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  • mud-luscious theatre ensemble Presents
    Unwrap the Present:
    Life (coaching) is a Cabaret
    A Tour de Force Showcase
    Written by & Starring Sonja Alarr
    Exclusive Private Performance
    At The Peninsula in Beverly Hills
    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Musical Theater + Autobiography + Comedy + Handy Self-Help Tips

    “If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it harder.”
    – Sonja Alarr, Unwrap The Present

    LOS ANGELES, CA – mud-luscious theatre ensemble, in association with Zee Productions and HolliVOX Entertainment, is thrilled to announce an exclusive production of Unwrap the Present: Life (coaching) is a Cabaret, a comical and poignant one-woman show, written and performed by actor, singer, comedienne, cynic and life coach Sonja Alarr, on Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills.  The private, invitation-only performance chronicles Alarr’s personal journey from depressed housewife to resurrected artist through a mix of classic and contemporary songs woven together with an autobiographical monologue, humorous insights into the human condition, and handy self-help tips gained from her professional experience as a life coach.  The 7:30pm performance will be held in the Veranda Room of The Peninsula (9882 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212; 310-551-2888; www.peninsula.com/Beverly_Hills/en/default.aspx).  Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served gratis.  To RSVP, please contact Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.  For additional information, please see lifecoachingisacabaret.com.

    The show was initially staged for enthusiastic audiences in March 2012 as a stand-alone theater piece at the Crown City Theatre in Los Angeles and as a motivational performance at the Martha Beck Coaching Summit in Phoenix, AZ.  Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from those performances, mud-luscious theatre ensemble,  Zee Productions and HolliVOX Entertainment are exploring the further potential of the work – as a possible sitcom, talk show, reality TV show, movie of the week and/or self-help book.  Unwrap the Present is produced by Alarr’s husband, Emmy and DGA nominated director-producer Albert Alarr, and is directed by notable opera singer-director Zeffin Quinn Hollis.

    In Unwrap the Present, Alarr dares to be truthful about failure, fatness, the joy/boredom of long marriage, the wonder/boredom of being a mom, and the type of relentless depression that comes from living day after day in the shadow of an unrealized dream. In order to get over her depression and cynicism, Alarr tried therapy, acupuncture, various religions, Weight Watchers, hypnosis, every self-help book in the world, avoidance, epic quantities of macaroni and cheese, as well as flirtations with alcohol, sex, drugs and rock and roll.

    “One of my big stories is about why I’m so fat. And it has nothing to do with consuming more calories than I burn. Fuck you. That’s not it.” – Sonja Alarr, Unwrap The Present

    By eventually embracing life coaching tools, she was able to step back, assess and redirect the course of her life.  Told with grace, lack of sentiment, refreshing humor and a 3-octave vocal range, Unwrap the Present is structured on Alarr’s personal journey through the four “squares” of the Change Cycle developed by John Beck for organizational theory and popularized for individuals by life coaching guru Martha Beck. Over the production we watch Alarr move from cataclysmic square one (death and rebirth), through hopeful square two (dreaming and scheming), active square three (the hero’s saga), until arriving happily in square four (the promised land).

    “Happiness. Oy.  It’s so… perky.  As I was going through training, I met lots of life coaches who seemed exceedingly perky.  They jogged. They posted chirpy updates on Facebook.  They drank green smoothies, for Christ’s sake!”
    – Sonja Alarr, Unwrap The Present

    Alarr first conceived Unwrap the Present: Life (coaching) is a Cabaret in 2010, while driving in her car, as Willie Nelson’s acoustic version of “Rainbow Connection” came on the radio.

    “That version of the song was so beautiful – my heart filled up and overflowed my eyes,” says Alarr, “Then, all of the sudden, I thought to myself, ‘What a great “square two” song this is.’  And just like that, I could see the whole show in my head.”

    The production is peppered with well-chosen passages from nearly two-dozen songs – ranging from popular radio hits to show tunes.  Highlights include Alarr’s rendition of “Moon River” from the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany‘s; “Creep,” the international hit by Radiohead; and the soprano showpiece “Glitter and Gay” from the operetta Candide.

    Click here to watch a quick video of Sonja Alarr describing the show.

