The Pasadena Playhouse Blog

Meet MADWOMAN IN THE VOLVO star, Caroline Aaron!


1. How has your experience been working at The Playhouse?

Well this is my second day here, so I don’t have a lot. I just flew in on Monday, we had rehearsal yesterday and the day before, so I’ve been here two days. But the theater is so exquisite, it’s full of so many wonderful ghosts. I noticed from the marquee outside this theater is turning 100 years old, so I like being younger than the theater—that’s hard to do these days. It’s wonderful.

2. Who have been some of your favorite people to work with?

Director-wise, I loved working with Tim Burton in Edward Scissorhands; I loved working with Kevin Spacey in Beyond the Sea. I’ve worked with Woody Allen many times, so he would be right up there as one of my favorites. And then the ones that are gone that I feel so sad about, like Nora Ephron…

3. What’s your favorite musical?

Musical? That’s such a good question. Okay, I’ll tell you because I just saw it. If I had a choice between seeing a play or musical, I would always see a play. I just saw The King and I in New York and I just loooooved it. Also, I teach and it’s a musical about teaching, so I loved that. It’s just so brilliantly done. And I love Fun Home, which is coming here. You must go see that.

4. What’s your favorite play?

I’m gonna say, in a contemporary vein, a play called Collected Stories by Donald Margulies.

5. You play a lot of characters in The Madwoman in the Volvo. Who was the easiest to portray?

Probably the little girl, her daughter.

6. Why should people see The Madwoman in the Volvo?

Because it’s a play about taking chances. And I think we all seem to wallow in our comfort zone, and I think taking a chance is a good idea.


GALA Production Slide Show

The Colony Theatre presents…CARNEY MAGIC!

CarneyPPHTradeNoTextThe Colony Theatre presents
Limited Return Engagement
May 6-8, 2016
Following a sold-out show in January 2016, the most-awarded magician in Magic Castle’s history – JOHN CARNEY – is returning to The Colony’s stage for ONE WEEKEND ONLY!

Carney Magic is a theatre show that blends mind-blowing sleight of hand with intelligence, taste, and wit into a unique evening of pure entertainment. This is definitely NOT your typical “magic show.” Carney’s approach is smart, engaging, and entertaining. Pin-balling between jaunty comedic riffs and astonishing sleight of hand, Carney will have you reeling with his hilarious audience participation segments, as well as his embodiment of multiple characters.Buy tickets online or call 866.811.4111.
The Colony Theatre
555 North Third Street
Burbank, CA 91502

Rockwell Presents: The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada

150by150 dwp rockwell

The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada

Directed by Tye Blue

The Boss from Hell is Back as Rockwell Table & Stage presents The Unauthorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada, running Thursday-Sunday through July 3rd.  While you’re out getting the boss’s coffee, get your tickets at Brought to you by Executive Producer Kate Pazakis.

Male Swing: Alec Cyganowski

Nigel: Tom DeTrinis

Miranda: Drew Droege

Miranda: John Flynn

Andy: Kelley Jakle

Christian: Sebastian La Cause

Christian: Matthew Merchant

Andy: Lana McKissack

Emily: Marla Mindelle

Nigel: Alex Mohajer

Lily/Jaquline/Giselle: Corbin Reid

Female Swing: Megan Reinking

LA Asian Pacific Film Festival

Join us next Friday at the annual








Real-life stories of ordinary people and their extraordinary things they accomplish or overcome. These five short films from LA and international filmmakers convey moving, contemplative, and even whimsical portraits of people and places that we willingly want to make time to know. Spend a day in the lives of a San Gabriel Valley noodle restaurant, an Asian American family battling Hepatitis B, five queer and trans Asian-Americans exploring their family relationships, a Korean American singer/songwriter as he returns to the States from living in South Korea, and a Southeast Asian Indian family in 1920s Chennai (formerly Madras), India.

Friday, April 22, 2016

6:30 p.m.

Downtown Independent

Purchase discounted tickets by entering the code, PLAY16.

Panto Camp Q&A: “The Perfect Mix of Fun and Education”

Jonathan Meza (left) played Muddles alongside Ariana Grande (right) in A SNOW WHITE CHRISTMAS. Photo courtesy of Philicia Endelman.

Jonathan Meza (middle) played Muddles alongside Ariana Grande (right) in The Lythgoe Family Productions’ A Snow White Christmas. Photo courtesy of Philicia Endelman.

With the first ever Panto Camp at The Playhouse coming up in just a few months, Playhouse General Manager Joe Witt took some time to answer a few questions.

Q: Since The Pasadena Playhouse announced Panto Camp, what’s been the response?

