Are you aware of the smaller theater on the second floor of the Pasadena Playhouse building, called the Carrie Hamilton Theatre? Three plays will perform there this fall that we think you should know about: the Los Angeles premiere of Bess Wohl’s darkly comic American Hero (September 15 to October 31); Detroit 67 by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Gregg T. Daniel (November 8-10); and The Receptionist by Adam Bock, directed by Andi Chapman (November 16-17).
IAMA Theatre Company opens its 2018-19 season with this darkly comic celebration of the power of teamwork and unity to overcome adversity. A franchise-owned sandwich shop becomes a microcosm of recession-era America in Bess Wohl’s sharply comedic commentary on the struggles and perseverance of the American working class. When a trio of disparate and desperate “sandwich artists” at the local mall — an awkward young misfit (Laura Mann), a single mom (Anna Lamadrid) and a downsized refugee from corporate banking (Graham Outerbridge) — find themselves left to their own devices by overwhelmed franchisee Bob (Rodney To), they are forced into an unlikely alliance in order to keep the store, and themselves, afloat.
“This gem of a play — a dark, slightly absurdist tale about the plight of the American worker — has become even more powerfully relevant today than when it was written in 2014,” notes Eckhouse. “It’s not only wickedly funny, but deeply moving as well. We witness these three sandwich ‘artists’ fighting for their well-being, their dignity, their souls in the face of a soul-less corporate bureaucracy. The cast is amazing, I’m thrilled to be the director of this production.”
American Hero opens on Friday, Sept. 21 at 8:30 p.m., with performances thereafter on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through Oct. 21. Four preview performances take place on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Thursday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. All tickets are $30, except Sept. 21 (opening night) for which tickets are $40 and include a post performance reception, and previews, which are $20. For reservations and information, call 323-380-8843 or go to www.iamatheatre.com.
In the summer of 1967, the songs of Motown are breaking records and breaking barriers. Chelle and her brother, Lank, are running an unlicensed, after-hours, bar in their Detroit basement. It is risky business, especially during a brutal police crackdown that has set off riots throughout the city. When Lank offers refuge to an injured white woman, tensions erupt in their home and their city, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the ’67 riots.
Detroit 67 plays Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 9 at 7:30p.m., and Saturday Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. All tickets are $20, with $10 tickets available for USC Students, faculty and staff, as well as Playhouse members.
It’s the start of a typical day in the Northeast Office and Beverly deals effortlessly with ringing phones and her colleague’s romantic troubles. But when a charming rep from the Central Office makes an appearance, the friendly routine is disrupted. As the true nature of the company’s business becomes apparent, The Receptionist raises disquieting, provocative questions about the consequences of complicity with evil.
The Receptionist plays Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16 at 7:30p.m. and Saturday Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. All tickets are $20, with $10 tickets available for USC Students, faculty and staff, as well as Playhouse members.
The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena CA 91101. For more information on all productions at Pasadena Playhouse, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
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