Jasmine Gilbert lands the lead in ‘The Nutcracker’

It’s a long established tradition for ballet companies to pay tribute to the season with full length productions of “The Nutcracker.” The classical ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg in 1892 and it wasn’t until 1934 in England that it pirouetted onto foreign shores. In 1944, the renowned San Francisco Ballet company presented “The Nutcracker” on Christmas Eve. By the 1960’s, throughout America, it was such a popular holiday staple that families were fantasizing about dueling toys and little Ballerina’s dreamed of jete’s with the Sugarplum Fairy. This year, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is bringing the holiday tradition to Orange County. For the very first time “The Nutcracker” will be performed on the Segerstrom stage, Dec. 10 – 20.The American Ballet Theatre’s fresh and inventive production of “The Nutcracker” features another fabulous first as well. In September, the American Theatre Ballet William J Gillespie School opened for its first year of classes. With the school and the American Ballet Theatre’s successful collaboration, aspiring Ballerina’s and Ballerino’s will have a unique opportunity to promenade and pirouette in ABT’s Nutcracker. The ballet is a Christmas party, featuring more than 70 youths alongside ABT professionals. Close to 40 young dancers from the Gillespie school are in the cast as well as talented youths from the Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) and beyond. The plum role that of the child Clara was won by 12 year old Jasmine Gilbert from the ABT Gillespie School. Perhaps one day the youthful Ballerina will perform in another etoile (star) role, that of the Sugar Plum Fairy. But for now, Jasmine who dreams of being a professional ballet dancer, says “This role really caught me by surprise, I didn’t expect it at all, it is like I am living in an endless dream.” “The Nutcracker” features several Center “first’s.” It’s the first in what the Center believes will become an Orange County tradition at the Center. It’s the first ballet in which the young hopefuls from the Gillespie School will perform with American Ballet Theatre’s professional troupe. Perhaps, the most important first of all, this is the inaugural year for American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School which unites a California dance school with a major ballet company. Gillespie School principal Alaine Haubert explains “When I was growing up, I had to go to New York to train with professional dancers. My parents recognized my desire for a ballet career and drove me across the county to help me achieve my goals. The Gillespie School’s creation fulfills the need on the West Coast for pre-professional training. This is a major move, creating a school on this side of the county with a New York based company. It’s a big deal.” The Gillespie school is about more than one Ballet, as bright and prestigious as that might be. Principal Haubert has built a faculty that is knowable in ABT training curriculum and that have a gift for communication with children of all ages. She says “we are a training academy with the curriculum being built from one class to the next. This is pre-professional training. We prepare dancers for a career.” Although it was a perk for the ABT Gillespie School to have their talented dancers audition for “The Nutcracker,” auditions were not limited to only the school’sperformers. Haubert says “the audition process was surprising and interesting to watch. The choreographer Alexei Ratmansky looked for young dancers with acting skills, enthusiasm and animation, qualities that exceed technical skills. Our Jasmine landed the star role of Clara because she is a little actress and she is very good in it.” Certainly for the students at the Gillespie School part of the draw of “The Nutcracker” is being able to dance on Segerstrom Center’s big, beautiful stage but it’s also as Haubert points out “the fact that American Ballet Theatre is everyone’s favorite company.” Jasmine Gilbert, who attends OSCA, began dancing at 6 years old and fell totally in love with ballet by age 9. She says she applied to the Gillespie School because of its connection to ABT, “I wanted to go to this school because it’s an amazing opportunity, most people have to wait until summer or live in New York to get this training. It has improved my technique tremendously. I’m able to do plies without pain in my knees.’ Jasmine has been described by her instructors as determined but sweet with natural acting ability, animation and musicality. These are qualities she brings to the role of Clara. She has seen “The Nutcracker” several times and says “I visualize Clara as a girl who gets the nutcracker doll and goes through a crazy and amazing adventure throughout the Ballet. It’s awesome to be in at the beginning of a new tradition that so many families will enjoy here at the Segerstrom Center for years to come.” ABT’s “The Nutcracker” shines because of the addition of several unique features in the production. Haubert describes one as “a new character, a little mouse which is a comedic role performed humorously by one of our boys. And in the second act the grown up Clara and the child Clara mirror each other. It’s very beautiful.” For the students at the Gillespie school, including Jasmine, performing in “The Nutcracker” is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Haubert says “It’s an experience they will never forget, being on the stage with incredible artists. They will be influenced by not only technical skills but also by performance quality and pure artistry.” Haubert recommends “The Nutcracker” to audiences, saying “my children are spectacular and of course ABT dancers have such high standards. They are the best dancers from around the world.” Jasmine adds, “I know my friends would enjoy "The Nutcracker” because of the holiday feeling it gives people with its story of friendship and courage. The fun costumes, the dancing and the music are wonderful.” ‘Tis the season for a new holiday tradition at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Join the party as America’s National Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, presents “The Nutcracker” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Dec. 10-20, 2015. For tickets and information: The Box Office, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626; phone, 714-556-2787; or online, SCFTA.org

