Category Archives: Press Releases

QUINCY JONES & MEL BROOKS TO BE HONORED AT 15th ANNUAL “BACKSTAGE AT THE GEFFEN” FUNDRAISER

Geffen Playhouse’s Exclusive Event Set for Sunday, March 19, 2017; Hosted by Dana Delany

 City National Bank Returns as Title Sponsor, along with Presenting Sponsor Audi of America

LOS ANGELES (December 5, 2016) – The Geffen Playhouse will honor legendary Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award-winning artists Quincy Jones and Mel Brooks at its 15th annual Backstage at the Geffen fundraiser, which honors the accomplishments of leaders in the artistic community and supports the theater’s mission to produce original, quality works that inspire thought, evoke conversation, and engage the community in the live arts.

This lighthearted, star-studded event is an unexpected evening of unscripted, surprise performers and storytellers sharing songs and personal tales of life behind-the-scenes. It will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2017 in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse and hosted by two-time Emmy Award-winning actress Dana Delany.

Backstage at the Geffen is a beloved Geffen Playhouse tradition for artists and art-lovers alike. Year after year, the event brings together the artistic community’s most prominent players to share the magic of live performance through funny and heartfelt stories,” said Geffen Playhouse executive director Gil Cates, Jr., who produces the show alongside Geffen Playhouse board member Kevin Bright. “This year, we are pleased to honor Quincy Jones and Mel Brooks, two enormous talents whose artistic contributions are matched only by their philanthropic efforts.”

Quincy Jones, a founding Board Member of the Geffen Playhouse, will be honored with the Distinction in Service Award. Celebrating more than 60 years in music, beginning with the sounds of the post-swing era and continuing through today’s high-technology and international multi-media hybrids, Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artists in the entertainment world. An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, his career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder, multi-media entrepreneur and humanitarian. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.

Jones has earned an Emmy Award, Tony Award, seven Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 27 Grammy Awards, N.A.R.A.S.’ prestigious Trustees’ Award, and the Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 79 Grammy nominations. In 2001 Jones was named a Kennedy Center Honoree for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the U.S. He has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, the nation’s highest jazz honor, and was most recently bestowed the National Medal of Arts, our nation’s highest artistic honor.

Director, producer, writer and actor Mel Brooks will be presented with the Distinction in Theater Award. Brooks won his first Oscar in 1964 for writing and narrating the animated short The Critic and his second in 1969 for the screenplay of his first feature film, The Producers. For three successive seasons, Brooks won Emmy Awards for his role as Uncle Phil on the hit sitcom Mad About You. Additionally, his TV specials, including Mel Brooks: Live at the Geffen (HBO 2015), have all been nominated for Emmy Awards. He received three 2001 Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards for The Producers: The New Mel Brooks Musical, which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007. With twelve awards total, The Producers holds the all-time record for the most Tony Awards ever won by a Broadway musical.

Brooks has been presented with the Kennedy Center Honors in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to American culture and the AFI Life Achievement Award, which recognizes talents that fundamentally advance the art of film. He is one of only 30 foreigners to be awarded with the prestigious BFI Fellowship for outstanding contributions to film and television by the British Film Institute. In 2016 President Obama presented him with The National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government.

Backstage at the Geffen brings together artistic, entertainment and business leaders and the Los Angeles region’s most prominent philanthropic organizations to raise funds for the Geffen Playhouse’s artistic endeavors, including new play development, playwright commissions, second productions and artistic risks, as well as the theater’s award-winning education and outreach programs, which help bring the excitement of live theater to more than 15,000 disadvantaged youth, seniors and veterans annually. Last year, Backstage at the Geffen raised more than $1 million, allowing the Geffen to expand its literacy, high school, veterans and Lights Up programs.

City National Bank continues for the 8th consecutive year as Title Sponsor. Audi of America is returning as a Presenting Sponsor for the 12th year.

Host Committee memberships / levels of support begin at $5,000. Individual mezzanine tickets are $1,500. For more information, please visit www.geffenplayhouse.org/backstage or call (310) 208-­6500 Ext. 112.

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ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org.

ABOUT CITY NATIONAL
With $42.8 billion in assets, City National Bank provides banking, investment and trust services through 73 offices, including 16 full-service regional centers, in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, Nevada, New York City, Nashville and Atlanta. In addition, the company and its investment affiliates manage or administer $58.3 billion in client investment assets.

City National is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies. RBC serves more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 36 other countries. For more information about City National, visit the company’s website at cnb.com.

