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Previews are Thursday, September 5th through Saturday September 7th at 8pm and Sunday September 8th at 2pm. All preview seats are $21.

“Steel Magnolias” is a classic comedy-drama play that later became a popular film about the bond among a group of Southern women. The action centers on Truvy’s beauty parlour and the women who regularly gather there.

The production features Hiwa Bourne (The Pity of Things, Crimes of the Heart, Shake) as Truvy, Ruth Coughlin (A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Shelby, Karen Huie (A Little Night Music, Joy Luck Club) as Ouiser, Dian Kobayashi (Joy Luck Club, Equus) as Clairee, Lovelle Liquigan (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Language Archive) as Annelle, and Patti Yasutake (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as M’Lynn.

For special performance dates and additional information, visit STEEL MAGNOLIAS.

Volunteer Opportunity Volunteer as an usher.

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East West Players has extended the run of CHESS, now through June 23rd, 2013. All performances are staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.

Book by Richard Nelson, lyrics by Sir Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Aida), and composed by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (ABBA, Mamma Mia!). CHESS is directed by Tim Dang, musical directed by Marc Macalintal and choreographed by Marc Oka.

“Audiences who are CHESS aficionados or only acquainted with the concert version, are elated to see a full production in Los Angeles,” said Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “One couple  waited almost 25 years to see a production in this area and are coming back again with friends. We are happy to present them with a stylish production with a most talented cast.”

The leading roles of the multicultural ensemble cast include Joan Almedilla as Florence (Miss Saigon and Les Miserables – Broadway), Elijah Rock as Anatoly (Ragtime, Smokey Joe’s Cafe), Victor E. Chan as Freddy (The Who’s Tommy, The Rocky Horror Show), Carey Rebecca Brown as Svetlana (Ragtime – Broadway Revival, Candide – New York City Opera), Ray A. Rochelle as Molokov (Evita, Miss Saigon), and Michael Alexander Henry as Walter de Courcey (The Lion King – Broadway), and Ryan Castellino (Miss Saigon and Life Could Be A Dream). The rest of the ensemble are Cesar Cipriano (The King & I, Miss Saigon – National Tours), Stephanie Mieko Cohen (Les Miserables – Broadway), Jasmine Ejan (Peter Pan – National Tour), Shay Louise (Miss Saigon), D.T. Matias (A Chorus Line – International Tour), Maegan McConnell (EWP’s  Pippin and A Little Night Music), and Alex Sanchez (Hairspray).

CHESS the musical involves a romantic triangle between two top chess players – an American and a Russian – and a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other. All of this takes place within the context of the Cold War, as both countries vie for international chess victories for propaganda purposes. CHESS may be best known for its 1980s pop-rock soundtrack that Time Magazine called “one of the best rock scores ever produced,” featuring hits as “One Night in Bangkok,” “I Know Him So Well,” “Anthem” and more. CHESS is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players. All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Regular performances run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.eastwestplayers.org or by calling 213.625.7000. Regular tickets range from $51-$56. Student and Senior discounts available. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.

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Huell Howser with EWP Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang at the 40th Anniversary Gala.

East West Players (EWP) mourns the passing of Huell Howser, the great adventurer, and star of  several public-television series such as “Videolog,” “California’s Gold,” and “Visiting.” Howser was a supporter of EWP and did a segment about East West Players at the Union Center for the Arts in Little Tokyo.

“We are saddened by this news and were shocked to hear of his passing,” said Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of EWP. “Huell always had great energy, always in a great mood and could really light up a room with his smile and laughter. He touched so many people in our community and even took to the stage at our 40th Anniversary Gala to encourage everyone to support the arts and an organization like East West Players. Everyone will miss him.”

Just last month, the EWP community lost Senator Daniel Inouye and now, we have lost another friend. In recognition of our thanks to Huell Howser for his lifetime of achievement, East West Players offers once again, the highest accolade in theatre: A Standing Ovation.

East West Players, Visual Communications and the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) will host an evening with NBC Universal (NBCU) executives Karen Horne, Grace Wu and Kendra Carter, who will discuss the opportunities available within the NBCU Talent Diversity programs.

Executives will discuss NBC Universal’s talent development programs including Writers on the Verge, NBC Scene Showcase, NBC’s Directors Fellowship Program, and the Casting Apprentice Program to name a few. NBC Universal continues to offer specific programs to create pipelines to the network for people of color and other diverse communities. The evening will also include a Q & A.

Date: Monday, September 24, 2012
Time: 8:00-9:30pm
Venue: David Henry Hwang Theatre at the Union Center for the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

The event is free, but RSVP’s are strongly recommended. Please contact: Marilyn Tokuda: mtokuda@eastwestplayers.org

Parking: $3.00 parking (after 5pm) at the AISO STREET PARKING GARAGE directly across the street from the theatre.

Panelist bios:
Karen Horne is Vice President, Entertainment Diversity Initiatives, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. Horne is responsible for overseeing primetime diversity programs for NBC and Universal Television. She heads NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program and the Director Fellowship Program while overseeing NBC’s Diversity Staffing Initiative and NBC’s Content creator program with the Canadian Film Centre, and working with the creative programming team to identify diverse development.

Grace Wu has served as Executive Vice President, Casting, NBC Entertainment since 2009. Wu is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day casting on current scripted series as well as pilot productions for the broadcast network. Wu supervised the casting of such network series as “Friends,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio,” “Ed” and “Freaks & Geeks.”

Kendra Carter is Director of NBC Universal Talent Diversity Initiatives. Carter develops, produces and supervises talent diversity initiatives for NBC. Most notable, NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity nationwide talent search, NBC Universal Short Cuts Film Festival, various talent scholarships and talent showcases. Carter is also responsible for tracking the network’s placement of diverse talent in front of the camera.

East West Players (EWP) is the nation’s largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work AND the longest-running professional theatre of color in the country.

“An introduction to NBC Universal Talent Diversity Programs” is a program of EWP’s Alliance of Creative Talent Services (ACTS), a career development program that brings visibility of Asian American artist to casting directors, producers and other executives. For more information on ACTS please visit http://www.eastwestplayers.org

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