The Colony Theatre today announced that its production of THE MORINI STRAD, a West Coast Premiere by Willy Holtzman and directed by Stephanie Vlahos, has been so successful that it will bring it back in January for two more weeks. Additionally, the surprise hit has enabled the cash-strapped theatre to continue operations with production of the next play in its season, the Los Angeles Premiere of I'LL BE BACK BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT, a thriller written and directed by Peter Colley.
On October 27, the theatre announced that it had to raise $49,000 within two weeks in order to open MORINI as scheduled on November 17, and an additional $500,000 in cash and pledges by the end of the year to finance the final two shows of the season, clear debt, and secure the future. That announcement was followed by such an outpouring of support that the theatre reached its $49,000 goal in ten days, and was able to open THE MORINI STRAD on schedule.BEFORE MIDNIGHT, a thriller written and directed by Peter Colley.
Rave reviews and enthusiastic word-of-mouth sparked ticket sales well beyond expectations, prompting the 270-seat Equity theatre to extend a play for the first time since 2007, when it extended its smash hit, TRYING, by Joanna Glass starring Alan Mandell.
"We are thrilled with the success of the show," stated Artistic Director Barbara Beckley. "It's a gift, after all the weeks of uncertainty. I am especially grateful to director Stephanie Vlahos, actors Mariette Hartley and David Nevell, and our 14-year-old violinist GenEva Lewis for continuing to work so hard, not knowing whether or not we would open. And I'm overjoyed that we will be able to produce the LA Premiere of Peter's play."
"But the battle for live theatre rages on, and we are still well short of the $500,000 necessary to ensure the continued health and life of the Colony," says Executive Director Trent Steelman. "Our immediate goal is to raise enough funds to produce both of the final two shows of our season, and we are exploring various avenues, including offers of above-the-title sponsorship opportunities. Of course, we also have high hopes that people will take advantage of the tax write-off for 2012 and give by December 31st."
I'LL BE BACK BEFORE MIDNIGHT is a thriller in the Alfred Hitchcock mode that has received nearly 1,000 productions worldwide and been translated into a dozen languages since its premiere in 1979, yet, amazingly, has never been produced in Los Angeles. For the last show of the season, The Colony has received special permission from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization to tell the true story of the life of Lorenz Hart for the first time, and has access to the entire Rodgers & Hart canon ("My Funny Valentine," "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," countless other classics) to create this World Premiere musical entitled "Falling for Make Believe," with book by Mark Saltzman.
According to Beckley, "We traditionally send out subscription renewal notices in January, but this is on hold due to the uncertainty of our future." Adds Steelman, "Our subscribers have been incredibly loyal, routinely renewing at a rate of 90%, and we are committed to being transparent with them about our financial situation."
THE MORINI STRAD will re-open Friday, January 4th, and perform Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm through January 13. Ticket prices range from $20.00 - $42.00 (student, senior, and group discounts are available). There will be a special invited dress rehearsal on Thursday, January 3, at 8pm for Burbank residents who have never been to The Colony. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818-558-7000 ext. 15 or online at www.ColonyTheatre.Org.
For more information about the "Save the Colony Theatre" campaign, sponsorship opportunities, or to make an End-of-Year donation, contact Trent Steelman at 818-558-7000 extension 12.