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. The Audi Group delivered over 1,800,000 vehicles to customers globally in 2015, and broke all-time company sales records for the 6th straight year in the U.S. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusa.com/newsroom for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

PROSPECT HOUSE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW MUSICAL ‘MARILYN!’ FOR ACTRESS’ 90TH BIRTHDAY

Marilyn

 

Prospect House Entertainment, in association with Glendale Arts Productions, presents MARILYN!, a new original musical commemorating Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birthday at the historic 1400 seat Alex Theatre in Glendale. The one evening only July 29 event, celebrates the life of Marilyn Monroe with exclusive interviews featuring Monroe’s former boyfriend Bill Pursel, Monroe’s Bus Stop costar Don Murray, Monroe author, Michelle Morgan, President of ‘Marilyn Remembered’ Greg Schreiner, and Actors Studio classmate, James Karen, among other key figures.

Audience members will be treated to an exclusive collection of Monroe’s artifacts from Schreiner’s personal
collection at a preshow reception. But the highlight of the evening is the world premiere of the full length musical MARILYN!, which chronicles the star’s childhood and tumultuous path to stardom with stirring and emotional songs performed by some of Los Angeles’ brightest musical talents. MARILYN! is directed by Tegan Summer, book and lyrics by Summer, music and additional lyrics by Gregory Nabours, Choreography by Ferly Prado and Victoria Gracie, produced by Prospect House Entertainment in association with Glendale Arts Productions. MARILYN! in previews plays on Friday, July 29; reception at 6:30 PM; curtain at 7:30 PM.

“We are delighted to be showcasing a fresh perspective on Marilyn Monroe’s legacy,” said Summer, CEO of
Prospect House Entertainment, NAACP and Ovation award nominee. “Our musical celebrates the life of one of the greatest icons of all time. We are telling the story of Norma Jeane and Marilyn Monroe two
different women living in one body. The thoughts and feelings that could have led to an altogether different conclusion of Marilyn’s story.”

MARILYN! Is set in the present day Michelle is a young journalist from England researching Marilyn Monroe to
commemorate the actress’ 90th birthday. She visits Charlie Page, one of Marilyn’s drivers, who is now living a life of solitude. Two stories emerge as Charlie bonds with Michelle he recalls Marilyn Monroe’s phenomenal life in flashback and reveals the real reason behind his living as a recluse for over forty years…

MARILYN! stars Kelley Jakle (Universal’s P itch Perfect and P itch Perfect 2, Spring Awakening in Concert ) as
‘Marilyn Monroe’; Kelley Dorney (PBS Concert Special A Tale of Two Cities ) as ‘Norma Jeane’; and Samantha
Stewart (CBS’ Days of Our Lives ) as ‘Michelle Morgan’.

MARILYN! is directed by Tegan Summer (book, lyrics and directed by for musicals Loretta Young’s Centennial
Tribute , The Nicholas Brothers Tribute , feature films The Mystery of Casa Matusita, The Knights of Mary Phagan); book and lyrics by Summer; music and additional lyrics by multiple Ovation award winning composer Gregory Nabours (The Trouble With Words; Musical Direction for In the Heights, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Spring Awakening, Rent ); choreography by Ferly Prado (Tina Turner, Beyonce) and Victoria Gracie.
MARILYN! in previews
Friday, July 29, 2016
7:30PM, pre show reception at 6:30PM
At the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Calif.
Tickets from $45-$65
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit
www.alextheatre.org/event/prospecthouseentpresentsmarilyn
About Prospect House Entertainment
Based in Burbank and Las Vegas, Prospect House Entertainment specializes in high quality stage musicals, feature films, and documentaries. The company’s goal is to produce projects of distinction and innovation that maintain integrity and excellence. The team at Prospect House Entertainment strives for originality, seeking out true and untold stories of social relevance to bring to the stage and screen from around the globe. For more information, please visit www.ProspectHouseEnt.com.

About Glendale Arts
Glendale Arts is a private, nonprofit organization that integrates the arts into the identity, growth and economic
vitality of the City of Glendale by presenting programming and creating partnerships that benefit youth, patrons, artists, organizations and businesses in the community and at the Alex Theatre, a historic performing arts and entertainment center currently celebrating its 90th birthday season. For more information, visit
www.glendalearts.org.

WORLD PREMIERE OF “ELECTRICITY” at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City

TMD PRODUCTIONS

presents

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

ELECTRICITY

Written by Terry Ray

Directed by Steven Rosenbaum

Limited Engagement opens Friday, April 22

at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City!

