Popular Armenian-American comedy staged for the Los Angeles community in rehearsal • MassisPost


GLENDALE – A revolving door of humorous yet realistic characters charmed audiences during the latest production of “Where Is Your Groom?” II which was staged for the Greater Los Angeles Community on Sunday, October 6, 2019, scoring a six-year run on stages from his debut at The Players Theater in New York’s historic Greenwich Village to the Alex Monument Theater, for an unforgettable evening of culture and camaraderie.

Similar to the previous 15 sold-out performances in various cities across North America, this production entertained crowded audiences while also addressing a contemporary topic relevant to the diaspora. Focusing on themes of Armenian social norms and the potentially thorny issues of assimilation and intermarriage, the comedy written, directed and produced by Taleen Babayan, encouraged dialogue for a community at a crossroads through humor. endless and diversions.

“All ethnicities and ages can find laughter and fulfillment in the professional production and history of this play, even my young niece and nephew still talking about it,” said audience member Dr Sharis Simonian. “The play was completely transgenerational, affecting my parents who are immigrants, as well as my husband, a third generation Armenian-American, whose family members immigrated before and during the genocide.”

Although the play is set today, it speaks to universal societal customs and traditions in order to convey a timely message through theater – a notion Harout Soghomonian is familiar with as a native of Beirut, Lebanon, where he was. a staple of the theatrical scene at a time when the community needed the arts the most.

“I am happy to see the original Armenian theater continue in the diaspora, especially in the United States,” said Soghomonian, an actor, musician and comedian who played the patriarch of the family. “It is important to be forward thinking in Armenian theater so that our voices are heard during critical moments.”

By bringing the community together through a multitude of audience members and the 22 actors and teams from all backgrounds and ages, a symbiotic relationship has been created by artistic members focused on the primary objective of preserving cultural heritage in the world. modern.

“I was fortunate enough to have creative freedom with the character Taleen wrote and she ultimately gave me something that doesn’t happen that often,” said actor and comedian Haig Hovnanian, who has played the role of the Armenian-American priest. “To be able to work with such an incredible cast and crew who brought their talents to life was truly wonderful.”

Echoing her feelings, actress and makeup artist Helen Kalognomos, who played the wise and in-the-know grandmother, noted that she “had a great time playing with our wonderful cast and I hope more people will have the opportunity to see the play “.

The show marked the third performance in California this year, following productions in Pasadena and Fresno, where the story of an Armenian family in America took place, determined to preserve their ethnic heritage. A multitude of humorous characters, from eccentric future in-laws to the hapless ex-boyfriend to the wacky priest, address the themes of immigration and cultural assimilation through satire.

“I am grateful that I grew up in a viable diaspora where I was exposed to Armenian theatrical productions,” Babayan said. “This play not only fuses the experience of American and Armenian theater, it also gave us the opportunity to experience different diaspora communities by taking the production on the road while leaving our own imprint on the genre.”

The smart and spirited production reveals substantial layers throughout her nearly 2-hour performance that highlights questions about the ethnic experience in America – from every point of view. Through the stellar cast and crew, with Harout Soghomonian, Maro Ajemian, Mariette Soudjian, Helen Kalognomos, Mary Basmadjian, Mardik Iskenderian, Vatche Ghanimian, Henry Abadjian, Haig Hovnanian, Joseph Hovsepian, Chris Kioudjian, Harven Danielian, Aiza Khanenderian, Aizale Isk Asdghig Abadjian, Aleen Vartkessian, Arees Setrak, Hratch Mkhjian, Hannah Pollock and Arevig Abadjian, a friendliness and chemistry has been conveyed through the script that reflects the present times while honoring the past.

“Taleen is one of the few, if not the only young Armenian-American writer, director and producer of our time,” said Vartan Nazerian, president of the Nazerian Group, a supporting sponsor of the production. “His dedication to the Armenian family and cultural life is unique and unprecedented. We look forward to more of his productions.


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