LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS: The Perfect Dog, The Musical

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13 January, 2020 By Laguna Beach Vibe

Laguna Beach, CA…Laguna Playhouse is pleased to present THE PERFECT DOG, THE MUSICAL with music and lyrics by David Abbinanti, book by Jill Abbinanti, and inspired by the book “The Perfect Dog” by John O’Hurley.  Sam, a twelve-year old perfectionist, is searching for a flawless dog to enter in the town’s dog contest. Unable to find a canine that measures up, Sam must resort to training the family dog, Max, who is less than eager to obey commands. THE PERFECT DOG, THE MUSICAL will perform beginning Friday, January 17 through 19, 2020 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach.
 
With all the wonderful kinds of dogs in the world, is there really just one kind that is better than all the rest? John O’Hurley’s delightfully charming and Seuss-like book answers that question with a surprisingly perfect answer. David Abbinanti (Broadway's Saturday Night Fever & Ring of Fire) & Jill Abbinanti (TV's LAW & ORDER: SVU and PAN-AM) have transformed this delightful story into a Theatre for Young Audiences musical about perfectionism, friendship and the acceptance of others. This heartwarming musical about man’s best friend and their people is sure to be treasured by dog lovers and non-dog lovers alike.
 
Produced by special arrangement with THEATRICAL RIGHTS WORLDWIDE.

THE PERFECT DOG, THE MUSICAL marks Playhouse Director of Education and Outreach’s Laguna Playhouse’s directorial debut.  Says Ms. Russell, “We’re very excited to be presenting this wonderfully touching story about the relationships between dogs and their people. Laguna Playhouse is a dog-friendly environment, and we are well aware of how many perfect dogs there are!”
 
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

DIANE KING VANN (Musical Director/Conductor/Keyboards) has been working with the Youth Productions at Laguna Playhouse since 1992! She is happy to continue the process with this production of The Perfect Dog. Ms. Vann has Musical Directed/conducted orchestras for 3-D Theatricals, Musical Theatre West, South Coast Repertory, The Broadway Touring Company and many, many other companies. She is also a published composer, author of children’s books, singer, arranger and Equity actor. You can find out more about her at www.dianekingvann.com or Facebook page as Diane King Vann Author. Enjoy the doggies!
 
ELLEN PRINCE (Choreographer) has been involved in the theatre and dance world in many capacities. Ellen danced professionally and choreographed both professionally, in the US, in Europe, and in academia. Ellen earned her degree from UC Irvine with a major in dance and a minor in theatre. She has taught at both the high school level, and college level. She has choreographed in academia and professionally for over thirty years and has been the recipient of choreography awards for the musicals Nine, Singin’ in the Rain, The Wiz, and the critically acclaimed Pacific Overtures. Ellen has spent most of her choreographic career in Southern California. Her TV choreography credits include “The Great Pretenders” for Fox Network. Some of her credits include original shows at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles, The Avery Schreiber Theatre and the NoHo Actors Studio, and Laguna Playhouse. Ellen has choreographed for many Civic Light Opera Companies. She has served as the resident choreographer for South Coast Musical Theater and for Irvine Civic Light Opera at the Irvine Barclay Theater. Ellen has also taken original shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ellen is thrilled to be back at Laguna Playhouse and has enjoyed working with the very talented production staff and cast members.

DYLAN RUSSELL (Director) is the Director of Youth Theatre, Education and Outreach for Laguna Playhouse. She has directed productions for the American Conservatory Theatre MFA Conservatory Program (ACT), TheatreFirst, California Conservatory Theatre, Alchemy Works, New Conservatory Theatre Educational Programs, Cassandra’s Call, and Actors Lab Arizona. Her play Evanescence was workshopped at the Southampton Theatre Festival. Favorite productions include – Future Me (TheatreFIRST), Cassandra (ACT), Persistent Vegetative State (Dog² Productions), Speed-the-Play (BRT), as well as adapting & directing two of Roald Dahl’s works, A Lashing of Malice…(Alchemy Works at JMCA) and the North American Premiere of Dahl’s hit children’s book, Matilda (NCTC). She served as Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, where she created the Drama program and directed/produced over 45 productions – two of which were performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland. She has taught at California Shakespeare Theatre, Northwestern University’s National High School Institute, Marin Theatre Company and New Conservatory Theatre Center. Currently, she is Artistic Director & Co-Founder of Dog² Productions.
 
