'Momentum Place': An Uncommon Afternoon of Dance and Performance Delights, Especially for Mothers at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

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The 12th annual Momentum Place brings modern dance, aerial acts, juggling and performance art together for one spectacular afternoon at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum's rustic outdoor amphitheater on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 9 at 2 pm.

MOMentum Place: Eric Newton of “Eye of Newt Circus” Photo credit: Katie Dalsemer/Topanga Messenger

Bring your mother to honor the MOMentum in her life - always on the go for others.

The 12th annual Momentum Place brings modern dance, aerial acts, juggling and performance art together for one spectacular afternoon at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum's rustic outdoor amphitheater on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 9 at 2 pm.

Bring your mother to honor the MOMentum in her life - always on the go for others. Now, she can sit back, relax and enjoy amazing performances that are kid friendly and full of surprises. Performers include members of the Art Nouveau Dancers, Dream World Cirque, and Eye of Newt Circus. Presented and curated by Lexi Pearl, this year's Momentum Place will be especially for mothers. Come early to browse the rummage sale happening on the grounds of the theater.

"Theatricum created momentum in my life, and this event has grown from my experiences there," says Pearl. "It's such a great venue for the artists - to be able to perform outdoors, surrounded by nature. I am really grateful for Theatricum and for all these wonderful, talented people. Momentum Place is where I can share them with everyone!"

Lexi Pearl started dancing on the railroad tie seats at Theatricum when she was a little girl. She went on to earn her degree in dance from UC Santa Barbara and has had a whirlwind career as a dancer, aerialist and actor, performing around the world with Eye of Newt Circus, Diavolo Dance Theatre and many others. Pearl continues to perform and choreograph with Theatricum's company.

The beginnings of the Theatricum Botanicum can be traced to the early 1950s when Will Geer, a victim of the McCarthy era blacklist (before he became known as the beloved Grandpa on TV's "The Waltons") opened a theater for blacklisted actors and folk singers on his property in Topanga. Today the theater is run by his family. The two stages are situated in a natural canyon ravine, where audiences are able to relax and enjoy the wilderness during an afternoon or evening's performance. The critically acclaimed company is a recipient of the Margaret Harford Award - the Los Angeles Critics Circle's highest honor - for "sustained excellence." Artistic Director Ellen Geer was selected for the LA Weekly 1999 Career Achievement Award, and she was honored in March, 2010 as Los Angeles County's "Woman of the Year" in the 3rd District for her work to bring about social and economic change.

Well known for its lovingly executed productions of Shakespeare, modern classics, and world premiere adaptations of classic plays and novels in a spectacular, outdoor setting, Theatricum's 2010 Summer Repertory Season of four plays (June 5-October 3) will include Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, a world premiere adaptation of Alexander Dumas' epic, swashbuckling The Three Musketeers, and Terrence NcNally's Tony Award-winning Master Class. Unlike most theaters in the Los Angeles area that stage continuous runs of a single play, the Theatricum, using a company of actors, performs each play on a rotating basis so that it's possible to see all four plays in a single summer weekend. In addition, Theatricum offers a variety of satellite programming including a Thursday Night Salon Series featuring comedy improv, cabaret and poetry; a Summer Music Series that will include tributes to longtime Theatricum friend Woody Guthrie and to Dolly Parton; Family Fundays interactive plays and concerts for kids on Saturday and Sunday mornings; Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights featuring free readings of new plays on select Sundays; and theme dinners in the idyllic Theatricum gardens, including Greek "Dream Dinners" on Thursday evenings in August and French "Musketeer Meals" on Fridays in September.

Momentum Place takes place on Sunday, May 9 at 2 pm. Tickets are $20/general admission; $15/students and seniors; and $10/children 12 and under. The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The amphitheaters are terraced into the hillside, so audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Picnickers are welcome on the grounds before or after the performances. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 310.455.2322 or go to http://www.theatricum.com.
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Lucy Pollak

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