Mask Musical Will Make World Premiere in Pasadena

News   Mask Musical Will Make World Premiere in Pasadena
The new musical Mask, which was originally scheduled to make its debut at the Arizona Theatre Company, will now world premiere in Pasadena.
Mask songwriting team Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.
Mask songwriting team Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann.

The Pasadena Playhouse, Variety reports, will present the musical March 7-April 13, 2008, with an official opening March 14. Mask, based on the 1985 Peter Bogdanovich film of the same name, features a score by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, whose pop hits include "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," "Walkin' in the Rain," "He's So Shy" and "On Broadway." The book was penned by Anna Hamilton Phelan, who wrote the film's screenplay.

Mask, according to press notes, "is a musical based on a true story of an unusual looking boy and his unconventional biker mother. She shows him how to embrace life. He shows her how to choose it."

The Pasadena Playhouse has also added Orson's Shadow to its 2008 season. The Austin Pendleton work will be presented Jan. 11-Feb. 17, 2008, with an official opening Jan. 18.

Orson's Shadow is described as such: "An ingenious tale of two Hollywood giants – Orson Wells and Laurence Olivier. The time is 1960; the place is a West End theatre. Legendary critic Kenneth Tynan has made a startling proposal: Wells should direct Olivier and the young Joan Plowright in Rhinoceros, Ionesco's absurdist masterpiece. But it is the rehearsal process that brims with absurdity as titanic personalities, including Vivien Leigh, wrestle the muse."

In a statement, the Playhouse's artistic director, Sheldon Epps, said, "I have long been a fan of Orson's Shadow, Austin Pendleton's delicious and ambiguous love letter to some of the giants of the English speaking theatre. I am also thrilled that the Playhouse is continuing to be the launching ground of valuable new plays and musicals with the world premiere adaptation of Mask, whose score is written by two of the most successful writers in the history of contemporary music. These two productions continue this theatre's valuable exploration of theatrically diverse and eclectic theatrical experiences on our stage." Michael J. Chepiga's Matter of Honor is currently running at the Playhouse through Sept. 30. Next up is Ray Charles Live! — A New Musical, Oct. 31-Dec. 9.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, CA. For more information visit

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