Four Decades, Two Men, One Highly-Charged Love Story…

 

 ELECTRICITY - ART

March 24, 2016…Studio City, CA…TMD PRODUCTIONS is thrilled to present the World Premiere of ELECTRICITY, written by Terry Ray, produced by Michael Darner and directed by Steven Rosenbaum.  ELECTRICITY will preview on Thursday, April 21 at 8pm; will open on Friday, April 22 at 8pm and run through Sunday, May 22 at the Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Blvd. in Studio City.

 

In ELECTRICITY, openly gay sex addict Brad hooks up with closeted virgin Gary in a motel room after their 10th high school reunion in 1983.  They form an undeniable connection that draws them back to the same motel room once every ten years.  As the decades fly by, their lives transform and reflect the changes in society around them from that closeted first night in the 80’s to a world where even gay marriage is possible and it’s their time to decide.  Is their connection over, or is it really just beginning.

 

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

 

TERRY RAY (Playwright/Gary) is a veteran actor of over 80 plays along side such stars as Dixie Carter, Elaine Stritch, Patricia Heaton and Matthew Perry.  His numerous television and film acting credits include “In Living Color,” “Ellen,” “7th Heaven,” “The Mullets,” “Kenan & Kel,” “The Amanda Show,” “Drake & Josh,” “A.N.T. Farm,” “Joe Dirt 2,” and the camp classic “Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark”.  Ray has also co-wrote and starred in several original shows including the multi-award winning short film “Gaydar” with Charles Nelson Reilly and his new comedy series “My Sister Is So Gay” with Loni Anderson as his mother.  Terry Ray is the creator, writer and star of Here! TV’s sitcom “From Here On Out” which also stars Juliet Mills.  He currently writes and co-stars with Dawn Wells (Mary Ann from “Gilligan’s Island”) in a spoof of Dawn’s classic sitcom called “She’s Still On The Freakin‘ Island” on MeTV.  Ray co-created/produced and wrote the new game show “Modd Couples” now airing on Hulu.  He’s also the co-writer of the upcoming TV movie “The Joneses: Unplugged” starring Mischa Barton, David Ogden Stiers and Markie Post.

 

STEVEN ROSENBAUM (Director) as an actor, he has appeared on screen in “Another Day With You,” “Taking Care Of Helen,” “Race To Witch Mountain,” “Kids In America,” “The Tie That Binds,” “Sam And Mike” and the upcoming “Walnuts”. In Los Angeles Steve has worked with respected theater companies such as The Open Fist, The Celebration, The Odyssey, Pacific Resident Theatre and The Actors Forum. His directing credits range from a holiday show starring Amanda Bynes at the venerable Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, to the first AIDS play As Is, to a play he also wrote called Chatter, Chatter, What’s The Matter? starring Andy Warhol muse Holly Woodlawn. Other theater credits include The Memorandum, The Flautist, Marate Sade, Lesbian Seagulls, Pathetica and Awake And Sing. Rosenbaum has won several Los Angeles theater awards for his work.

 

The cast of ELECTRICITY features: Terry Ray and Kevin Scott Allen.

 

SCHEDULE AND PRICING

 

ELECTRICITY will preview on Thursday, April 21 at 8pm; will open on Friday, April 22 at 8pm and run through Sunday, May 22.

 

Performances are Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm. 

 

Ticket prices are $25; Preview is $20.00.

 

For tickets, please visit www.brownpapertickets.com. For more information on the play, please visit www.electricitytheplay.com or call 213-265-7972.

The Wallis and the Broadway Dreams Foundation Partner to Present Annual Summer Intensive for Aspiring Musical Theater Artists in Los Angeles

(Beverly Hills, CA March 14) The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills has forged a partnership with the Broadway Dreams Foundation to present “GENERAT10N: The 2016 Summer Intensive Tour” for aspiring musical theater artists from the Los Angeles region from June 19 – 26. The annual weeklong summer intensive at The Wallis invites future stars of the stage to embark on a rigorous week of Broadway-caliber training learning from the brightest and best industry professionals. The intensive culminates in a public concert event that brings together students and their mentors on the stage of the Bram Goldsmith Theater in a performance directed by one of the industry’s finest directors. Ticket information for the public performance is forthcoming.