    Credits –
    Sonja Alarr
    – Writer/Performer
    Albert Alarr – Producer/Technical Director/Designer
    Zeffin Quinn Hollis
    – Director
    Cassie Nickols – Musical Director
    Joann C. Zajac – Vocal Director
    Michael Franks – Lighting

    “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Cher.  Remember?  How she used to come out for the final bow on the Sonny and Cher Show and she’d lean over and flip her hair and it would go all the way down to the floor?  I wanted to have that lithe, lean body, that long ebony hair, a perfect little girl named Chastity.  Or a perfect little boy named Chas.” – Sonja Alarr, Unwrap The Present

    Sonja Alarr –
    Actor, singer, writer, comedienne, cynic and life coach Sonja Alarr has a BFA in Theater Performance from California Institute of the Arts; and also graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s in Literature and Feminist Theory from Cal State Long Beach.  Theater credits include: Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes, PCPA; Bea Romo in The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, Kirk Douglas Theatre; Woman #1 in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Ensemble Theatre; and Goneril in King Lear at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, among many others.  She is a certified Martha Beck life coach and runs her own consulting business.  Alarr also recently wrote the pilots and scripts for two original web series, entitled Loungitude and In Tune.  She is currently writing a new musical theater show for the 2014 Martha Beck Inc. Coaches Convention.  She has also performed solo cabarets at the Cinegrill in Hollywood.  Alarr lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband, Albert, and two kids, Anton and Zosia.  Read more about Alarr and her life coaching business at unwrapthepresent.com.

    Albert Alarr –
    Best known as a soap opera director, Albert Alarr graduated from the Julliard School for Theater and went straight into John Houseman’s Acting Company as a member of its touring ensemble.  He spent the next several years working in various repertory companies across the United States as an actor and director.  His regional credits include The Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The La Jolla Playhouse, and several others.  In New York, he worked with Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival and other Off-Broadway companies.  After a few years of intensive work in the theater, he decided to return to school and received his graduate degree from the USC School of Cinema and Television.  He has directed such shows as Home Improvement, Homeboys in Outer Space, and was a contract director at ABC for Port Charles, General Hospital, and All My Children.  He recently executive produced and directed Loungitude, a pilot for Corday Productions.  In addition, he most recently executive produced and directed a comedy pilot, The Break Up Guy, for his own production company, Zee Productions.  Currently, he is directing NBC’s Days of Our Lives and CBS’s Young and Restless.  He is also a producer on Days of Our Lives.  He has been nominated for Emmy and Directors Guild awards.  For additional details, please see http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0016074/.

    Zeffin Quinn Hollis –
    In the throes of a preeminent performing career, Zeffin Quinn Hollis has appeared as a principal artist in many of the world’s significant opera houses including Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Pacific, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Delaware, Toledo Opera, New Orleans Opera, Hungary’s Szegen & Pécs National Theaters, and the Lviv National Theater (Ukraine).  Hollis is quite identifiable in the top echelon of new music, working on composer’s premieres of the likes of Jake Heggie, Tobias Picker, Tarik O’Regan, and New York City Opera’s famed VOX Festival, which showcases new works.  Also, Hollis has led two broadcast productions for Mezzo Television, as John Proctor in The Crucible and Maguire in Tobias Picker’s European premiere of Emmeline.  Both of these award-winning productions were directed by the renowned director of the Hungarian State Theater, Róbert Alföldi, and broadcast to over 40 countries on Mezzo Television.  An accomplished director and acting coach, Quinn studied at the Conservatory of Theater Arts at Webster University.  He is the co-founder of Singing Actor’s Lab in Los Angeles.  As a stage director, Hollis’ productions have been on the stages of Opera Las Vegas, Los Angeles’ Dell Chamber Opera, Wichita State University, Cal State Northridge, and the Off-Broadway theater company The Lambs.  He is also producing director and acting teacher for OperaWorks.  For more information on Hollis, please visit zeffin.com.

    HolliVOX Entertainment –
    HolliVOX Entertainment is a production company dedicated to live theater, video, and events, specializing in projects utilizing the human voice in song.

    Zee Productions –
    Zee Productions is a film and television production company devoted to creating and developing internet, cable and network content.

    mud-luscious theatre ensemble –
    mud-luscious theatre ensemble started when a group of actors, taught by Albert Alarr, decided to form a theater company to produce classic and contemporary plays in unique ways.  mud-luscious utilizes non-traditional casting and staging in order to illuminate and facilitate understanding of familiar theater pieces from new and compelling perspectives.

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    For more information on Unwrap the Present: Life (coaching) is a Cabaret or to RSVP for the media guest list, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on September 13th, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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