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The Newsletter of the Colony Theatre Company: Winter 2002

HIGHLIGHTS

A Singular Sensation

Legendary Broadway star Donna McKechnie's one-woman musical show 
Inside the Music will be 5th play of 2002-03 Season

We are proud and thrilled to announce that the 5th play of The Colony's 2002-03 Season will be Inside the Music, a one-woman tour-de-force musical starring Donna McKechnie, a singer/dancer extraordinaire and a leading lady of Broadway. 

Written by Christopher Durang, one of America’s best playwrights, this one-woman musical spectacular is not just another cabaret show. Inside the Music is a full-length theatrical production that will please any theatregoer, whether you’re a fan of musical theatre or not. This show is for everyone, as one of Broadway’s leading ladies takes us on a journey through personal and professional triumphs and tragedies, as we go backstage, onstage and inside Broadway and beyond. 

McKechnie is best-known for her breakout 1976 Tony Award-winning (Best Actress in a Musical) role of Cassie in A Chorus Line. Inside the Music is a full-length autobiographical theatrical show which delves into the rocky road of the actress's fascinating personal and professional life and features her signature song from A Chorus Line, “The Music and the Mirror,” complete with original choreography. 

Although McKechnie is most famous for her A Chorus Line fame, she has been a part of Broadway for over forty years. She made her Broadway debut in 1961 in How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim: A Musical Tribute, which she also choreographed, On The Town, Promises, Promises, Company, and State Fair. She was invited by Bob Fosse to star in his last production, an American tour of Sweet Charity, for which she received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. In 1996, Ms. McKechnie won the prestigious Fred Astaire Dancer Award.

Of Inside the Music, London’s Daily Mail said "Few on either side of the Atlantic can equal Ms. McKechnie when she sings and dances." Playbill OnLine added, "Of the great Broadway dancers that the theatre has produced, Donna McKechnie probably has one of the best voices of them all, a strong, emotional belt that is complemented by a rangy soprano. A formidable actress, McKechnie's one-woman show displayed all aspects of the versatile performer." And London’s Sunday Telegraph put it simply, "An authentic blast of Broadway. It's a vintage performance." 

Even if you’ve never heard of Donna McKechnie, this show will amaze and captivate you with its powerful narrative and theatricality. And if you have heard of Donna McKechnie, then you are really in for a treat. 

The Colony is proud to announce the Los Angeles premiere of this legendary performer's latest theatrical sensation. Inside the Music will play from April 12 to May 11, 2003. 

All subscription tickets for "Play 5" will be honored for this production. If you have questions, or would like to order guest tickets for this show, please call the Colony Box Office at (818) 558-7000. 
 

NEWS FLASH! COLONY WINS 6 OVATION AWARDS

At this year’s prestigious Theatre LA Ovation Awards, The Colony took home 6 trophies. We were the only theatre to be honored for three different productions in the same year. (The Colony received a total of 15 nominations, second only to the Mark Taper Forum, which garnered 16 nods.)  

Our Winners: 

Best Play in a Larger Theatre
The Laramie Project

Best Director of a Play
Nick DeGruccio, The Laramie Project

Best Ensemble Performance 
The Cast of The Laramie Project

Best Lead Actress in a Musical 
Julie Dixon Jackson and Misty Cotton, Side Show

Best Featured Actor in a Musical 
Rod Keller, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Costume Design in a Larger Theatre 
A. Jeffrey Schoenberg, Side Show
 

Fuddy Meers Promises a Wild Comic Romp

What if you had to reinvent your life every single day? Such is the plight of Claire, the main character in Fuddy Meers, the off-Broadway smash hit by David Lindsay-Abaire, which will be the fourth production in The Colony's 2002-03 Subscription Season. 

Claire suffers from a strange form of amnesia, waking up every morning with no memory, yet retaining her sunny disposition. In the course of this one day in her life, we are taken on a swirling thrill ride through Claire's life as she desperately tries to figure out what is real and whom she can trust.

Directed by David Rose, Fuddy Meers is a zany, madcap romp in and out of reality. Like the distorted and warped reflections of a funhouse mirror (which the title references), Claire sees herself reflected back to her by a dysfunctional family that wants her to forget her past. The audience discovers the truths as Claire discovers them, and the surprises around every corner make for a hilarious evening of bizarre and absurdist fun. Critics have called it “non-stop hilarity,” “wicked fun,” “howlingly funny,” and “a wacky delight.”

