Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘An Octoroon’

During intermission while watching An Octoroon (written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and directed by Judith Moreland) at the Fountain Theatre, an old white woman randomly came up to me and asked what I found so amusing in this play. First, I had to get over the shock that a live human being was touching me (without permission) and getting up in my face to ask this question because after all, this was my first time watching a play with a live audience (albeit in an outdoor theater) in 16 months. Second, what WAS I and primarily all the other POC audience members laughing about?

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Directorial Debut ‘tick, tick… BOOM!’ Releases Teaser Trailer

When people think of Jonathan Larson, the first thing to come out is the Tony Award-winning musical Rent. But, Larson had done many musicals before that, one of which, is based on his life called tick, tick… BOOM!

Performed in 1990 Off-Broadway as a one-man show, tick, tick… BOOM! was an autobiographical rock monologue about his experience feeling rejected because of what he considered a failure for his musical, Superbia. After Larson’s death in 1996, it was reworked into a stage musical by playwright David Auburn and musical director Stephen Oremus. Now, making his feature directorial debut, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda takes the story from stage to the big screen.

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Light’s Up on the Opening Number from ‘In the Heights’

Warner Bros. has moved up the opening of Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights, a day early. So it won’t be long now!

To hold you over until Thursday night, Chu and Miranda went to social media to announce they’re releasing the first eight minutes of the movie — essentially, the entire opening number — even earlier.

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‘In the Heights’ Captures the Beauty of Washington Heights and the Community Behind It

It seems like only yesterday when national treasure and lyricist genius Lin-Manuel Miranda graced the Richard Rodgers Theatre as Usnavi in the Broadway production of In the Heights. Now, 13 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical is finally premiering on the big screen next month. 

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‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Film Adaptation’s Emotional Trailer Will Be Found Here

Universal Pictures has finally released the trailer to the anticipated film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen. Ben Platt returns to reprise his Broadway role as the troubled teen, Evan Hansen. 

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Watch the Trailer for Roadside Attractions’ ‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It’

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It comes out in theaters on June 18. The documentary about the acting legend, which has a total runtime of 89 minutes, features George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Karen Olivo.

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See the First Teaser Trailer for Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’

During the Oscars telecast, The Walt Disney Company finally gave fans a glimpse at the new film adaptation of the musical West Side Story, which will open in U.S. theaters on December 10. To add even more to the excitement, they also released a teaser poster.

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Hard NOC Life 212: Mandy Gonzalez is ‘Fearless’

In the first of two episodes of Hard NOC Life releasing this week, Keith sits down with Broadway superstar and now, children’s book author, Mandy Gonzalez to talk about her new middle grade novel, Fearless. They also talk about her career — from originating the role of Nina for In the Heights to replacing Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica in Hamilton — and why being fearless has helped her cope while Broadway is shut down.

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Patrick Clanton on the Evolution of Behind the Magic YouTube Channel

Last June, three months into sheltering-in-place and unable to perform for a live audience, actor Patrick Clanton decided to tackle an idea he has had for a while about starting a YouTube channel about the hidden gems of Disney. Originally called Behind the Ears, the channel’s early videos explored the making of Zoog era Disney Channel shows like The Famous Jett Jackson and short-lived Disney Broadway productions such as The Little Mermaid. Continue reading “Patrick Clanton on the Evolution of Behind the Magic YouTube Channel”

Anthony Ramos Credits the ‘In the Heights’ Musical for His Career

In the Heights has played a huge role in the lives of the actors who created and originated in the original Broadway musical. Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda became an overnight superstar on Broadway. After the success of In the Heights and another Award-winning musical Hamilton, Miranda became a National Treasure. He was also credited for discovering the actors who performed in his musicals, including Anthony Ramos, who is now starring as Usnavi, a role that Miranda originated on Broadway.

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Paolo Montalban on Memories of ‘Cinderella’ and the Making of a Filipino American Musical

The 1997 version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella has been available to stream on Disney+ for two weeks already, and for Paolo Montalban, he is thrilled. The actor, who played Prince Christopher in the film, found out about its upcoming release on the streaming platform from his agent, about a week before it was officially announced to the public.