A: Through the roof! We knew our holiday Pantos were wildly popular, but completely underestimated how excited parents and kids would be for our Panto Camp.  Our phones haven’t stopped ringing, and we’re already considering adding more weeks next year in 2017.

Q: This is the first ever Panto Camp at The Playhouse. What was the cause/inspiration?

A: We’ve always wanted to provide a summer youth experience in Pasadena, but we have such high standards. We were determined that whatever camp we offered would have to reflect that excellence. We couldn’t compromise. When we began discussing a Panto Camp, we immediately realized that we’d found the perfect mix of fun and education that could actually meet those standards.

Q: What can campers and families of the campers expect from this experience?

A: This is something that the kids who participate in will remember for years and years to come. It’s going to be the summer they stopped cheering Pantos, and were actually in a Panto.

Q: Where will it take place?

A: A lot of Playhouse patrons don’t realize that we have a wonderful, recently renovated, smaller venue here at The Playhouse called The Carrie Hamilton Theatre, named in honor of Carol Burnett’s late daughter. This is going to be the home of our Panto Camp, and it fits perfectly with the ideals of the space.

Q: Who will be the instructors?

A: That’s the best question, and the most amazing thing about Panto Camp.  Our Panto Coaches (what other camps call counselors), are all veterans of past Playhouse Pantos. And they’re amazing. These are immensely talented artists, all taking time out from their careers to give back to kids, to give back to our next generation of performers.

Q: Why should families consider signing their children up for Panto Camp?

A: I have two amazing kids, ages 7 and 11, and my wife and I always face the same dilemma every summer: How are we going to get them out of the house, away from the TV, away from media, and engage them with something that actually enriches their lives. And it’s usually expensive! The Playhouse is striving to offer something that’s not only affordable, but rewarding. That’s the goal, and we’re passionate about it.




It’s the Summer Camp Experience that’s like NO OTHER!

Session 1: July 18-23, 2016

Session 2: July 25-30, 2016

PASADENA, CA (April 7, 2016) – The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) and Lythgoe Family Productions announce Panto At The Playhouse’s Panto Camp, the summer camp experience that’s like no other, is coming to The Pasadena Playhouse this July in two separate sessions, from July 18-23, and July 25-30, 2016.

A Panto is interactive fun for all ages. Based on the Grimm fairytales and others, each Panto story is modernized with topical scripts and well-known pop songs for kids. Panto Camp offers campers aged 8 to 13 the chance to learn the songs, rehearse the moves, polish the jokes, get into costume, and perform in a Panto of their very own. Panto Camp week is capped off by an exclusive Saturday matinee starring Panto Camp participants for family and friends, followed by a Premiere Party!

Panto at The Playhouse, now in its fifth year, has become a “must do” holiday tradition for Southern California residents and the camp counselors for Panto Camp are actors from past Panto at The Playhouse productions.

Joe Witt, General Manager of The Pasadena Playhouse says, “It’s going to be a blast. The kids will be learning acting from the same performers, songs from the same accompanist, and dance moves from the same choreographer they cheer and applaud when they come see our Panto at The Playhouse productions every December. I have kids of my own, and know first-hand how important it is to find them fun, challenging and engaging activities during the summer.

Panto Camp is an amazing way for kids to build confidence, make friends, and learn communication skills they’ll use the rest of their lives. ”

LFP producers Kris Lythgoe and Becky Baeling Lythgoe say, “Panto is growing fast in America and schooling the next generation in the art of song, dance and improvisation will continue its growth.”

Panto Camp will also include improv classes, singing classes, dancing classes, rehearsals, a private backstage tour of The Pasadena Playhouse, a headshot photo shoot, and even a walk down the Red Carpet for all of the Panto Campers before the Panto Camp Saturday show.

Panto Camp will be offered in two sessions. Session 1 will run from July 18-22, with a performance on the 23rd. Session 2 will run from July 25-29, with a performance on the 30th. Panto Camp is held Monday through Friday from 9:00am-3:00pm, with a performance on Saturday at 1:00pm. Panto camp is open to children aged 8-13, and space is extremely limited. Only 30 Campers per session!

Panto Camp has a special Early Bird rate of $390 (through May 2) and a $425 standard rate (after May 2). Special rates for Playhouse Subscribers and anyone who has purchased a ticket to a past Panto at the Playhouse production are also available.

To register for Panto Camp call: (626) 737-2867, email:, or visit:


Robert Mammana b&wresize

1. We read on your resume you were formerly a police officer. What prompted you to pursue a different direction in your career?