When asked why he was excited to direct this play, Rose credited the play's strong story and constant string of surprises and discoveries for both the characters and the audience. 

One of the Colony's most versatile members, Rose started in the company as an actor but flourished as one of our most valued directors. Although his dramas have been acclaimed and powerful (including the award-winning Our Country's Good), Rose is most loved for his Colony comedies, as he brought to life the colorful characters of The Front Page, You Can't Take it With You, Peccadillo, and The Man Who Came To Dinner

While Rose is best known for these classic comedies, Fuddy Meers is a far cry from the gentle humor of Kaufman and Hart. The off-beat characters, who include a teenaged pot-smoker and a foul-mouthed hand puppet, are sometimes crass and politically incorrect.  Other characters include a mysterious limping man and a stroke survivor, whose attempts at saying “funny mirrors” comes out “fuddy meers,” hence the title. 

While this is not a play for the easily offended, the sharper edges of the characters allow the story to delve further below the surface and reveal deeper truths. Unlike frothy comedies, Fuddy Meers is a play which allows its characters to reveal their inner selves, with all their human quirks and contradictions; for only in the discovery of these truths can Claire decipher her own reality. 

Fuddy Meers is a brilliant play that is a mixture of dark farce, satire, and screwball comedy. It is funny, mysterious, and, as the puzzle unravels, ultimately empowering and endearing. We are extremely proud to be presenting the Southern California premiere of this critically acclaimed play. Fuddy Meers will play from February 8 through March 9, 2003. To order guest tickets, call the Colony Box Office at (818) 558-7000.

NOTE: Fuddy Meers Contains Strong Language and is Appropriate For Mature Audiences only.

A Well-Traveled Journey

It is never easy to produce a World Premiere, especially with a subject matter as daunting as Lewis and Clark's expedition to discover the West, but director David Rose and his talented cast were up to the challenge as The Colony presented Beautiful in the Extreme, a World Premiere by Leon Martell. 

The play told the story of the legendary journey through the eyes of the troubled Meriwether Lewis, played to perfection by Colony company member Donald Sage Mackay. Mackay delivered an intense and powerful performance, as critics called him "excellent" and "perfect." Tony Maggio, who portrayed William Clark, Lewis's energetic and steady compatriot, was hailed as "an actor of rare presence and articulation." The entire cast won kudos from critics and audiences alike, as they navigated the multi-tiered set, including giant cargo nets, symbolizing the Rocky Mountains.

The Los Angeles Times raved, "This new play about the Corps of Discovery's 1804-05 Northwest Passage possesses considerable integrity in both execution and intent." Rob Kendt, Editor of BackStage West, articulated our reasons for choosing the play: "In the end, it is not the play's by-now-conventional 'revisionist' take on Manifest Destiny that haunts us but its gathering sense of tragic inevitability, the crash course we all sail on when we use the great American ideals of peace, prosperity, and liberty as our map, only to run smack into the shoals of our bloody history and its living present." World Premieres are all about new discoveries, and none more appropriate than Beautiful in the Extreme.
 

ATTENTION SUBSCRIBERS!!

The renewal notices for next season will be going in the mail the first week of January -- so mark your calendars and watch your mail!
 
 
Producing Director
Barbara Beckley

Managing Director
Amanda Diamond

Administrative Director
Catherine Springer

Development Director
Laura Wernette

Box Office Manager
Anjali Bal

Marketing/Public Relations
David Elzer/Demand PR

Artistic Advisory Board
Nick DeGruccio
Todd Nielsen
Robert O'Reilly
David Rose
Scott Segal
Michael David Wadler

Board of Trustees
Leon Alexander
Barbara Beckley
Stephen Blum
Priscilla Davis
Amanda Diamond
Nonie Lann
Gary S. Maier
David Rose
Michael David Wadler

The Colony Theatre Company is a member of:
Theatre LA
Burbank Chamber of Commerce
Theatre Communications Group

The Colony Theatre Company
818-558-7000
FAX 818-558-7110
Email: boxoffice@colonytheatre.org

Visit our web site at WWW.COLONYTHEATRE.ORG

Colony Curtain Call!
Catherine Springer, Editor & Writer