‘Hay Fever’ catches on

In its 87th season of continual running productions, Long Beach Playhouse proudly presents one of the great Noel Coward’s earliest hits, the terribly funny 1925 comedy, Hay Fever. With a houseful of absurdly opulent characters, director James Rice heightens the level of every scene as he guides his talented cast through an avalanche of hysterical events forcing the actors to push past the boundaries of social etiquette. What could be considered a paradigm for contemporary sitcoms, Hay Fever raises the roof on a weekend in the English countryside, and the cast’s deliberately overly-exaggerated acting, particularly, Sarah Genevieve Green as matriarch, Judith Bliss, is nothing to sneeze at – hay fever or not. The show itself makes no profound statement, has no deep meaning, nor offers a philosophical declaration about life, and perhaps this is what makes it such a timeless revelation in the comedy world. Hay Fever is simply a frothy profundity of laughing at the human condition and the silliness of learning what NOT to do when entertaining weekend guests. Unbeknownst to each other, the self-absorbed Bliss family members have each invited a guest to spend the weekend with them at the family countryside home. Judith, the retired West End actress of a certain age who is foolishly contemplating a comeback, has invited her fan, Sandy Tyrell (Bryan Brophy), a strapping young boxer to the scene for a few bouts of flirtatious fun. Next, comes in son, Simon’s (Lee Samuel Tanng) visitor and crush, Myra Arundel (Eva Dailey), the sophisticated vamp of the crowd. Judith is not particularly pleased to learn that her daughter, Sorel (Anissa Leeanna Loer) has invited a diplomat, Richard Greatham (Dean Figone) for the weekend as well. But, rounding out the guest list and “love triangle” is Judith’s novelist husband, David’s (Stephan Alan Carver) flapper gal friend, Jackie Coryton (Tiffany Toney) for “research” on his novel. Clara (Susie McCarthy) who was once Judith’s dresser, takes her place as the family’s maid, and McCarthy’s slapdash-ish take on her character is the perfect topper to the outrageously self-centered clan. Although some of the cast’s cut glass English accents could use a big of polishing, Brophy’s Sandy speaks every line as though he has a mouth full of oversized marbles, and while it takes a good ear to recognize what he is saying, his horrific accent complements his comical pony-like galloping about from place to place. Whether she is sweeping into a room with a swanlike arrogance or removing her “wellies” with style and grace, Green nails her character’s inability to see past center stage. Overall, the entire ensemble is tight, and as Sorel and Simon, Tanng and Loer hover around Judith like warm beer at an English pub. Loer is everything you should expect from an ostentatiously beautiful and completely spoiled grown up brat of a daughter. Other must mentions are Tanng as Simon, McCarthy as Clara, Carver as David, Figone as Richard, Brophy as Sandy, Dailey as Myra, Toner as Jackie. A blissful weekend at the Bliss Estate, not so much; however, a few hours at LBP’s Mainstage production of Hay Fever, pure laughable bliss. Director: James Rice; Set Design: Naomi Kasahara; Light Design: Donny Jackson; Sound Design: Julie Moore; Costume Design: Donna Fritsche. Long Beach Playhouse 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA 90804. Phone 562 494.1014 option 1. www.lbplayhouse.org. Hay Fever runs Dec. 5.

