Greetings from The Pasadena Playhouse – Dressing Room 3

by Loren Lester on February 4, 2013

Pasadena-Playhouse-Courtyard

I grew up in Glendale and graduated from nearby Occidental College. In between is the historic Pasadena Playhouse, and it’s always been my dream to work there. Or should I say, work here.

I’ve just opened in Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels, running now through February 24th.

Loren-Lester-in-Fallen-Angels

This a “rarely seen” Noel Coward play that was described by the critics when it debuted as “a disgusting sex romp… about two suburban sluts.” No spoiler alert here – that’s all I’m going to say.

We’ve been named “Critic’s Choice” with a rave review in the Los Angeles Times.

(In addition, here’s a  nice article about the show in the LA Stage Times.)

Sheldon Epps, the artistic director of The Pasadena Playhouse, as well as his incredible staff and crew, go out of their way to make this one of the best places for theatre professionals to thrive. I’m having an absolutely wonderful time working with director Art Manke and hilarious cast-mates Mary Pat GreenPamela GrayKatie MacNichol, Mike Ryan and Elijah Alexander.

Mike Ryan, Art Manke, Loren Lester

To get into character (I play “Willy”) and into the mood and style of the show, I went back through and re-read just about all of Mr. Coward’s plays and rediscovered what an absolute comic genius he was. I also loved listening to a lot of his compositions – specifically, a wonderful album of his songs sung by my friend Christine Ebersole.

You may already be familiar with Coward’s masterpieces – Private Lives and Blithe Spirit, but he wrote many other plays, a number of which are worth reviving (like Fallen Angels!) I also recommend Relative ValuesNude with ViolinSuite in Three Keys and Tonight at 8:30.

One more note about working at The Pasadena Playhouse being “a dream come true”: my father was an actor in the 1950’s and my mother recently told me, after I’d been cast, that it was his dream to work here, too.

I’ve hung up his picture, and we’re sharing Dressing Room #3.

Dad and I, dressing room 3

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Irene McDermott February 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm

You are smashing in the play. The entire production is top drawer…and perhaps has resonance for some Pasadena matrons? Timely and funny!

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2 Loren Lester February 4, 2013 at 10:47 pm

As you predicted in previews – critics are raving:
http://lat.ms/WqpqpZ – Thank you for being there!

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3 Michael Laskin February 4, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Wonderful story – makes me miss the traditions and daily habits of working in the theatre. But the part about your dad really grabbed me. That’s a wonderful and very special connection. Have a great run, and I will try to make it out to see you.

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4 Loren Lester February 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

It’s nice at this stage of the game (no pun intended) to fall in love with theatre all over again. And I know you understand exactly what I’m talking about. Thank you for your comment Michael – hope to see you soon.

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