“We relish the opportunity to celebrate the musical theater art form,” said Mark Slavkin, Director of Education at The Wallis. “This partnership with Broadway Dreams will help cultivate the next generation of musical theater talent. Our focus will be on outreach to underserved communities, where talented youth may not have had access to this level of training.” The Wallis presents professional musical theater productions and has offered a course for teens to create original musicals, but has yet to offer performance training in musical theater. In addition to the summer intensive, The Wallis and the Broadway Dreams Foundation plan to collaborate on additional musical theater classes and workshops at The Wallis throughout the year, including a master class with legendary artist Patti LuPone on March 31, 2016

“We were thrilled to offer our summer intensive at The Wallis in 2015 and are excited to develop this ongoing partnership,” said Annette Tanner, Executive Director at Broadway Dreams Foundation.

“GENERAT10N: The 2016 Summer Intensive Tour” features various weeklong sessions of classes across multiple cities in the U.S. offering first-rate training in acting, dance and vocal performances taught by Broadway performers, directors, and casting directors. Los Angeles-area students of any age will have the opportunity to work with an incredible roster of Broadway professionals. Past participants have included star of stage and screen Taye Diggs (“Private Practice,” Rent, Hedwig and the Angry Inch); choreographer Spencer Liff (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, “So You Think Can Dance”); Olivier Award-nominated director Stafford Arima (Allegiance, Carrie); Nick Adams (La Cage aux Folles); Kyle Brown (Priscilla Queen of the Desert); Broadway Dreams Education Director Craig D’Amico (Annie Get Your Gun); Jenny Parsinen (Allegiance); Tesley + Company casting director Rachel Hoffman; Broadway musician Craig Johnson (Something Rotten); Iggy Azalea’s choreographer Victor M. Jackson, III; Nicole Parker (“MadTV,” Wicked); Broadway Dreams Alum Ari Groover (Holler If Ya Hear Me) and more.

More than 100 BDF Summer Intensive students have gone on to book Broadway, Off-Broadway, National Tours or High-Profile Regional Theatre roles, including roles in such productions as Book of Mormon, Bring It On: The Musical, Evita, Memphis, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family and more.

Registration and applications for scholarships are now open. Entry into the Broadway Dreams Foundation is by audition only. Auditions for the Los Angeles session will be held on Friday, April 1 from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at The Wallis, and is open to anyone who is planning on registering or has registered for the BDF Summer Intensive program. Artists of all ages are welcome, from students to adults.  Pricing varies depending on city. More information about registration, pricing and the audition process can be found at mybroadwaydreams.com/register.

The partnership with the Broadway Dreams Foundation signifies yet another aspect of GRoW @ The Wallis, the center’s arts education program.  For more information about education initiatives offered at The Wallis, please visit TheWallis.org/Education.

For more information about The Broadway Dreams Foundation, please visit mybroadwaydreams.com.

For more information about the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, please visit TheWallis.org.

Like The Wallis on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

BABY OH BABY British Comedy Has World Premiere 3/19 at Whitefire Theatre

Scarpaci/Kelly Productions presents a world premiere British comedy written by Phil Scarpaci and T.L. Shannon, directed by Phil Scarpaci, produced by Pattie Kelly. The play runs Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, March 19 through June 4, 2016, at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA.

In this rollicking romp, half-sisters Bella and Angie share a flat in a house presided over by Weena, their very unique landlord/landlady whose sexual orientation is a matter for continued debate.  Older sister Bella is a hopeless, yet hopeful romantic who lacks the confidence to track down a suitable mate.   On the other hand, Angie has few problems in attracting male bed buddies but keeping them is a whole other matter. Angie’s biological clock has pretty much hit nuclear meltdown, but the prospect of any suitable knight in shining armor riding to her maternal rescue appears to be rather slight.

On this particularly hot, steamy summer day a couple of hours outside of London, Bella and Angie’s lives are about to take a surprising, wacky turn when unexpected guests come knocking.

Baby Oh Baby was born out of Scarpaci and Shannon’s fascination with life’s comedic moments and the stress of dealing with relationships and time sensitive desires in an overcrowded and diverse singles’ world full of guys, girls and everyone in between who are all searching for basically the same thing…..Love.

The cast features the talents of Amy Tolsky, Felicity Wren, Douglas Scott Sorenson, Kaelan Strouse, and Andrew Katers.

 

The design team includes Emmy Weldon (Scenic Designer), Ellen Greenberg (Costume Designer), Derrick McDaniel (Lighting Design) and David Svengalis (Graphic Design, Stage Manager/Technical Director).