Segerstrom Center brings the Broadway Series to OC

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts recently teased Southern California with a sneak preview of the thirtieth season of the well-received Broadway series. Carrying on a tradition that includes productions like “Jersey Boys” and “Nice Work if You Can Get It” this is Broadway at its best. No need to fly to New York when the Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents Tony Award winning productions within a gorgeous venue.The season starts with “The Lion King.” Seen by over 70 million people, it is stage and film’s highest grossing (billion dollars) production. The Elton John-Tim Rice collaboration includes the heartwarming “Circle of Life.” The silted animals’ captivate the audience from the moment they enter. The six time Tony Award winning show debuted in 1997 and is the fourth longest running production on Broadway. Incredibly a number of the cast members have been involved since its inception. What a run!For those with a flair for the classics, there is “42 Street.” This quintessential production, based upon the 1933 Busby Berkeley musical, has the typical wonderful Broadway story line. To refresh the memory—understudy becomes superstar! The songs are ones you’ll leave the theater singing—“I Only Have Eyes for You” or perhaps “We’re in the Money” and there’s always “Lullaby of Broadway.” The latest Tony Award was in 2001 as Best Revival. The Segerstromwill have the same management behind the scenes which earned the Award with Co Author Mark Bramble directing and the choreography under Randy Skinner.Another opportunity to leaving the theater singing presents itself with Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” With songs that range from the romantic, “Ten Minutes Ago” to the charming “In My Own Little Corner” the show is not only kid friendly but will warm the hearts of mom and dad as well. This is truly a musical for the entire family. As always, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts ensures such iconic props as the pumpkin and glass slipper do not disappoint. Amazingly this production has a short history opening in 2013. Hard to believe it took that long for such a well-known story to hit the stage.If this Broadway series is any indication, Disney rules. Not only is it responsible for “The Lion King” but it is also behind the production of “Newsies.” The 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Score and Best Choreography presents a highly energetic view of the “Newsies” taking on the media giants. Songs such as “Seize the Day” and “Carry the Banner” will have the audience standing in support for the workers. The youthful exuberance of the cast will have you leaving with a smile and fist raised high! Again, kid friendly but with a song and story line that will satisfy anyone.This year’s sing a long of the series is “The Sound of Music.” Is it really possible to hear a chorus of “Do-Re-Mi” without having to stop yourself from singing quietly? I think not! Add to the mix, “My Favorite Things” and “Edelweiss” and keeping silent becomes almost impossible. The Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic-winner of a Tony, Grammy and Academy Award- is under the watchful eye of three time Tony winner Jack O’Brien. What a fun way to introduce the next generation to arguably one of the greatest musicals ever.A much more adult performance follows with “Cabaret.” In addition to the title, the well-known score includes “Wilkommen” and “Money”. The original Broadway production debuted in 1966 with the classic “Maybe Next Time” added with the 1998 revival. There is no excuse “For sitting alone in your room” when the Segerstrom Center is presenting such a high caliber production. After all, the last stop for the actors, staff and crew was Broadway baby! Think of the lodging and transportation expenses you saved by waiting.Without a doubt one of the hottest tickets in all of OC will be “If/Then.” Written specifically for Idina Menzel this production kicks off 2016. Menzel’s credits go far beyond “Let It Go” with roles in “Rent” and “Wicked.” When the National Tour was announced the Star commented, “I am very much looking forward to sharing this original musical with Broadway fans who weren't able to travel to New York and see it there." The Segerstrom audience is looking forward to it as well.A definite highlight of the preview was the hilarious antics of “The Illusionists.” Audience members were volunteered and had the time of their lives. Who knows what the Illusionists have in mind when the actual production hits. By the show’s end you will be hurting from laughing so hard. As the barker says, “A show for all ages!”The raunchy “Book of Mormon” will return to the Segerstrom as part of the series. This too will be one of the hottest tickets in town if last year’s participation is any indication. The nine-time Tony Award winner has been hailed as the “Best Musical of the Century.”The behind the scenes leaders are composed of the creators of South Park and Oscar winner composer Bobby Lopez.As the pitch goes, “But wait there’s more!” There are two bonus options which can be added. “Riverdance -20 years” and another modern day classic, “Wicked.”So plan it out:· The Lion King—Oct. 6 – Nov. 1, 2015· 42 Street—Nov. 10 -Nov. 22, 2015· Cinderella–April 19-May 1, 2016· Newsies–May 17-May 29, 2016· The Sound of Music—July 19-July 31, 2016· Cabaret—Aug. 9-Aug. 21, 2016· River Dance-20 – (Bonus) Jan. 1-Jan. 3, 2016· If/Then—Jan. 19- Jan. 24, 2016· The Illusionists—Feb. 2-Feb. 7, 2016· Wicked- (Bonus) February 17 – March 6, 2016· The Book of Mormon—March 22 – April 3, 2016Historically the Segerstrom has presented only the best of Broadway. This year is no exception. The diversity of the shows and caliber of casts allow the East Coast an opportunity to soak up some California sun. Certainly the local shopping and restaurants are on par—or exceed– what can be found in New York’s theater district. I could not imagine a more beautiful theater with a more perfect location than the Segerstrom on either coast.

