Thespian Thoughts – Theatre Review – And the World Goes Round at No Ho Arts Center

And the World Goes Round: High Energy And Spot On Choreography Light Up The Stage.
Review by Brett Chapin
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To be honest, I didn’t expect much the other night, when I had the chance to attend And the World Goes Round at the No Ho Arts Center. Walking into the smaller of it’s two theatres I saw about only about 60 seats. Maybe four or five rows. Good space for a small one act but nothing too elaborate. Certainly not a full blown musical, including dance. But what I saw over the next two hours totally blew my mind and proved that you don’t need a large house to put up a high quality musical. All you really need is immense talent and that’s exactly what you get with this show. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

As the World Goes Round is directed by Gary Lee Reed with music by Kander and Ebb who are probably best know for Cabaret or Kiss of the Spider Woman. It’s not a musical in the traditional sense of the word. There’s no spoken dialogue and no specific plot. It’s a song cycle where the music is woven together to create a story. Kander and Ebb’s music, from some of their various shows is masterfully used to create the backdrop. Under Joshua Eli Krantz’s masterful music direction the six characters tell the story and you’re transported you into a world where Cabaret was king and jazz was plentiful.
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Erica Hanrahan-Hall, Emily King Brown and Isaac James do a wonderful job and always seem to be in the moment, however the real standout performances come from Ryan Ruge and Kristin Towers-Rowles. Their duet is perhaps the highlight of the show and their energy in each number is off the charts. Special mention should be made of Noel Britton’s choreography. She makes these actors work hard! I’ve very rarely seen such high energy on a 15 x 8 foot stage. They use the space very well.
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All in all, I can’t recommend this show enough, if for no other reason it’s sheer energy and wit. If you see no other show in the No Ho Arts district this month, see As the World Goes Round. Now playing at the No Ho Arts Center. For more information visit <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Until next time I’m Brett Chapin, this is Thespian Thoughts and I’ll see you at the theatre.

*ERICA HANRAHAN-BALL (Woman 3) – New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Notable credits include Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Sheila in Hair, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar. Television and Film Credits include The Office, Rules of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother, Body of Proof, ‘Til Death, and Alone.
*EMILY KING BROWN (Woman 1) – LA theatre debut! NYC (selected): Loose Women of Low Character, The Good Woman of Setzuan as the title character, The Comedy of Errors as Luciana, Anne of Green Gables as Rachel/Josie Regional/Tours: Sunday in the Park with George…as Dot/Marie, CATS as Grizabella (SPARC), Midsummer…as Titania Footloose as Rusty. Graduate: Shenandoah Conservatory.
ISAAC JAMES (Man 2) – Sir Harry in Once Upon a Mattress, Trevor Greydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Tugger in CATS, Eric in Phantom, Joey in The Most Happy Fella, Orin in Little Shop, Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Johnny Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
RYAN RUGE (Man 1) –. After returning from nearly a year in Japan as a headlining vocalist for Tokyo Disney, Ryan is elated to be back onstage in Los Angeles Ruge was last seen in in 3D Theatricals’ in Fullerton, CA. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Credits include Leon Czolgosz in Assassins, Max in the Pajama Game; Lt. Torrasso in Passion; Gus in The Cradle Will Rock and Coupeau in The Scarlett Pimpernel. Regional: Mame with Amanda McBroom; Annie Get Your Gun with Kathryn McPhee; and Ragtime with Eric Anderson.
*KRISTIN TOWERS-ROWLES (Woman 2) – International/National Tours: Phantom of the Opera/Les Miserables in Concert (Christine/Cosette), The Mikado (Yum Yum), and originated the role of The Angel/World Premiere National Tour of The Christmas Box. Recent LA/Regional: Sunday in the Park with George (Dot/Marie), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive), Victor/Victoria (Norma Once Upon A Mattress (Fred), Kiss Me Kate (Kate/Lilli).
*Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

Creative Team:
GARY LEE REED (Director) – most recently directed HahNah at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. For the 50th year anniversary of the novel Gary directed To Kill A Mockingbird (Critic’s Pick) for Actors Co-op. His critically acclaimed Hollywood production of Godspell garnered 22 different nominations and awards including Critic’s Choice in the LA Times, Pick of the week in the LA Weekly and Critic’s Pick in the Daily Variety. Other directing credits include My Way: A Musical Tribute To Frank Sinatra, Bonnie & Clyde – the two fisted six gun musical (Innovation Theatre Works) The Most Happy Fella, (LA Weekly best musical nominee) 1776, Jerry’s Girls, The Woman In Black, Sentimental Journey and the world premieres Lights, Dancing With The Bad Man(ARC theatre company) and Soldiers Song. His production of Falling Lightly by D. Bennett Nelson won first place at the Annual Jerome Lawrence One Act Play Festival in Los Angeles. He has also directed a national tour show of the Comedy Improv duo Theatre Off The Cuff . As director and actor Gary has had the honor of working with talent such as Sir Ian McKellan and the National Theatre of London, Alfred Molina, Alan Young, Barry Williams and John Schuck and his wife Bonnie Bailey Reed who was a series regular on ABC family’s State of Grace. He is an Emmy Award winning Art Director for a cable show called Pioneer Women. He has also written a book of theatre games that was published by Lillenas Publishing oddly enough called The Little Book of Theatre Games. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

