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Let the "Ceremony" Begin

SOC_Wendie Malick A phenomenal theatrical happening has been picking up steam since it premiered as a one-night benefit event at North Hollywood's El Portal Theatre in 2009. 

An anthology of short thematically related works, "Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays" has been seen in L.A. in several workshop evenings since that intial show, and was offered in a stellar three-hour  presentation in New York last June.  This unique project  has been generating major buzz each step of the way, drawing the enthusiastic support and participation of major playwrights and first-rate actors. 

For the first time, the evening of nine playlets will be offered for a regular run, to be presented at six Monday night performances in the Renberg Theatre at L.A.'s Gay and Lesbian Center at the Village in Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood. The shows are scheduled for May 9-June 27, Mondays at 8 p.m. preceded by a preview showing on Monday April 25, at 8 p.m.

The widely heralded presentation  has served to raise funds and awareness in the fight for marriage equality. Conceived and directed by Brian Shnipper, and presented by Joan Stein and Stuart Ross, along with associate producer Allain Rochel and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, the show will feature a different celebrity ensemble at each performance.

Among those who have so far appeared in past performances have been Jason Alexander, Eve Best, Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Cake, Peri Gilpin, Judd Hirsch, Richard Kind, Hamish Linklater, Wendie Malick (pictured), Jefferson Mays, Deborah Messing, Debra Monk, Zach Quinto, Jean Smart, Michael Stuhlberg, and Alfre Woodard.  There will no doubt be other  impressive performers, to be announced,  appearing during this premiere run. 

SoCal Stages_blog The plays include:  "The Revision" by Jordan Harrison, "White Marriage" by Jeffrey Hatcher, "London Mosquitoes" by Mosies Kaufman, "This Marriage is Saved" by Joe Keenan,  "Strange Fruit" by Neil LaBute, "This Flight Tonight," by Wendy MacLeod, "Pablo and Andrew at the Altar of  Words," by Jose Rivera, "The Gay Agenda" by Paul Rudnick, and "On Facebook" by Doug Wright.

Shnipper says that just as more actors will continue to become involved in this evolving work, more new plays will be added into the mix in the future. This endeavor appears to be catching on as THE project that everyone in the business wants to become involved in.

This historic theatrical collage sounds like something absolutely not to be missed, richly deserving of audience support. I can't wait to see it.

-- Les Spindle

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