“Dear Elizabeth” Q&A

Our resident blogger, Heather Osteraa, decided to catch up with the director and cast of “Dear Elizabeth”. Here’s what she found out! Susanne Burns, Director How long have you been directing professionally? For about 10 years. How did you discover you wanted to direct? When I was in undergrad for acting.  I took a directing […]

Love Letters

            By Heather Osteraa Valentine’s Day is upon us! Is anyone else in the holiday spirit out there besides me? No? Just me…? Well, for those of you who need a little romantic inspiration, “Love Letters” by A.R. Gurney is playing at The Western Stage this weekend. A two-person show […]

It’s a Small World After All

In 1929, the Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy put forth a theory that everyone and everything in the world is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world. A few decades later, the Austrian mathematician Manfred Kochen wrote about a similar theory in the manuscript Contacts and Influences. Look at a population […]

Carrie: The Musical: New life for an American horror classic

When you think of Stephen King’s Carrie, you probably remember the 1976 film with Sissy Spacek as Carrie, along with Piper Laurie as her mother, Amy Irving as Sue, and Betty Buckley as Miss Collins. And who could forget John Travolta as teen bad-boy Billy? Or, when you think of Carrie, perhaps you remember the […]

The Producers’ Leo Bloom is no Johnny One Note — and neither is the actor playing him

Green eyeshade: check. Adding machine: check. Work hard, say nothing: check. That’s Leo Bloom’s life as an accountant in The Producers. At least at the start of the show. As it turns out, Leo’s boss would be very wrong to write him off as simply a quiet man who follows the rules. Leo can tap! […]

Veteran actor Leo Cortez is having a blast playing the scoundrel Max Bialystock in The Producers

At the center of the Mel Brooks musical The Producers, behind all the sequins and splashy dance numbers and impossibly huge chorus-girl costumes, is an unlikely friendship. Meek accountant Leo Bloom is hiding inside a small life until theatre producer Max Bialystock swoops in and convinces him to join a wild get-rich-quick scheme. Max is […]

“Dustin Hoffman was originally supposed to play WHO?” Trivia factoids from the two Producers movies

Decades before The Producers was one of the hottest shows on Broadway, it was cracking up audiences (and scandalizing quite a few of them) in movie theaters around the world. This story about two scheming theatre producers who plot to make a fortune by staging the most offensive musical in history was first a 1967 […]

New York scenic designer Jordan Janota explores the concept of home in the poignant Tortilla Curtain

While The Western Stage has many regular artists coming back season after season, visiting actors and designers also bring in fresh ideas and perspectives from all over the country. Tortilla Curtain, for example, features the work of scenic designer Jordan Janota. Based in New York, Jordan creates worlds for theaters far and wide. This year […]

Playwright Matthew Spangler tells us how Tortilla Curtain made it from the page to The Western Stage

The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle is a big novel in many ways. Published with great fanfare, the 1995 book is a powerful exploration of immigration, race and class that focuses on two undocumented Mexican immigrants who interact dramatically with a wealthy gated Los Angeles community. It’s a weighty statement that runs more than 300 […]

Behind the scenes of The Liar with director Dennis Beasley

This summer at The Western Stage, we enjoyed Dennis Beasley’s heartfelt performance as The Baker in the mainstage musical Into the Woods. Now, he’s directing The Liar, an updated French farce that plays in the Studio Theatre from Sept. 18 through Oct. 4. In this post, Dennis tells us about the fun he and his […]