DAVID ABBINANTI (Music & Lyrics) is a national award-winning composer, songwriter and orchestrator. His orchestration credits include Saturday Night Fever The Musical & Ghost The Musical - Both Stock/Amateur Edition, Molly Shannon’s Tilly The Trickster, as well as additional arrangements and orchestrations for Ring Of Fire - The Music Of Johnny Cash; Small Cast Edition. As a composer, David’s credits are The Perfect Dog (Music & Lyrics) inspired by the book, “The Perfect Dog” by John O’Hurley (“Seinfeld,” “Family Feud”), Rapunzel(Music), The Prince And The Pauper (Music) and Jesus 101 (Music) as well as the dramatic song cycle Leaves On Grass (setting of the Walt Whitman poems). In addition to his work in musical theatre, David recently was honored with the Songwriters Guild of America’s National Award for Best Pop Song for “Back to Las Vegas”–part of his debut CD, “Local Train To Babylon.” David has worked as a music engraver and editor for most of the major publishers in New York City including G. Schirmer, Peer Music and Boosey & Hawkes. He is also on the faculty at Nassau Community College where he teaches music theory, piano and the history of rock and roll.
 
JILL ABBINANTI (Libretto) is a professional writer for both television and theatre. She is currently a Writer/Producer for “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC). She has also written for “PAN-AM” (ABC), “CSI: NY” (CBS), and “Waterfront” (CBS.) Her theatre credits include Rapunzel (Book and Lyrics) and The Perfect Dog (Book).
 
JOHN O’HURLEY (Author of “The Perfect Dog”) was most recently seen as “Captain Hook” in Peter Pan And Tinker Bell: A Pirates’ Christmas at the Playhouse. This award-winning actor has catapulted into one of television’s busiest and most versatile actor/show host, Broadway star, advertising hero as well as being a New York Times best-selling author and Billboard chart-topping composer. O’Hurley is best known as J. Peterman on “Seinfeld” which is now the #1 syndicated show in the world and can be seen in 85 countries. O’Hurley won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his work on “Seinfeld.” It was O’Hurley’s unique portrayal of the wry and witty J. Peterman that led to dozens of advertising campaigns for companies earning him multiple advertising and marketing industry awards. He captured America’s heart with his turn on Season 1 of “Dancing With The Stars,” where he officially won the ABC series with the highly contested “Dance Off” and was named one of People Magazine’s, “Sexiest Men Alive.”  O’Hurley is now the regular host of NBC Sports highest rated yearly show, “The National Dog Show - presented by Purina,” playing to 32 million viewers in 2019. He was also host of the long-time popular game shows “Family Feud” and “To Tell The Truth”. One of the most recognizable voices in entertainment, he is the voice of many animated characters like King Neptune on “SpongeBob SquarePants” and the Mayor on Disney’s hit “Phineas and Ferb.” On Broadway, he is best known for his many performances as King Arthur on Monty Python’s Spamalot and his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Chicago. As a composer/pianist, both of his albums “Secrets From The Lake” and “Peace Of Our Minds” have reached the Billboard charts. His unusual versatility as both entertainer and businessman continues to be the focus of many features in magazines like Business Week and Time Magazine. In addition, life imitates art for him as O’Hurley is now the business partner of the J. Peterman Company, along with the real J. Peterman. In 2012, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition for his accomplishments in the Arts and Philanthropy. He lives in Beverly Hills with his wife Lisa and their son, William.

The creative team for THE PERFECT DOG, THE MUSICAL includes Stephanie Busing (Scenic and Projection Designer), Rebecca Clayton (Costume Designer), Tessa Ann Bookwalter (Lighting Designer), and Kate Wecker (Sound Designer) and Katie Basu (Stage Manager).
 
ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING
THE PERFECT DOG, THE MUSICAL will perform Friday, January 17 through Sunday, January 19, 2020 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach.  
Performances will be Friday at 7:00pm and Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm and 5:00pm.
Tickets range from $28 for adults and $18 for youth under 15 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.  Prices subject to change.          
The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays: 11a.m. to 5p.m.; Sundays: 11a.m. – 4p.m. (open until showtime on all performance days).


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