Actor marks 100th production with Centre Theatre's 'Music Man'


Mario Di Gregorio is a member of a big, happy family -- the Glendale

Centre Theatre family.

His appearance as Mayor Shinn in the theater's current production

of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man" marks his 100th play as an actor with the company.

"He has also directed at least 30 or 40 shows since 1961," said

Tim Dietlein, executive producer of the theater.

When it comes to performing community theater, Di Gregorio said,

few can compete.

"We have nice dressing rooms, the directors are good and we have

good plays," he said. "I've worked with other companies that have

good plays but the facility is a mess. You might be dressing in an

alley or a room with 50 other people."

The actors form longtime friendships as well, Di Gregorio added.

"The people are very pleasant -- they are like a family, and new

people are welcomed in with open arms," he said.

A lot of child actors who started their careers at Centre Theatre

have gone on to work in television and on the stage, he said.

Working as a director has also been a rewarding experience. Di

Gregorio has been involved in the process for choosing the plays for

its Glendale audiences, which means looking for material with no

swearing, smoking or drinking.

"Tim (Dietlein) likes to keep a family atmosphere, so we try to

keep material as clean as possible so the audience won't be nervous

about bringing their children," he said.

The production team pretty much agrees on the shows, and if things

need to be taken out, it is done without hurting the play.

A retired film editor, Di Gregorio now works full time in the

theater's costume shop during the day and performs in plays at night.

The costume shop has some 60,000 costumes to rent.

In "The Music Man," Di Gregorio joins Charlotte Carpenter in the

lead female role and her real-life husband Bill Lewis plays her love


"I'm playing the mayor -- it's such a wonderfully pompous role,"

he said. "The mayor believes he is in control of everything and he

isn't. He's the guy you love to hate."

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

to $17. For reservations, call 244-8481. Glendale Centre Theatre is

at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale.



The Turner Trio brings its brand of clean-edged bebop jazz to the

second annual Block Party from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday in the

Montrose Shopping Park in the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue,


The group, led by local bassist Russ Turner, will have its debut

at the combined Hot Rod Show and family day sponsored by the Montrose


Fresh fruit and vegetables will be offered at the Montrose Harvest

Market. Sunday also marks the debut of the Thieves Market, offering

small antiques and collectibles, which will continue every Sunday.

The Dons and Donettes Square Dance Club will exhibit dance

demonstrations, and the Gremoli New Orleans Jazz Band will perform.


The Bobby Perino Combo is continuing its series "Big Band Dancing

at the Moose" from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Moose Lodge, 357

Arden Ave.

Guests can exhibit their ballroom and swing dancing skills to a

six-piece combo playing the standards from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Dance styles are East and West Coast swing, waltzes, foxtrots

and mixers. Latin dance styles include cha-cha, rumbas, mambos and


Admission is $6. For information, call 240-1505.


Members of Glendale Beautiful are sponsoring an open house with

free tours from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Casa Adobe de San Rafael,

1330 Dorothy Drive, Glendale.

Glendale Beautiful members maintain the state historic landmark,

which was built in 1870 for Tomas Sanchez, the first sheriff of L.A.

County. The adobe contains period furnishings and historic artifacts

and photographs.

The Casa Adobe also will be open July 13, 20 and 27. For more

information, call 246-3634.



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, 628-0688.


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 because of the history of the tree -- many of their ancestors

were hanged from it.

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

continues through July 13. Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by

calling 761-0704. The theater is at 11006 Mag- nolia Blvd., North



This is the final weekend of the Colony Theatre Company production

of Larry Shue's comedy "The Nerd," starring French Stewart from the

TV show "Third Rock from the Sun."

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."

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

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

social sense, little intelligence and less tact.

Show times are 8 tonight and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range

from $29 to $35 with discounts for students and seniors. For

reservations, call 558-7000. The Colony makes its home at the Burbank

Center Stage, 555 N. Third St., Burbank.


Three companies have merged their expertise on a magical theater

experience for the whole family titled "When Tigers Smoked Long

Pipes," continuing at 8 tonight at The Victory Theatre Center in


The collaboration is between The Victory Theatre, The Lodestone

Theatre Ensemble and The Orphans Theater Company.

