The Manor returns to Beverly Hills and new musical Mystic Pizza in La Mirada 

The cast of The Manor celebrates the wedding of Sean and Abby. But their fortunes change dramatically over the next 10 years. (Photo credit: Casey Durkin)

Written by Kathrine Bates, The Manoris a Los Angeles/Beverly Hills institution now in its nineteenth season, marking its first engagement since 2020. No doubt its popularity is due to the scandalous true story as told by the talented actors who each inhabit their characters to a tee, costumed to time-period perfection while giving audience members the chance to be inside the grand and glorious architectural landmark where the events of 95 years ago actually took place. As audience members are led by the Valet (David Hunt Stafford), housekeeper Ursula (Katyana Rocker-Cook), and Ellie the maid (Gail Johnston) from room to room during two acts taking place 10 years apart, different scenes are portrayed leading up to a shocking event taking place on the grand entrance staircase.

The names of all characters in the tragic Doheny family saga have been changed “to protect the guilty” as we are told by the Stage Manager Craig Hissong before the play begins in the gloriously restored Greystone Mansion. The immersive experience is produced by David Hunt Stafford for Theatre 40 in association with The City of Beverly Hills, brilliantly directed by Martin Thompson to reveal the many hidden secrets to perfectly capture the deep emotions probably still alive in the mansion’s storied walls.

The play begins with the wedding of Sean MacAlister (Peter Mastne) and Abby (Nathalie Rudolph), daughter of the MacAlister lawyer Frank Parsons (John Combs), as the guests celebrate all the joy and future promise the event has to offer. But as the next ten years pass, momentous changes take place in the fortunes of the fabulously wealthy MacAlister Family (fictional surrogates of the oil-rich Doheny Family) when family patriarch and mining tycoon Charles (ruggedly handsome Darby Hinton) makes an illegal if well-intentioned loan to Senator Alfred Winston (Daniel Leslie), a stand-in for Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall. Both men soon face imminent disgrace in the Teapot Dome bribery scandal, which engulfed the Warren Harding administration. Will the scion of the MacAlister family survive financially? And what happens when the love triangle involving heir apparent Sean MacAlister, his wife Abby, and long-time friend and handyman Gregory Pugh (Eric Keitel) is revealed? Such scandal!

Carol Potter as Marian MacAlister and Amy Tolsky as Cora Winston portray the two wives, both dressed to take on an air of wealth and social stature, though soon to be caught up in the financial scandal wrought by their husbands. Even more tragic is their suspicions of wrongdoing were not heeded by their hard-headed husbands who felt their actions would lead to a great moneymaking venture. But when the men fail, it is the wives left to pick up the pieces and move on after such great disgrace and financial ruin upends their lives, destroying their friendship in the process.

Adding a bit of much-appreciated levity to the story is Kristin Towers-Rowles as Gregory’s wife Henrietta, a gold-digging shrew (and former Music Hall entertainer) whose natural attributes are accentuated in a short, red, curve-hugging “flapper” dress. During her requested rendition of “Pretty Baby” at the wedding reception, Henrietta grabs the chance to flirt with all the rich men, enticing them with her charms (and black feather boa) to attract even more attention to her love-starved self. It’s very apparent Gregory and Henrietta are a totally mismatched couple if ever there was one, driving him to drink obsessively. But will they, or should they, stay married? And how does Abby fit into the picture? 

I hope I have piqued your interest enough that you grab tickets to The Manor at Greystone Mansion in Greystone Park, 905 Loma Vista Drive (above Sunset Blvd.), Beverly Hills 90210, on select dates through February 3; evenings at 6 p.m. with matinees at 1pm. Admission is $75. No one will be admitted without an advance reservation to (310) 364-3606 on online at Please reserve early, as performances sell out. Free onsite parking, but arrive early to allow time to walk to the performance location, and to enjoy the lush, terraced landscaping on the 18.3-acre site, now a public park.

Krystina Alabado, Kyra Kennedy and Gianna Yanelli star in Mystic Pizza at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. (Photo credit: Jason Niedle)

Based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer classic 1988 rom-com motion picture starring Julia Roberts, Mystic Pizza is a new musical about three working-class girls who navigate the complexities of life, love, and family in a small-town pizza joint. The score features mega-hits of the ’80s and ’90s, from “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “Addicted to Love,” to “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” “Take My Breath Away,” and many, many more! 

Presented by La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & Lively McCabe Entertainment, McCoy Rigby Entertainment, and Riverside Theatricals, the musical features a story and characters by Amy Holden Jones, book by Sandy Rustin, arrangements and orchestrations by Carmel Dean, choreography by Connor Gallagher, musical direction by Kristin Stowell, and direction by Casey Hushion with Associate Director Natalie Malotke. Performances run through Sunday, February 11, 2024 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.  

Featured in the cast are Gianna Yanelli as Josephina (JoJo) Barboza, Kyra Kennedy as Katherine (Kat) Arujo, Krystina Alabado as Daisy Arujo, Rayanne Gonzales as Leona Silvia, Jordan Friend as Bill Montijo, Michael Thomas Grant as Charles Gordon Windsor, Jr., and Chris Cardozo as Tim Travers. The Ensemble features Domo D’dante, Michael James, April Josephine, Louis Pardo, Monika Peña, Alyssa M. Simmons, Jeff Skowron, Jake Swain, and Rachel Wirtz.  Swings are Chachi Delgado and Tayler Mettra.

Tech credits include Set and Properties Design by Nate Bertone; Lighting Design by Ryan J. O’Gara; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Costume Design by Jennifer Caprio with Hair/Wig/Make-up Design by Kaitlin Yagen. 

Mystic Pizza runs on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with an Open-Captioned performance on Saturday, February 3 at 2 p.m. Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be on Thursday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $19 – $90, available on the La Mirada Theatre’s website at or by calling the Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Group and military discounts are available, as are $14 student tickets. Children under 3 will not be admitted into the theatre. Free onsite parking. 

Following the La Mirada engagement, Mystic Pizza will perform from February 15 – February 25 at Center Repertory Company at Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek and will also perform from February 28 – March 3 at the Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.