Shinn's 'Four' will launch new season Nov. 4

Hollywood’s Celebration Theater, launching its first full season in more than a decade, will present two Los Angeles premieres and a world preem musical, managing artistic director Michael Matthews announced Monday.

Celebration, which presents work focusing on the gay and lesbian experience, also will form its own acting company for the first time in its 23 years.

Launching the 2005-06 season will be Christopher Shinn’s “Four,” directed by Matthews. Opening Nov. 4, Shinn’s play is set on July 4, 1996, and it follows two 16-year-olds in their search for love and desire.

“Judy at the Stonewall Inn” has its L.A. preem starting Jan. 20. Many historians believe the Stonewall riots were started by a drag queen on the day of Judy Garland’s funeral in New York. Thomas O’Neil’s play posits he was the world’s worst Judy Garland drag queen, and brings back the ghost of the real Judy to torment him. Derek Charles Livingston, former managing director at Celebration, directs.

That’s followed by Lillian Hellman’s classic “The Children’s Hour,” directed by Matt Bankston; it opens March 30.

Rounding out the season is a world premiere musical, “Play It Cool,” with music and lyrics by Mark Winkler and Larry Dean Harris. Sharon Rosen (“Always Patsy Cline”) directs the production, which opens June 9. Developed at the Playwrights 6 workshop at Celebration, it’s set at a nightclub in repressed 1953 Hollywood.

Matthews said, “I look forward to bringing a new vitality to the theater with its first subscription series of shows in over a decade and initiating a company of actors to create a vibrant family of artists.”

For more information, call (323) 957-1884.

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