The Pasadena Playhouse, State Theatre of California, is closing its '97 Winter/Spring season with the unlikely-titled The Emotions Starring in Bigger Than Bubble Gum, a new musical written by Larry W. Heimgartner, featuring music by the Emotions, Heimgartner and Chuck Alvarez, and beginning previews in Pasadena May 9, running May 18 through June 22.
The Emotions, a successful singing-sisters trio, remained high on the R&B charts throughout the '70s and '80s. The musical follows the story of the trio from their start at ages three, four and five as the Hutchinson Sunbeams singing gospel music in their hometown Chicago, to their heyday. Wanda Vaughn, Sheila Hutchinson and Jeannette Hawes will play themselves; Charlia Boyer, LaDeana M. Devereaux and Jennifer Leigh Warren will play the "Early Emotions".
...Bubble Gum is directed and choreographed by Otis Sallid, who conceived of Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe. Sallid performed on Broadway in musicals such as The Wiz, Purlie! and Hallelujah, Baby!, and has choreographed several episodes of the television show "Fame," and directed episodes of "A Different World" and "Living Single."
...Bubble Gum also features Smokey Joe star Victor Trent Cook, along with Clinton Derricks-Carroll, Cleto C. Escobedo III, Adam Jackson and Gregory Scott Sherman. They will be accompanied by an on stage band.
Heimgartner has produced and directed more than 100 productions, and his show Don't Get Too Close is currently on tour in Los Angeles and England. He is the chairman of The Theatre Arts Department at Los Angles Harbor College, where he has been teaching since 1973. The production is produced in association with Dick Scott, Ltd., Don Williams and Andrew Rollins for Kat's Eye Entertainment. For tickets or more information, call (1-800) 233-3123, or refer to the Pasadena Playhouse regional listing on Playbill On-Line.
--By Blair Glaser