LA Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DAVID LEE STRASBERG
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
“SUGAR HAPPENS: A ONE GIRL SHOW”
WRITTEN BY EMMY AWARD-WINNER
DIRECTED BY PHIL RAMUNO
THE SIX-WEEK LIMITED ENGAGEMENT OPENS MAY 12, 2010 AT THE SIDEWALK STUDIO THEATRE IN BURBANK
LOS ANGELES, CA (April 20, 2010) – A-lee Lulee Productions and David Lee Strasberg present the world premiere of SUGAR HAPPENS: A ONE GIRL SHOW by Emmy Award-winner Sherry Coben (CBS’s “Kate and Allie” and NBC’s “Hot Hero Sandwich” with Richard Pryor) and starring Rachel Bailit (Henry Jaglom’s Festival in Cannes). Phi Ramuno (critically-acclaimed and Ovation-nominated Flirting with Morty) directs this heartfelt comedy, based on Bailit’s life, about a nice Jewish girl’s life choices and where they take her. Workshop productions of SUGAR HAPPENS were originally produced by Strasberg at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in Los Angeles. The official press opening for SUGAR HAPPENSis on Wednesday, May 12 and plays through June 20 at the Sidewalk Studio Theatre (4150 Riverside Drive) in Burbank.
David Lee Strasberg:
"The first time I saw Rachel working on Sugar Happens I immediately knew it was special. It demanded to be done. It’s intimate, but at the same time quirky. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. Yet, in all the detail and Rachel’s idiosyncrasies and her life, it doesn’t stop there. It’s not just Rachel’s life, it resonates with the details that everyone can relate to – the struggle, its optimism and hope. Sometimes those things wilt a bit in the face of obstacles and struggles and regret. I think that’s something, in a very mainstream way, that everyone understands. That was immediately apparent the first time she performed it for me."
“When a producer friend referred Rachel to me, I checked out her website and made some assumptions about the aspiring actress-starlet I was scheduled to meet. Within five minutes, she had confounded my every expectation, and I walked away from our meeting wanting to help her but more importantly, wanting to explore that moment that occurs so frequently – especially in Hollywood – that soul-crushing moment when we dismiss someone as less than a full human being with history and desires,” said playwright Sherry Coben. “Over a few sessions, Rachel shared her story with me, and without telling her, in a huge leap of faith, I wrote her a play she could perform, a show I hoped could develop into a fuller theatrical experience that might lead an audience to seeing Rachel as the impossibly optimistic fighter she is, to inspire them to look deeper in other encounters, and to appreciate the little twists of fate that make our lives our own.”
Based on Rachel Bailit’s life, SUGAR HAPPENS tells the story of a nice Jewish girl who won't take “no” for an answer. Rachel comes to Hollywood from the east coast, bound and determined to find love and superstardom. In spite of all odds and countless dead ends, her “never-say-die” spirit and sheer will keep her coming back for more. Rachel shares her journey, and in a twenty year flash forward, treats her audience to a peek into her future, featuring three alternate happy (and not-so-happy) endings of her life. SUGAR HAPPENS offers a primary message that affirms life in the face of loss, wrong-way choices, humiliation and failed love.
Joining the creative team with director Phil Ramuno are Maarten Cornelis as lighting designer and Max Bugrov as technical artistic director.
SUGAR HAPPENS: A ONE GIRL SHOW will play at the Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Drive, in Burbank. Performances begin May 12, 2010 and play through June 20. The official press opening is on Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. The performance schedule is Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. All tickets for SUGAR HAPPENS are $20.00 and are available by calling 800-838-3006 and online at www.brownpapertickets.com.
