Pasadena Playhouse’s new production ‘Head Over Heels’ immerses audiences in a 360 ° experience – Pasadena Weekendr

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Viewers attending Pasadena Playhouse’s new production, Head Over Heels, featuring music from The Go-Gos, will find a whole new theater awaiting them.

“We thought that after 20 months apart, we had to celebrate our comeback on stage in a big way,” the Playhouse said on social media, and they were not exaggerating.

The seats on the ground floor have been removed, as has much of the stage, creating an interactive dance floor on which the production is mounted. Members of the public can stand among the performers on the floor or watch the entire show from one of the two galleries.

While Head Over Heels was originally produced for a traditional Broadway fore-stage in 2018, the Playhouse’s 90-minute non-intermission production puts audiences right in the middle of the live performance.

With actors performing all over the converted theater, every seat or location on the dance floor will have a unique perspective.

The plot of the Broadway version of the show is loosely based on the 16th century tale, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, which was written by Sir Philip Sidney.

In the original tale, the kingdom of Arcadia is peaceful and prosperous, and the lives of its inhabitants are governed by a mysterious “Beat”. King Basilius and Queen Gynecia have two daughters. The youngest, Philocleo, is in love with her childhood friend Musidorus, a shepherd who is not considered a suitable partner.

The eldest daughter Pamela is, of course, the most beautiful female in Arcadia, but according to her, she is jealous of her sister Philocleo, because her sister does not have to take care of the men who come to the door at all hours. .

Many of the cast also feel that the medieval tale is still the story of their own personal search for love and self-discovery.

“He’s a non-binary character,” says Freddie, who plays “The Oracle”.

“I’m a non-binary person, but more than that, the character acts in a way that looks like a queer elder. The character is constantly cleaning up space and opening a window to what the future holds for him, he said. “I think about my life as a kid and how there might be younger people in the audience who might see that, and it’s an opportunity for people to see the extensibility of gender and various non-binary people. “

Freddie, who goes by only one name, continued: “I would say the lesson is that no matter who you are, beyond your gender you are beautiful, you deserve the celebration, and we should all embrace and embrace the future. “

Freddie joins the cast Alaska 5000 from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Lea DeLaria from Orange is the New Black, Yurel Echezarreta from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, Tiffany Mann from Be More Chill, George Salazar from Little Shop of Horrors, Emily Skeggs from Fun Home , and Shanice Williams, who played “Dorothy” on The Wiz Live!

The production is directed, choreographed and conceived by Jenny Koons and Sam Pinkleton with musical direction by Kris Kukul, set design by David Meyer; costume design by Hahnji Jang; lighting design by Stacey Derosier; sound design by Danny Erdberg and Ursula Kwong Brown; cast by Ryan Tymensky of The Telsey Office, and directed by Sara Sahin.

Customers will need to be fully immunized and wear masks when entering the theater.

Head Over Heels performances are scheduled from November 9 to December 12. More information is available at pasadenaplayhouse.org. 39 avenue El Molino Sud, Pasadena, California. 626-356-7529.


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