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North Coast Repertory Signs AEA Contact

With a staging of Romeo and Juliet, opening Sep. 3, North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach offers its first production under a Small Professional Theatre contract with the Actors' Equity Association. Though the 24-year-old NCRT has employed Equity actors for some roles during the past several seasons, those actors were under AEA guest-artist contracts. Equity stage managers will now be employed, and the theatre will operate under the union rule book, but the number of Equity actors will not change drastically during the first season. Gradual growth is expected. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987D Lomas Santa Fe Dr., Solana Beach. For more information, call (858) 481-1055 or (888) 776-6278.

Off the Wire...

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA--California Repertory Company at the Edison Theatre in Long Beach announces its 2005-06 season. Included are Love, Bukowski (Sep. 23-Oct. 15), directed by Joanne Gordon, presenting the poetry and prose of the late Charles Bukowski; Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's Between Worlds (Nov. 11-Dec. 10), about two strangers who meet and fall in love in a strange and haunting surreal universe; Will Eno's The Flu Season (Feb. 24-Mar. 18, 2006), directed by Stefan Novinski, which takes place in a bizarre mental hospital where people mysteriously fall in and out of love; and Freyda Thomas' School for Trophy Wives (Apr. 21-May 13, 2006), a farce based on Moliere's L'Ecole des Femmes (School for Wives). Edison Theatre, 213 E. Broadway, Long Beach. www.calrep.org. (562) 985-5526

Hollywood's gay-focused Celebration Theatre announces its 2005-06 subscription season, the first under new Artistic Director Michael Matthews, a recent Chicago transplant. Included are Four (Nov. 3-Dec. 11), a drama by Christopher Shinn, directed by Matthews, set in 1996 and involving a 16-year-old white boy who meets up with a closeted married black man with whom he chatted on the Internet; Thomas O'Neil's Judy at the Stonewall Inn (Jan. 19-Feb. 26, 2006), directed by former Celebration Artistic Director Derek Charles Livingston, in which a drag queen meets the ghost of Judy Garland at the Stonewall riots in 1969; Lillian Hellman's watershed 1934 drama The Children's Hour, directed by Matt Bankston, about a lesbian incident at a boarding school for young girls that has cataclysmic repercussions; and the First Annual Celebration Theatre Musical Contest, produced by Rich Fiock, in which the winner will be staged as a full world premiere production (Jun. 8-Jul. 16, 2006). Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 957-1884

Showdown Theatre Company presents Nottingham, an original youth-oriented musical. It's the culmination of the company's Teens on Tap summer camp. Writer-composers are Flip Kobler, Cindy Marcus, and Dennis Poore, who have written several Disney direct-to-video sequels. The show encompasses four fairy tales, including Rumplestiltskin and The Little Mermaid. Repertory East Playhouse, 24266 San Fernando Road, Newhall. Thu. 7:30 p.m., Sat. 2 p.m., Sun. 7 p.m. Aug. 11-14. $6. (661) 288-0000

East West Players celebrates its 40th birthday with a fundraiser. The Asian American–focused company presents One Night Only: Happy 40th Birthday East West Players!. Hosted by EWP's Council of Governors, led by Chair George Takei, the event will recall memorable moments from the past four decades via live comedy sketches, videos, personal testimonies, and musical performances. David Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., L.A. Sat. 6 p.m. silent auction; 7 p.m. light buffet. Aug. 20. $60-250. Contact Managing Director Trent Steelman at tsteelman@eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000, ext. 19

The Outlaw Style Thrance Company presents Thrance Cabaret. The group offers entertainment that blends theatre and dance. The new show includes music ranging from Duke Ellington to The Clash. M Bar, 1253 N. Vine St., Hollywood. Sun. 7 p.m. Aug. 21. $5 (not including food or drink). www.thrance.com. (323) 860-6503...

Mickey Sinardi's Showstopping Stars Spectacular includes the selling of show-business memorabilia and appearances by many film and television stars. Among the many actors scheduled to participate are June Lockhart and Jon Provost of Lassie, Jonathan Winters, John Saxon, Barbara McNair, Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons), and Margaret O'Brien (Meet Me in St. Louis). Beverly Garland Hotel, 4222 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood. Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 27-28. $12 (one day); $20 (two days). (818) 766-7311

L.A. Theatre Works launches a four-month tour of Peter Goodchild's historical docudrama, The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial. It begins at Humboldt University in Arcata (Oct. 11-12), then continues for 45 performances in several cities nationwide October–February. The piece is based on original transcripts of the infamous 1925 Scopes trial, challenging the teaching of Darwin's theories of evolution in Tennessee public schools. L.A. Theatre Works presents a two-hour radio program, The Play's the Thing, offering dramas taped during public performances. It airs on public- and satellite-radio outlets. For a performance schedule of the tour or information on LATW, visit www.latw.org.

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