Songwriter, actress, and recording artist Kiki Ebsen is celebrating the life of her father, actor Buddy Ebsen, with a one-woman show, To Dad With Love—A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen, which opens September 6, and runs through September 22. Topanga resident S. E. (Steve) Feinberg directs the one-woman show, a multimedia jazz/cabaret homage that stars Kiki Ebsen.
The new play is premiering the year the classic 1939 film The Wizard of Oz turns 80. It’s a movie that is important to the Ebsen family because Buddy Ebsen was originally cast in the role of the Tin Woodsman, but had to leave the production at the start of filming despite having recorded the soundtrack for all of the songs and worked to choreograph the dance numbers, because he developed a life-threatening allergic reaction to the aluminium-powder makeup.
Ebsen tells her father’s story spanning his 70-year career in show business, including many starring roles, among them, Jeb Clampett in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, and Doc Golightly in Blake Edward’s celebrated 1961 film adaptation of Truman Capote’s novel Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Ebsen, who began his career as a dancer, and danced with Shirley Temple as a child star, was selected by Walt Disney himself to become The Walt Disney Company’s first “Audio-Animatronic,” a fully animated mechanical 3D figure called “Dancing Man.”
Kiki Ebsen co-designed the production with her brother, Dustin Ebsen. It’s a tribute to the life of a remarkable man, and a powerhouse performance.
Tickets are $25 per person, $20 for Seniors and Students per person with ID; $15 per person for Groups of 15 or more. VIP packages, $40 per person, include premium seating, an After-Show Meet and Greet,and complimentary beverages.
The production will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., September 6 – 22.
Theatre West is located at 3333 West Cahuenga Boulevard West, Los Angeles, CA 90068, located off the 101 Freeway, between Barham Boulevard and Lankershim Boulevard, one block down from Universal Studios. Theatre Parking is available for $5 per car directly across the street from Theatre West in the Panasonic Parking Lot, 3330 Cahuenga Boulevard West, Los Angeles, CA 90068. For more information visit: facebook.com/BuddyEbsenTribute; instagram.com/buddyebsentributeshow; twitter.com/buddyebsentrib, and #HearTheStoryOfTheOriginalTinMan. For a video link of what to expect: buddyebsentribute.com; youtu.be/i6GNUASLPr0.
About Theatre West: Established in 1962 Theatre West is an internationally acclaimed nonprofit arts organization and the oldest continually operating theatre company in Los Angeles, whose productions have toured both sides of the Atlantic. Over the years Theatre West’s plays have transferred to Broadway, to feature films, and have been published. (theatrewest.org)