Pasadena Playhouse emerges from bankruptcy

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Pasadena Playhouse officials said the theater company emerged Wednesday from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after its financial reorganization plan was approved by a Los Angeles court.
“We are deeply grateful for the collective support that has allowed the Playhouse to expeditiously move through this difficult and sometimes painful process,” said Stephen Eich, executive director of the Playhouse, in a statement.
“Although we will be moving slowly in the future to ensure financial responsibility and stability, we will in fact be back,” Eich said.
As part of an effort to resurrect the historic theater and shed its “unbearable” debts, Playhouse officials also said they received an anonymous matching pledge of $1 million earlier this year, and they hope a continued fundraising campaign will match or exceed the donation.

Weekend guide: Earth Day festivities and a one-of-a-kind market for homegrown goods

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Friday, April 23
  • “DIRT!” at the Raymond
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A movie screening at the historic Raymond Theatre is nothing to pass up. For the first time in decades, the theater will be open for a screening of “DIRT!” to kick off Greening the Earth Day and Armory Family Arts Festival, which gets into full swing on Saturday. (Details below.) DIRT!” is a documentary about the life-giving wonders of soil. The screening is sponsored by Conscientious Projector.
7 p.m. tonight, Raymond Theatre, 128 N. Raymond Ave. Free.

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‘Pasadena Babalon’: The world of Jack Parsons, on stage at Caltech

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“Pasadena Babalon” lives in the in-between space of things we know and don’t know about John Whiteside Parsons.
Jack, they called him; He, the young genius of a nascent aerospace industry as it emerged in Southern California, of the founding of Aerojet Corp. and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and of the darkest pursuits of occult ritual and magic.
The Theater Arts at the California Institute of Technology takes on all these sides of Parsons in its new production, covering a broad swath of territory from his childhood to his death in 1952.
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Scenes from ‘Baby It’s You’ at the Pasadena Playhouse

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Now at the Pasadena Playhouse: “Baby It’s You,” a musical about the groundbreaking girl group, The Shirelles, and the woman who discovered them. She was Florence Greenberg, a New Jersey housewife who went on to build her own independent music empire in Scepter Records company.

Show ends Dec. 13. Schedule and tickets.

Here’s what the critics are saying:

The Hollywood Reporter:

“A promising new musical that still has problems in the book but knows how to entertain.”

Los Angeles Times, Culture Monster:

“Attractively staged, ‘Baby It’s You!’ works best as a nostalgic spectacle for aging boomers. It’s a shame that the dramatic craft is so weak …”

Variety:

“‘Baby It’s You’ has the legs to potentially make a successful trip to the Big Apple once it achieves a more symbiotic balance between music and storyline. The onstage talent is certainly in place.”

And here’s some more critical input from Theater Mania and Curtain Up.

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(Photos by James Carbone / Correspondent)