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Colony Curtain Call!
The Newsletter of the Colony Theatre Company: Fall 2003


Colony favorites unite for a night of comedy--and you’re invited!

Subscribers and their guests are invited to a FREE show produced and performed by our company members on Monday, October 27!

Remember our Bonus Shows, those free shows that we presented on the off nights of our mainstage shows?  Well, we’ve heard from many of you that you miss them.  We miss them too!  The new world of Equity rules that we live in now with our larger theatre forced us to abandon our old format of presenting free shows to you, but we have never stopped brainstorming to come up with new ways to bring you free nights of Colony theatre for you to share with your friends.  

On Monday, October 27, we will be presenting “Comedy With a Twist,” an evening of one-act comedy pieces by Robert Canning.  The brainchild of longtime company members D. Ewing Woodruff and Sandra Kinder, “Comedy With a Twist” is produced, directed, and performed completely by company members--many of them familiar faces and Colony favorites.  

While we may never be able to bring back the exact same format as before, and we know that we won’t be able to accomodate everyone who will want to see the show (we only have 276 seats so call now!), our company of actors really wanted to give something back to our beloved subscribers--even if it is for just one night.

The actors also wanted to use the evening as a fundraiser for the theatre, so all of their time, talents and resources have been donated to make this evening happen.  Award-winning playwright Robert Canning, whose pieces will be featured in the production, has waived all royalties to his work to benefit the fundraising efforts.  In addition to soliciting donations that evening, there will be several enticing items that will be raffled off, including a chance to become an honorary company member!

"We were really pleased by the number of company members who eagerly auditioned or otherwise volunteered," said Woodruff.   "Many actors who wanted to participate had previous commitments at the Laguna Playhouse, the Theatre at Boston Court, or are filming TV shows.   Still, we now have about two dozen core members who will be part of the event either on stage or behind the scenes.  This truly is a family affair - and we think of our subscribers as part of that family.  This is for them just as much as it is for us.  It's going to be like a fun party with friends and family."

“Comedy with a Twist” will be presented on Monday, October 27th  --  a reception at 7 PM with the performance at 8 PM.  (Note: Due to strong language, some material may not be suitable for children)

And, as before, "While the event is absolutely free to our subscribers and their guests," said Woodruff, "donations will be graciously accepted and appreciated." 

Due to limited availability for this unique event, reservations will be taken on a first-call, first-served basis and limited to 2 free guests per subscriber.  This event will feature open seating. That means no reserved seats--just like the old days! 

Please call (818) 558-7000 x 15 today to make your reservations for this special night with your favorite Colony actors!


For ten years, since Jenny disappeared, Sam has been wasting away at the Red Eye Lounge with piano lizard Buddy Toupee.  The Red Eye is one of those seedy airport joints where night and day are indiscernible.  Buddy begins the show with an overture, Welcome To This Window, and invites us to join in as they start their tale: 


So begins the hit chamber musical, Gunmetal Blues.  Sam Galahad, down-and-out private dick, has been hired to find Jenny, the daughter of the recently deceased millionaire Adrian Wasp. Gunmetal Blues kicks off when a mysterious dame waltzes into Sam’s office and shows him Jennifer Wasp’s picture.  Sam’s heart does a drum solo when he sees the photograph: “Forget about ships, this face could launch a thousand rockets.  She had hair the color of moonlight on topaz and a mouth that could send Shakespeare thumbing through a thesaurus.”

Gunmetal Blues is an homage to the theatrical art of storytelling.  All of the characters are played by three actors.  There’s Buddy, who does multiple duty as a cop, a doorman, a mob bully, a cabbie, and a phone receptionist.   There’s the blonde: she’s Jenny as well as Laura Vesper, the all-style mysterious secretary.  The Blonde is also a bag lady known as the Princess, and a boozed-up nightclub singer named Carol Indigo, drowning herself in a maelstrom of forgotten tragedies. They’re all so blonde there’s even a song about being blonde.

And there’s narrator Sam Galahad, luckless gumshoe and two-bit keyhole peeper.  He used all of his resources to find her but came up lame.  She was the one that got away, he says.  Now Laura Vesper, the late Adrian Wasp’s secretary, is pressing Jenny’s picture into his palm and offering him a job.  

