SCPA Alum James Maslow in the News

James Maslow in Sherlock Holmes

James Maslow in Sherlock Holmes

from BWW News Desk

Broadway In Chicago and producers Starvox Entertainment and June Entertainment have announced the full cast for SHERLOCK HOLMES. JAMES MASLOW, the actor and singer perhaps best known for playing the role of James Diamond in Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush” and a member of the band with the same name, will star as the legendary Dr. John Watson, along with RENNE OLSTEAD, best known for her role as Lauren Miller in the TV sitcom “Still Standing,” and as Madison Cooperstein in “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” as the well-to-do-American, Lady Irene St. John, opposite DAVID ARQUETTE in the title role as SHERLOCK HOLMES. The two actors will make their stage debuts in this new and original adaptation inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales by playwright Greg Kramer and directed by Andrew Shaver scheduled to play Chicago’s Oriental Theatre (24 W Randolph) November 24 – 29, 2015.

The eleven member acting company includes much of the original cast from the original, critically-acclaimed Montreal Segal Centre production that premiered in May 2013, also directed by Andrew Shaver, who will restage the show for a North American tour, launching a six-performance, “Tour Preview” engagement on October 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, followed by longer runs in Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, with subsequent cities planned into 2016 and to be announced shortly.


Watson is of course, the only friend and confidante of Sherlock Holmes as well as his best friend and flat-mate. He is a veteran doctor with steady hands for surgery…. and firing weapons! For James Maslow, the opportunity to take on the role that has been played by such great actors as James Mason, Robert Duvall, Jude Law, Martin Freeman and Ben Kingsley, amongst countless others, represents “a chance to stretch and show audiences a whole new side of the man who is often portrayed as dim-witted compared to the brilliant, emotionally-detached analytical machine that Holmes can sometimes be.” He added, “and in Greg Kramer’s wildly clever script, and especially in David Arquette, I have been a great gift: I serve not only as the sidekick but as a great and intelligent foil….even though as Holmes is known to state, ‘I see, but do not observe’.”

In SHERLOCK HOLMES, Lady Irene St. John is the American wife of Lord Neville St. John who goes missing early in this new theatrical adventure, and in the course of the action, Scotland Yard turns to Sherlock Holmes to help solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance. “I love Irene,” exclaimed Olstead, “she shows that even back then, brainy is the new sexy. Irene is manipulative, devious, enigmatic, and clever enough to even give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. David (Arquette) and I are having a blast in rehearsals discovering the many shades beneath her ruthless and cold exterior and her emotional intelligence towards the great ‘consulting detective’.”


David Arquette is a fourth generation actor from one of the most prestigious acting families in Hollywood. He is thrilled to be taking the stage again and honored to be playing the beloved character, Sherlock Holmes. He was first seen on stage as Frank-N-Furter in the Tiffany Theater production of The Rocky Horror Show in 1999. He returned to the stage in Joanna Murray-Smith’s, The Female of the Species, opposite Annette Bening in 2010.

In 1997, he was first discovered at Sundance for his role in “JOHNS.” Since that time, he has acted in several dozen feature films, including the “Scream” franchise, , “Hamlet 2,” “The Grey Zone,” “Wild Bill”, “Stealing Sinatra”, “Never Been Kissed,” “Ravenous,” “Dream With The Fishes”, “Never Die Alone” and “The Darwin Awards,” to name a few. Arquette has completed production on the independent feature, “Orion,” portraying a hunter who is fighting his way through a futuristic wasteland, and the indie action film, “Chuck Hank and the San Diego Twins.” He will next be seen in the western thriller, “Bone Tomahawk,” alongside Kurt Russell, and the visually stunning art film, “The Key,” directed by Jeffery Levy. He can currently be seen lending his voice to the Disney Television interactive series, “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” as Scully, the lookout pirate parrot.

Arquette was most recently seen in the independent features, “The Field of Lost Shoes” and “Sold,” alongside Gillian Anderson, about a girl who risks everything for freedom after being trafficked from her mountain village in Nepal to a brothel in India. He is also an accomplished Director (“The Tripper,” “The Butler’s In Love”) and a producer of the syndicated game,” Celebrity Name Game,” airing daily, under his Coquette banner.