JOSHUA ELI KRANZ (Musical Director, Vocal Director, Pianist and Performer) – It was at age 1½ that Joshua Eli Kranz innately began honing what would become a lifetime love affair with all things musical: from the piano to the trumpet to the guitar; to the ukulele and the violin; to voice… choral and barbershop; to musical theatre, and to the art of composing… the young master’s destiny would ultimately propel him into the worlds of jazz and musical theatre… and it is in there that his true passion lies. After graduating from the distinguished Hamilton High School of Music Academy in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Richard Schraier, Lynn Levine, and Sid Lasaine, the young virtuoso scored starring roles in West Side Story as “Riff”; “Benny Southstreet” in Guys and Dolls (which earned him a Los Angeles Theatre Ovation nomination); and “El Gallo” in The Fantasticks for which he received a Back Stage Garland Award nomination. Additional roles such as the “Emcee” in Cabaret found their way onto his resume as did the role of “Eugene” in a nearly yearlong European tour of Grease; and “Schlomo” in a two month Equity production of Fame the Musical. He was also cast as “Chester” in the long-running Equity production of Bark! The Musical. Over time, however, musical direction became Joshua’s ambition. As a result, he musically directed an original musical at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, The 1920’s Skidoo Revue. He also served as Associate Music Director and pianist for an original summer musical at Pasadena City College (PCC). There, he also served as Vocal Director, pianist, and conductor for Bock and Harnick’s the Apple Tree. The Apple Tree’s overwhelming success motivated PCC to restructure and expand its entire musical theatre program. Joshua then went on to vocally and co-musically direct the late Cy Coleman’s City of Angels, playing jazz piano in the 30 piece pit orchestra with Mrs. Cy Coleman in attendance. Joshua makes his Equity waiver debut as Musical Director and Vocal Director, pianist and performer in And the World Goes ‘Round.
NOEL BRITTON (Choreographer) – studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of Performing Arts, Circle in the Square and received her BA in Theatre from CSUN. Her directorial and choreography credits include: The All Night Strut (NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director, and Best Director and Choreography Awards from the Valley Theatre League), Inside Out (Daily News Critics Pick), Grand Night for Singing (LA Times Recommended), The World Goes Round (LA Times Critic’s Pick), Red Hot and Cole, Shayna Maidel (Backstage Critic’s Pick), There’s No Biz, Requiem for a Heavyweight (Valley Theatre League, Best Drama), The Lion in Winter (Valley Theatre League, Best Director), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Taffetas, The Chantilly Sisters, The Pajama Game and most recently Fiddler on the Roof. Noel’s regional acting credits include Terry Randall in Stage Door, Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (Best Actress, Valley Theatre League), Gladys in Pajama Game, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Eva Peron and Mary Magdalene in the Andrew Lloyd Webber revue, and Diana in A Chorus Line. She has been a featured singer for Pacific Symphony Orchestra’s Benefit Gala starring Davis Gaines, as well as leadsinger for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Noel also co-produces the Theatre for Kids program at the West Valley Playhouse. She and her husband Alexander Loy are currently producing and starring in the upcoming feature film The Adventures of Belvis Bash starring Corey Feldman.
RACQUEL LEHRMAN, Theatre Planners (Producer) – Racquel Lehrman is the founder and managing director of Theatre Planners, her own theatre production/PR firm which has been serving the Los Angeles theatre scene for almost ten years. She graduated from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts and lived in NY for many years producing theatre. Theatre Planners has since developed into a very busy and successful outlet for actors, writers, producers and theatre companies. Doing everything from producing, publicity, consulting, marketing, and more. Racquel loves to make productions a reality and help to keep the theatre scene in LA alive and strong. Racquel is also owner of the Lounge Theatres in Hollywood on Theatre Row.
MATT RICHTER (Lighting Designer), DANIEL MAHLER (Costume Designer), THOMAS S. GIAMARIO (Set Designer), CAROL URSETTI (Stage Manager) and REBEKAH McGRADY (Graphic Designer) complete the creative team. <p< < p=””> </p< <>

NoHo Arts Center
11136 Magnolia Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601 <p< < p=””> </p< <>

General Admission: $15 (Preview February 1; $28 February 2 – March 10
(323) 960-4418; or visit Plays 411 at Plays 411

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Thespian Thoughts is a live theatre review show on Actors Entertainment, a channel of the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay production.

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