World Premiere of Velina Houston’s ‘Cinnamon Girl’

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cinnamon girl sceneWEST HOLLYWOOD — Playwrights’ Arena, in association with Greenway Arts Alliance, presents the world premiere of “Cinnamon Girl” at Greenway Court Theater, 544 N. Fairfax Ave. in West Hollywood (one block south of Melrose at Clinton).

Book and lyrics by Velina Hasu Houston; lyrics by Nathan Wang; musical direction by Marc Macalintal; choreography by Giovanni Ortega; directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera.

A mother’s mysterious death and a cinnamon plantation owner’s violent abuse of power causes a young cinnamon peeler to flee the plantation and begin an odyssey on which she discovers life — and herself. A stirring musical set in 1937 Ceylon.

Starring: Byron Arreola, Jaime Barcelon, Kerry K. Carnahan, Michael Hagiwara, Ren Hanami, Jennifer Hubilla, Dom Magwili, Peter Mitchell, Leslie Stevens, Anne Yatco.

Preview on Friday, March 14, at 8 p.m. ($10).

Opening night and post-show artists’ reception on  Saturday, March 15, at 8 p.m. ($40).

Regular performances: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. ($25 general, $15 for students and seniors). Closing: Sunday, April 6.

Free secured parking — enter on Fairfax at Clinton.

For reservations, go to www.greenwayarts.org.

Internationally acclaimed playwright Velina Hasu Houston has written over 30 plays, including 17 commissions, in a career that began Off-Broadway with her play “Tea” at Manhattan Theatre Club and “American Dreams” at Negro Ensemble Company. Her plays have been produced at important theatres globally, including the Old Globe Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Smithsonian Institution, Whole Theatre (Olympia Dukakis, producer), NHK (Japan nationwide), Pasadena Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, A Contemporary Theatre,  and Playwrights’ Arena.

Houston also writes opera, musical theatre, television, and film and is a published poet and essayist. She has completed a novel, “Tea,” based upon her play. She is a 2013 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards nominee for best book for the book to her musical “Tea, With Music,” produced by East West Players. She also is the 2013-2014 recipient of an Aurora Foundation grant to develop a new play and screenplay about the life of Sadako Sasaki.

On the Web: www.velinahasuhouston.com

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