As Sam starts digging into Jennifer’s disappearance and the Wasp suicide case, he soon finds himself on the receiving end of threats. 

Sam gets drugged, pistol-whipped and busted up more than once.   But he won’t back down--just the idea of having Jenny back in his life gives him renewed vigor in the sleuth trade. 
With Buddy Toupee as an ever-present audience, not to mention back up musician, Sam starts to put the facts together. He begins to realize that the solution is as simple as plain day, just like in The Maltese Falcon.  So simple, in fact, nobody can see it.  Can’t see the ocean for the breeze.

New Yorker Magazine called Gunmetal Blues “the thinking man’s City Of Angels”-- a reference to the hit Broadway film noir musical of a few years back.  In Gunmetal, the mystery is complex, the solution simple. The sophisticated music is sometimes rousing, sometimes sentimental, and always delicious.  There is a hint of loving send-up, with tongue dug just enough into cheek to keep the show from being somber, but not enough to pull you away from wanting to know the answers.  
-Andrew Barnicle, Director

As if there weren’t enough reasons to dig out your tickets to this sure-to-be-a-hot-ticket show, how’s this for a cast: company member Kevin Symons plays Sam Galahad, the cynical private eye, whose credits include leading roles at The Laguna Playhouse and the Los Angeles Theatre Center.  The Piano Player is played by the multi-talented Jeffrey Rockwell (who also serves as Musical Director), who played the lead in the Los Angeles and National companies of City of Angels.  The quintessential role of “the Blonde” is played by Susan Wood, who played Sandy in the recent Broadway revival of Grease, starring Rosie O’Donnell.  

Another great Colony musical is about to hit LA...and you’ve got the best seats in the house!  Subscriber guest tickets are $6 off the single ticket price, so call our box office today at (818) 558-7000 to book tickets for your friends!

Gunmetal Blues plays through November 16 and is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Need to reschedule your date to see the show?!  
Now exchange your tickets via muss, no fuss!  Just email us the date of your current tickets and the date to which you’d like to change and we’ll email confirmation within 2 business days!!  What could be easier?!

Email us at and see how easy it is!

A reminder that we require 48 hours advance notice for all changes and Gunmetal Blues closes on November 16.


We are thrilled to announce that we have been nominated for 4 2002-2003 Los Angeles Stage Alliance (formerly Theatre LA) Ovation Awards, the only peer-judged theatre awards of Southern California.

The nominees are:

  • Best Play (Larger Theatre)

  • Toys in the Attic
  • Featured Actress in a Play:

  • Nancy Linehan Charles, Toys in the Attic
  • Best Set Design (Larger Theatre)

  • Thomas Buderwitz, Toys in the Attic
  • Best Costume Design (Larger Theatre)

  • Alexa Stone, Toys in the Attic

Congratulations to all our nominees!  The awards will be handed out at the Ovation Awards ceremony on Sunday, November 23.  Visit for details!

Join the Colony E-CLUB! 

Join our E-Club and receive exclusive discount offers, advance notice of special events and a semi-weekly newsletter via email that will keep you informed about all that’s going on at The Colony--including reminders of when the current show closes (or when the next one opens!) and even reviews and newspaper articles that you may have missed about your favorite theatre!

We promise that your email address will be used for Colony use ONLY AND you will NOT be bombarded with emails.  You will hear from us ONLY when we have an offer or information that will affect YOU as a Colony subscriber. 

If you would like to join The Colony’s E-Club, please send an email to: with the subject line “E-Club” and we will add you to the list!  That’s all there is to it!  Isn’t technology great?!

