tragedy ensues as Othello’s ensign, Iago,

craftily plays upon the trusting nature of Othello and slowly

convinces him of Desdemona’s infidelity.

Show time is 8 tonight. Tickets are $19.50. There is a $5 discount

for Burbank residents. GTC Burbank (formerly the Burbank Little

Theater) is at 1111-b W. Olive Ave., in Burbank. For reservations,

call 238-9998.

FALCON THEATRE PRESENTS ‘3 LITTLE PIGS’

The Falcon Theatre is producing “3 Little Pigs,” written by Carole

Unter and directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie, through June 22.

Embarking on a fun-filled adventure in storytelling and

architecture, the “3 Little Pigs” playfully rewrite their own classic

tale as they learn about the power of the imagination and the

importance of friendship.

Show times are 1 and 3 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. Tickets

are $10. The Falcon Theatre is at 4252 Riverside Drive, in Burbank.

For information and reservations, call 955-8101.

BURBANK RESIDENT DIRECTING NEW PLAY

Jhennifer Webberley, a Burbank resident, is directing and

producing an original play, “Sebastian and the Tattooed Love

Librarian,” at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood.

Webberley, who recently graduated with a master’s in fine arts

from USC film school, has found her way back to theater with this

contemporary comedy about relationships.

The play by Debra Neff Nathans is a story that examines the

relationships between gay men and the women who adore them. Dora, a

self-proclaimed “fag hag,” struggles to combine her flamboyant fruit

fly lifestyle with her new found secret straight love.

Show times are 8 tonight and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 with

discounts for groups, students and seniors. For reservations, call

845-5148. The theater is at 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood.

BURBANK ACTOR STARS IN ‘MEET ME AT THE OAK’

Burbank actor Phil Hawn is starring in the play, “Meet Me at the

Oak,” at the Whitmore-Lindley Theatre in North Hollywood.

This is the inaugural production of The Los Angeles African

American Repertory Company, written and directed by award-winning

playwright, Layon Gray. Hawn plays Frank Beaudoin, the father of a

Caucasian family that moves into an all African American Louisiana

neighborhood in 1955.

When his little girl falls from an old oak tree in a neighbor’s

yard, the local law, on Frank’s behalf, informs the African American

family that the tree must be chopped down. They refuse due to the

history of the tree -- many of their ancestors were hung from it.

Hawn, who appeared in the feature film “Supreme Sanction” and the

Internet short “Spoof! An Insider’s Guide to Short Film Success,”

recently completed three festival award-winning short films and TV

commercials.

Show times are 8 p.m. Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays. The play runs

indefinitely. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by calling

761-0704. The theater is at 11006 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood.

ART EXHIBITS

SETSU DISPLAYS ‘PORTRAITS AND PANORAMAS’

The Art of Japanese American artist Setsu is featured at The

Forest Lawn Museum in Forest Lawn, Glendale through Aug. 3.

The exhibit represents the journey one has on the path of life as

well as experiences that touch the lives of Los Angelenos, each in a

unique and personal way. Setsu specializes in portraits capturing the

story her subjects have to tell and reflecting on her experiences as

a Japanese American citizen. All of her paintings bring together the

influence she has felt, from her background to the painting styles of

Van Gogh and Renoir.

A “Meet the Artist” event is planned for June 21.

The exhibit hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Aug. 3.

Forest Lawn Museum is at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, 1712 S.

Glendale Ave. Admission is free. For more information, call (800)

204-3131, ext. 4545.

* 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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