An exciting evening of whimsical and outlandish short plays and musical talent delighted the audience at Broad Stage Theater in Santa Monica last night. Celebrity performers, such as Alanis Morissette (musician, Weeds), Gavin Rossdale (band Bush, Bling Ring), Kelly Osbourne (E! Fashion Police), Wilmer Valderrama (That 70’s Show), Jamie Chung (Sin City), Bryan Greenberg (Lance Armstrong Biopic, How to Make it in America), Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch), Jason Ritter (Parenthood) gave their time to entertain us with a one of a kind experience. Six short plays were written, rehearsed, directed, and performed in a 24-hour period.
Montblanc and Urban Arts Partnership presented the 4th annual production of 24 Hour Plays in Los Angeles. Proceeds benefitted Urban Arts Partnership, which works hard to keep the arts alive in public schools in LA. Fellow Los Angeles students came and shared how having arts education benefitted them, especially building their confidence. The goal of this non-profit is to advance the intellectual, social, and artistic development of undeserved public school students through arts-integrated programs to close the achievement gap. We all know how badly these types of programs are needed in LA, especially when they are the first to go.
The production cast also included other notables, like Michelle Trachtenberg (Killing Kennedy), Michael Ealy (Almost Human), Seth Green (Robot Chicken), Rosie Perez (Artistic Board Chair, The Counselor), Ashley Madekwe (Revenge), Tracie Thoms (Annie), Adam Pally (Happy Endings), Alicia Witt (Justified), Andra Day (The Gap summerloves cover girl as Warner Bros artist), Ashley Fink (Glee), Constance Zimmer (House of Cards), Danny Pudi (Community), John Cho (Star Trek), Ramon Rodriguez (Need forSpeed) and Retta (Parks and Recreation).
The creative process of The 24 Hour Plays in Los Angeles began at 10 PM on Thursday, June 19 when six writers, six directors, twenty-four actors, and a dedicated production team met at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. After the community of artists shared a costume, a prop, and a special skills set, each writer composed a ten-minute play by 7 AM the following morning. By 9 AM directors selected their script and their cast rehearsed over the course of the day. At 8 PM, ink barely dry, the six new plays were performed before a live audience.
The plays included some dark and truly bizarre themes with plays called Ritual Sacrifice, Dead to Me, The Nigh-Illest, Apocalypse, Had To Be and Quite Recently. Rosie Perez had us hooting and hollering as she played an alchemist attempting to bring someone back from the dead who had been killed by their husband. The pillow suffocating killer husband wanted forgiveness, as their new hot girlfriend sat nearby at the savant’s crystal ball table. One play had the human race annihilated with only a few humans left, and shocked us with what could possibly happen with two men and a woman. It was funny how they infused Trader Joes (obviously the food sponsor), Montblanc pens, and the actor’s past movies or TV shows throughout the mini plays.
Following the plays, the hard working crew of performers let loose with an after-party at The Shore Hotel. Key actors that had bonded through the 24 Hour Plays process were seen taking selfies with one-another, like Glee’s Ashley Fink with Alanis Morissette. We had 90’s high school flashbacks of MTV Unplugged meeting talented and fabulous looking Alanis Morisette, and rode the elevator home with the super cordial musician Andra Day. Actors and party goers socialized around the ever-changing color pool into the late evening hours. It made us happy to see so many successful performers giving their time and sharing their talents for arts education.