This page gives a brief history of POP productions. Click the picture to go to the main webpage for each past production. There you will find full cast lists, bios, synopsis, reviews, pictures, and video. (Productions through Tosca are Flash-based.) Find pictures or video only in the Gallery and Video tabs above.
TROUBLE IN TAHITI
POP opens with this little known Bernstein gem. 5 cast members and a piano. 4 sold-out shows in Santa Monica and Studio City.
POP's first show with orchestra. Two casts sang five performances total at The Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica.
TROUBLE IN TAHITI
So much fun we had to do it again! The original cast returned for 4 performances at The Miles Memorial Playhouse.
COSI FAN TUTTE
POP was gone with the wind in this antibellum take on Cosi. Two casts opened the brand new Porticoes Art Space for 4 packed (and unairconditioned) performances. POP's first take on setting opera to classic film and television, a convention which has served us well since.
In a move of genious stupidity POP, barely a year old, decided to produce one of the most complicated shows in all of music theater history. An unqualified success with two casts, a large chorus, orchestra and 7 sold-out performances, Sweeney proved to be a risk well worth taking. The production opened at Poritcoes and moved to The Miles.
AKA "THE HIPSTERS"
Likely the most important production in POP history, La boheme was almost an after-thought during Sweeney. The production was a rehearsed for 4 days and opened the week after Sweeney with three sold out shows. Boheme gave us our brand (and mascot) and was the first show with table seating.
BARBER OF SEVILLE
A perfect follow up for Boheme, Barber was back at the Ebell Club of Highland Park for 5 sold-out performances. Once again set in current day LA, this production expanded on the "POP-Up" model with more tables and a small chorus (that tripled in size for one scene when each guy was equipped with a dummy on each side). Barber also had our first "official" children's performance with 250 school kids cramming into the Club for a matinee.
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO
POP concluded the DaPonte Trilogy and continued the Figaro story with this Scarface inspired production. Two casts, a large chorus, and small orchestra opened in Pasadena and moved to The Miles in Santa Monica.
The Mikado was an enormous hit with POP audiences selling out 9 performances between Pasadena and Santa Monica. Two casts, and amazing chorus, and an expanded orchestra wowed audiences in crazy harajuku inspired costumes designed by Maggie Green. The updates lyrics in several songs continued POP's idea on not taking ourselves too seriously. This is one production that will definitely be back before too long!
THE TURN OF THE SCREW
TTOTS was another risk that paid off for POP. The most expensive production to date, Screw proved that POP could do more than comedy. An all-star cast and an expanded orchestra scared audiences right up close at the for 5 performances at the Rosenthal Theatre at Inner-city Arts. This production was the first to attract the LA Times and was part of LA Opera's Britten 100 Celebration.
Everybody loves Carmen and it showed in this production. We pushed the limits of "POP-Up" productions in this show with an enormous cast and chorus. The stage was built out on all sides at the Ebell Club and surrounded the audiences for five sold-out nights. Carmen was a party for sure!
No one was more surprised than us when an opera from 1653 became POP's biggest success to date. 6 performances sold-out with standing room only and added tables. A small period orchestral ensemble was added to the POP-Up format and worked nicely at the Ebell Club. A Los Angeles premiere, this bawdy show was a riot and captured the original Carnival atmosphere. The show included running water, special effects, a merry go round, slides, a see-saw, and many, many furry satyr penises. People liked it...
TOSCA: A moving production
POP took over the entire campus of St. James Methodist for a month recreating the original locations of the story. A 22 piece orchestra, cast of 50, and the entire 200 person audience moved each act starting in the sanctuary of St. James, moving to Porticoes Theater, and finishing outside in the courtyard where the audience watched the action up on the roof. Tosca actually jumped off! All 6 shows sold-out and many were turned away. Tosca was a new level of production value for POP.
AKA "THE HIPSTERS" REVIVAL
This revival was nearly sold-out a month ahead of time. The hipsters returned to the Ebell Club for five performances and joined the OC Symphony for one night with orchestra. In the two years since Boheme originally played, we went from 20 tables per night to 43 and could have sold many more. There is something magical about this show and production. We just wonder how long we have to wait until we can do it again.
ABDUCTION FROM THE
SERAGLIO: POP went to a whole new level with this Sci-fi hit. The production sold out a week before opening at the beautiful 360 seat El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood. A full orchestra and cast of over 40 launched this production that is now traveling all over the country.
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS
VIVA LA MAMA!
THE MERRY WIDDER
THE IMPRESARIO AND
PRIMA LA MUSICA,
E POI LE PAROLE
ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO AT THE FORD
THE RAKE'S PROGRESS
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
THE MEDIUM AND
THE MONKEY'S PAW
AKA THE HIPSTERS
DON GIOVANNI 2018