Angela Kang of Orphans Theater Company wrote the play, which is

receiving its world premiere at The Victory. Robert Shinso, who is

Lodestone Theatre Ensemble's actor-director-technical expert, has

created the sets.

The production is a series of five Korean folk tales with the

common theme of transformation.

Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m.

Sundays through July 20. The Victory Theatre Center is at 3326 W.

Victory Blvd., Burbank. Tickets are $15, $13 for students, $11 each

for groups, and $5 for children accompanied by an adult. For

reservations, call 841-5421.


The Alliance Repertory Company is presenting "The Hostage,"

written by Brendan Behan, directed by Stephanie Shroyer and starring

Morlan Higgins.

A handsome British soldier is captured by the IRA in exchange for

the release of another IRA soldier condemned to be hanged the next

morning. He is taken to a rowdy house of ill repute and is introduced

to song, drink, dance and love by this hilarious group of bawdy

boarders. But it's only a matter of time before the world outside

catches up with the life inside.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 p.m.

Sundays through July 27. Ticket prices are $20. For reservations,

call (800) 595-4849. The Alliance Theatre is at 3204 W. Magnolia

Blvd. in Burbank.



Penelope's Cafe Books and Gallery is showing Jim Jordan's

landscape photography and George Cook's nature photography until July


Penelope's Cafe is at 1029 Foothill Blvd. La Canada Flintridge.

For information, call 790-4386.


The Art of Japanese American artist Setsu is featured at the

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

"The Art of Setsu Portraits and Panoramas" 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


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.


Nature, seen through the eyes and in the works of four artists,

will adorn the walls of the Boddy House Gallery at Descanso Gardens

in La Canada Flintridge through July 31.

John Drake exhibits a collection of one-of-a-kind ceramics and

clay bowls.

Chris Hogan shows gourds decorated with all-natural materials and

designs reflective of pre-pottery vessels used for centuries for

utility and ceremony.

Kendra Page, named the 2002 Artist of the Year by the Verdugo

Hills Art Assn., will exhibit oil paintings of the California


Patricia A. Wiley displays still life and florals in vibrant hues

of watercolor.

Many artists who exhibit also bring reproductions, greeting cards,

boxes and other items featuring the images of the originals. All are

available for purchase.

The Boddy House Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and

accessible by footpath or, in the afternoons, by tram. Admission is

free with admission to the Gardens.

Descanso Gardens is at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Ca- nada

Flintridge. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Parking is free.

Admission fees are $5; $3 for seniors and students; $1 for children 5 to 12; and free for members and children 5 and younger. For more

information, call 949-4200.


"From Ararat to America," an unprecedented collection of art by

contemporary Armenian artists, is featured in a exhibit at Forest

Lawn Museum in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

The exhibit continues through July 13. Forest Lawn is at 1712 S.

Glendale Ave. For more information, call (323) 340-4561.


The Glendale Woodturners Guild and the American Assn. of

Woodturners are combining in a wood-turning exhibit "Trees to

Treasures -- American Assn. of Woodturners Put a Lid on It" at Brand

Library Art Galleries in Glendale.

The exhibit ends today. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to

the galleries are free. Brand Art Galleries are in Brand Park at 1601

W. Mountain St., Glendale. For more information, call 548-2051.



The Oceanview Bar and Grill offers live entertainment six nights a

week for diners.

Entertainers perform a combination of piano and jazz guitar

pieces, and some accompany with vocals. Selections include a mix of

music from the 1920s, '30s and '40s to opera to Celine Dion.

Jennifer Russell and Michael Gayle sing jazz while playing piano

and guitar from 7 to 10 tonight. Singing behind the piano the rest of

the week are Bill Howe on Monday; Travis Warren, Tuesday; Mary Ekler,

Wednesday; Alexandra Caselli, Thursday; and Bob Fetherolf, Friday.

The Oceanview Bar and Grill is at 3826 Ocean View Blvd. For more

information, call 248-2722.

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

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

them to 241-1975.

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