Tag Archives: Denise Blasor

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: ‘Heart Song’ Final Performance and Party at the Fountain Theatre

The company.

The Heart Song company.

Our wonderful 3-month run of the world premiere of Heart Song came to a glorious conclusion yesterday with its final matinee performance followed by a joyous party. The funny and powerful new play and sold-out production earned many rave reviews and deeply affected audiences. We received many emails and Facebook comments from people expressing how deeply moved they were by the play and what the production meant to them. One patron, Heidi Singh, was so taken with the play she saw it seven times.

New plays created by the Fountain Theatre often have future lives as they are produced by other theaters around the country. Heart Song will open at Florida Repertory Theatre in April.

We thank all of the extraordinary artists, crew, production team, and — most important — audience members who made the extended 3-month run of Heart Song at the Fountain Theatre such an unforgettable and meaningful experience.

Enjoy Photos From The Final Show Party! 

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Thanks from the Women of Westwood

B

Post-show cafe chat last Sunday after the matinee of ‘Heart Song’.

By Bette Billett

On behalf of a very grateful UCLA Faculty Women’s Club, I wish to thank all who made Sunday such a rich experience.The after-show conversation and kudos for HEART SONG are still going on at the UCLA campus. A special thank you to Simon Levy and Stephen Sachs who came in on a Sunday, which we noted with gratitude. Stephen stayed for the entire get together and fielded the “insight into women” questions so agilely and , of course, because he wrote such a wonderful play. Many thanks, too, to the stellar cast. Lastly, thanks to Diana and James, who somehow make the ticketing run so smoothly.

Fond regards from Westwood,

Bette Billet, President UCLA Faculty Women’s Club

Bette Billet (left) with Deborah Lawlor, Tamlyn Tomita and Denise Blasor.

Bette Billet (left) with Deborah Lawlor, Tamlyn Tomita and Denise Blasor.

Heart Song  Extended to Aug 25  (323) 663-1525  MORE

New Video! Hit Comedy/Drama ‘Heart Song’ Extended to Aug 25 at the Fountain Theatre

"Heart Song" at the Fountain Theatre

“Heart Song” at the Fountain Theatre

Hailed as “superb” and “magnificent” by critics and audiences alike, the Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed hit comedy/drama Heart Song has been extended to August 25th. The Hollywood Reporter cheers Heart Song as “a genuine delight”, the LA Weekly heralds it as “beautifully performed,” and Broadway World declares Heart Song “a celebration of life you won’t want to miss.” 

Written by Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo FinneyHeart Song follows the funny and touching journey of Rochelle (Pamela Dunlap), a middle-aged Jewish woman in New York City struggling through a mid-life crisis and the recent loss of her mother. When Rochelle is convinced to take a flamenco class with other women led by a passionate Gypsy instructor (Denise Blasor), her life and world-view is changed forever.   

Enjoy The New ‘Heart Song’ Video Trailer

Heart Song  (323) 663-1525  MORE INFO

Smash Hit Comedy/Drama ‘Heart Song’ Extends to August 25th at the Fountain Theatre

"Heart Song" at the Fountain Theatre

“Heart Song” at the Fountain Theatre

Hailed as “superb” and “magnificent” by critics and audiences alike, the Fountain Theatre’s acclaimed hit comedy/drama Heart Song has been extended to August 25th. The Hollywood Reporter cheers Heart Song as “a genuine delight”, the LA Weekly heralds it as “beautifully performed,” and Broadway World declares Heart Song “a celebration of life you won’t want to miss.” 

Written by Stephen Sachs and directed by Shirley Jo Finney, Heart Song follows the funny and touching journey of Rochelle (Pamela Dunlap), a middle-aged Jewish woman in New York City struggling through a mid-life crisis and the recent loss of her mother. When Rochelle is convinced to take a flamenco class with other women led by a passionate Gypsy instructor (Denise Blasor), her life and world-view is changed forever.   

The Fountain Theatre world premiere has earned rave reviews and sold-out houses since it opened  in May.

MIRACULOUS! A tender, deeply layered journey to the center of a woman’s soul.” – Stage Happenings
EXTRAORDINARY!  I wanted to jump up and shout ‘Bravo’ when the lights came up!” Los Angeles Post 
DAZZLING! A transcendent evening of theatre!”   – Explore Dance
A MUST SEE! It will make you laugh one minute and sad the next, but in the end you will be thrilled. “  – Los Angeles Post   

ELECTRIFYING! At once contagiously funny and fiercely dramatic, touching every emotion. Top-notch direction and a resplendent cast, Heart Song is a life-affirming poem that must be experienced.” – Broadway World

FLAWLESS! The acting is fabulous and the dancing spectacular!” – LASplash
VERY FUNNY! Extraordinarily moving!” On Stage Los Angeles

The play’s mesmerizing mixture of drama, comedy and flamenco music/dance has been the highlight of feature stories in the Jewish Journal and the Los Angeles Times.  