Sasha Allen making magic in ‘Pippin’ at Segerstrom Center

There’s “Magic to do” and director Diane Paulus’ revival of “Pippin” is sprinkled with fairy dust. Not only have reviewers pegged the “Pippin” production, “an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, visually stunning extravaganza,” it is also the winner of four Tony’s, including Best Revival of a Musical. This is not your old-fashioned “Pippin” so beloved by High School and College drama departments. Director Paulus has re-imaged the 1972 Broadway blockbuster, staging it in a Circus. The highly stylized show arrives at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Nov. 11 and will run until Nov. 23.Paulus’ “Pippin” is a fusion of signature Bob Fosse emboldened by Circus acrobatics, contortionist and trapeze acts. Paulus says “her vision was to find ways to touch the theatricality of the original and being it forward for the next generation.” In keeping with that aspiration, the classic “Pippin” elements remain, taken to new heights literally – this is after all half circus, total entertainment and Broadway at its finest.“Pippin,” the chronicle of a young prince's quest to find the meaning of life, is still essentially a guy’s story but there’s a whole lot of ‘girl power’ going on in this updated production. Paulus has redefined it, Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based Circus Company Les 7 doigts de la main (known as 7 Fingers) has brought in the Circus and the Leading Player, made famous by Ben Vereen, is now a female. Enter Sasha Allen starring as the infamous narrator Leading Player.Allen, who prior to attaining instant recognition as a finalist (4th Season) on NBC’s the “Voice” has had numerous small parts on Broadway. She says, “minor roles helped to boost my career but it was the ‘Voice’ that opened doors and taught me what it takes to pursue an entertainment career.” She credits her “Voice” mentor Shakira with giving her the best advice, “not necessarily vocal – it was more about what it takes to be a powerful woman.”“Pippin is the best show I’ve ever done,” says Allen. She continues, “Ben Vereen is the iconic Leading Player. That’s a high mountain to climb and a task that would have been impossible for a male actor.” The show’s originator and lyricist Stephen Schwartz with Director Paulus encouraged Allen to do her own thing. It worked well for the production, because according to Allen “As a woman, I am able to make different vocal and creative decisions. This is a dream role for me – it allows me to bring my own reality to Pippin.”The revived “Pippin” sparkles with vitality because of the Circus atmosphere. “Gypsy Snider’s ‘7 Fingers’ troupe is incredible,” says Allen, “they create a sizzling explosion that combines the style of Fosse with the breathtaking acrobatics of the circus.”From the opening number “Magic to Do” the audience is drawn in as shadows play against the Circus tent. Allen as the Leading Player stands before the light and slowly strides down stage, her mysterious silhouette becoming smaller as she walks toward the audience. Allen admits being the Leading Player is challenging, “She’s ever-present on stage. She’s the ringleader, responsible for the circus members. And she is the narrator who moves the show along.” She continues, “At first, I didn’t like my character’s personality but then I realized that everybody has a story. I just had to dig deeper to find her vulnerability. She’s a strict, crazy, controlling person but in the end she’s only human.”Being the Leading Player is one of the hardest things that Allen has done, but she likes that because her character shows all sides of a personality. She says “as I’ve grown into the role I have achieved a balance between being me and being the Leading Player. I’m thankful to be a female playing the role because it is just so different from what it was.”Playing a slightly fanatical female wasn’t the only challenge Allen signed on for as the Leading Player. She had to master the famous Fosse style of jazz which she describes as “sexy yet hard because it’s more intricate then it seems.” That wasn’t the only new thing for the actress to master. She had to learn the art of the trapeze for her role and she says “that was a little scary. But now that I can do this, I can do anything.” Incidentally, anything includes Hula Hooping and singing at the same time – something Allen hasn’t attempted since she was a child.Among the many reasons to see “Pippin” is the cast of circus performers who are eager to sing and the Broadway performers ready to clown. In show business performers who can act, sing & dance are known as “triple threats.” In “Pippin” the players take talent to the next level adding acrobatics to the list. Allen says “the cast is incredible and glorious to see. ‘Pippin’ is about a young man looking for the meaning in life and finding himself but beyond the storyline it is a beautiful piece because of its creativity. It has all the wonder of Cirque du Soleil combined with the magic of Broadway.”Allen describes “Pippin” as a show that audiences will connect with, saying, “the show is relevant because we’ve all felt naïve and innocent (like Pippin) and had someone try to control our lives (the Leading Player). And like my character, we are only people who are vulnerable in the end. The human emotion in ‘Pippin’ is something we have all experienced, even questioned.”“Pippin” is running at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Segerstrom Hall November 11- 23. Tickets can be purchased in person at The Box Office, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, California 92626; Phone, 714- 566-2787; or Online at SCFTA.org. Box Office and Phone hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