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Just You Wait: ‘Hamilton’ Funko Pops Are Coming

It was only a matter of time. Fans have been clamoring for years, and today Funko Toys announced they are finally producing a wave of Pop! Vinyl Figures based on the Broadway phenomenon, Hamilton! Entertainment Earth has pre-orders open now!

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Bonus Hard NOC Life: ‘Hamilton’ as Fan Fiction (from 2016)

Hard NOC Life will go on a brief hiatus as we prepare for our landmark 200th episode.

But since today is the premiere of Hamilton on Disney+, we’re re-sharing this panel from November 2016 as a bonus episode of the podcast. You can find the original post here.

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Southern Fried Asian: Edward Hong

This month’s guest on Southern Fried Asian, Edward Hong, has been tapped to deliver the commencement address for the APIA students of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. A fitting tribute to the college’s first ever Asian American Studies graduate in the 300-year-old institution’s history.

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Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Antigone, Presented By The Girls of St. Catherine’s’

Antigone

They all have a million secrets. What’s so bad about this one? The St. Catherine’s drama club is struggling to put up its first school play – Sophocles’ “Antigone.” As if staging this tragedy in an all-girls Catholic school isn’t challenging enough, the cast’s beloved director ends up betraying them in an unforgivable way — and it’s almost opening night! The cast must figure out the right course of action, all while rehearsing a classic play about impossibly difficult choices. What is the right thing to do? And must the show go on?

Antigone, Presented By The Girls Of St. Catherine’s came with much eager anticipation. Presented by Sacred Fools (which put up a fantastic world premiere production of Gifted), written by Madhuri Shekar, and directed by Reena Dutt (who knocked it out of the park with her previously directed play Defenders), did the play met my expectation? More after the jump below:

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A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘West Adams’

Earlier this month, I watched the opening premiere of West Adams at the Skylight Theatre Company and the first immediate thought I had when it finished was:

“Oh damn, this is Rich Liberal White People (And One Chinese Woman) Gone Crazy.”

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I’ll definitely go more into this after the break as there were tremendous things to be praised for this show (acting, directing, and production design aspects) but at the core of it was a very troubling and, at times, a baffling story. Who was the intended audience? That aspect remains unclear but more on this later:

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Disney is Bringing ‘Hamilton’ to the Big Screen

In the Walt Disney Company’s quest to own everything we at the NOC love — including Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar to name a few — it only makes sense that the Mouse House will be the home for the film distribution rights to the Broadway sensation Hamilton!

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A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Gifted’

Co-written with Edward Hong

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What do you do when you’re born with a superpower but it’s really not that super? Especially if it’s a power that can accurately pinpoint the success or failure of any romantic relationship? Gifted, which is currently playing at the Sacred Fools till February 29, explores this question in a world not at all too different from our own. Written by Bob DeRosa and directed by Rebecca Larsen, the play takes a somewhat absurd premise into a truly in-depth and touching story that is a feast for the eyes, ears, and the heart.

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Washington Heights Dances Center Stage in the Trailer for ‘In the Heights’

Lights up on Washington Heights. No matter how many times you’ve listened to the In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording, whether once or 96,000 times, it gets stuck in your head. And after you watch the trailer for the big-screen adaptation, you’ll be singing it from now ’til its release next summer and beyond.

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A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘Defenders’

In the realm of Los Angeles intimate theatre, efficiency and constraint are often unfortunately emphasized as budget limitations become the all-too familiar factor hovering over anyone who dreams of doing anything grandiose. So when I heard about a World War II play written by Cailin Maureen Harrison that was going to have its world premiere with the Pandelia’s Canary Yellow Company, I was intrigued because my burning question was: How exactly do you stage a WWII story in a black box setting and do so compellingly??

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A Los Angeles Theatre Review: ‘COCK’

This marks my second NOC Theatre review since Hannah and the Dread Gazebo performed at the Fountain Theatre a few months back and it was here that my key interest in doing so was a commitment/announcement of sorts. For as much as I can, my focus will be to review plays & musicals with the qualifying criteria that the director, writer, and/or one of the main cast members (not supporting/ensemble but one of the leads) MUST be a non-white artist. The more PoC in the cast/production team, the better I’ll want to review it as I’ll give a glaring stink eye to all things tokenism.

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