FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By David Karnowsky
The NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood will host a new play written and directed by Bakersfield-based producer Myron Ward beginning June 17th and 18th and the following week on the 24th and 25th.
From the darkest pits of an artist's soul and questioning everything of his existence "An Unfinished Man" represents an intellectual and emotional catharsis 7 years in the making for Ward.
"An Unfinished Man is a play about an artist's desperate attempt to hold onto his identity in the mist of being swallowed by the culture industry of Hollywood," said Ward.
The character-heavy story that interweaves "art, actors and dealing with celebrity culture," is being co-produced by Elias Jimenes, who will also be playing the role of The Man in the Hat.
Southern California actor Wil Bowers will play the lead roll of Alfonso Trevor, a man that symbolically projects Ward's own life course. Awarded the NAACP's award for Best Actor, Bowers is well accustomed to the stage.
Other members of the cast include Pepperdine-educated theatrical actress Dustin Quick in the role of Tiffany. Queens-raised actor and Academy Award nominated J. Eddie Martinez will make an appearance as the character Lukas.
Finishing up the list is U.C. Santa Barbara-educated Hershel Williams Jr., who has been casted for the role of Derrik.
Reaching out beyond his traditional bound of film and music media, Ward has taken his storytelling skills to the stage in an attempt to reach a new audience and extend his foray into the performing arts.
Future dates in other cities will be announced in the coming month.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD/TOLUCA LAKE PATCH
Editor Craig Clough
Theater Review: 'An Unfinished Man' at the NoHo Arts Center The new production offers much for Angeleno artists to ponder. By Craig Clough June 18, 2011 We have seen the tale of Alfonso before, both in real life and on the stage and screen. The rise and fall of a superstar is a theme that plays out before our eyes on an almost daily basis now. One moment Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and Anthony Weiner are on top of the world, so high up the mountain we can hardly see them, the next they are lying at our feet, torn apart by the world -- and themselves. An Unfinished Man, which made its world premiere at the NoHo Arts Center Friday and is playing for a limited engagement, explores not the reasons for this rise and fall, but what drives artists deep on the inside to want to take the ride. It also examines the difference between those who come to Hollywood to feast upon its artistic possibilities, the "endless canvass," and those no different from the ones who came here during the gold rush. What drives Alfonso (Will Bowers) is not fame or fortune, but the desire for artistic greatness and immortality. It's a desire he can't shake. The Man in the Hat (Elias Jimenes), dressed in a sleek, dark suit, hovers in the back of his unconscious, whispering in Alfonso's ear at his darkest hours. Every true artist has a Man in the Hat lurking in the corner, the play proposes, an almost external force compelling them to believe that "when you're going through hell ... keep going." One of the first things which is obvious in the opening scene is that there will be laughs to come. The play was advertised in particular with a slick, serious preview video backed up by a gloomy piano track, and gave no hint of comedy. But before a word has been uttered by a live actor onstage, laughs emanate from the audience after listening to several of Alfonso's messages on his answering machine. The stage is set quickly. His mother wants him to come home to Detroit, creditors are after him, his former fiance wants to know if she should give the ring back or "just give you some cash for it," and his manager wants him to consider a career in pornography. The play's best moments come in fast give-and-take arguments between Alfonso and Derrick and an unforgettable scene in the waiting room of an audition as Alfonso is befriended and accosted all at once by a crazed, manic actor (J. Eddie Martinez). Dustin Quick also makes a strong turn as Alfonso's girlfriend, Tiffany, who is hardened by Hollywood and unimpressed with his success. Given that the play is showing in NoHo, An Unfinished Man certainly has the feel of one preaching to the choir, or, in fact, preaching to other preachers. It's a Hollywood actor contemplating the life of a Hollywood actor to a Hollywood audience. But there was probably a lot about Alfonso's struggle that those in the audience Friday night could relate to, and some of the most meaningful sermons I have ever heard came when I was sitting in the choir box.
An Unfinished Man Friday and Saturdays @ 8 p.m., June 17-25 NoHo Arts Center 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (818) 508-7101