“Beethoven and Misfortune Cookies,” set to open Aug. 10 at the MET Theatre in Hollywood, is the true story of Kabin Thomas, a musician and, for eleven years, a Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas. The show begins with Thomas teaching a lesson about the struggles of Beethoven, the composer of mixed European and Moorish ancestry who coped with hearing loss in his later years and creating his Ninth Symphony while deaf.
later runs into trouble with the university authorities subsequent to his
teaching a lesson about Abel Meeropol and his song made famous by Billie
Holiday, “Strange Fruit,” about the lynching of Blacks in the Deep South.
Thomas accompanies the lesson with a famous photograph of lynching victims.
of his teaching position, Thomas subsequently comes to Hollywood and is cast on
a reality TV show. Becoming aware of his father’s early demise related to
mental illness, Thomas must overcome his own personal inner demons if he is to
survive and attain any lasting measure of happiness.
Ravenna is the playwright. A graduate of USC, her previous playwriting credits
include “A Brush With Fate,” “For Pete’s Sake,” “The Green Grocer,””Jack of
Hearts,” and “Sex, Love and the Premature Evacuation.” She has also extensively
written for television, notably music documentaries and a travel series.
Castronovo directs. He has directed many shows in L.A. (including “Brooklyn,
U.S.A.,” “The Leopard,” “Campaign,” “Women in Shorts”) and off-Broadway. He is
co-producer of the touring comedy “Viagra Falls.” Also an actor, he was a
regular on the TV series “Taxi” as Tommy the bartender, subsequently appearing
in many feature films and episodics. He produced the TV series “Tales From the
Darkside,” for which he also directed selected episodes.
Harden, Jr. portrays Professor Thomas. Harden was seen at the MET in “Savage
World,” but is possibly best known for his extensive work in TV and film,
including recurring characters on “The Jeffersons” and “Santa Barbara” and
starring roles opposite Bette Davis in “White Mama” and opposite Woody
Harrelson and Wesley Snipes in “White Men Can’t Jump.”
"Beethoven and Misfortune Cookies" playing through Sept. 15, is written by Joni Ravenna, directed by T.J. Castronovo and stars Ernest Harden Jr.
The MET Theatre, downstairs in the Great
Scott Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029. This is one block
east of Western Ave. and a few steps south of Santa Monica Blvd. There is
parking ($6) at 5300 Santa Monica Blvd., one building past the 101 Freeway
overpass on the east side of the street.
The show runs Aug. 10-Sept. 15, 8 p.m. Sat, 3 p.m. Sun.; $15. Seniors, students, and members of
performing arts unions $10; For information: (323) 960-5773 or