Hoover Comes Alive!, a Les Freres Corbusier Musical, Begins Sept. 8 at La Jolla Playhouse

News   Hoover Comes Alive!, a Les Freres Corbusier Musical, Begins Sept. 8 at La Jolla Playhouse Herbert Hoover, the U.S. president at the helm when the Great Depression began, gets a theatrical "comeback special" Sept. 8-13 when La Jolla Playhouse presents Hoover Comes Alive! by Sean Cunningham, songwriter Michael Friedman and director Alex Timbers.

Billed as a "concert performance piece" from the avant garde theatre company Les Freres Corbusier, this is a La Jolla Page To Stage presentation, as well as part of the Playhouse's The Edge series. Performances will play in the Mandell Weiss Forum.

According to LJP, "After stewing for 70 years in political disgrace (and presumed death), Herbert Hoover is taking the stage one last time — to reclaim his legacy and save America in the process. Elvis' classic 1968 'Comeback Special' serves as inspiration for Hoover's own interactive, rock-infused resurrection. This time he's going to successfully pull us out of our economic Waterloo, come hell or high water. Award-winning company Les Freres Corbusier celebrates the checkered legacy of one of our most vilified presidents in this uproarious new concert performance piece."

The cast features Damian Baldet as Herbert Hoover and Jim Mooney as Harry S. Truman, as well as UC San Diego graduate students Marshel Adams as Lucille, Maren Bush as Sheila, Ross Crain as Scotty and Patrick Riley as DJ.

"Les Freres has always been interested in investigating historical subjects for truths about today," Timbers said in a statement. "When we began working on a Herbert Hoover show two years ago, we never thought we would be presenting it during this second economic Depression. And we can't imagine a more fun way to discuss Hoover and American economic history then through the lens of a classic rock concert, Elvis' 1968 Comeback Special. It takes a daring and innovative artistic leader like Christopher Ashley to produce the work of a New York-based experimental theatre group and we couldn't be more excited to be at La Jolla Playhouse."

The production team includes Cris O'Bryon (music director/conductor); Kristin Ellert (scenic designer); Paloma Young (costume designer); Stephen Sakowski, (lighting designer); Toby Algya (sound designer); and Jake Pinholster (projection designer). Performance times for Hoover Comes Alive! are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 PM; Thursday and Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 2 PM and 8 PM; and Sunday at 2 PM and 7 PM.

The Playhouse is offering a special $5 ticket price for cushion seating in the first three rows (the "Fan Zone"), for those who want the full "Elvis Comeback Special" experience right at the foot of the stage. Regular seating is $25 or $20 for La Jolla Playhouse subscribers. All seats are general admission. Tickets are available by calling the La Jolla Playhouse box office at (858) 550-1010 or online at www.lajollaplayhouse.org.

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The award-winning Les Freres Corbusier "creates aggressively visceral theatre, combining historical revisionism, multimedia excess, found texts, sophomoric humor and rigorous academic research." They are devoted to the notion of "a populist theatre that draws on prevailing tastes and comedic sensibilities to speak directly to the mainstream audience continually ignored by the American theatre." Les Freres "rejects the shy music, seamless dramaturgy, and muted performance style of the 20th century in favor of the anarchic, the rude, the juvenile, the spectacle."

Their works include The Franklin Thesis, President Harding Is a Rock Star, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, among others.

Now in its eighth year, Page To Stage is La Jolla Playhouse's signature new play development program in which audiences experience the "birth" of a play. Throughout the rehearsals and run of the show, the playwright and director make constant changes in response to audience reactions and feedback. Encompassing commissions, readings and workshop productions, Page To Stage serves the specific needs of a project at all stages in its evolution, helping artists take their work to the next level of development. Previous Page To Stage productions include The Night Watcher, The Farnsworth Invention, Zhivago, the Tony Award-winning 700 Sundays, The Burning Deck, Current Nobody, I Think I Like Girls and I Am My Own Wife.

The Edge series brings to La Jolla Playhouse the most cutting-edge, challenging and provocative theatre being created today. Supported by The James Irvine Foundation and the Jordan Ressler Endowment Fund, The Edge encompasses bold new work by the world's most innovative theatre artists who are changing theatrical forms, integrating new technology or looking at our world in completely new ways.

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