A rosy reception for Cypress High

It was a big deal for representatives from the Tournament of Roses to show up at Cypress High School on Tuesday, April 22. The school’s gymnasium was packed with students, community members, residents and dignitaries during an hour-long function that highlightedCypress High School’s Marching Band. Cypress High School is one of the entries to participate in the 2015 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. It is the first time that Cypress High School will participate in the prestigious Rose Parade.There was a lot of exuberance and excitement to fill the air as television crews and local media cascaded down to Cypress High School to see Tournament of Roses President Richard Chinen give the school an official invitation with the Rose Parade flag as a symbol. The school also held a fundraiser that evening at the Naval Golf Course for the band.Band director James Quirion, speaking with the Orange County Neighborhood Newspapers Group in a sit down interview prior to the event, said the goal is raise about $100,000 for the band to have the right equipment to play. Annually, it takes about $200, 00 for equipment, uniforms and for the band to perform at the many venues they entertain at throughout the year.Quirion points out that the Cypress High School Band and Pageantry Boosters are chiefly responsible for generating nearly half of that budget through their fundraising efforts.“We get a lot of donations from parents,” Quirion said.The Cypress High School Marching Band was selected to be part of the 2015 Rose Parade after winning $$5,000 and first place at the 2013 Los Angeles County Fair Marching Band Competition. Tournament of Roses representatives were on hand to see and hear the Cypress High School Marching Band play. That performance earned the school a place in arguably the most famed parade in the world.“I work hard to keep the standards high here,” Quirion said. “I believe in the kids. I try to push them to the edge of their potential. It’s wonderful for the kids.”A jazz enthusiast, Quirion references his band as one that is multi-faceted, a program that can play big band music to everything else.“Good sounds good,” Quirion said. “Music to me is emotion. It Is passion…music is expression without words. That is what I teach. There are different styles for different bands. We are a college prepatory organization.”Chinen spoke to the audience for a few minutes before entertaining people in a meet-and-greet luncheon afterwards.

