Everyone knows the comedic actor French Stewart from the 1990s mega-hit television show 3rd Rock from the Sun. He played Harry Solomon and developed his famous squinting expression.
With numerous stage, film and television roles under his belt, Stewart is now appearing onstage at the Pasadena Playhouse. He owes this incredible experience to his lovely wife Vanessa.
They met backstage near the dressing rooms of the Geffen Playhouse while performing together in production. He flirted with her and eventually the two became an item. French Stewart told Vanessa about his various dreams he wanted to achieve. As an 18-year-old, he worked as an usher at the Pasadena Playhouse. He had a dream to star as Hamlet on the Pasadena stage one day.
He also shared with Vanessa his fascination with the silent screen star Buster Keaton.
While dating and after the two married in 2011, Vanessa researched the life of Buster Keaton and wrote a play about his life. After learning that Keaton was often called “The Great Stone Face” due to his deadpan expression, she titled her production Stoneface and gave it to French as a birthday present. The two took it to Sacred Fools Theater Company and found their friend Jamie Robledo to direct the production.
They opened May 2012 at an 82 seat theater in East Hollywood and ran 68 sold-out shows. Stoneface became the critical darling in Los Angeles receiving various production awards and the title of “Production of the Year.”
With a hit on their hands they romanced Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. He loved the production and welcomed the Stewarts onstage for the 2014 season.
Director Jamie Robledo said to an audience of media members, “When we were at the East Hollywood Theater it was like someone gave me a yo-yo to play with. Now being at the Pasadena Playhouse, it’s like I’ve been given an X-Box.
The Pasadena Playhouse has 654 seats. Quite a difference to the 82 seat theater in Hollywood.
The play opened with previews June 3 and closes June 29. Go buy a ticket for a one-of-a-kind show about Buster Keaton and his lovers and friends in the silent films.
Tickets can be obtained by calling (626) 792-8672. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101. Or go to http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.
Before or after the show be sure to grab a bite and cocktail at the restaurant attached to the theatre – redwhite+bluezz. To make reservations, go to OpenTable or call (626) 792-4441 – 37 S El Molino Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101.