A Noise Within theater PHOTO: Michael Gutstadt

Joyful Noise

Beloved theater opens the doors of its new Pasadena location

By Carl Kozlowski 10/27/2011

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Pasadena’s theater scene becomes even more vibrant Saturday, when the perennially popular A Noise Within theater finally opens its doors at its new Crown City location after nearly two decades in Glendale. And since the gala opening features Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Twelfth Night,” theater aficionados will get the best of both worlds: a classic play in a state-of-the art performance space. 
 
A Noise Within was founded by the married team of Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Jeff Elliott, who met and developed their love of performing classics while studying at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Taking their company name from an unusual stage direction found in the fourth act of “Hamlet,” they launched their theater in a historic Masonic temple along Glendale’s heavily trafficked Brand Boulevard. 
 
But as their reputation grew over the years, they outgrew the space’s 148 seats and embarked on a bold, four-year, $13.5-million move to Pasadena, where the new theater has 280 seats stretched across just eight rows. The expansive new location will not only provide ample new office, rehearsal and lounge space, but plenty of room for special events like Saturday’s gala, which will feature Caribbean dinner and music in keeping with the play’s island setting. 
 
“Pasadena is such an arts-savvy community and has been supportive for decades,” says Elliott. “I think this is a golden age in Pasadena, because Mayor [Bill] Bogaard is leading the charge for the arts here. I think this is an opportunity for the city to become even more of an arts destination, and we were delighted to see the Pasadena Playhouse turn it around and begin new seasons again. It’s only good for us if other arts organizations are healthy and there’s plenty of room for everyone.” 
 
While the gala itself is sold out, there are other opportunities to check out the new space this week. Preview performances run at 
8 p.m. tonight and Friday, and there is also a regular performance at 2 p.m. Sunday. “Twelfth Night” then continues through Dec. 16 in repertory format, alternating nights with a production of “Desire Under the Elms,” so check in advance before heading to the venue.

A Noise Within presents Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” at 8 p.m. tonight and Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday before continuing through Dec. 16 at its new location, 3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. Tickets are $34 for preview performances and $42 to $46 for regular performances starting Sunday. Call (626) 356-3100 x1 or visit anoisewithin.org. 

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