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The Pasadena Playhouse

Jul 18th, 2008 | By | Category: This and That

My boyfriend and I happened to walk past the Pasadena Playhouse this past weekend, and I just had to walk inside to stalk it. :) The Pasadena Playhouse, although not a filming location, is one of the oldest and most distinguished community theatres in the US. The Playhouse has hosted hundreds of notable actors on its stages throughout the years and the talent of countless Hollywood stars of yesterday and today was cultivated at its distinguished theatre school.

The Playhouse was started in 1917 by an actor/director named Gilmore Brown in a burlesque house in Pasadena. In 1925 it moved to it’s current location, a Spanish adobe style building in what is now called the Playhouse District of Pasadena. A theatre school was also established on the property during the ’20s. It was at this point that the Playhouse became recognized in Hollywood as the go-to place to find talent. George Bernard Shaw even called the Playhouse “the Athens of the West”.

The Playhouse’s theatre school eventually became known in Hollywood as the “Star Factory” due to the many famous actors and actresses that studied there. Famous alumni include Gene Hackman, George Reeves (TV’s Superman), Eve Arden, Sally Struthers, Dustin Hoffman, Raymond Burr, Frances Farmer, Tyrone Power, Charles Bronson, William Holden, and Gloria Stuart, just to name a few. And writer Tennesse Williams premiered all of his plays at the Playhouse. Besides its famous students, countless big names have also performed on the Playhouse’s stage over the years, including William H. Macy, Scott Bakula, and Marilu Henner. Hopefully one day I, too, will be gracing the hallowed stages of this famed theatre.

The Playhouse is one of the best places in Los Angeles to see live theatre. Valerie Harper is currently starring in the world premiere of the play Looped, which was written by celebrated playwright Matthew Lombardo. Looped is based on the life of actress Tallulah Bankhead, who has been dubbed “Hollywood’s first bad girl”. Looped also stars former teenage heartthrob Chad Allen – remember him from My Two Dads???? – who looks completely different today!

Until next time, Happy Stalking! :)

Stalk It: The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, just off Colorado Boulevard. Looped, starring Valerie Harper and Chad Allen, is currently playing through the 3rd of August. After seeing a show, you can grab a bite to eat and a drink at Bazaar Restaurant, located on the Playhouse property.

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