I decided to take a hiatus from acting back in 2002, for a number of reasons, and law enforcement seemed interesting to me. My brother is a police officer, so I had some familiarity with the job. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a police officer, and have the utmost respect for the men and women who put those uniforms on every day. I realized fairly quickly, however, that it was not my calling. In 2006, I returned to the acting/directing world, and haven’t looked back. I’m grateful for my time in uniform, for the people I met, and the things I experienced, but I have no question that I’m where I belong, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

2. What skill or trait from being a police officer have you applied to acting?

The truth is that being a police officer requires a great deal of improvisation, with some incredibly high stakes. There is rarely a script to follow, and you find yourself in vastly different situations daily. I also met a number of incredible characters along the way. I have some really great stories from my cop days, and my theatre friends love hearing them!

3. Of the dialects you’re proficient in, which one is the most fun to speak?

All dialects are fun, though some are more difficult than others. I don’t really have a favorite. I would say the dialects that enable a character to really chew their words are a lot of fun to play around with.

4. What’s the most challenging technique or song you’ve learned to play on the guitar?

I enjoy playing the blues, and spend most of my time trying to get my guitar to sound the way I hear it in my head. I rarely succeed!

5. Who have been some of your favorite people to work with?

It’s hard to pinpoint specific projects or actors who stand out as my favorites. I have to say that working with fearless artists is at the top of my list.

6. What character that you’ve portrayed has been the most relatable to you?

I try and find something relatable in all of the characters I play. I may come from a wildly different place than they do, but still have to get into their heads and hearts, and figure out what makes them tick. That’s really the fun of acting. It’s detective work.

7. What form of martial arts do you know?

I’ve studied Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate, Krav Maga, and Koga. I’d like to try either Jujitsu or Thai-boxing next.

8. What is your favorite play?

This is a tough one. I would have to say the play Orphans, by Lyle Kessler, holds a very special place in my heart.

9. What is your favorite musical?

Fun Home knocked my socks off. It was gorgeous, devastating, funny, beautifully directed, and incredibly well-acted.

10. Why should people see Casa Valentina?

Casa Valentina is a wonderful piece of theatre. The play is timely, thought-provoking, genuinely funny, and will tug at your heartstrings. This particular production is beautifully designed and masterfully directed, with some top-notch actors with whom I am most fortunate to share the stage. I’m very, very proud to be a part of this production.


Urinetown Posterresizeblog

We are proud to support Pomona College’s upcoming production, Urinetown.

In a dystopian future, an unflinching water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government ban on private toilets and a proliferation of paid public toilets, owned and operated by a single megalomaniac company: the Urine Good Company. If the poor don’t obey the strict laws prohibiting free urination, they’ll be sent to the dreaded and mysterious Urinetown. A brilliant satire, Urinetown is a wickedly funny, fast-paced and intelligent comedic romp that empowers the working class and satirizes the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility and municipal politics – issues that we continuously have to face in our global society today.

Catch the play from Thursday, April 7 – Sunday, April 10.



1. Who have been some of your favorite characters to portray?

James Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Goldberg in Birthday Party come to mind. Terry in Casa Valentina is up there.

2. What have you learned so far from your role as Theodore/Terry in Casa Valentina?

The need we all have to be real in the world and to our deepest inner self at the same time. It’s usually one or the other.

3. You’ve guest starred in a lot of shows, including “The Drew Carey Show,” “Gilmore Girls,” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Which shows have been the most fun to guest star in?

“Mary Tyler Moore” I remember best – their second season. They were like a well-oiled Commedia del Arte troupe, except with great writers.

4. What do you think is distinctive about acting in theater compared to acting in television and film?

Physical energy is greater demanded in the theatre, so you can project the details of a character. The techno stuff takes care of the projection part in film & TV.

5. Who have been some of your favorite people to work with?

Maureen Stapleton, Jason Robards. This Casa Valentina company (including David Lee, our director) is way up there. A very happy company.

6. You recently had a recurring role on the Amazon hit, “Transparent.” How does Jeffrey Tambor’s character Maura differ from your character Terry?

“Transparent” is about the trans community, but Maura is transgender, not a transvestite like Terry. It’s a complicated subject; a (male) transvestite wants to assume a woman’s persona, but only for a time before returning to his masculine identity.

7. Who are some of your acting role models?

Maureen Stapleton, Jason Robards, Alfred Lunt, George C. Scott; Olivier, Gielgud, Ralph Richardson. Lots of others.

8. What is your favorite play?

King Lear.

9. What is your favorite musical?


10. Why should people see Casa Valentina?

Any play that can show us another and relatively unexplored version of humanity is worth seeing. It’s very, very funny and very touching.