Image relating to SOPHIA
Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 7:00pm
Valley Beth Shalom 15739 Ventura Boulevard Encino, CA

The Jewish Music Commission of Los Angeles is pleased to present a staged reading of SOPHIA, a musical comedy, with book, music and lyrics by VBS member Michael Antin.  The show had its world premiere and highly successful run at the Richmond Shepard Theatre in New York City and had its Los Angeles premiere with a full theatrical production at the WriteAct Theatre in Hollywood.  Much of the original cast will be performing, under the direction of Darrel Friedman.  One night only - July 11, 2013.  Admission is free.  Reception to follow.

Sophia, the heroine of this new musical comedy by Michael Antin, is beautiful, bright, articulate and sophisticated, excelling at everything except relationships. Consulting a therapist, Sophia is diagnosed with Beautiful Woman Syndrome and instructed to search her past for every "hit-man" which has ever led to a quick tryst. She must now learn about the forgotten majority of male society and try to focus on the invisible men, those who would never approach her, if she is to find true love. As it turns out, the perfect "invisible man" might be waiting in plain sight: the nondescript, seemingly forgettable George.

(Contains adult language and content)



Upon retiring from 45 years of the active practice of tax law, writing (3 books and numerous articles), and teaching (Visiting Professor at Berkeley Law, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (2008-11), University of Riga, Latvia; Palacky Law Faculty, Olomouc, Czech Republic; and Catholic University, Lublin, Poland), Michael Antin returned to music (piano and choir). His first musical, Answer the Call ran in Hollywood in the fall, 2009; Butterfly ran in Hollywood and NY, 2010, and Sophia finished its run in Hollywood after running in New York City, February through March, 2012. Sophia is to run again in NY as part of the Midtown International Theatre Festival at the June Havoc theatre, opening July 20, 2013. Renewal, will run  in New York in the fall, 2013, and will run in North Hollywood early 2014. His next musical, All Fall Down, is in development. He writes the book and lyrics, and composes the music.

An acting coach and director for over 25 years, Derrel Maury Friedman has taught at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, also for Estelle Harman (head of talent/development at Universal Studios), Tracy Roberts (co-founder of the west coast Actor's Studio) and many top theatrical agencies in LA. He has directed theatre programs at the Sinai Akiba Academy, the VBS Day School and Heschel Middle School. He also runs Derrel Maury's Young Actor's Workshop and was recently highlighted on CNN in a special report on acting classes for kids.

Director's Notes

Mike Antin and I first met at VBS where I was the drama director for over 14 years. We have now partnered together on three of his musicals, Answer the Call, Butterfly & Sophia.
Mike and I first mounted Sophia as a stage reading and then a full production at the Write Act Theatre in Hollywood last year to wonderful success. This sweet, raunchy, funny romantic comedy has a wonderful playfulness to it filled with some of Mike’s most delightful and memorable songs.
With the exception of Hank Adams as Dr. Jake Kelly , Lara Rigores as Heather and Maria Paris as Everywoman, this is the original cast from our last production at the Write Act Theatre. Mike and I are grateful to this fantastic cast, new and old alike, for their hard work, commitment and pure love of theater which shows in all of their gifted performances.
Collaborating with Mike on his shows has always been a pleasure for me and I look forward to our working together again in the future to bring many more of his entertaining and exciting musical visions to the stage.
- Derrel Maury Friedman


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Photo of Darrel Maury Friedman
Photo of Micheal Antin