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Musical comedy ‘Found’ hits all the right ‘notes’
Broadway’s Moritz von Stuelpnagel helms
West Coast premiere for IAMA
LOS ANGELES (REVISED Feb. 18, 2020) — “Dear Mom summer camp isn’t fun anymore, everyone is dying.” “Dear Ron things haven’t been the same since we found out we were related.” “I, Becka McNeil state herein that upon my death Drew Kopel has all legal rights to my skull.” IAMA Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of Found, a new musical inspired by Davy Rothbart’s popular Found magazine, which features scores of actual discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by everyday people. Found boasts a book by Tony nominated Hunter Bell (Broadway’s [Title of Show]) and Lee Overtree, and music and original lyrics by Emmy-nominated composer Eli Bolin (Original Cast Album: Co-op). Tony-nominated director Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Broadway’s Hand to God, Present Laughter, Bernhardt/Hamlet; off-Broadway’s Teenage Dick) directs, alongside orchestrators/musical directors Frank Galgano and Matt Castle (Atlantic Theatre Company’s world premiere production of Found) and Emmy award-winning choreographer Kathryn Burns (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) for a Feb. 20 opening at The Los Angeles Theatre Center. Performances will continue through March 23.
Found isn’t just based on a true story — it’s based on hundreds of them! When lost and broke Davy, played by Jonah Platt (Fiyero in Wicked on Broadway, NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live with John Legend) happens to find a peculiar note meant for someone else on the windshield of his car, it sparks an outlandish idea to collect the hilarious and revealing notes and letters that surround us every day. Along with friends Denise (Jordan Kai Burnett, seen in the national tour of Seussical and a Scenie award-winner for the title role in Scissorhands at Rockwell Table & Stage) and Mikey D. (Mike Millan of Broadway’s Escape to Margaritaville, national tours of Sister Act and Piece of My Heart), he’s quickly swept up into a wild, comedic mission to share them with the world. Found is a raucous exploration of human connection and the beautiful weirdness in all of us.
Also in the cast are Sheila Carrasco (TV’s I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson; The Good Place; Jane the Virgin), Parvesh Cheena (Neil Simon’s Musical Fools at Open Fist; recurring role on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Desi Dennis-Dylan (NBC’s Perfect Harmony; Bridesmaids at Rockwell Table & Stage), Tom DeTrinis (Die, Mommie, Die at Celebration and Kirk Douglas Theatres), Zehra Fazal (How to Get Away with Murder, BoJack Horseman), Ryan Garcia (30 Minute Musicals; upcoming Darren Criss musical comedy Royalties on Quibi) and Karla Mosley (Maya Avant on The Bold and the Beautiful; Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday).
“The nature of these found notes captures people in the most intimate and ridiculous moments of their lives,” says von Stuelpnagel. “IAMA is the perfect company to further develop this wonderfully theatrical musical — a place where exuberant new work can happen that celebrates the messiness of being human.”
In his New York Times “Critic’s Pick” review of the Atlantic Theater Company’s 2014 world premiere production, Charles Isherwood called Found “Mad Lib lunacy… delightfully weird… [dispatches from the magazine] are cleverly, often hilariously, woven into the story as sardonic commentary on the proceedings… lively, likable and melodic.”
IAMA Theatre Company’s creative team includes scenic designer Sibyl Wickersheimer, projections designer Yee Eun Nam, lighting designer Joey Guthman, sound designer Cricket S. Myers, costume designer Tilly Grimes and prop master Michael O’Hara. Lexi Sloan produces and Celestial Zenith associate produces for IAMA Theatre Company. Found is presented by special arrangement with Victoria Lang, Benjamin Salka and Eva Price.
Designated by Playbill as “one of 20 regional houses every theater lover must know,” IAMA Theatre Company is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to invigorating live performance for a streaming generation. Through cutting-edge, cool and hyper-modern stories, IAMA is invested in the immediacy of production and strives to bring audiences out of their personal space and into a shared experience. Since its founding in 2007, the Ovation Award winning company has seen many plays generated at IAMA travel to off-Broadway, Second Stage and the Roundabout Underground, then go on to be performed regionally and internationally. IAMA members have been featured in numerous critically acclaimed TV shows and films as well as in a vast array of theater and live performances all over the country; last fall, IAMA co-artistic director Katie Lowes and her husband, founding IAMA company member Adam Shapiro, made their Broadway debuts in Waitress. In 2017, TV producer and creator Shonda Rhimes announced that she would become IAMA’s first-ever “Patron of the Arts” with a generous endowment from the Rhimes Family Foundation. In September, IAMA co-hosted the fifth annual Stage Raw Awards ceremony.
IAMA kicked off its 2019-20 season with the West Coast premiere of A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse. The season will conclude in Spring 2020 with the world premiere of The Untitled Baby Play by Nina Braddock, running May 14 through June 15 at Atwater Village Theatre.
Found opens on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter taking place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 4 p.m.; and Mondays at 8 p.m. through March 23. Three preview performances take place Friday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.; and Monday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. All performances are $35, except previews which are $20. The Los Angeles Theatre Center is located at 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Parking is available for $5 with box office validation at Joe’s Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater). For more information and to purchase tickets, call 323-380-8843 or go to www.iamatheatre.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
West Coast premiere of Found — Found isn’t just based on a true story, it’s based on hundreds of them! When the lost and broke Davy happens to find a peculiar note meant for someone else on the windshield of his car, it sparks an outlandish idea to collect the hilarious and revealing notes and letters that surround us every day. Along with friends, Denise and Mikey D, they’re quickly swept up into a wild, comedic mission to share them with the world. Inspired by Davy Rothbart’s popular Found magazine, featuring scores of actual discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by everyday people, this original musical comedy is a raucous exploration of human connection and the beautiful weirdness in all of us.
“CRITIC’S PICK… Mad Lib lunacy… delightfully weird… [dispatches from the magazine] are cleverly, often hilariously, woven into the story as sardonic commentary on the proceedings… lively, likable and melodic.” — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
• Book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree
• Music and Original Lyrics by Eli Bolin
• Based on the Found books and magazines by Davy Rothbart
• Additional material created in collaboration with Story Pirates
• Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
• Music supervision, direction, arrangements and orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle
• Choreography by Kathryn Burns
• Starring Jordan Kai Burnett, Sheila Carrasco, Parvesh Cheena, Desi Dennis-Dylan, Tom DeTrinis, Zehra Fazal, Ryan Garcia, Mike Millan, Karla Mosley, Jonah Platt
• Presented by IAMA Theatre Company by special arrangement with Victoria Lang, Benjamin Salka and Eva Price
Previews: Feb. 14, Feb. 16, Feb. 17
Performances: Feb. 20 – March 23
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 20 (opening night) ONLY
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 14 (preview), Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 6, March 13, March 20
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 22, Feb. 29, March 7, March 14, March 21
• Sundays at 4 p.m.: Feb. 16 (preview), Feb. 23, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22
• Mondays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 17 (preview), Feb. 24, March 2, March 9, March 16, March 23
The Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles CA 90013
• 323-380-8843 or www.iamatheatre.com.
• Visit IAMA Theatre Company on facebook: facebook.com/iamatheatre/
• Follow IAMA on twitter and instagram: @iamatheatre
All performances: $35
• $5 with box office validation, Joe’s Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater)
• Metered parking available on streets surrounding the theater.
• Take the Metro: nearest stop is Pershing Square (two blocks west of The LATC).