Rubicon Theater Company Announces Plans for The Amanda McBroom and George Ball Rose Room – Broadway World | Candle Made Easy

At a meeting of local dignitaries last week, RUBICON THEATER, Ventura’s nonprofit professional theater company, shared progress and plans for a new community space at the theater. The new nightspot, which will be located at the company’s 1006 East Main Street location, is called THE ROSE ROOM (Downstairs at the Rubicon) and is named in honor of Amanda McBroom and George Ball, acclaimed artists who were an integral part of Rubicon’s story and who are internationally known for their work as actors, musicians, writers and directors. (The title Rose Room also refers to McBroom’s #1 hit “The Rose,” for which McBroom won a Golden Globe Award for Best Song, Motion Picture for the Bette Midler film of the same name.)

At a reception last week in the partially completed space, Rubicon Outreach director Beverly Ward and company co-founder James O’Neil also unveiled a large canvas outlining a colossal 32-foot-wide mural by acclaimed international painter MICHAEL O’KELLY . The work, which will be fully completed later this year, will feature more than two dozen virtuoso musicians who have shared their vocal abilities with Rubicon audiences, including McBroom and Ball’s Carl Anderson, Joel Grey, LIZA MINELLI and Ted Neeley , Lauren Patten, Andrew Samonsky, Noel Paul Stookey, Billy Stritch and Lillias White to name a few.

Ward said: “With the completion of the Rose Room and mural later this year, Rubicon will advance towards its goal of becoming a local arts hub and an international destination theater where visual arts, music and food complement the company’s professional theatrical productions on the main stage to create special experiences.”

“We are so grateful to Amanda and George for allowing us to name this new venue after them,” said James O’Neil, founding director of Rubicon. “Rubicon started out as an acting and directing company and over the years Karyl Lynn has been [Burns] and I was inspired to select shows to share their exceptional world-class skills and versatility. They are soulful, deep sources of talent and heart, and we are honored that their names will forever be associated with the company.”

McBroom has wowed Rubicon audiences in a variety of productions including A Delicate Balance, her own Lady Macbeth Sings the Blues, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Other Desert Cities (Indy Award), Women Beyond Borders and Little Miss Scrooge. Ball’s leading credits include the title role in King Lear and Joe Keller in All My Sons (which won the Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play, Major Theater) and wide-ranging roles in Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Man”. from La Mancha and fools. McBroom and Ball have appeared together in theater in Love Letters and Jacques Brel and have created or appeared in numerous cabaret or special music events at the Rubicon. McBroom has been an integral part of the Music for Changing Times Festival, produced at Music2Life’s theatre, teaching singer/songwriter master classes and judging competitions. Ball directed the 20th Anniversary Production of Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin for Rubicon.

Outside of Rubicon, the pair have performed together on Off-Broadway and on Jacques Brel’s national and international tours… and starred in critically acclaimed productions of A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd. They have performed individually as actors at prestigious venues including the Mark Taper Forum, Pasadena Playhouse, The Old Globe, Goodspeed, The Mechanic in Boston, the Apollo in Chicago, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and others.

McBroom and Ball are widely known for their concert performances and recordings, and McBroom for their songwriting. McBroom received a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Johnny Mercer Award for Songwriter of the Year at the MAC 30th Anniversary Awards and has been called “…the greatest comedian of her generation, an urban poet who writes like an angel and has a voice”. to match” by The New York Times, and Broadway World describes her as “…one of the greatest nightclub performers of all time. Her lyrics are profound and express human emotions in beautiful poetry. Her humor is so clever and she sings and acts it all brilliantly.”

McBroom’s songs have been recorded by a wide variety of artists including Amy Poehler and Jack Black, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, LeAnn Rimes, Anne Murray, Harry Belafonte, Betty Buckley, THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER, KURT COBAIN, CONWAY TWITTY, the CHIPMUNKS and the Baby Dinosaurs in Land Before Time (she wrote all of the songs for 19 Universal cartoon videos with collaborator Michele Bourman).

For her own recitals, McBroom has graced venues from New York City (Carnegie Hall) to Sydney Australia (Angel Place Recital Hall).

In a statement released today, McBroom and Ball wrote: “Last night’s premiere of the Rose Room at the Rubicon Theater and the unveiling of this magnificent mural by Michael O’Kelly was an amazing moment for both of us to appreciate the beauty of the mural and the reality of one so magnificent and intimate new space for art and music. We both love the Rubicon and our friends Karyl Lynn Burns, Jim O’Neil, and Bev and Kirby Ward. So much great theater and music has appeared on this stage, it is our theatrical home and heartbeat.

Muralist Michael O’Kelly has a long and colorful history in the art world. A child prodigy, Michael sold his first artwork at the age of nine. At 13 he studied with the notorious British forger THOMAS KEATING. Michael has exhibited in nearly fifty art galleries and museums on three continents, including the Commonwealth Institute, the Centro Iberoamericano in Madrid and the Santa Barbara Museum. Michael spent a decade in Latin America mentored by Maestro RUFINO TAMAYO. He co-produced the Tamayo 500th anniversary retrospectives at the Hermitage (St. Petersburg), the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo. Michael’s personal collection of historic Mexican dance masks, artwork, paintings, drawings and photographs have toured over forty museums and art galleries in the UK, Europe and the US. Michael has curated significant collections of ethnographic art for the Museum of Mankind (British Museum), the Binche Museum in Belgium and the Brighton Museum in England. In addition to creating and curating, O’Kelly has illustrated several historical reference works. His exquisite handcrafted ceramic murals adorn the walls of Disneyland/World and many public buildings in Vegas, Nevada and California. The 32-foot mural in The Rose Room is the largest oil painting he has ever created.

Ward expressed the company’s deep gratitude to McBroom and Ball for a legacy gift that will allow the Rubicon Theater Company to complete the transformation of the space. “Thanks to the generosity of Amanda and George, when the Rose Room opens later this year, the space will serve as a space for cabaret series and many other genres of music between mainstage shows and late nights on weekends. It will also be a place for audiences to gather after a mainstage show to eat and drink and enjoy the mural.”

The Rose Room marks the second recent announcement of ways the company is seeking to expand its artistic reach. The company recently opened its art gallery at SANDRA AND JORDAN LABY Hall, and Ward said Rubicon’s leadership is exploring other options to expand the organization’s reach and impact.

On select days, parishioners have the opportunity to tour the Rose Room (below in the Rubicon) and watch Kelly as he continues to paint the mural. Visitors to the theater can also see a recent solo show by Kelly in the downstairs concourse during guest services hours Tuesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 6 p.m. Spectators can visit the exhibition before the show or during the intermission during the performances. For more information or a full schedule of Rubicon events, call (805) 667-2900. For information on naming opportunities or legacy gifts, contact Beverly Ward, Director of Outreach at (805) 667-2912 ext. 280

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