 

Show Listing

BABY OH BABY

 

March 19 – June 4, 2016

 

Saturdays at 8:00 PM

 

Q & A Talkbacks after show: March 26 & April 16

 

Adult humor appropriate for ages 18+

Mature audiences only

The play contains sexually charged dialogue and subject matter.

 

Running time: 80 minutes; no intermission

 

Advance purchase tickets: $20

Tickets at the door: $25

 

Discount Tickets Students/Seniors with ID; Groups of 10 or more: $15

 

Buy advance tickets babyohbaby.brownpapertickets.com or 800-838-3006

 

For information please call 747-263-9858

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Baby-Oh-Baby-139596616380784/

 

Twitter – @babyohbabyshow

 

Website: www.babyohbaby.net

 

The Whitefire Theatre is located at 13500 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks 91423.

 

Theatre has AC/Heat and is wheelchair accessible.

 

Metered parking on Ventura Blvd. until

8pm, and also just a few spaces available just

north and south of Ventura Blvd. also metered

until 8pm.

 

There is free parking on Moorpark and an

Dixie Canyon.

 

There is also Valet Parking available for customers

at Boneyard Bistro, and also at Augustine Wine

Bar just east of Sunnyslope near the theatre.

Cars must be picked up no later than

11pm.

 

Hollywood Fringe Heavyweights to Face Off in “TILT” A Dark Comedy Two-Hander Making its World Premiere At Second Stage: Sacred Fools Theatre

Los Angeles (March 10, 2016) – The World Premiere of award winning playwright and actor Ben Moroski’s new dark comedy Tilt opens Friday, June 10 at 11:00 p.m. as part of the 2016 Hollywood Fringe. Tilt stars Ben Moroski and Michael Shaw Fisher (Shakespeare’s Last Night Out, Doomsday Cabaret) directed Nick Massouh (This Vicious Minute, The Wake). Tilt is the first Hollywood Fringe production to sign with the new Second Stage at Sacred Fools Theater (1078 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038).

 

In Tilt two strangers’ carpool to Sacramento gets derailed when they decide to try to extort money from a DMV bribery scheme headquartered in Bakersfield.

 

Ben Moroski (Playwright/Actor/Producer): Tilt will be Ben’s third world premiere in six years at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. His first was This Vicious Minute (2012), a solo play which chronicled his struggle with self-injury (Winner: Best of Fringe, Nominee: Best Solo Show). His second, The Wake (2014), won Best Solo Show at the festival, Best Solo Performance at the 2014 Stage Raw L.A. Theatre Awards and garnered an unprecedented nomination for Best Solo Performance at the 2014 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.

 

Michael Shaw Fisher (Actor): Michael is an actor and writer of musicals in Los Angeles. His latest, Shakespeare’s Last Night Out, won the Top of Fringe and Best Solo Show awards at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe. As Artistic Director of Orgasmico Theatre Company, Michael penned and performed in the Ovation-nominated, Best Fringe Musical-winning Doomsday Cabaret (2012) and the Best Fringe Musical-winning Exorcistic: the Rock Musical Parody Experiment (2013). His latest musical, Skulduggery: The Musical Prequel to Hamlet, will premiere at Sacred Fools Theater Company this fall.

 

Nick Massouh (Director): Nick is an actor, improviser and director. He previously directed both of Ben Moroski’s award-winning solo plays, This Vicious Minute and The Wake. Nick is also a founding company member of the critically acclaimed improv theatre company, Impro Theatre.

 

“Michael and I have wanted to work together since we met following the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival. We’ve followed each other’s careers with much interest over the intervening years, so collaborating on Tilt is the culmination of an artistic dream. And now, after both having produced successful solo plays, the opportunity to face off in a world premiere two-hander at the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an incredibly exciting proposition for both of us. If that wasn’t enough, being one of the very first productions staged in Sacred Fools Theater Company’s new home on Theatre Row in the heart of Hollywood is equally as exciting. Sacred Fools has been a Los Angeles theatre mainstay for nearly two decades, so to be a part of their first year in their new location is an honor and a thrill.” – Ben Moroski

 

There will be a preview Monday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m. Opening night: Friday, June 10 at 11:00 p.m. Run performances: Saturday, 6/11 at 5:30 p.m., Friday, 6/17 at 10:00 p.m., Saturday, 6/18 at 5:30 p.m., Friday, 6/24 at 9:30 p.m. Closing night: Saturday, 6/25 at 5:30 p.m. Running time: 60 minutes. Tickets: $12 at the door (cash only) and online (hff16.org/3396). Advanced purchase is highly recommended.