Loch Ness, a new musical

Chance Theater is proudly presenting the world premiere of an incomparable new musical directed by Ovation Award-winning Marshall Pailet and co-written byPailet and AD. Penedo. Loch Ness, a new musical is a highly imaginative and whimsicalFamily-friendly adventure that is certain to burst onto the scene as the next modernday classic.Far, far away, in the haze of the Scottish Highlands sits Britain’s largest bodyof water, the Loch Ness. Who hasn’t heard of the legendary monster that lurks amongst its misty waters? For centuries, many scientific enthusiasts and cryptozoologists haveset out on expeditions in search of the elusive cryptid, and yet – the question remains – is giant “Nessie” a myth? Penedo and Pailet’s magical story comes to life as well-respected Dr. Thomas Westerbrook (Jackson Tobiska), and his crew head out into the murky waters of the loch on their quest to find the mythological creature.With the doctor’s adventurous daughter, twelve-year-old Haley (Julia Cassandra Smith) on board, father and daughter soon discover something far more powerful and rewarding than the search for the monster of the lake; they discover the bond between them and the love they have foreach other. Fred Kinney and Megan Hill’s Set and Puppetry Design is intriguing. Withthe foggy lake below, an ingenious movable deck lies above and spans the length of the theater, and the “lake.” With the use of a few simple props, the multi-purpose deck easily transforms from a ship, to an office space, to a bar, and a cabin. Without question, the team’s clever puppetry is absolutely amazing, and with that, the highest of praise to Katie Brown portraying the talking Nessie – yes, she is a lady monster, she sings beautifully, and she’s hilarious! Smith is enchanting as the illustrious Haley, and her angelic vocals are well-suited for the part.Tobiska takes command of his role as Dr. Westerbrook convincingly, and there is a certain kind of purity and solemn quality to his vocals that shows character and a genuine presence without being too imposing. Alex Bueno portrays CJ, the Captain of the ship, and once the audience “gets” her character, it becomes difficult to look at her without cracking up. She doesn’t just portray the captain: she IS the captain! Angeline Mirenda portrays the beautiful nemesis, Leana Callaghan, and she’s as dangerous as she is beautiful. Keaton Williams and Gina Velez are the goofy French duo, Pierre and Éclair, and Corky Loupe is The Oiler, the oddball who has lots of questions and always seems to be “borrowing” other people’s clothes.Mention also to Matt Takahashi as Angus Ogilvie and Laura M. Hathaway as Balladeer. Dipping their toes into the unknown waters of Loch Ness, Pinedo and Pailet share these thoughts, “… the script, the score, orchestrations, set, staging, puppetry, choreography, etc. – have no pre-existing template. All have been developed here, for this space, forthis cast, for this audience, for this moment. It’s what theater should always be …”Appealing to a well-rounded audience, there are occasional undertones of adult humor, but in the end, Loch Ness, a new musical, is one of the freshest, smartest, and funniest musicals to come along in a very long time, and the audience will soon discover thateven for a ten foot tall lady of the lake, “size does matter.”Director: Marshall Pailet; Musical Director: Mark Sonnenblick; Choreographer: Kelly Todd; Set & Puppet Design: Fred Kinney & Megan Hill; Lighting Designer: Jonathan Daroca; Costume Designer: Rachael Lorenzetti; Sound Design: Ryan Brodkin. Executive Producer: Mary Kay Fyda-Mar; Associate Producer: Lee Seymour.Chance Theater@ Bette Aiken theater arts Center 5522 E. LaPalma Ave., Anaheim Hills, CA 92807. 714-777-3033 www.chancetheater.com Runs through March 1.

Jekyll & Hyde

Under the direction of Jim Hormel, Cypress College Theater and Dance Department brought the eloquently unforgettable musical thriller, Jekyll & Hyde to its sprawling stage with all of the fervor, melodrama, and passion that a contemporary show with this many elements deserves.Cypress College’s production of this powerful drama of one man’s descent into the dark and utter depths of one’s soul overflowed with well-executed and powerful ballads, raw and intricately emotional performances, and scenic designs that wowed audiences with one of the most spectacular theatrical events of the season.The stage was set with an ominous and foreboding moodiness, and the audience was immediately drawn in. The full-bodied orchestral prologue gave the story its meaning before a single word was heard. Jekyll & Hyde’s mesmerizing classic tale found its haunting voice within its main character, 19th Century renowned scientist, Henry Jekyll (Jake Tieman).Jekyll was a progressive-thinking man in search of answers about what lay beneath the surface of a tortured man’s mind. His obsession began when his own father was afflicted with mental illness, and Jekyll vowed to find a cure. In his determination to find truth and unlock the secrets of man’s psyche, Jekyll was certainthat he was teetering on the threshold of his greatest quest, but without a human guinea pig to further his research, his pursuit into man’s sinister side was over. The sacrifice had to be his, and when Jekyll belted out his signature song, “This is the Moment,” silence crept into the theatre.The time had come for Henry to dance with the devil. With his meticulously well-crafted descent into the disturbing side of Jekyll’s being, Tieman alarmingly captured Hyde’s menacing grin, threatening mannerisms, and oddly strange, but dangerously attractive persona. Since one of the show’s main elements involved Henry/Edward’s relationship(s) with prostitute Lucy Harris (Jennasea Bauserman), Jekyll & Hyde was never meant to be a “one-man” show, and one of the show’s most memorable moments was Lucy’s sultry solo performance “Someone Like You.”While it is Jekyll that Lucy loved, her intimate relationship was with Hyde, and in the beginning, she was somewhat able to tame the relentless crazed animal within. Lovely Laura Peake portrayed Jekyll’s sweet and devoted fiancée, Emma Carew, with a tenacious strength and vulnerability that only a woman who knows her love is ill-fated can understand. Peake’s duet with Tieman, “Take Me As I Am,” was breathtaking.Also delivering noteworthy support was Ian Hock as Gabriel John Utterson, Mark Torres as Sir Danvers Carew, Korey Gene Mitchell as Simon Stride, Julianne Rodriguez as Lady Beaconsfield, and Larry Perrault as The Bishop of Basingstoke.Todd Faux’s scenic design was first-class as backdrops descended from the massive ceiling, props were quickly moved about and whisked away, and scene sequences transformed from a ballroom to the London streets to a sleazy nightclub on the wrong side of the tracks to Jekyll’s extensive lab, and more.Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde may have been panned by New York critics, but Cypress College’s intense, multifaceted, remarkable production earns a solid thumbs up. Director: Jim Hormel; Musical/Vocal Director: Bradley Hampton; Scenic Designer: Todd Faux; Lighting Designer: Matthew Schleicher; Choreographer: Christopher Albrecht; Costume Designer: Bradley Lock; Sound Designer: Anthony Murano. Cypress College 9200 Valley View Street, Cypress, CA 90630. For Information about Future Productions and Tickets: 714 484-7000. www.cypresscollegetheateranddance.com

