Danny Feldman, Producing Artistic Director of Tony Award-Winning Pasadena Playhouse, Joins Friday’s Episode of ‘Pasadena Monthly with Justin Chapman’


Pasadena Media’s award-nominated local TV talk show, “Pasadena Monthly with Justin Chapman,” formerly known as the award-winning “NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman,” continues this Friday at 5 p.m. PT on Pasadena Media’s cable TV channels and streaming apps. The episode will feature a discussion with Danny Feldman, producing artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse.


Following a recommendation by the American Theatre Critics Association, the Playhouse just won the 2023 Regional Theatre Tony Award for artistic excellence, significant contributions to the local and global theater scene, and commitment to developing innovative works and supporting talented artists. The honor came with a $25,000 grant. Feldman accepted the award on June 11 at the 76th Annual Tony Awards at the historic United Palace in New York City, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. The Mark Taper Forum is the only other Los Angeles area theatre to receive this award.


“This is an extraordinary honor and a defining moment for our community,” said Feldman, who was named producing artistic director in 2016. “Anyone who has worked at or experienced theatre at Pasadena Playhouse understands how unique and special a place it is. At its core, the Playhouse is made up of an exceptional community of artists, arts administrators, production professionals, volunteers, audiences, and supporters who are all connected and inspired by our founding ideal of being a theatre of, by, and for our community. This most prestigious award honors every person who has played a role in making and continuing to make Pasadena Playhouse one of the great cultural institutions in America.”


The California state legislature unanimously designated the Playhouse as the official state theatre of California in 1937 because it produced the entire Shakespeare canon, something no other American theatre did at the time. The Playhouse has premiered works from acclaimed playwrights such as Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and many more, and several productions went on to perform on Broadway. The theatre, one of the oldest in the country, helped launch the careers of such actors as Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Sally Struthers, Al Pacino, and countless others, and just finished a six-month celebration of legendary musical theatre playwright Stephen Sondheim.


Founded in 1917, the Playhouse has experienced financial troubles throughout its history. The 684-seat theatre, housed in the historic Spanish Colonial building, filed for bankruptcy in 1969 and went dark for 17 years. The City of Pasadena bought the building in 1975 and reopened it in 1986 with the help of a federal assistance grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and matching funds from real estate developer David Houk, who was chosen by the City to renovate and reopen the theatre. The Playhouse nearly shuttered again in 2010 due to debt and later had to survive the pandemic shutdown. Under Feldman’s leadership, the historic venue is thriving.


Chapman has been nominated for five Los Angeles Press Club journalism awards, including in the Anchor/Host and the Talk/Public Affairs categories for the previous iteration of the show, “NewsRap Local.” The awards ceremony is June 25 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA.


“Pasadena Monthly” airs at 5 p.m. PT on the fourth Friday of every month on Pasadena Media’s Arroyo Channel and streaming apps, available on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse, channel 32 on Charter Spectrum, YouTube, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku. The show is written, hosted and produced by Chapman, directed and edited by Jeffrey Stanfill and executive produced by George Falardeau, CEO and executive director of Pasadena Media.


“This is must-watch television each month for everyone who cares about this city,” Falardeau said.


Guests on “NewsRap Local” included Congress member Judy Chu (D-27); Congress member Adam Schiff (D-28); Assembly member Chris Holden (D-41); Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo; Pasadena city manager Miguel Márquez; LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; and many others.


Chapman was the youngest elected official in LA County when he served on the Altadena Town Council at age 19. He has served on a number of local boards and wrote hundreds of articles for two dozen print and digital publications, including KPCC/LAistAlta JournalHuffington PostLA WeeklyBerkeley Political ReviewPasadena Weekly, Pasadena Star-NewsPasadena Now and many others. He currently serves as the District 6 Council Liaison to Pasadena City Councilmember Steve Madison.

Last year, Chapman won several LA Press Club journalism awards, including 1st place in the Travel Reporting category and 3rd place in the TV/Public Affairs category for hosting “NewsRap Local,” which launched in April 2021. In March 2022, “NewsRap Local” won a 2nd place award in News Programming at the Alliance for Community Media West’s WAVE video awards.


Learn more at justindouglaschapman.com and pasadenamedia.org.