James Maslow is best known as the star of the top-rated Nickelodeon program, “Big Time Rush,” and the worldwide best-selling music group of the same name. He will next be seen as protagonist ‘Wyatt’ in the Benny Boom-directed feature film, “Wild for the Night,” set for an early 2016 release. Maslow’s recent credits include his starring role as ‘Kevin Mohr’ on the SONY Crackle original series, “Sequestered,” alongside Jesse Bradford and Patrick Warburton, and in the lead role as ‘Bart Dollangager-Winslow’ in “Seeds of Yesterday,” the final installment in the hugely successful V.C. Andrews “Flowers In The Attic” series. A true Triple Threat, Maslow was the last man standing and a finalist on Season 18 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Aside from his busy TV/film career, Maslow is currently in the studio developing and recording music for his debut solo EP, set for early 2016. Maslow began his professional acting career on the popular Nickelodeon series “iCarly” and completed the fourth season of “Big Time Rush” in 2013, the third longest running live-action series in Nickelodeon history. As part of one of the most popular music groups internationally, Maslow has won countless Kids’ Choice Awards and headlined sold-out tours across the globe, most recently the Big Time Rush Live 2014 World Tour, performing at some of the largest venues across North & South America. Born in New York and raised in San Diego, Maslow began performing at an early age, training at the prestigious La Jolla Playhouse and San Diego School of Performing Arts (SCPA).


Born in Houston Texas, Renee Olstead has amassed over nine seasons of television appearances as a regular on the hit CBS sitcom, “Still Standing” and ABC Family’s, “The Secret Life of The American Teenager.” Her latest starring role in the 2015 Universal Pictures/Blumhouse feature,” Unfriended,” took the box office by storm and garnered her much attention both domestically and internationally. Her acting prowess, however, is matched only by her vocal talent. At the age of twelve, Renee signed to Warner Brothers Records and completed two albums produced by 16-time Grammy winning producer David Foster.

Renee has appeared and performed her music on “The Today Show,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” She’s performed at the “Live 8” concert in Berlin along with other performers such as Paul McCartney, Madonna and Sting and completed extensive international touring.

Renee’s debut album received a Grammy nomination for Best Arrangement “Summertime” and a Golden Globe nod for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture “Christmas in Love”. Renee has also received many honors for her philanthropic efforts, such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters “Rising Star Award”, PETA2’s “Sexiest Celeb Vegetarian”, and PETA’s Libby Award. Renee actively works with several charities, focusing on bringing an end to animal cruelty, mentorship to at-risk kids, and eating disorder awareness.

Renee’s additional feature film work includes “13 Going on 30,” appearing opposite Jennifer Garner, as well as “The Insider” and “End of Days.” Further, Renee recently finished shooting a lead role in the upcoming feature film, “Tell Tale Lies” and a starring role in a pilot for ABC Family called “Work Mom.”


This SHERLOCK HOLMES was the recipient of five prestigious Montreal English Theatre Awards, including Outstanding Production and Outstanding Director. The Segal Centre commissioned multi-talented, British-born, Montreal-based writer, director and actor Greg Kramer to pen this fresh new take on Conan Doyle’s stories of the legendary detective. The playwright was also supposed to play Scotland Yard detective Lestrade in the original Montreal production, but tragically, Kramer passed away on the eve of rehearsals.

Andrew Shaver, one of Canada’s most exciting young directors, known for his work with the innovative SideMart Theatrical Grocery (Trad, Haunted Hillbilly, Gordon) and assignments with Des McAnuff for the Stratford Festival, brings his ironic and kinesthetic vision to the production and has worked on the script subsequent to Kramer’s untimely death. Design is by Cirque du Soleil’s James Lavoie.

Produced by Toronto-based Starvox Entertainment (Corey Ross, Producer) and seasoned feature film producers, John Ryan Jr. and R Scott Reid of June Entertainment, SHERLOCK HOLMES is thrilling, humorous, full of head-scratching crimes and dazzling deduction in the face of cunning evil. The show takes theatregoers on a heart-stopping adventure through the opium dens, the muddy docklands and the gritty backstreets of London during the turn of the century, a time of great social and technological change.

The opium wars have ended. The Ripper has wreaked his havoc. Electricity is on the rise and Scotland Yard is in its infancy. Lord Neville St. John gives a moving speech in the House of Lords to ban opium and a vote on the matter is imminent. Meanwhile, Professor James Moriarty, notorious criminal kingpin, plots to thwart the upcoming opium vote. When a drowned body is discovered, and Lord Neville goes missing, Scotland Yard turns to “the world’s only consulting detective” and newest resident of 221-B Baker Street: a certain Mr. Sherlock Holmes.


Individual tickets for SHERLOCK HOLMES are on sale now. Group tickets for 10 or more are available by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St., 18 W. Monroe St. and 175 E. Chestnut), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000, all Ticketmaster retail locations and online at

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North Coast Rep’s ‘Fox’ fits Roxane Carrasco to a tee

Roxane Carrasco

Jacquelyn Ritz (left) and Roxane Carrasco in North Coast Rep’s “The Fox on the Fairway.” — Aaron Rumley

San Diego Union Tribune

BY: James Hebert

You’ve heard of touring artists who require green M&M’s or a case of pricey cognac at every venue.

