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New Lease on Life

Picture 004 Among the most auspicious success stories in recent years on the local theater scene, the Production Company, which took over the tiny Chandler Studio Theatre space in North Hollywood three years ago,  has quickly established a reputation for presenting high-quality work and richly varied fare--from classics to newer plays, all on a miniscule budget. ( A scene from last season's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" is shown at left.)

Serving as co-artistic directors, August Viverito and T L Kolman have watched the company's audiences and enthusiastic praise from the local media steadily grow.

The young group has already scored a number of awards and nominations from the L.A. Drama Critics Circle and the LA Weekly Awards. The challenging fare offered has included two Peter Shaffer classics (*"Equus" and "Amadeus"), "Wit," Jonathan Tolins' "The Twilight of the Golds," "Shakespeare's R and J," "The Diviners," "The Manchurian Candidate," "M Butterfly" and lots more. Edgy and/or thought-provoking fare is clearly the common thread. (Who else except Viverito and Kolman would have dared tackle "Sweeney Todd" on the postage-stamp-size Chandler stage, which was skillfully re-imagined, yet in many ways surprisingly faithful, in the hands of veteran local director Derek Charles Livingston?)

SoCal Stages_blog Now, surprising news has been released by these two tireless impresarios (who by the way, are life partners). They have abruptly lost their lease on the 23-year-old Chandler space, which is giving way to--of all things--expansion of the karate studio next door. But the great news is that the company has already found a new home, and the move is in progress.  A much larger space, the Lex Theatre in Hollywood, in the Theatre Row district, is being leased by the tireless ProdCo guys, who are busily at work moving to and renovating the spiffy new location, as they promise to announce a 2010-2011 season soon. We wish them continued success as we look forward to more of the fine and fascinating productions that have so quickly placed the company on the radar of media and audiences alike. We're very anxious to hear what's on the inaugural bill of fare.

--Les Spindle

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