Pasadena Playhouse recently announced two-thirds of its upcoming 2000 Summer/Fall season. In July the season will commence with a revival of Neil Simon's comedy The Good Doctor, followed in September by the world premiere of Valina Hasu Houston's Ikebana (Living Flowers). The concluding show will also be a world premiere of a soon-to-be-announced musical: either Going Hollywood, based on the hit comedy Once In a Lifetime by Kaufman and Hart; Twist of Fate, a new work about gypsies and fortune-tellers; or Summer of '42, based on the hit movie about youth and wartime romance.
”The Good Doctor is a wonderful comedy which brings to life the short stories of Chekhov through the clever wit of one of America's most prolific and successful playwrights, Neil Simon," said Sheldon Epps, artistic director of the Playhouse. Ikebana is written by Los Angeles playwright Velina Hasu Houston. Ikebana sheds light on the cloistered, seldom-seen society of Japan in the post- war years. It focuses on two young women, one of whom seeks the traditional life of stability and acceptance through the symbolic beauty and simplicity of ikebana--the perfect arrangement of delicate flowers. Into her tranquil existence comes Hanako, who looks for the beauty of life through the intangibles of freedom, opportunity and friendship.
Simon's latest play, The Dinner Party, is currently in production at the Mark Taper Forum. Simon has over 30 plays and numerous screenplays to his credit, including such classics as The Odd Couple, Barefoot In the Park and Biloxi Blues.
Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave. For tickets and information call (626) 356- 7529
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent