The judges for the Echo Theater Company Lip Sync Contest Fundraiser have been announced!
Anne Fletcher (left) – Director of Step Up/ 27 Dresses/ The Proposal/ The Guilt Trip
Anne Heche (right) – Donnie Brasco/ Hung / Men In Trees
Danny Nucci (left) – The Fosters/ Titanic
Meghan Ory (right) – Once Upon A Time/ Intelligence
James Tupper (left) – Revenge/ Grey’s Anatomy
Jennifer Finnigan (right) – Monday Mornings / Close To Home
Jonathan Silverman (left) – Weekend At Bernie’s/ Brighton Beach Memoirs
Michaela Watkins (right) – Trophy Wife/ Enough Said/ SNL
Playwright JESSICA DICKEY joins us all the way from New York City to read her play ROW AFTER ROW starring Troy Blendell, Jeff Galfer & Amanda Saunders. Directed by Tara Karsian. Stage directions read by Andrea Grano.
It’s that time again! The Echo Lic Sync Contest Fundraiser is upon us once again. This means that grown adults are going to make fools of themselves as they attempt to creatively interpret and perform their favorite songs…without actually singing them.
This year, more than ever, we are looking for as much help in producing this event as we can get. If you or someone you know loves the Echo, please help us out by offering a tax deductible gift that we can auction off as part of our silent auction/raffle. We’d love to show off your business as you help us to finance a permanent home next year! And once again, it’s TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
Click on the attached letter and please consider giving. Thank you so much for all your help. Feel free to retweet and share on your Facebook pages!
Either way, make sure to join us November 7th @ 7:30pm for a night you won’t soon forget!!!
The Echo Theater Company is proud to welcome two, new members to the company. Please meet Rich Liccardo & Jud Williford!
Rich Liccardo (left) is a recent transplant from Denver, and loves this play. He spent the past three years working with the Denver Center Theatre Company both as an actor and a Teaching Instructor. While there he worked on productions of Three Musketeers, Charlie’s Aunt, and Cult Following. Other DCTC credits include A Lie Of The Mind, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hey Fever, Pierre, Betrayal, and Cyrano De Bergerac. For the past two years Rich has been the “Voice of Colorado Tourism”. He received a BFA from the University of Evansville and an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory.
Jud Williford (right) was last seen at the International city Theater production of Around the World in 80 Days as Phileas Fogg. Other credits include: Asolo Repertory Theater in Twelve Angry Men (dir. Frank Galati), Las Meninas, and La Bete. He was a company member of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco from 2008 thru the 2011 season where some of his highlights include Scapin (with Bill Irwin), The Imaginary Invalid, The Time of your Life (Tina Landau), War Music, Happy End, The Rivals and Tom Stoppard’s Rock’n’ Roll. Other Selected regional theater credits include; Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio),Macbeth (title role), The Tempest, and Nicholas Nickleby at the California Shakespeare Theater, andSaturn: The Musical (featuring Jeffery Alexander Galfer as Alexander Oakwood) at the 30 Grant Black Box. Other theaters include, The Aurora, The Huntington, The Peoples Light Theater and others. Film credits include, Rite time Wrong Spot (w/Olympia Dukakis), and The Tripper (dir. David Arquette). He received his MFA from ACT.
Bob: Perfection in Five Acts
by Steven Christian Amendola
Bob: A Life in Five Acts by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is playing its L.A. premiere at The Atwater Village Theatre, presented by the Echo Theater Company. Go see it by any means possible. If you have to drag yourself there with nothing but two arms and determination, and must collect the price of admission from fallen change, do it. This is one of the finest productions in Los Angeles this year, and I must recommend the viewing of it to any English-speaking human being whatsoever.
The Echo Theater Company invariably does excellent work. Since their inception, they have been devoted to the work of playwrights. They have a monthly public reading series which stages free readings of new plays one Monday night every month. The series has featured David Lindsay-Abaire, Sarah Ruhl and Adam Rapp, just to name a few. The company also founded the Ojai Playwrights Conference, which provides workshop and development resources for new plays.
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb being an upcoming playwright—and an exceptionally talented one—made his work particularly suited for production at Echo Theater Company. Bob, in the life of one man, encapsulates the American predicament. All of Bob’s hopes, dreams, values, ideas, industry, and failures are laid bare before the audience in an uproariously hilarious display of tragic heartwarming inventiveness. The play has no usefully applicable genre, as it, like any art which manages to fly Icarus-like into the sun and yet fly further, transcends genre and becomes an apt insight into the human condition. It needs no classification beyond its title.
The play surrounds a man who is born in the bathroom of a White Castle and who is then left in a “safe place” at the very same restaurant. He proceeds to spend the rest of his life in pursuit of greatness on a journey across the United States that brings him into the most absurd and yet entirely believable circumstances in the most remote places with the most ordinary people. Bob’s seemingly inappropriate optimism in even the most dismal circumstances is reminiscent of the films of Frank Capra, as is the entire play, which deals with the country on a large scale by investigating its smallest parts. Yet, while Frank Capra’s films might seem to a modern audience dependent on old-fashioned values, which makes their optimistic joyfulness a temporary suspension of disbelief, Bob creates a similar experience that is entirely contemporary and genuine to a 21st-century audience, both in its dramaturgy and its theme.
The production itself is masterful. The direction, acting and design are all consistent with whatever useful definition of perfection may be devised on this earth. Director Chris Fields has had a long life in the theater and has marvelous artistic perspective along with his extensive experience and directing skills. Having seen a few plays directed by Fields, I may say with confidence that no play he has directed may ever be anything short of exceptional.
The production has two casts of four chorus members and only Jeff Galfer playing Bob. Unfortunately, I may only speak about one of the casts, but I have no doubts regarding the excellence of the other.
Jeff Galfer is the ideal leading man for this piece. He has an endearing plausibility in the acceptance of his condition. His ability to take it all in stride and experience the grand mosaic of life’s offerings anew is one of the play’s most difficult requirements, and his execution invigorates the audience to appreciate life again.
Everyone in the cast has a miraculous comedic sense, so let that be dispensed with before I address the chorus, the members of which speak to the audience directly and play the many people in Bob’s life. Alana Dietze (Chorus 1) has the ability to speak frankly about ordinary things, and in doing so, open the floodgates of her soul with such control and precision that it penetrates all barriers between the play and the audience with ballistic force. Ahmed Best (Chorus 2) has a background in music and dance, which shows in his highly musical and physical performance. His body, what we sometimes call the “actor’s instrument,” is fully at the service of that masterful player, his mind. Jacqueline Wright (Chorus 3), a playwright herself, goes through perhaps the widest age range of characters and her portrayals consist of extremely thoughtful accuracy. Jud Williford (Chorus 4) has vocal folds which defy geometry and also may bring exceptional likability to even the most morally repulsive characters. More impressive than any of their individual merits was the cast’s solidarity and collective unity of expression.
The set, lighting, costume and sound design were all brilliant. I hope to see the work of Angel Hererra, Matt Richter, Kathryn Poppen and Drew Dalzell on other stages in the future. A play such as this demands an exceptionally good insight into its aesthetic requirements and what is required for its successful execution. The design here completed and enhanced the experience beyond all expectation.
Bob: A Life in Five Acts runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 7 pm through June 30th. General admission is $25. Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90039. On-site parking is free. For reservations and information call 877-369-9112 or go to www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.