Tamlyn Tomita, Juanita Jennings, Pamela Dunlap in "Heart Song"

Tamlyn Tomita, Juanita Jennings, Pamela Dunlap in “Heart Song”

Heart Song stars Denise Blasor, Andrea Dantas, Pamela Dunlap, Juanita Jennings, Mindy Krasner, Elissa Kyriacou, Sherrie Lewandowski, and Tamlyn Tomita. Choreography by Maria Bermudez.

Heart Song Extended to Aug 25  (323) 663-1525  MORE

Intern Journal: ‘Heart Song’ is Amazing

Lowes Moore III

Lowes Moore III

by Lowes Moore III, Fountain Intern
Yesterday, the best thing happened to me. I booked tickets with one of my good friends to watch Heart Song. After a normal 10am-5pm work day I found my way back to the Fountain to see the show and to also help out whenever needed. I escorted people to their seats while my friend passed out programs. I was not sure what to expect from the play. The only other “flamenco” art I had ever experience was a video Deborah showed me of Timo Nunez on So You Think You Can Dance which was pretty amazing I might say. 
 
After taking my seat in the front row, the show began. From the very first scene my jaw could not get off of the floor. I was so amazed.  Except for the one third of the show I spent laughing way too hard. The other audience members probably thought I was insane. 
Heart Song is an amazing show about one woman’s life changing transformation.  She is basically bribed and dragged into the flamenco class where she finds self-worth, confidence, family, and strength. The show & cast were wonderful, amazing, superb…Okay you get the point. GO SEE IT!  
"Heart Song" at the Fountain Theatre

“Heart Song” at the Fountain Theatre

It was Denise Blasor’s first show (in the role of Katarina) and might I say she looked as if she had been doing this role for years. I felt particularly special because Denise and I got to hang out for a bit on my first day at the Fountain Theatre.  Basically best friends. 
 
I am so lucky to be an intern at the Fountain Theatre. If you have not seen Heart Song yet….I suggest you change that. Don’t miss out. 
 
Last but definitely not least:
 
Tomorrow is Forever Flamenco at the Ford. There has been so much anticipation around this evening and it is finally HERE. The brochure says it best “A stellar evening of world-class artists together for the first time to celebrate 20 years of Forever Flamenco in Los Angeles and pay tribute to founder Deborah Lawlor.” If you are attending you definitely in for a treat and you know how much everyone loves treats. 🙂
Heart Song  Now to July 14 (323) 663-1525   MORE
Our thanks to the LA County Arts Commision  for their support of the Arts Internship Program. 

Pamela Dunlap Dances to a Flamenco Beat in ‘Heart Song’ at the Fountain Theatre

Dance in a graveyard

“Heart Song” at the Fountain Theatre

by Cynthia Citron

“I have a long history of flamenco,” Pamela Dunlap says — her tongue firmly in her cheek.  And thereby hangs the tale.

“Actually, I’m not a dancer,” she continues.  “I’m dragged kicking and screaming into flamenco class” as the lead in Stephen Sachs’ new play Heart Song, now having its premiere at the Fountain Theatre.

Playing Rochelle — a middle-aged, out-of-shape Jewish woman who’s undergoing a crisis of faith — Dunlap is persuaded to join a flamenco class for other middle-aged, out-of-shape women. The production unites two of the Fountain’s specialties — plays and the subject of flamenco (the Fountain is presenting Forever Flamenco at the Ford on June 15).

“It’s an all-female cast,” Dunlap says, “and the camaraderie is great.  It’s a wonderful journey.” Shirley Jo Finney is directing.

When I suggest that it sounds a bit like Steel Magnolias, a perennial favorite, she says, “Oh no, it’s not anything like Steel Magnolias!  In this play nobody has diabetes, nobody’s getting their hair done, and there are no cranky old women.”

Pamela Dunlap

Pamela Dunlap

She should know. She was in a Salt Lake City production of Steel Magnolias, playing the role of the former mayor’s widow, who describes the new mayor’s wife as looking, while dancing, “like two pigs fightin’ under a blanket.”

