Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Rogue Machine Launches 2012 Season With West Coast Premiere Of Where The Great Ones Run

Holly Fulger (as Mary Lou Burl, the estranged wife), John Posey (as Hank), and Jeff Kober (as Sonny Burl, the country singer) (Photo credit: John Flynn)

Many important messages are touched upon in “Where The Great Ones Run” as you watch a famous country singer Sonny Burl return to his long forgotten hometown to play one last concert at the county fair. At a truck stop in the middle of nowhere Sonny reunites with his daughter he barely knew, the wife he never divorced, and a brother he abandoned.  Important themes, such as the value of your family and loved ones, what it means to be human, the choices you make in life, and stardom not really mattering in the end are just some of the important ideas that were tinkering in my mind after this intimate theater show.

Seen for the first time on the West Coast, Mark Roberts’ “Where The Great Ones Run” includes an award winning cast including Jeff Kober as Sonny Burl. Actor Jeff Kober just filmed My Mother’s Curse with Barbara Streisand and Seth Rogan.  You may know him from his numerous film credits, award winning short films or his roles on the Fox series, The New Girl and on the FX Series, Sons of Anarchy.

Even with some heartbreaking scenes, I was laughing aloud for most of the hour and 40 minutes.  Don’t be shocked when you see another brilliant actor Mark St. Amant who plays Burl’s crazy drunken brother come in fully naked and banged up after a drinking binge.

The small intimate theater setting hugs the stage so you are looking down at the characters with a visual backdrop that is 180

Jeff Kober (as Sonny Burl), Andy Hirsch (as Chuck), and Robert John Brewer (as Rodney) (Photo credit: John Flynn)

degrees. The show ends with both Sonny Burl and his brother singing and playing their guitars.

Another actor who stood out, but played a side role as an old African-American man was Tucker Smallwood. He keeps us laughing throughout the show with his side antics and comments in the diner as one of the customers. Tucker has worked on and off Broadway in more than 40 theatrical productions and has appeared in more than 40 feature films.

The playwright Mark Roberts is also the Creator and Executive Producer of the television sitcom MIKE & MOLLY on CBS.  He worked for seven years on the top-rated CBS comedy, Two and a Half Men, rising to the level of executive producer. Other plays he has written include Parasite Drag, Welcome to Tolono, Rantoul and Die, and Whitey.  This summer he’s also performing alongside Jessica Tuck in a revival of his one act comedy Couples Counseling Killed Katie which opens at The Elephant Theatre in Los Angeles June 9.

Lily Holleman (as Julie Burl, the daughter Jeff never knew) and Jeff Kober (as Sonny Burl) (Photo credit: John Flynn)

Mark L. Taylor (Director) directed the critically acclaimed AfterMath by Elliot Shoenman, for the Inkwell Theater, starring Annie Potts at The Odyssey.  Other directing credits include the premieres of Ovation nominated Concept of Remainders by Richard Hirsch. Mark helmed the premiere productions of Sunset Park by Marley Simms and Elliot Shoenman at The Zeypher and Moment in the Sun by Elliot Shoenman at The Matrix. His television directing credits include the movie Den Brother for The Disney Channel and the Lifetime series Any Day Now.

“Celebrity-hood” is now condensed, in this age of social media, from 15 min of fame to 15 seconds.  We have become a society obsessed with celebrities.  This play subtlety shines a light on “celebrity” from both sides of the footlights. Mark Roberts does so by drawing characters that touch our hearts and make us laugh. – Mark L. Taylor, Director

John Perrin Flynn (Producer/Artistic Director) is responsible for launching  the world premier production of  John Pollono’s hit play Small Engine Repair (Best Production-Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly, Ovation, and Garland Awards) and the Los Angeles premiere of David Harrower’s Blackbird.  Both productions garnered numerous awards.  He is Rogue Machine’s founding Artistic Director and has been the Executive Producer of all four successful seasons, garnering the LA Weekly Career Achievement Award in 2012.  John recently directed the critically acclaimed Los Angeles premiere of The Sunset Limited, which ran for over four months.  He directed the award winning world premiere of Henry Murray’s Treefall (now with 4 productions regionally, published by the Dramatist Play Service in 2010), Monkey Adored, and the critically acclaimed Los Angeles premiere of Rogue Machine’s inaugural production, Complete Female Stage Beauty, by Jeffrey Hatcher. He helmed the Craig Lucas’ hit Small Tragedies at The Odyssey Theatre and the world premiere of John Pollono’s Lost and Found at The Lounge Theatre.  John was the Executive Producer and director of Lifetime’s long running award winning series Strong Medicine, has produced two other series and 14 television movies or miniseries including the Emmy nominated Burden of Proof.

Rouge Machine presents plays that are new to Los Angeles.  The company has garnered recognition for their work in upwards of 45 awards and nominations, including the Polly Warfield Award for Excellent Season in Small to MidSize Theater, funded by the Nederland Organization, and the Best Production Award (two consecutive years) from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, and Garland).  The company just picked up seven LA Weekly Awards including one for Best Production for Small Engine Repair by John Pollono.  The company draws upon the diverse and extensive experience of its collective while creating high-quality productions by contemporary playwrights who specifically address our culture and time.

WHEN: May 26 through July 14, 2012

Jeff Kober (as Sonny Burl), Lily Holleman (as Julie Burl), Holly Fulger (as Mary Lou Burl), and Mark St. Amant (as Buddy Burl) (Photo credit: John Flynn)

Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.



Rogue Machine 
5041 Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Ph. 855-585-5185

TICKETS:  Tickets are $30

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