The only things hotter than the temperature in Pasadena the other night were the parties toasting the opening of Josefina López’s Real Women Have Curves, directed by Seema Sueko, which also kicked off the Pasadena Playhouse’s 2015/2016 season. Before the show, everyone fluttered their church fans with one hand and balanced tamales in the other at El Portal Restaurant at the Diversity Project Fundraising Benefit. CEO Abel Ramirez accepted a Community award and gave the biggest shout-out to his wife of 45 years, Rosalia. Then it was off to the show, where choreographer Kenny Ortega accepted a Diversity Award before the curtain went up.
“I’m really honored and touched that I’m being honored with the Diversity Award. It is very important to me,” he began. “My first job in Los Angeles as a choreographer was with a network television company. I put together the most extraordinary group of dancers that I ever got a chance to work with. The Standards and Practices person walked up to me in rehearsal on the soundstage and said, ‘We think that your chorus line is a little dark.’ And I looked up and there were, like, ten thousand lights in the air. And I said, ‘Why don’t you just turn on more light?’ ”
After the applause had died down after the show, everyone walked around the corner to keep the party/fundraiser vibe going at florist Jacob Maarse’s enormous flower warehouse (great spot for a party). Real Women Have Curves is playing at the Pasadena Playhouse until October 4.