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Special Theatrical Events: Alice in Wonderland, Marvin Hamlisch, Fake Radio's My Darling Clementine


 Sometimes great entertaining theatre comes in different forms. Here are three special events, highly theatrical in nature, that live on the outer edges of the form. One is in a limited run, the other two are one-night-only offerings. So go ahead – expand your horizons! Theatre lives in many places and in many ways…

Alice in Wonderland at the El Capitan Theatre Mar. 5-Apr. 20
Okay, so it’s Tim Burton’s wildly imaginative film and not a play, but with a movie this incredibly theatrical how could it not be included in a listing of Special Theatrical Events? Besides, you’ll feel like you’re on stage when you enter the legendary El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood and find props and set pieces from the film have transformed the lobby into Wonderland! Alice in Wonderland plays five times daily from Mar. 5 thru Apr. 20.

(Need more proof? When the El Capitan opened on May 3, 1926, it was known as “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama.” In its first decade, more than 120 live plays were produced there.)

Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, presented in Disney Digital 3D™, stars Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as a 19-year-old Alice, who returns to the whimsical world she first encountered as a young girl, reuniting with her childhood friends: the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and of course, the Mad Hatter. Alice embarks on a fantastical journey to find her true destiny and end the Red Queen’s reign of terror. The all-star cast also includes Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Crispin Glover. Screenplay by Linda Woolverton.

And if you’re in need of a wonderful treat after the movie, then stop by the Disney Soda Fountain and Studio Store for a Wonderland-themed sundae, served, of course, in a collectable cup. Sweet!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Alice in Wonderland, in Disney Digital 3D™, at the El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Rated: PG. Run: Mar. 5 – Apr. 20. Show times: 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm and 9:45pm. Tickets: Prices vary. Reservations: 800/DISNEY6 or click here. Group rates (20 or more) available; call 818/845-3110. Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes.

An Intimate Evening with Marvin Hamlish at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse Mar. 22
Reprise Theatre Company presents a one-night only special event on Monday, Mar. 22, at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse: An Intimate Evening with Marvin Hamlisch.

Renowned composer Hamlisch is best known to theatre audiences as the composer of A Chorus Line, the groundbreaking musical that brought him the Pulitzer Prize. In addition, he has three Oscars, three Golden Globes, four Grammys, four Emmys, and a Tony all crowding his mantle. His trio of Oscars were won for the song and score for The Way We Were, plus his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music for The Sting. His other film scores include original compositions and/or musical adaptations for Sophie’s Choice, Ordinary People, The Swimmer, Three Men and a Baby, Ice Castles, Take the Money and Run, Bananas, Save the Tiger, and The Informant!

Hamlisch joins a heady lineup of Broadway greats who have performed in one-night-only concerts to benefit Reprise Theatre Company, including Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Carol Burnett, Ben Vereen, Kristin Chenoweth, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

“Music can make a difference,” Hamlisch says. “There is a global nature to music, which has the potential to bring all people together. Music is truly an international language, and I hope to contribute by widening communication as much as I can.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: An Intimate Evening with Marvin Hamlisch at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse (in Macgowan Hall), 245 Charles E. Young Drive East, UCLA campus, Los Angeles. Performance: Mon., Mar. 22 at 8pm only. Tickets: $50 general seating; $75 premium seating. Reservations: 310/825-2101 for general seating, or click here. 310/954-1595 for premium seating. Running time: unknown.

Original poster for My Darling Clementine. Image courtesy of Fake Radio

My Darling Clementine at The Bang Comedy Theatre Mar. 21
In case you missed the original production that aired back in 1947, you now have a second chance to catch the radio theatre presentation of My Darling Clementine, presented this time by Fake Radio. My Darling Clementine is a romantic adventure set in Tombstone, AZ about the famed shootout at the OK corral involving Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holiday.

Fake Radio has been performing staged radio drama for the past decade. It is made up of a group of actors, comedians and special guest stars who re-create live, staged versions of actual radio broadcasts from the 1930's-1950's. Shows use original transcripts (including original commercials) to introduce new audiences to a classic, faded art form. Actors stand in front of microphones, scripts in hand, while live sound effects – and occasional moments of improvisation – add to the entertainment and excitement.

The first time around, John Ford directed a cast that included Henry Fonda, Richard Conte and Cathy Downs; the show aired on the Lux Radio Theatre. (The film version of My Darling Clementine, which Ford also directed, premiered in 1946 and starred Fonda, Downs and Victor Mature.) Now, David Koff produces and directs with a cast that includes Erin Fitzgerald, Zach Hanks, Jen Hasty, Scott Hennelly, Jeff Johnson, Dan Kinsella, Koff, Peter Lownds, Julie Millett, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Jeff Purdue, Jon Stark, Jake West and Tony Williams. Chris Heisen co-produces. Sound and audio engineering is by Dan Foegelle.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: My Darling Clementine at The Bang Comedy Theatre, 457 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles. Mar. 21 at 7:30pm only. Tickets: $15. Reservations: 877/460-9774 or click here. Running time: unknown.


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