Laughing Matters, a Musical by "Beaches" Novelist and Smokey Joe's Songwriter, to Premiere in CA

News   Laughing Matters, a Musical by "Beaches" Novelist and Smokey Joe's Songwriter, to Premiere in CA
Laughing Matters, a musical about three generations of Jewish women under one roof — with an original score by Smokey Joe's Café songwriter Mike Stoller and words by "Beaches" novelist Iris Rainer Dart — will get its world premiere at Pasadena Playhouse this fall.
Leonard Foglia
Leonard Foglia

Featuring book and lyrics by Dart, music by pop writers Stoller and Artie Butler (Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright") and direction by Leonard Foglia (Broadway's Thurgood and Master Class), the musical will be the final production of the 2009 Playhouse season, playing Nov. 4-Dec. 13. Opening in California is Nov. 13. Billed as "in the spirit of the Yiddish theatre," Laughing Matters "is about three generations of Jewish women and the history, humor, and music that binds them together," according to the April 16 Pasadena Playhouse announcement. "It is the 1970s in New York City and Raisel ('Bubbie'), a former star of the Yiddish Theatre, is now living with her daughter Red and her granddaughter Jenny. Jenny is desperate to know about her Bubbie's past — especially her life in pre-World War II Poland. Red, a television comedy writer, does not want her daughter to be burdened with the dreadful memories of that horrific era, and most importantly, does not want to remember her own childhood in Warsaw.

"Through an often funny, sometimes painful journey through their collective history, the women strive to build a bridge between them that will serve as a soulful foundation for generations to come."

Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps said in a statement, "This new musical is wildly theatrical, funny, wide ranging, culturally diverse, and very moving. I know that our audiences will appreciate the opportunity to see it here first."

Casting and creative team will be announced.

Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Avenue. For more information call (626) 356-7529 or visit

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