Pasadena Playhouse to Premiere Above the Fold in 2014; Season Includes Smokey Joe's Café, French Stewart and More

By Kenneth Jones
22 Mar 2013

French Stewart
French Stewart

Pasadena Playhouse's 2013-14 season, announced March 22, will include the world premiere of Bernard Weinraub's journalism drama Above the Fold, directed by Steve Robman. The season will also feature actor French Stewart as comedian Buster Keaton, a revival of the revue Smokey Joe's Café, a rare Noel Coward play and more.

In Above the Fold, to run Jan. 28-Feb. 23, "Jane, an African-American New York reporter, flies to a Southern university where four white fraternity boys have been accused of raping a young African-American woman," according to Pasadena notes. "Taking place amidst the shift from print to digital journalism, Above the Fold asks tough questions about the exploitation of tragedy, the cost of success and the dangers that come when ambition collides with truth."

The script received a HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse staged reading in 2012.

One production in the season will be named by artistic director Sheldon Epps at a later date.



Here's the Pasadena Playhouse 2013-14 season at a glance:

Smokey Joe's Café
Book by Stephen Helper and Jack Viertel
Music by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Directed by Jeffrey Polk
Sept. 18-Oct. 13

"Smokey Joe's Café is the hottest joint in town! This Tony Award-nominated and Grammy Award-winning tribute to legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a dazzling, song-and-dance celebration of 39 of rock 'n' roll's greatest hits from 'Stand by Me' and 'Fools Fall in Love' to 'Jailhouse Rock,' 'Spanish Harlem' and 'Yakety Yak.' Smokey Joe's Café is being presented this season in honor of Playhouse supporter and board member Mike Stoller and his wife, Corky Hale Stoller."

Stoneface: The Rise and Fall and Rise of Buster Keaton
By Vanessa Claire Stewart
Directed by Jaime Robledo
Starring French Stewart
Nov. 5-Dec. 1

"Chronicled through the lens of his own silent films, Stoneface recreates some of Buster Keaton's most memorable gags live on stage, capturing the legend of a bygone era and telling the tale of the redemption of one of Hollywood's greatest performers. Following a successful engagement at Sacred Fools Theatre Company this past summer, Stoneface, was designated a Los Angeles Times Critic's Choice," with raves for Stewart, who is known for the TV series "3rd Rock From the Sun."

A Song at Twilight
By Noël Coward
Directed by Art Manke
March 18-April 13, 2014

"An elderly writer hesitantly accepts a visit from his former mistress, leading to a confrontation of past secrets, forbidden affections and surprising confessions. Following this season's smash-hit production of Noël Coward's comedy Fallen Angels, Art Manke returns to The Playhouse to direct Coward's rarely produced and final play of his illustrious career."

Artistic Director's Choice
Directed by Sheldon Epps
May 27-June 22, 2014

The "Surprise Production" for the current 2012-2013 season brought to The Playhouse the wildly successful, smash-hit One Night With Janis Joplin. Artistic director Sheldon Epps will be selecting and also directing the season's final production. Titles under consideration are Gypsy, My Fair Lady and an August Wilson play.

The season will also include the added Christmas season attraction Panto at the Playhouse: Aladdin, a Lythgoe Family Production, Dec. 11-30, 2013. Expect "an updated version of the classic story, in the style of the traditional British family panto,' with comedy, contemporary songs, audience interaction and stars."

Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season will be available for purchase in April. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA.

For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.