Dunlap confesses that early in her career she taught Latin dances — the cha-cha, the merengue, the samba — at a Xavier Cugat Dance Studio in New York.  “Cugat was the Arthur Murray of Latin dancing,” she says.  “He had dance studios all over.”

Dunlap is herself a New York woman from Flushing and Jackson Heights.  Currently she considers herself bicoastal, with a home in Manhattan and another in Van Nuys.  In Southern California, she has performed at the Ahmanson, South Coast Rep, and LA Theatre Works, but this is her first appearance at the Fountain.

In New York  she has been seen on Broadway in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Redwood Curtain, and Yerma, and in several Off-Broadway roles. Recently, she appeared at Theater Raleigh in North Carolina as Mattie Fae, the nagging sister of Violet and mother of Little Charles in August Osage County.

On TV she has been featured on How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Law and Order SVU andCommander in Chief, but her most visible role currently is as Betty Draper’s new mother-in-law and abominable baby-sitter for Betty’s daughter Sally on AMC’s Mad Men.

About her role as “Sally’s fiendish baby sitter,” she calls her “a woman with a great sense of entitlement, exactly the opposite of the woman I’m playing in Heart Song — a woman who is struggling to find her sense of entitlement.”

In Heart Song, Rochelle is “a woman who never married, whose mother recently died, and who has very little support.  She’s in a painful place of transition, dealing with mortality and trying to find her own identity,” Dunlap explains.

Flamenco teacher Katarina (Maria Bermudez) and Rochelle (Pamela Dunlap).

Flamenco teacher Katarina (Maria Bermudez) and Rochelle (Pamela Dunlap).

Questioned about her identification with the characters she plays, she says, “acting allows us to play so many different characters, but we can always find something in ourselves that is like the character. The play mirrors the struggles we all go through, and we find a common history that we didn’t suspect we have in common.  A common history or something that connects us to that character.”

On the adventure level, though, she has had a few experiences that aren’t reflected in any play she has appeared in.  For example, when her son, Trevor Morgan Doyle, an anthropologist doing research in Finland, decided to marry a Finnish woman, she traveled to the wedding, driving a car for 10 hours above the Arctic Circle.  “The car was chugging along because the fuel was freezing in the tank,” she says.

She also reports that the bride’s family, “obviously testing my mettle,” invited her to swim with them in weather that was 70 degrees below freezing.  They dug a hole through the ice and then kept scraping the ice off the top of the hole as it froze on contact with the air.

Did she do it?  You bet she did!

“Actually, they claim it’s a cure for depression,” she says.  “You’re shocking your whole system.  I’ve never felt so alive in my life!”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, she has ties with Ethiopia.  She is an active member of the Salt Lake City-based Children of Ethiopia Education Fund, a non-governmental organization that provides schooling for girls in that country.

Tamlyn Tomita, Juanita Jennings and Pamela Dunlap.

Tamlyn Tomita, Juanita Jennings and Pamela Dunlap.

When not rolling naked in ice holes and visiting schools in Ethiopia, however, she has taken a few moments to accept awards.  She has received three Drama-Logue awards, has been an honoree of the New York Drama League, and has won an OOBR (Off-Off Broadway Review) award.

As for the future, she has very definite ideas about whom she would like to work with.  Before the question is completely posed, she answers enthusiastically, “Philip Seymour Hoffman.  He’s the real deal.”

But for the present, she is delighted to be working with director Finney, choreographer Maria “Cha Cha” Bermudez, and a cast consisting of Juanita Jennings, Tamlyn Tomita, Bermudez (through June 14), Denise Blasor (beginning June 15), Andrea Dantas, Mindy Krasner, Elissa Kyriacou and Sherrie Lewandowski.

Photos by Ed Krieger. Cynthia Citron writes for LA Stage Times.  

Heart Song Now to July 14 (323) 663-1525  MORE

Snapshots: Closing Party for “El Nogalar”

A beautiful Sunday afternoon for the final matinee of "El Nogalar",

Before the final matinee, the audience gathers in the upstairs cafe.

Mexican food was enjoyed at the after-show party.

Stage manager Mitzi Delgado and her mother, Adela Delgado.

Actress Sabina Zuniga Varela and Fountain Producing Director Simon Levy.

Actress Isabelle Ortega.

Actor Justin Huen and William Sachs.

The Fountain Trio: Simon Levy, Deborah Lawlor and Stephen Sachs.

Sabina Zuniga Varela with her proud parents.

Deborah Lawlor and Denise Blasor.

The "El Nogalar" company.

Bravo on a wonderful run!