Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Center Theatre Group Event Honors Carl Reiner

Special Event Included Staged Reading of
“Enter Laughing, The Musical” Based on Carl Reiner’s First Book
Profits Benefit CTG Programs That Support Emerging Artists

In honor of comedy legend Carl Reiner’s 75 years in the business, Center Theatre Group presented a staged reading of “Enter Laughing, The Musical,” which is inspired by Reiner’s experiences as a young man struggling to break into theatre in New York.  The one night only event directed by Stuart Ross (“Forever Plaid”), was performed at the Mark Taper Forum on Monday, January 28, 2013.
Box office receipts were $290,000 and proceeds from this special event benefit CTG programs that support emerging artists.
A pre-show cocktail tribute was hosted by Billy Crystal and Rob Reiner and the evening continued with an exclusive cast party following the performance.
            Adapted from Carl Reiner’s first book, a semi-autobiographical work of the same name, “Enter Laughing” features book by Joseph Stein (“Fiddler on the Roof” and “Zorba the Greek”), music and lyrics by Stan Daniels (“Taxi,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) and orchestrations by Matt Castle. It was presented by special arrangement with Dan Whitten and Tiger Theatricals in association with Carl Reiner.  The cast featured Deborah S. Craig, Erick Devine, John Grisetti, Sharon Lawrence, Michele Lee, Alan Mandell, Gerry McIntyre, Gina Milo, Sara Niemietz, Kevin Odekirk, Stuart Pankin, Rob Reiner, Darcie Roberts, John Rubinstein and Robb Sapp.
CTG board member Dante Di Loreto, president of Ryan Murphy Television, was the chair of the event. The event’s committee included (in alphabetical order) Rich Appel, Billy Crystal, Robert Greenblatt, Brad Hall, Larry Karaszewski, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch, Aimee Mann, Steve Martin, Michael Penn, Lily Tomlin and Betty White, along with CTG board members – Debra and Norris Bishton, Frances and Terry Flanagan, Barbara and Peter Fodor, Brindell Roberts Gottlieb, and Eva and Marc Stern.
Enter Laughing, The Musical,” set in the 1930s, follows a young, hapless shop boy from the Bronx as he pursues his dream of becoming a leading man on stage while facing mounting pressures from his despondent girlfriend, dismissive boss, distracted best friend, disgusted acting coach and disapproving though loving parents. “Enter Laughing,” the stage play, written by Joseph Stein the same year he wrote “Fiddler on the Roof,” won a Tony Award for Alan Arkin in 1964.  Under Stuart Ross’s direction, “Enter Laughing, The Musical” broke box office records at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, N.Y., and New York City's York Theatre Company.
Carl Reiner’s long career in show business includes co-starring in the legendary television show “Your Show of Shows,” creating and co-starring in “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” winning a Grammy Award with Mel Brooks for the comedy album “The Two Thousand Year Old Man In The Year Two Thousand,” directing more than a dozen feature films including “The Jerk,” “All of Me,” “Oh, God!” and “Where’s Poppa?” and appearing in many films and television shows. He has a total of 12 Emmy Awards, and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1999, and received the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2001. Reiner is also the author of more than 10 books; the latest, “I Remember Me,” was published this month.
The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center at 135 North Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. 
Center Theatre Group, a non-profit organization, is one of the largest and most active theatre companies in the nation, programming subscription seasons year-round at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and the 1,600 to 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center of Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to providing theatre of the highest caliber to the rich, diverse communities of Southern California and beyond, CTG supports a significant number of play development and arts education initiatives. For further information, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.

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