Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rose Marie's "Laugh" Worth Its "Wait" in Gold

Wait for your laugh...your tears...your wonder...your amazement in anticipation before and after watching Wait For Your Laugh, the stunning new documentary about entertainment legend Rose Marie, best known as Sally Rogers on classic TV's The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Carl Reiner, another TV icon, who created the Van Dyke Show (and has written, directed and been featured in countless classic television shows and films) has named Wait For Your Laugh one of the "best documentaries" he has ever seen.

Such praise is not unwarranted.

Every aspect of Rose Marie's lengthy and remarkable life and career is covered with professional and compassionate, yet objective precision in Wait For Your Laugh.  Director Jason Wise and his co-writing wife Christina Wise have crafted a daring cinematic tale of truth with skill, care and unique perspective and technique rarely if ever seen in the documentary format.

Narrated by Peter Marshall, another still-vibrant performer, and the host of TV's Hollywood Squares game show (on which Rose Marie appeared for years), Wait For Your Laugh features never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage and images not only of the Van Dyke Show but from Squares, The Doris Day Show (on which Rose Marie also performed in a regular role), and her pre and post Van-Doris-Squares live performances, namely from her earliest live performances as 5-years-old as "Baby Rose Marie," to much later in the hit senior pre-Golden Girls-esque-inspiring live show "Four Girls Four" (in which Rose Marie starred along pal Rosemary Clooney, George's aunt, Margaret Whiting, and Helen O'Connell, the latter with whom the "Laugh" star notoriously and honestly clashed).

Delivered with dynamite details are, among other adventures, the tales of her truest love life with loyal husband Bobby Guy (the unheralded master trumpet player), and early career support from none other than Al Capone and Bugsy Siegel (who founded Las Vegas).

New on-screen interviews include those with Rose Marie herself, Reiner, Van Dyke, Marshall, Tim Conway (who Rose Marie discovered), writer/producer and Marie fan Dan Harmon (of TV's Community fame), Georgia Marie Guy (Rose Marie's dedicated daughter with Bobby Guy), and Rose Marie's earnest publicist Harlon Boll (who also served as one of the film's associate producers).

Each voice, face and unseen talent showcased behind and in front of the cameras of Laugh leaves the audience waiting for more of the film's winning ways.

"Wait" unwavering celebrates the much-deserved Rose Marie, who has brought so much love, energy, and talent to every aspect of not only her own personal and professional life, but every life she has ever touched or influenced, whether they were or remain close in her inner circle or the countless fans around the world who continue to be so inspired by her grand heart, humor, and persona.

So, until Wait For Your Laugh II hopefully, one day follows, don't wait, but run to see the original Wait For Your Laugh...which holds at its center an original all of its own, in the guise of reining shining star Rose Marie.

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For more information about "Wait For Your Laugh," please visit:  http://www.rosemariemovie.com/

Monday, November 6, 2017

Storybook Theatre's "Ugly Duckling" is Beautiful!

“The Ugly Duckling,” written by Lloyd J. Schwartz (of TV’s Gilligan’s Island/Brady Bunch fame), and produced with precision by Barbara Mallory, is everything an interactive, musical, and live theatre children’s production should be and more.

The vibrant stand-out cast of performers is led by director Anthony Gruppuso as Dog, Kathy Garrick as Mama Duck, Heather Keller as Rosie, and Kristin Towers-Rowles, who also contributed to the show’s clever choreography, as the Ugly Duckling.

Good, clean family-oriented fun, “The Ugly Duckling” delivers a message of love and acceptance for all ages, as its performers sing, dance and deliver their talent with such energy, enthusiasm, and verve from the second the story begins that you can’t help but be captivated and entertained.

Gruppuso’s direction is top-tier, as his Dog character serves as narrator and the perfectly downright adorable connection for the young and the young at heart to which we automatically feel a kindred.  Garrick’s comforting Mama Duck doesn’t stray too far from the pond, as she winningly serves as the true soul of the production, while Keller literally shines in her role, as Towers-Rowles amazing voice and “New York presence” is hard not to miss.

“The Ugly Duckling,” across the board, must not be missed, as its music and lyrics by Adryan Russ, and ace stage managing by David P. Johnson round out a “Class A” presentation with educated and polished skill and appreciation for all good things in theatre – and beyond.

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“The Ugly Duckling,” presented by Storybook Theatre, is playing now until March 3, 2018 at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd West, Los Angeles, CA  90068.  For tickets and more information, call the Storybook Box Office at (818) 761-2203, or (323) 851-4839.  Or visit http://theatrewest.org/.