• Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad
    (photo credit: Ashley West Leonard)

    For Immediate Release:   November 5, 2010 [updated: 12/15/10]

    Bootleg Theater Presents
    A Brand New Music Theater Extravaganza
    Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad
    Saturday, December 4 – Sunday, December 19, 2010

    ** NOW EXTENDED:  Thursday, January 6 – Sunday, January 30, 2011 **

    LOS ANGELES, CA – Bootleg Theater is excited to announce the brand new Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad – once again bringing together the award-winning creative team of Roht, John Ballinger and Ann Closs-Farley for an outrageous holiday production. Previous 99¢ Only shows have been critically acclaimed as a “bedazzlement of theater action and peanut gallery voyeurism” (LA Times) and “mix of heady surrealism, marvelously inventive choreography, unabashed camp, and delightful whimsy” (Backstage West).  Costumes, sets and moving sculptures in this progressive multimedia music event will once again incorporate traditional 99¢ Only Store fare, with the addition of recycled and sustainable materials this year. The interdisciplinary extravaganza, with a cast of 18 diverse performers, runs from December 4 to 19, 2010 on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm nightly with Sunday matinees only at 3:00pm.  Performances have been extended, now  running January 6 to 30, 2011 on the same schedule.  Doors open one hour before each show – audiences are welcome to arrive early for pre-show socializing over a beverage in Bootleg’s beer and wine bar.  General admission tickets are $25; students/seniors $18. Bootleg neighbors living in the 90057 zip code can purchase a ticket for 99¢ with proof of address (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.)  Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057.  For more information please call 213-389-3856 or visit www.bootlegtheater.com.

    Despite the name, Same-O is not the same-o same-o.  While this year’s whimsical spectacle still has the same type of wildly imaginative score, costumes and choreography as in years past, key differences include an overall tone that takes more chances conceptually by exploring the issue of graceful co-existence and costumes made from paper products.  “For years, the 99¢ Only shows have blithely glorified plastic and I thought we needed to do our part to promote ethical consumerism,” says Roht.

    The 2010 production takes the audience on a hero’s journey with two very different young men, Eddie and Fred, who end up getting married.  While narrative elements such as this exist in the production, the work functions more as abstract art in the Surrealist tradition, or even as progressive dance theater, than traditional linear theater.  “Logic is not of paramount importance or even necessarily appreciated,” says Roht.

    99¢ Only Show Timeline –
    Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad is the seventh in a series of unique 99¢ Only shows that have been entertaining Los Angeles audiences since 2002.  Each show in the series has been an original story of peace, love, struggle, and acceptance wrapped up in a singing and dancing 99¢ holiday bow.
    2002 – Wonderama – Roht took his 99¢ Only Store obsession public for the first time with music, puppets, and spoken-word excerpts from corporate reports in celebration of the joy and excess of American consumerism
    2003 – Splendor – the story of a Golden Boy who is abducted from the Frenchies, an enigmatic tribe of warrior-clowns, by the misunderstood misfits, the Crusties
    2004 – Peace Squad Goes 99 – Peace Squad, the boy band, and their mothers save the 99¢ Only Village from the misguided Hollow Mirror Man and his molls
    2005 – Route 99: Orange Star Dinner Show – set in a Wyoming dinner theater, Orange Star serves up hospitality, delicious home cookin’ and western glamour made from pool toys and plastic tablecloths
    2006 – Pageant of the 4 Seasons, a 99¢ Only Modern Something – “a demented blend of low-budget Ziegfeld Follies, an earth-bound Cirque du Soleil, and the kind of performance neighborhood kids put on in somebody’s garage” (LA Weekly)
    2008 – Ken Roht’s 99¢ Only Calendar Girl Competition – a meditation of sorts on beauty pageants, where the audience picks the winner

    The 99¢ Only Stores deep discount retail chain has generously supported each show in the series with not only product donations but also gracious cooperation and enthusiasm since the beginning of the project.

    Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad
    (photo credit: Ashley West Leonard)

    Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad Credits –
    Producers: Alicia Adams, Corbett Barklie, and Jessica Hanna for Bootleg Theater
    Writer/Director: Ken Roht
    Choreographer: Ken Roht
    Co-Composers: John Ballinger and Ken Roht
    Music, Dance, and Vocal Arrangements: John Ballinger
    Music Direction: John Ballinger
    Costume Designer: Ann Closs-Farley
    Asst. Costume Designer: Anne Hothem
    Set Designer: David Offner
    Technical Director: Jon Stoner
    Lighting Designer: Brandon Baruch
    Stage Manager: Alyssa Escalante
    Video Designer: John Flynn
    Visual Artists: Doron Gazit, Clare Graham, Wen Wen Hsu, Kiff Scholl, and Penny Young
    Sound Designer:  Chet Leonard

    Cast: Erin Anderson, Michael Bonnabel, Sissy Boyd, Tucker Bryan, Max Faugno, Stephen Heath, Spencer Kelly, Tracey A. Leigh, Julie Marie Lewis, Daniele Manzin, Lucie McGrane, John Charles Meyer, Lori Scarlett, Lake Sharp, Raul Staggs, Daniele Watts, Jonathan CK Williams, and Silvie Zamora

    Ken Roht’s Same-O, A 99¢ Only Electric Ballad
    (photo credit: Christy Borgman)

    Ken Roht is a Los Angeles based music, theater and video artist.  In 2010, Roht directed and choreographed The Good Soldier Schweik for Long Beach Opera, choreographed American Night featuring Culture Clash at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; fulfilled a commission by Center Theater Group to create a new holiday show using Tschaikowsky’s score to The Nutcracker; directed his first musical feature film starring Kevin Richardson, of the Backstreet Boys; choreographed for Cornerstone Theater Company, as part of a community project in Pacoima; and he wrote a one-act opera in response to Prop 8, performed at Grand Performances, with a grant from Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. He was recently awarded a Good Works Foundation grant for an upcoming musical project and will be choreographing for New York City Opera, at Lincoln Center, in the Spring 2011.  orpheancircus.com

    John Ballinger, musician and award-winning sound designer/composer, has placed songs and scores in television, on film, in theater, and on CDs. Notable collaborations include Echo’s Hammer (Theatre at Boston Court) and the 99¢ Only Store holiday shows with Ken Roht, The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater and Celebration of the Lizard with O-Lan Jones, The Joan Rivers Show (Geffen Playhouse), and playing the guitar with Christy (Chris Wells) and the NoNos. Ballinger has toured and/or recorded for Rufus Wainwright, Tracy Bonham, Pato Banton, Moira Smiley & Voco, and the national tour of Dancing with the Stars.

    Ann Closs-Farley is the 2010 winner of the “Sherwood Award” presented by Center Theater Group of Los Angeles.  She teaches costume design for The Heart Project in conjunction with The LA Opera and spent the Fall in New York with the Pee Wee Herman “Live” at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on Broadway.  Her recent credits include: Disney’s Toy Story: The Musical, An Evening Without Monty Python, The Receptionist, Land of the Tigers, James and the Giant Peach, The Projectionist, Around The World in 80 Days, The Rendezvous, The Rover, Norman’s Ark, Winter Wonderettes, Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera, and Hamlet, Prince of Puddles. She earned a 2009 Ovation Award for Ken Roht’s Calendar Girl Competition, and LA Weekly and Garland awards for her work on: Batboy: The Musical, When Tigers Smoked Long Pipes, Echo’s Hammer, The Seagull, Exonerated, Mephisto, Euphoria, Plastica Fantastica, Broadway, XXX Love Act, Cinderella – Medea – Macbeth, and Ugly’s 1st World. She has also won an LADCC Award (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle) for her work on Sneaux! and Gorey Stories: The Musical as well as a Local Hero Award from Backstage West.  She is a long-time member of the Actor’s Gang and Evidence Room theater companies.  She enjoys teaching recycled-fashion at local elementary and high schools, arts organizations, festivals and museums.  www.annclossfarley.com

    Bootleg Theater is a space for art: a place where Los Angeles artists can come together and create new, exciting theatrical events.  Bootleg is dedicated to producing and presenting theater, music, dance, and film in the venue’s 10,000-square foot 1930s warehouse, located in the Rampart District just west of Downtown LA. The facility, comprised of two performance spaces and a lounge, plays an integral role in the development and advancement of Bootleg’s goals: to provide a community convening place; produce brave, boundary-pushing, artistically outstanding, and highly collaborative new work — work that is exciting to people of all ages and ethnicities; and serve as a reflection of the City we all call home.  Bootleg Theater offers special group rates for parties of 8 or more.

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    For more information, photos, or to arrange an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada (née Hasty) at 213-840-1201 and lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on December 27th, 2010 lynn-hasty No comments

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