Roxane Carrasco’s one demand when she was on the road with the musicals “Chicago” and “West Side Story”? That her golf clubs travel with her.

“I have a really good drive, and I have a really good short game,” the San Diego-based actor and educator (who also appeared in the Broadway production of “Chicago”) says of her links skills. “My middle game is horrible.” Continue reading

Keynote Speaker: Donald McKayle

Donald McKayle, recipient of honors and awards in every aspect of his distinguished career, is one of America’s irreplaceable dance treasures.

Donald McKayle, recipient of honors and awards in every aspect of his distinguished career, is one of America’s irreplaceable dance treasures.

Donald McKayle, recipient of honors and awards in every aspect of his distinguished career, is one of America’s irreplaceable dance treasures. His choreographic masterworks, considered modern dance classics, Games, Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder, District Storyville and Songs of the Disinherited, are performed around the world. Mr. McKayle has choreographed over ninety works for dance companies throughout the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe and South America. He has performed with legendary dance pioneers including Anna Sokolow, Martha Graham, Helen Tamiris and Charles Weidman. Among others, Mr. McKayle has contributed classic works to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and is the artistic mentor of the Jose Limon Dance Company. A five-time Tony nominee, his Broadway choreographies include Sophisticated Ladies, Raisin, and It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. His work for film includes Disney’s “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, “The Great White Hope”, and “The Jazz Singer”. Mr. McKayle was honored at the Kennedy Center and presented with a medal as a Master of African American Choreography. Other awards include the Martha Hill Lifetime Achievement Award, Living Legend award, and the American Dance Legacy Institute’s Distinguished and Innovative Leadership Award. He has served on the faculties of numerous international forums and prestigious national institutions. As a cherished teacher and mentor at the University of California, Irvine, this year, in honor of Mr. McKayle’s extra – ordinary contributions to dance, a scholarship fund was created in his name, a bronze star was placed in the UCI Walk of Fame and a Gala Tribute Concert was held featuring his works performed by major dance companies from around the United States. Mr. McKayle has received honorary Doctorates from Cornish College of the Arts, California Institute of the Arts and the Juillard School. His autobiography, Transcending Boundaries: My Dancing Life and a television documentary of his life and works, “Heartbeats of a Dance Maker”, are valuable testaments to his insightful contribution to the world. Mr. McKayle continues to inspire young and professional artists with his passion and dedication to the art of dance. WATCH THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH (Minute 25:00 to 30:00) or read the transcript below.

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SCPA Featured by Cox 4 Salute to Education

Evelyn Sparks, Deja Fields, and Sophia Oberg perform on the Lyceum stage.

Evelyn Sparks, Deja Fields, and Sophia Oberg perform on the Lyceum stage.

IN THE NEWS: The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts was  created in 1979 to educate young people in the Arts.  It has grown into a school that fulfills students’ desires to pursue their artistic dreams while also preparing them for their academic future.  Students recently paired up with professionals to stage a production of “Suds: The Rockin’ 60s Musical Soap Opera” at downtown San Diego’s Lyceum Theater. Watch video from Cox 4 San Diego’s Salute to Education»

SCPA Jazz Ensemble Live on 88.3

SCPA students will be playing live on KSDS 88.3 on May 20 from 8-9:30pm.

SCPA students will be playing live on KSDS 88.3 on May 20 from 8-9:30pm.

Please be sure to tune into 88.3 on the radio or online on May 20 from 8:00-9:30pm.  Our Jazz Ensemble will be performing live with guest artist Bobby Watson!  If you would like to see the event live, please come to the Seville Theater at San Diego City College.  Tickets are $15 at the door.  See more information about Jazz Live below.

In the Spirit of Swing,

John Reynolds, Music Department Chair

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San Diego students learning from him perform his work at Spring Dance Concert

UT San Diego
By: Marcia Manna

Dance-choreographer Donald McKayle. His work is featured in "In Motion" 2014 Spring Dance Concert.

Dance-choreographer Donald McKayle. His work is featured in “In Motion” 2014 Spring Dance Concert.

When choreographer Donald McKayle looks back on a career that has spanned more than half a century, there are no regrets, only a sense of accomplishment and the drive to witness the continuation of his legacy.

“The Rainbow Suite,” derived from his 1959 masterwork, “Rainbow Round My Shoulder,” and performed by student dancers from The San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA), opens Thursday at the Lyceum Theatre downtown.

The dance is part of the “In Motion 2014 Spring Dance Concert” featuring works by five choreographers.

“I’ve tried to develop ideas that really affect me,” McKayle, 83, said by phone from an Orange County nursing home where he is recovering from surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.

“There are many facets to my career, and I’m very pleased.”

One of the most versatile African-American choreographers of the postwar era, McKayle has created award-winning dance for Broadway, television and film.

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