Laughter On The 23rd Floor, Neil Simon's 1993 valentine to his days working for TV's "Your Show Of Shows," closes the current Laguna Playhouse season, May 5-31. Laguna artistic director Andrew Barnicle directs the piece, about eccentric funnymen (and one woman) creating a weekly TV variety show, despite network pressure to dumb the material down.
The comedy stars Ron House in the Max Prince (Sid Caesar) role. House co founded the London comedy troupe Low Moan Spectacular, which introduced the camp comedies El Grande de Coca Cola and Bullshot Crummond.
Laguna will also offer one more piece in its Youth Theatre series: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (June 12-21).
Performances at The Laguna Playhouse, dubbed "the West Coast's oldest theatre company," take place at the Moulton Theatre in downtown Laguna Beach. The theatre was founded in 1920 when a group of Laguna Beach citizens met in a living room to establish a local theatre. They began with readings and performances in private homes and storefronts, and in 1924 built the first venue (with $5000). The Moulton space was constructed in 1965.
* Last week, Laguna Playhouse announced five of the six plays on its 1998 99 season, which marks the company's 79th anniversary. This is the first time LP has offered more than five plays on its mainstage. The company's Youth Theatre season will continue to offer four plays. Additionally, LP will offer a special non-subscription summer revival of its Nov. 1997 hit production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.
Dates for the new subscription season have been established, but the order of the plays has not yet been finalized. Mainstage play slots will be as follows: Sept. 15-Oct. 11; Nov. 3-29; Jan. 5-3l; Feb. 23-March 21; April 20-May 16; May 25-June 20, 1999.
The following plays have been confirmed: Gunmetal Blues , a musical by Scott Wentworth (book), Craig Bohmler (music) and Marion Adler (lyrics); I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change , written by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts; The Last Session, a musical by Jim Brochu (book) and Steve Schalchlin (music & lyrics); A Moon for the Misbegotten by Eugene O'Neill; Old Wicked Songs by Jon Marans; and Sylvia, a comedy by A.R. Gurney.
The Youth Theatre shows include A Wind in the Willows, adapted by Moses Goldberg from the book by Kenneth Grahame; The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson; Beauty and the Beast by Brian Kral; and How to Eat Like a Child (and other lessons in not being a grown-up), an adaptation of the book by Delia Ephron, John Forster and Judith Kahan.
For further information on shows at Laguna Playhouse call (714) 497-ARTS.