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Entertainment & Arts
REVIEW: In The Heights at Chance Theatre E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Monday, 04 August 2014 03:59

Anaheim Hills~A big round of applause is in order for the Chance Theater’s epically successful production of “In the Heights”. Captivated audience members laughed, cried, and danced in their seats as the talented cast welcomed everyone to Washington Heights, New York. Directing this unprecedented production could not have been an easy task, however director Oanh Nguyen captured the spirited, fiery essence of “In the Heights’” with much finesse.

Raising questions on racial and personal identity, “In the Heights” explores the social and political lives of a vibrant latin community living in Washington Heights. Whether seeking to escape life in the barrio or desiring to thrive within its boundaries, community members aim to discover the meaning of home. Transcending a merely physical nature, they ultimately come to find that home is a self-defined concept that can consists of a variety of personal attachments such as family, friendship, and love.

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FEATURE: Fundraising Gala to Honor Phantom Projects Founder E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Sunday, 27 July 2014 15:15

After 17 years, La Mirada High’s Cisneros and his theater troop continue to produce work aimed at teen audiences

La Mirada~A special Fundraising Gala, “From 17 to 17” will be held on August 9th at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts to commemorate the 17th Anniversary of Phantom Projects Theatre Group and honor its founder, Steve Cisneros, for his years of dedication to the arts.

Cisneros had the idea for Phantom Projects on the campus of La Mirada High School when his teacher Bruce Gevirtzman had written a play titled No Way to Treat a Lady that had a message about teen pregnancy. The show’s success is what led Cisneros to take the play beyond La Mirada High School.

“I noticed that people were really impacted through theater, with a message that may not have been appealing if it was shown any other way, Cisneros said. “I approached Bruce and he gave me his script and I invited educators to come to a reading of the play and then we booked a five month tour.”

The troupe that Cisneros assembled began rehearsing in his parent’s garage and they began getting requests for their performance from other schools. The unique thing about Phantom Projects is that the group actually uses teenage performers to play the roles, according to Cisneros.

After years of Cisernos personally funding Phantom Projects, the group now has a partnership with the City of La Mirada and they utilize a 5,000 sq ft practice facility.

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REVIEW: Graceful Production of Les Miserables Now Showing Through June 22nd in La Mirada E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Written by Analicia Avila   
Thursday, 12 June 2014 16:00

James Barbour (with Nathaniel Irvin on ground)  star in the LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS/McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT production of LES MISERABLES, directed by Brian Kite and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts could not have ended their 2013-2014 season in a more spectacular manner. Their production of Les Miserables was epically successful as the audience riveted at the company’s ability to stage one of the most emotionally compelling musicals in such a graceful manner. It is to no surprise that the production was such a huge success when taking into account the talented cast and creative team.

Set in France during the 1800’s, Les Miserables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a man who rebuilds his life after being freed from 19 years of slavery for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. After being showed mercy and kindness by a bishop, he is inspired to live a life guided by love. Engulfing the audience into a revolutionary period in France, Les Miserables reminds viewers of the power of love during times of despair.

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Natalie Wachen Returns to La Mirada to Teach Musical Theatre and TV/Film Classes This Summer E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 18:45

STAR OF HBO’S BOARDWALK EMPIRE, RENT WILL INSTRUCT THE THEATRE TROUPE SHE GREW UP WITH, IN THE CITY SHE WAS RAISED IN; PHANTOM PROJECTS ANNOUNCES EXTENSIVE SERIES OF CLASSES: AGES 10+ INCLUDING A SUMMER OF SHAKESPEARE, DANCE, TV/FILM, MUSICAL THEATRE, AND MORE.

La Mirada~Before joining the cast of Martin Scorsese’s Emmy and Golden Globe  award-winning HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE, and before starring as Mimi Marquez in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of RENT, Natalie Wachen was a member of the La Mirada-based Phantom Projects Theatre Group. Now, Ms. Wachen returns not as an actress and director, but as a teacher.

“Each year, the most frequent requests we receive from our audiences, are for classes. Now, we’re answering that request in a very big way. We’re making it possible for every young person to learn, whether it’s acting, dancing, singing, getting a better understanding of Shakespeare, or even if they’ve never even stepped on stage before. Having Natalie return and join our roster of wonderful teachers and working professionals is a huge asset for our new and returning students,” commented Phantom Projects’ Producing Artistic Director Steve Cisneros.

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REVIEW: Legendary Musical CATS Now Playing Through May 11th at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts E-mail
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Entertainment & Arts
Written by Analicia Avila   
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 21:26

Daniel Dawson (center, leaping) and the Company of "CATS" perform in the LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS/McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT production, directed and choreographed by Dana Solimando and now playing at LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS.

La Mirada~Renowned choreographer Dana Solimando successfully directs and choreographs the epic classic musical Cats, and brings the lively production to the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts stage. Despite the complexity of the Tony Award-Winning show, Solimando along with musical director John Glaudini and associate director/choreographer Billy Johnstone victoriously maintained a mesmerized, captivated audience.

Among many, one of the most impressive aspects of the show was the sensational choreography. From the very first number, "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats", an intricate number which appeared to have been performed effortlessly, the abundance of talent from both the cast and the choreographers was evident. With not a step out of place, Solimando lives up to her reputation as one of Los Angeles' best choreographers.

With such a talented and experienced cast, it is no surprise that the production was such a success. Todrick Hall, best known as season nine finalist of American Idol, triumphantly took the stage as Rum Tum Tugger Hall's jubilant performance in "The Rum Tum Tugger" was one of the best moments of the production.

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