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Ella Fitzgerald

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By Tom Titus | February 13, 2009
She spent her early years in New York’s Colored Orphan Asylum, worked as a lookout in a bordello and helped a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. And became one of the greatest jazz singers the world has known. That was Ella Fitzgerald, and her story will be told in detail starting next week when the Laguna Playhouse mounts the Orange County premiere of “Ella.” With Tina Fabrique in the title role, “Ella” will offer some of Fitzgerald’s classic tunes — including “A Tisket, A Tasket,” “How High the Moon,” “That Old Black Magic” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.” “‘Ella’ is a dream come true for me,” said director Rob Ruggiero, who conceived the show along with Dyke Garrison.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | December 18, 2009
Looking back over the past year of productions at the Laguna Playhouse, as this column is wont to do each December, the task of choosing one particular favorite among the six or seven candidates usually proves quite difficult. Not this year. The playhouse’s rendition of “Moonlight and Magnolias” clearly outshone an impressive field. Or, as this column put it, “the Laguna Playhouse is presenting an absolutely hilarious account of the rewriting period involving producer David O. Selznick, screenwriter Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming — the latter two summoned three weeks into the original production.
NEWS
February 6, 2004
Lyricist and composer Bill Carey died Jan. 27. He was 87. The longtime Laguna Beach resident wrote songs for Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn. More recent artists to record his music are Joni Mitchell, George Michael and Eva Cassity. Born in Holister, Calif. in 1916, Mr. Carey began singing various San Francisco nightclubs before even graduating from high school. He began singing with Ted Fio Rito's Orchestra in 1933 and sang with Muzzy Marcelino and Betty Grable.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 19, 2009
Kristin Korb Trio to play at Rose Garden Laguna Beach Live! will feature the Kristin Korb Trio from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Hotel Laguna?s outdoor Rose Garden as part of their Jazz Wednesday series. Korb, an upright bass player and vocalist whose voice has been compared to jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald, will perform with keyboardist Lew Matthews and drummer Steve Barnes. The Montana native moved to Southern California in the early ?90s, where she quickly attained popularity among fellow jazz musicians, including Ray Brown, who brought her to the attention of Telarc Jazz.
NEWS
By Bryce Alderton | February 28, 2013
Laguna Beach resident Karen Kramer Maroney, one-time owner of the city's Oak Street Antiques, passed away at Mission Hospital Mission Viejo on Feb. 14. She was 73. Maroney was owner and proprietor of Oak Street Antiques at Oak Street and Coast Highway from 1994 to 2006. The store carried California pottery, antique jewelry, architectural antiques, vintage books and vintage furniture. She provided free advice to customers who wanted to know more about their pottery, her husband Welton Becket wrote in an email.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | September 16, 2010
Of all the since-departed celebrities who've shown up to entertain at the Laguna Playhouse recently (George Gershwin, Ella Fitzgerald), none shines brighter than the queen of Broadway herself, Miss Ethel Merman. "Ethel Merman's Broadway," a one-woman show with orchestral backing now in residence through Sunday, features not only the rafter-rattling vocal tones of the legendary singer, but the unmistakable physical appearance. Audiences will swear that Ethel herself has risen from the grave she's occupied these past 16 years.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | December 18, 2009
Looking back over the past year of productions at the Laguna Playhouse, as this column is wont to do each December, the task of choosing one particular favorite among the six or seven candidates usually proves quite difficult. Not this year. The playhouse’s rendition of “Moonlight and Magnolias” clearly outshone an impressive field. Or, as this column put it, “the Laguna Playhouse is presenting an absolutely hilarious account of the rewriting period involving producer David O. Selznick, screenwriter Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming — the latter two summoned three weeks into the original production.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tom Titus | February 27, 2009
Fans of musical legends such as Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash are well acquainted with the “back stories” of their favorite singers thanks to a spate of movie and television biographies, but little is known outside of her public performances about the vocalist dubbed the “first lady of song.” Until now, that is. The Laguna Playhouse is bringing Ella Fitzgerald center stage in a marvelous musical and dramatic tribute titled, simply, “Ella,” which fills in the biographical blanks while celebrating her immense vocal talents.
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