Tuesday, March 1, 2011

“Broadway 100” Centennial Celebration Kicks Off With World Premiere of Theatrefication


For Immediate Release
Contact: Rick Coca

BBB Centennial Kick Off

Special performances highlight detailed announcement of a multi-event theatrical, cultural and artistic series in celebration of important Broadway milestones in Downtown Los Angeles’ Broadway Historic Theatre District

LOS ANGELES (March 1, 2011) – Council District 14 and Bringing Back Broadway joined producers Helene Federici and David J (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets); Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy; Mark Murphy, executive director of REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater); and a lively troupe of artists, dancers, and performers, including opera vocalist Rachel Staples and break dance / krump performers The L.A. Breaker and Xtreme Motion on stage at the historic Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway today to kick off BROADWAY 100.

Bringing Back Broadway’s BROADWAY 100 is a multi-event festival of films, art, theatre productions and tours throughout the year to honor the oldest surviving theatre district in Los Angeles, and commemorate important Broadway milestones, including the 100-year anniversaries of the three oldest remaining historic theatres within the Broadway Historic Theatre District.

The two oldest theatres on Broadway, the Arcade Theatre (originally the Pantages) and its next door neighbor, the Cameo Theatre, recently turned 100, having opened on Sept. 26, 1910 and Oct. 10, 1910, respectively. The Palace Theatre opened on June 26, 1911. The Arcade Theatre was the first of three Pantages vaudeville theatres built in Los Angeles while the Cameo was one of the earliest deluxe film houses built in the city. Incredibly, though not currently used for live entertainment, both still survive and are intact, standing as the oldest surviving monuments to the early days of entertainment in Los Angeles. The third centennial theatre, the Palace Theatre, is periodically open to the public for tours, productions or special events and is used as a film location.

Other important Broadway milestones in 2011 include: the 90th anniversary of the State Theatre which opened on Nov. 12, 1921 at 703 S. Broadway; the 85th anniversary of the Orpheum Theatre, which opened on Feb. 15, 1926 at 842 S. Broadway; and the 80th anniversary of the Los Angeles Theatre, which opened on Jan. 30, 1931 at 615 S. Broadway.

“It is an honor to bring attention to these centennial milestones of history, culture and entertainment born on Broadway.” said Councilmember José Huizar following the event. Huizar leads the Bringing Back Broadway initiative focused on the revitalization of the historic Broadway commercial and entertainment corridor. “The theatres and movie palaces stand as tribute to where we have come from, as we build a bright future for this important and beautiful part of Los Angeles’ legacy, and we are grateful for the partnerships that allow us to bring Broadway 100 to the community.”

March 26, 2011 marks the official kickoff to Broadway 100 with Theatrefication, the world-premiere of an avant-garde celebration of art, music and theatre, featuring two musical theatre productions by Helene Federici and David J at the historic Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway.

From April 2, 2011 - April 3, 2011 Broadway 100 will welcome REDCAT’s Broadway debut at the
Million Dollar Theatre with the U.S. premiere of Tempest: Without a Body by renowned New
Zealand director and choreographer Lemi Ponifasio.

On Thursday June 16, 2011 at 6pm, Broadway 100 will present Broadway at 100 – A History of L.A.’s Iconic Street, a free event at the Los Angeles Theatre which will provide an historical and visual retrospective of the history of Broadway as the birthplace of entertainment in Los Angeles and the former commercial capital of the west.

On Sunday June 26, 2011, the Los Angeles Conservancy’s exciting and expanded 25th annual “Last Remaining Seats” series will offer two screenings of the classic film Sunset Boulevard with a special celebration to commemorate the Palace Theatre’s 100-year birthday happening that very day.

Thursday June 30, 2011 will begin a two weekend run (Thursday through Sunday each week) for
the Lucent Dossier Experience at the Palace Theatre in celebration of the theatre’s 100th birthday. The avant garde troupe has been described as a “high concept, steampunk meets neotribal performance ensemble” and its immersive spectacles as a “post-apocalyptic,” “exotic wonderland.”

Other events, tours and productions will be announced as they are confirmed throughout the year and will be listed at http://www.broadway100.com/.

The kickoff production, Theatrefication (March 26, 2011, Million Dollar Theatre) features an array of talent; dancers to butoh artists, immersive 3D animation, luminescent art, opera, and new concepts in musical theatre. In the first segment of Theatrefication, the world premiere of The Chanteuse and the Devil’s Muse, David J revisits the ‘Black Dahlia’ song cycle originally composed for the independent feature film, The Devil’s Muse. In this theatrical staging,music works as a framework around which another related story is interwoven; the story of torch singer, Madi Comfort.

This imaginative retelling of the story sheds new light on the historic Hollywood cold case, featuring illusion and a performance by world-renowned butoh artist Vangeline. The production will feature guest vocalists and musicians performing live alongside David J and collaborator Ego Plum (Ebola Music Orchestra).

“The notion of bringing together a cross fertilization of media to create fresh and original juxtapositions is really exciting. Mixing and mashing to create a post-punk culture jam is also observant of the power of ancient myth,” said David J.

Federici’s ET Mostavy, the second segment of Theatrefication, tells a story being broadcast by Eucinda, a character caught in an intergalactic warzone. With costumes created by couture design house, Skingraft, and featuring the talents of opera vocalist Rachel Staples, the world-famous L.A. Breakers and Xtreme Motions (America’s Best Dance Crew: Season 5), this opera plays to a more diverse theatre audience. Trip hop and operatic vocals are sung over a sweeping score with down tempo and break beats, composed by Chris Yanson. The production comes to life with light projections and immersive 3D animation.

