New Musical STILETTOS AND STEEL to Make Debut at Hollywood Fringe Festival
The thrilling new rock musical Stilettos and Steel will make its debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival on June 4, 12, and 19. Stilettos is based on the true story of a suburban girl who ran away to San Francisco in the 1960s and became the top gangster and pimp of the Tenderloin District. The show grapples with issues of gender identity, morality, and how far you’d go to discover your true self.
The idea for the show was born when Isabel Storey, the musical’s book writer, met Jeri Estes, the person on whose story the show is based. Estes regaled Storey with tales of her life as a masculine woman – or “butch” – in an era when this not accepted in mainstream society. Estes escaped from her hometown in the San Fernando Valley to the freewheeling Tenderloin District, known then as the “gay capital” of the U.S.
Estes’ journey took her into a colorful subculture in which sultry femmes and swaggering butches mingled with flamboyant queens, hustlers, pimps, prostitutes and crooked cops. While enjoying the freedom in her newfound world, she also drifted into prostitution and drug use. But her life transformed when she met the seductive and savvy Bunny, a high-class call girl, and Carmen, the endearing waitress who became the love of her life.
The show follows Estes’ journey from a naïve Valley girl to navigating her way to the top of a male-dominated and dangerous red-light district. On the way, she meets unforgettable, vibrant characters who changed her forever. The real-life Estes has dedicated the book based on her story (also titled “Stilettos and Steel”- Amazon) to “the fallen comrades who didn’t make it out of the Tenderloin alive.”
Stilettos and Steel will play for three performances only at the Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., LA: June 4 at 8:30pm ($20) and June 12 and 19 at 8:30pm ($25). Buy tickets at http://hff22.co/7434.
PRODUCTION AND CREATIVE TEAM:
Isabel Storey (Book Writer) is an award-winning writer/producer. Her plays have been developed at theaters throughout Los Angeles, including most recently New Musicals, Inc. She produced the long-running SHINE storytelling show in Santa Monica. As Vice Chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights, she founded and ran New Works Lab. She has won Emmy Awards and a Writers Guild of America Award.
Leslie Sloan (Lyricist) wrote lyrics for the 15-minute musical The Legend of the Brothers Legrand which played at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. She is an award-winning movie trailer editor and filmmaker. Her short documentary High Heels on Wheels plays at festivals around the world, airs on Logo Television and is the inspiration for her musical High Heels on Wheels-The Musical.
Andrew Vodov (Composer) is a songwriter/composer living in Ukraine who has also worked as a sound engineer in musical theatre. He is the author/co-author of dozens of musicals and performances. As an arranger, he has worked on two American musicals. He also translates songs from famous musicals into Ukrainian and runs a YouTube channel dedicated to musicals.
Catie O’Donnell (Director) directs theatre and film, including productions across the US and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She specializes in dramaturgy and directing new musicals. This summer she will be directing two productions in the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Stilettos and Steel and will be leading the directing team for The Veterans’ Project.
Ron Barnett (Music Director) is Director of Music and Sacred Arts at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale. Composer credits include Manson’s Girls (Hollywood Fringe), When Butter Churns to Gold (Northern Sky Theatre), Around the World in 80 Days (Fulton Theatre). Choral works published by GIA, MorningStar.
Jocelyn Tamayo (Costume Designer) is a California-based Latinx costume designer. Given the changing times, she is doing what she can to make the best out of every situation and believes it is great to join like-minded artists.
Paige Taylor (Stage Manager/Assistant Director) works as a director, actor, and youth educator in Orange and LA Counties. Since graduating from Cal State Fullerton in 2020 with a BA in Theatre Arts, she has been directing youth troupes and running after-school theatre programs through Los Alamitos Educational Foundation and Free to Be Me Performance Academy.
Adrianne Owings (Jesse) – Originally from Arkansas, Adrianne graduated from Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies in 2020 and from the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts’ Semester Programme in 2019. Favorite credits include Mark Antony in Julius Caesar (LAMDA), Jo in Little Women (Canyon Theatre Guild), and The Guy with Nothing in Deb Margolin‘s Turquoise (Yale Drama Coalition). adrianneowings.com @adrowings
Ada Marinelli (Bunny) is a performer whose roles include Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Ruby in Beauty and the Beast and Glitzy in Red Riding Hood the Musical (Glendale Center Theater). She originated the role of Phyllis in The Mitchel Sanatorium (MM Productions) and was Fantine in MM Productions’ Drink with Me a Les Miserables Cabaret at the El Cid club.
Pearrie Hammie (Carmen), an American-born/Thailand-raised actress, choreographer, and dancer, has been a part of successful productions in both Thailand and NYC. Some of her well-rounded experience includes choreographing for Mirinda TV-Commercial and Thailand’s Top artists, guest-starring/co-starring in Thai TV-Series and American Netflix Film (Fistful of Vengeance,) and performing in original musical plays for Dreambox Theatre and Nub1-Neo-Film.
Michael Swain-Smith (Prince/Miss Zada) is an Ohio native with a BFA from Ohio Northern University. Tours: Paw Patrol LIVE!, Nick Jr. LIVE!. Theatre: Singing Revolution (Ens.), The Who’s Tommy (Cousin Kevin), The Wild Party (Mr. Black). TV/Film: Goldbergs, Paw Patrol LIVE! @ Home. @michaelswsm
Raquis Petree (Angel/Giuseppe) graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and went on to study musical theater and theater dance at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Defying Gravity for Signature Theater. Raquis has stage managed and assistant directed many national touring shows. He was awarded the Torch Bearer Award by the Audelco Association.
Brendan Clifford (Clancy/Big Red) has been acting since he “dominated” the world of ’90s children’s theater and procured a theater degree from Marymount Manhattan College. You can see him in kids’ sitcom Hotel du Loone on YouTube, and every delightful episode of TV’s Nightcap on Hulu. He thinks musicals are just the best.
Giana Teresa Bommarito (Little Rosie) is a proud alumnus of the School of Dramatic Arts at USC. Favorite performing credits include Mrs. Claus in The Year Without a Santana Claus (Troubadour Theatre Co); Cabaret (La Mirada Theatre); Daniela in In the Heights (Pacific Conservatory Theatre); Eponine in Thénardier’s Inn, winner of the best Cabaret & Variety show in Hollywood Fringe 2015.
Marisa Frankie (Pearl)’s credits include: Kim in Miss Saigon, Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods, Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast and Christmas Eve in Avenue Q. She thanks all her mentors, family, boyfriend and friends for their continuous support and love.
Claire Yglesias-Rice (Tulip/Penny) is an actor/singer/model and recent graduate of The Hartt School of Music where she earned her BFA in Music Theatre. Originally from Carmel, Claire is thrilled to be back on the West Coast pursuing her career in TV/film and theatre. www.claire-rice.com
Lindsay Carter (Tattoo Jean) is thrilled to make their Los Angeles theatre debut in Stilettos and Steel! Raised in Seattle, she moved to Orange County to study theatre performance and music in 2017. Past works include Tilly in Chapman University’s She Kills Monsters, Two Boys One Dog, and Concordia, a radio play.
Todd Herman (Blondie/Ensemble) is excited to be making his LA theatre debut in Stilettos and Steel! Todd got his BA in Theatre from Towson University in Towson, Maryland, and acted in Chicago before moving to SoCal.