Pronounce Men’s Spring 2018

Educated in London, designers Yushan Li and Jun Zhou are now based between Milan and Shanghai, and showed at London Fashion Week Men’s for the first time as guests of GQ China.The brand was also the winner of The Latest Fashion Buzz prize at Pitti Uomo last January, and a nominee for the International Woolmark Prize 2017.Their spring collection was a blend of traditional tailoring and Chinese workwear influences, and was filled with eye-popping primary colors, whisper-thin fabrics, and lots of heavy silks and cottons, many adorned with delicate silver utility buckles.“It was about shadows and layering, light and dark,” said Li following the show, which saw models dressed in look-at-me pieces that, while beautifully made, appeared a little too substantial for such a warm season.

Christopher Raeburn Men’s Spring 2018

There was a new lightness and fluidity to Christopher Raeburn’s lineup, with the designer saying that he’d imagined his signature all-weather garments as being able to withstand “desert wind and sun.”That starting point came from “The Long Walk,” a book Raeburn had read “as a kid,” an account by the late Polish army lieutenant Slavomir Rawicz of escaping a labor camp in Siberia in 1941, and walking through the Gobi Desert, Tibet and the Himalayas to India.On the runway that meant a suitably windswept look, with even the models’ hair styled to look as if it was “blowing” over their faces. That also meant billowing mackintoshes in shades of white, red and black layered over tracksuits or shorts, and loosely tailored coats in the same filmy fabric. The light-as-air quality of the coats was no surprise, given that Raeburn had fashioned them from pre-flown kites, in collaboration with Italian company Exkite. As a heavier-duty counterpoint, there were camouflage print shorts and field jackets, and substantial-looking jersey shorts and track tops.

Rubin Singer Resort 2018

Rubin Singer approached resort both pragmatically and sequentially, with a focus on holiday dressing referencing Sixties Neo-noir. Delivery windows to stores are quite vast, after all – from October until spring – so everything has got to be either trans-seasonal or touch on varying weather conditions to remain relevant to customers. His designs lean on structural, manipulated occasionwear, so transitional for him meant varying skirt lengths, softer evening blouses, elegant little capelets, and an air of softness with ruffle-adorned sleeves and soft colors drawn from spring flowers. Standouts included a black and gold embroidery grouping that spoke to a retro ladylike sophistication, an architecturally draped metallic shimmery gown, and new plays on proportion like the dramatic structured sleeves on a coat and the big box pleating on the back of a coatdress. The majority of the collection could be worn by women of any age, but the sexy curve-hugging crocodile, broadtail, or beaded corsets were definitely aimed at a younger clientele looking to spice up their holiday outfits.See More From the 2018ResortCollections:Giorgio ArmaniResort2018:Contrasting forces emerged in Giorgio Armani’sresortcollection, which spanned from eclectic, multicolor designs to essential, sophisticated attires.Norma KamaliResort2018:Norma Kamali offered an extensiveresortcollection where she updated her signature pieces and expanded on her outerwear and swim.Rachel ZoeResort2018:Rachel Zoe’sresortcollection was guided by a cool, Sixties undertone with a modern, sculptural interpretation.Lela RoseResort2018:The designer showed a charmingresortcollection of garden party-ready wares, which included pearls inset in sleeves and lace-up grosgrain details.AltuzarraResort2018:Joseph Altuzarra referenced Patrick Bateman and the French countryside for aresortcollection full of newness and some risks.