Federici is excited to bring the work to Broadway as part of Bringing Back Broadway’s Broadway 100.
“Los Angeles is the next frontier for a new format in musical theatre. The city’s Broadway district is a vessel waiting for content. The infrastructure is here. Artistically, L.A. has all of the ingredients needed to create bold, new experiences in musical theatre,” said Federici.

REDCAT’s Tempest: Without a Body (April 2 – 3, 2011, Million Dollar Theatre) is a ferocious and awe-inspiring reflection on personal liberty and our current world from its ominous beginning to its shattered conclusion. Created by Ponifasio for his company MAU, this visually stunning work entwines formally precise dancing with elements of theater, Polynesian ritual, and social activism.

At the center of this Shakespearean-inflected work is Tame Iti, a Maori activist, who emerges from the midst of an hypnotic vision of heaven and hell to unleash a passionate address on the escalation of state powers and use of unlawful detention. Born in Samoa, where he is a designated High Priest, Ponifasio is a fearless creative force whose distinctive visionary works have been performed at prestigious festivals and venues throughout the world.

The production will mark the first time REDCAT has ventured beyond its own 250-seat theater located in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex to stage a production at the glorious historical Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway, making use of the former movie palace’s more than 2,000 seats.

"The grand and historic Million Dollar Theater is a gorgeous setting for the beautiful stagecraft and epic scale of this acclaimed theatrical performance from New Zealand's MAU company, which has thrilled audiences at some of the world's most prestigious festivals, and graced the stages of the grandest opera houses,” said Mark Murphy, executive director of REDCAT.

“We are very happy to contribute to the rich history of the Million Dollar Theater with this internationally renowned performance inspired by Shakespearean themes in the context of contemporary and urgent human rights and environmental issues."

Tempest: Without a Body is funded in part with generous support from Creative New Zealand, and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. NDP is supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.

Broadway at 100 – A History of L.A.’s Iconic Street (June 16, 2011, 6pm, Los Angeles Theatre) is planned as an historical and visual retrospective of the history of Broadway as the birthplace of entertainment in Los Angeles and the former commercial capital of the west. It will include a special presentation of vintage photographs and rarely seen historical footage with discussion of each of Broadway’s theatres. Ed Kelsey of the League of Historic American Theatres will present and moderate. The event is free and open to the public, supported by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and Broadway Theatre Group.

Bringing Back Broadway has a long-standing collaboration and partnership with the Los Angeles Conservancy, which launched its own Broadway Initiative in 1999 to help foster the area’s revitalization. The Conservancy has tailor made a special day within its exciting and expanded 25th anniversary “Last Remaining Seats” series (June 26, 2011, Palace Theatre) to join with Broadway 100 in celebration of the birthday of the Palace Theatre. The Conservancy will offer two screenings of the classic film Sunset Boulevard with a special Palace Theatre birthday celebration on the day that marks the historic theatre’s 100th birthday.

"We're thrilled that the centennial coincides with the twenty-fifth season of Last Remaining Seats,"said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, referring to the Conservancy's annual series of classic films and live entertainment in historic theatres. "We've held Last Remaining Seats screenings on Broadway every year since 1987, so we can't think of a better place to celebrate this milestone. For such a relatively young city, Los Angeles has a surprising number of century-old buildings, and that number keeps growing."

Beginning June 30, 2011, at the Palace Theatre, Lucent Dossier Experience, the world renowned, interactive performance troupe, will revive the luster and magic of the oldest standing and one of the most regal theaters in the United States, with a two weekend run in celebration of the theatre’s 100th birthday. Lucent Dossier is known for creating mystical other-worldly inter-active environments at Coachella, The Edison, the Grammy's 50th Celebration among other incredible events around the world. The troupe has been described as a "high concept, steampunk meets neotribal performance ensemble" and its immersive spectacles as a "post-apocalyptic," "exotic wonderland". The show will run Thursday through Saturday June 30-July 2 and Thursday through Saturday July 7-9 at the Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway.

The Broadway Historic Theatre District features the largest concentration of historic theatres and movie palaces on one street in the nation, most of which date back to the 1920s and 1930s. There are 12 historic theatres along Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. Each offers a different and important glimpse into the history of Los Angeles, and its primary industry – entertainment.

Vaudeville stages were all the rage when the theatres were built and famous acts such as the Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, Houdini, Bing Crosby, Jack Benny, Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, Eddie Cantor, Lena Horne, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland and W.C. Fields all performed to the delight of Broadway audiences. Thomas Tally, Sid Grauman, Billy Clune, Oliver Morosco and others vied for the honor of local impresario as the theatres along Broadway become larger and more numerous.


Bringing Back Broadway is a public-private partnership initiative led by Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar with Executive Director Jessica Wethington McLean, focused on an ambitious ten-year plan to: revitalize the historic Broadway district between 2nd Street and Olympic Boulevard; activate inactive theatres; re-activate more than a million square feet of vacant commercial space; assist retailers and prevent further retail vacancies; increase parking and transit options to serve Broadway; encourage cultural, entertainment and retail uses on Broadway that will sustain generations; create a sense of place and history through urban planning, design and lighting guidelines and streetscapes; and make the dream of once again riding a streetcar downtown a reality. As a link between the past and the future, the revitalized historic Broadway corridor will ensure that the vibrant, cultural character of Broadway remains, while helping Broadway provide something for everyone, day and night by complementing and connecting new large-scale downtown entertainment and cultural destinations, as well as galleries, restaurants, and cultural activities throughout Downtown.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BringingBackBroadway
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/DTLA_Broadway


Los Angeles Conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats: http://www.laconservancy.org/
Theatrefication: www.eventbrite.com/event/1263662649
Tempest: Without A Body: www.redcat.org/event/lemi-ponifasio-mau
Lucent Dossier: http://www.lucentdossier.com/