CAST AND CREATIVE BIOS:
RACHEL BAILIT was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She began a career as a broadcast journalist while still in college, reporting for television networks in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York. She directed and produced a film on volunteerism for the Clinton-Gore Re-election campaign titled Making The Difference. With her attentions turned toward acting, Rachel moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. Rachel trained at The Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles. Along with the method, Rachel is classically trained in the Greek comedies and dramas, Shakespeare, Restoration and Comedia Dell’ Arte. She has performed in many Los Angeles stage productions including: The Classical Theatre Lab’s productions of Henry IV, A Woman Of No Importance, and A Woman Killed With Kindness. She played the role of “April” in Savage In Limbo, the role of “Mistress Ford” in The Merry Wives of Windsor and the role of “Libby” in Paradise Lost at The Lee Strasberg Theatre. She has performed with Improvisational groups including The Second City and The Improv Zone. She played opposite Greta Scacchi in the Paramount film, Festival In Cannes, directed by Henry Jaglom. She also played alongside Jim Carrey in Ron Howard’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. On the film festival circuit, Rachel starred in God and Art, Without A Map, Dirty Glitter and in a new comedy I’m Not Like That No More. Rachel has appeared in many television shows including “Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue,” and the role of “Marissa” on “General Hospital.” She has appeared in numerous national commercial campaigns including ones for McDonalds, Arby’s, Dodge, and Heineken.
SHERRY COBEN (Playwright). Once upon a time, Sherry Coben wrote and produced plays in New York City. Plays and a big fat pile of spec scripts. Eventually, Sherry was discovered, winning an Emmy for her very first writing sojourn into broadcast television, NBC’s breakthrough series “Hot Hero Sandwich.” She followed up that auspicious beginning with a staffing stint on ABC’s hilarious soap “Ryan’s Hope.” Shortly thereafter, she sold her first sitcom pilot to CBS, a series that brought television production back to New York. That show she created and wrote was ratings hit “Kate & Allie.” Shot in the historic and refurbished Ed Sullivan Theater right on Broadway proved no small thrill for all parties involved but most particularly for its creator. That meteoric success provided enough momentum for a decade of earning a perfectly lovely living writing for television and movies. Choosing to live on the East coast, she stubbornly tried to catch lightning in the same bottle once again. Shortly after a wrenching relocation West, while under contract with short-lived phoenix MTM, she produced and wrote CBS’ landmark children’s series for children, “Bailey Kipper’s POV.” While many of her TV pilots and commissioned feature film scripts remained mired (albeit handsomely compensated) in development hell, Sherry kept herself more than busy raising her family and working as a mentor, theater director, costumer, and improv coach. Even though her most lucrative success came from television, Sherry never abandoned the theater. Several of her original plays were produced by Gold Coast Conservatory, and most recently, Sherry directed the world premiere production of Bubble Boy: The Musical, successfully shepherding that project to winning last year’s ASCAP Foundation/Disney Musical Theatre Workshop. As the younger of her two delightful daughters happily drains the family coffers at Bennington College and the older preps to make her own mark in the Big Apple as a playwright-composer-lyricist, Sherry returns once more to the theater, the home of her heart, and she couldn’t be happier. Or more ready to be rediscovered.
PHIL RAMUNO (Director), an award-winning director, producer, writer, and teacher based in Los Angeles, recently executive produced a primetime police action series in Romania for MediaPro Pictures. His international credits include four other series in Romania and two hit comedy series in Moscow. He co-authored the best selling “Sitcom Career Book.” For the stage, Phil has directed the Ovation-nominated Flirting with Morty, the world premiere of Sundays in L.A., among others. He has directed seven pilots and hundreds of episodes of American network and syndicated situation comedies, variety and reality/talk shows. This includes “Grace Under Fire,” “Charles in Charge,” “9 to 5” and “The Ted Knight Show.” His short film Bringing Up BayBay was a feted at the Mill Valley Film Festival. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California prestigious film school and has also taught at Emerson College and Endicott College in Boston. He currently teaches directing for the Los Angeles Inner City Filmmakers youth program.
DAVID LEE STRASBERG (Producer) is the Creative Director and CEO of the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles and New York (www.strasberg.com). The world famous Institute was founded by his parents, Lee and Anna Strasberg, in 1969 and serves as an international center for training method actors. In addition to growing up in and teaching at the Institute, Strasberg has produced short films and dozens of plays with The Group at Strasberg, an in-house production company based at the not-for-profit Lee Strasberg Creative Center in Los Angeles. Prior to that he worked in politics in the Clinton Administration and for the Mayor of Los Angeles. Strasberg holds an MBA from UCLA and undergraduate degrees from Brown University.
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