Critical Praise for Toys in the Attic

Our recent production of Lillian Hellman’s classic drama Toys in the Attic moved several critics to glowing praise of our production about the ultimate dysfunctional family:

“Expertly cast and directed by Jessica Kubzansky, ‘Toys’ showcases the always-strong Colony performers.  More important, it puts Hellman’s writing back on the stage where it belongs.”  -Daily News

“Where [Kubzansky] unequivocally succeeds is in dramatizing Hellman’s main themes: the lethal effect of possessive love, and the tragic results of coveting money and regarding it as a guarantee of happiness.” -Daily Variety

“Lillian Hellman’s glorious play about, oh, a few small matters--race relations, money, and family--might stand on its own no matter the production.  But director Jessica Kubzansky and her cast, designers, and crew have turned Hellman’s gold into something even alchemists couldn’t have dreamed of.  Kubzansky mines meaning and humor from Hellman’s pages.  From glances and nods to startling displays of passion, she has carefully schooled her actors in nuance and intensity and given them precise, natural, fluid blocking.  In this summer of some extreme heat and--with a few exceptions--extreme onstage disappointments, the storm clouds onstage here could not be more welcome....Forget the heat, welcome back to great theatre.”  -BackStage West

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Featured Restaurant partner: Picanha

A graceful dance of waiters wielding swords laden with        meat brings the pampas of Brazil to Burbank. 

Colorful, casual, timeless, and steeped in the old world tradition  of Churrasco: that's Picanha Churrascaria. A three level  rotisserie grill flame roasts to perfection huge cuts of Lamb, Beef,  Pork, Chicken, Brazilian Sausage and more. 

Meats are skewered for serving by a band of agile booted and  bloused Gauchos. They wield a sword in one hand and a carving  knife in the other, to bestow as much of the smartly seasoned meats  as a patron can eat. Every meal includes a fresh salad bar with  two dozen choices plus a hot food buffet that includes black beans  (feijoada), rice, mashed potatos, soups, and much more. 

What is Churrascaria? 

Churrasco is a Brazilian word that means to barbecue, but it  is much more. Churrascaria is a 3000 year old tradition stemming  from the pampas of Brazil where ranchers barbeque large portions  of marinated beef, pork, and poultry on long skewers over an open  fire pit.
Picanha brings the tradition of Brazil directly to Burbank  with California's first authentic Churrascaria. Skewered meat is carved right onto your plate, piping hot from  the open fire grill. Harkening back to the days of old, the gauchos  circle the dining hall with the choicest cuts, inviting you to eat until  you are full. This continuous style of service, called ridihzo,  transforms your meal into a spectacular performance. 

The namesake cut -Picanha- is an irresistible portion from the  choicest part of the top sirloin, either marinated in garlic or zesty  peppers. Among the many fine cuts of meat are the Filet Mignon,  Top Sirloin (Espeta), Sirloin Tip (Maminha), Pork Loin,  Pork Ribs, Sausage, Lamb (Cordero), Chicken wrapped in  Bacon, Pineapple Chicken, and Chicken Drumsticks. 

The Los Angeles Times raved, “Situated in the heart of Burbank's newish entertainment zone near Media City Center, Picanha may be the Southland's most stylish Brazilian-style barbecue.”  

Perhaps the best part is the fact that Picanha is located just 1 1/2 blocks away from the theatre, making for a very nice and easy post- or pre-show walk, or you can take advantage of the restaurant’s own convenient (and free!) parking.

Picanha is located at 269 E. Palm Ave. and can be reached at (818) 972-2100.

Lunch Hours:
Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm
Sunday 12-5pm (dinner menu only)

Dinner Hours:
Mon-Thu 5-10pm
Fri & Sat 5pm-11pm
Sunday 5-10pm
Bar is open weekdays until 11pm, Friday and Saturday until 12am

Picanha Invites You To Enjoy Dinner & A Show!

Dine at Picanha before or after GUNMETAL BLUES and receive 15% off your entire bill!*

Make your dining reservations through The Colony and we will arrange for you to receive this very special offer.  Your reservations will coincide with your tickets to GUNMETAL BLUES and  will give you enough time to enjoy a sumptuous dinner and still make the curtain on time!  (Dinner reservations for matinee ticket holders will follow the performance.)

For more information or to take advantage of this very generous invitation from Picanha, 
call The Colony at (818) 558-7000 x15.

*Reservations are required and must be booked through The Colony to coincide with the date of your tickets to see GUNMETAL BLUES.
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
FAX 818-558-7110

Visit our web site at WWW.COLONYTHEATRE.ORG

Colony Curtain Call!
Catherine Springer, Editor & Writer