Bang Bang at Highways Performance Space

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Mike Ciriaco and Michael Matts in

Mike Ciriaco and Michael Matts in “Bang Bang” . Photo credit: Gina Long.

Butt fucking, blow jobs, penis tugging and pistols…exibitionism ranks high in what is otherwise a very old school character monolog driven presentation of sex, lies, confessions, more sex and videotapes in Bang Bang currently playing at Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA.

If you’re here for a fun night out, be prepared…casual or easy is NOT what’s on display. Bang Bang audience members will find plenty of the content invariably homoerotic, emotionally everywhere, immature, funny, often disjointed, and despite the nudity and stories developed from headline news within this piece, and in the oddest of ways, wildly ordinary .  

Backing up…Bang Bang written by American playwright Michael Kearns as presented has a balance of power at work here. One one hand it has the edifice of being highly gratuitous, on the other there is an efficacious subtly . The subjects themselves have important dialog to express.  There is a NEED to be heard. The ideas within this piece are very charged…some of the script in fact, downright, deliciously hard-core, dealing with school shootings, murder and molestation. There is a realness and compassion written into this work which finds direction through storytelling. But the character work at times comes across as vanilla and the end result was not as impactful as I would have expected.  And I did expect a literal Bang BANG! 

The poetic line housed inside the piece threading together a multitude of stories of guns, shooting, sex and sexual violence, Irish con man Padric, romping around stage sadistically “playing” everyone and filmmaker Peter are the most compelling elements in this tale with the extraordinary exception of actor David Pevsner’s spot on believability – bar none – as psychiatrist Dr. Jack L/Mr. Hide & Seek.

Mr. Pevsner’s throw down of his characters, the concerned, highly curious doctor who transitions into a methe- addicted serial killer, is impeccable, volumptous and gritty and where the story finds its true denouement long before the ending. In a phrase, “He nails it!” – the characters, the life of the thread, all the emotions and the true violence presented.

This is the last weekend to experience Bang Bang. Two performances left.

Highly recommended.

Synopsis:

Peter, one of the play’s main characters, is a documentary filmmaker and his film-in-progress (titled Bang Bang) reveals the heartbroken lives of the viscerally wounded. The documentary that is being filmed becomes the play: a collage of confessionals and testimonies, intimacies of sexual rage, and arias of palpable loss.

A man loses his black son in a white cop shooting; a woman loses her husband and daughter in a random school shooting; an elderly man plans to off his wife, who is in the throes of Alzheimer’s; a prostitute murders her boyfriend-pimp; a gay therapist morphs into a meth-addicted serial killer; a cop relives his experience of removing children from a schoolroom that was “a sea of blood.”

But Peter’s film shoot is interrupted by Padric, a charismatic Irish con-man who steals not only hearts, but stories…

Bang Bang

Mark Bringelson, Director
Michael Kearns, Moon Mile Run Partner & Playwright

With: Mike Ciriaco, Michael Matts, JoNell Kennedy, Lizzie Peet, David PevsnerRyland and Shelton

Highways Performance Space
18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA

Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30pm

TICKETS: $20 in advance ($15 for students, Highways members, and seniors)

Online: https://ww04.elbowspace.com/secure/20060523121621515002

Phone: 310-315-1459

INFORMATION:

www.highwaysperformance.org

May 2nd is FREE Comic Book Day!

On Saturday May 2nd, over two thousand three hundred comic book shops across North America and around the world will give out over 5.6 million comic books—free of charge—during Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). 

Diamond Free Comic Book Day

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The annual event is one of the most anticipated comic book celebrations of the year as retailers prepare to welcome new and devout comic book fans into their stores for fun events and free comics.

The 50 free books available this year include super hero stories like Marvel’s All-New, All- Different Avengers, stories featuring classic characters such as The Tick, TMNT, and Spongebob, sci-fi adventures as seen in Doctor Who, Pokemon, The Simpons, Sonic, and many more.

“Explore your local comic book shop!” 

Along with free comics, many comic book shops will feature events during the day including creator signings, appearances of costumed characters, and great deals on exclusives and sale items.

To view all 50 free titles and to find a participating comic shop, fans are encouraged to visit www.freecomicbookday.com.

WE LOVE THIS PART!!!!:

Fans can see world re-known actor and long-time comic book fan Mark Hamill promote FCBD at http://bit.ly/MarkHamill_FCBD2015 .

Join the FCBD fan club on Facebook (www.facebook.com/freecomicbook) and follow us on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/freecomicbook).

ABOUT FREE COMIC BOOK DAY—Free Comic Book Day is an annual event taking place the first Saturday in May where participating comic book specialty shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. National marketing and distribution of all Free Comic Book Day materials is handled by Diamond Comic Distributors while individual retailers promote and host planned FCBD events. For more information visit www.freecomicbookday.com.

© 2015 Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. and Free Comic Book Day, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

This Week at the Theatre: See Some Show Los Angeles

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“5863.” Rudi Stroebel stars in his show about a man imprisoned for life,  for a heinous crime he swears he did not commit. At The Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Valley Village 91607. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 7:00. Ends May 17.
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Screen-Shot-2015-03-25-at-5.02.57-PM“Generation Sex.” The women of Chicago’s Teatro Luna present this World Premiere comedy about sex, reltaionships and dating, with a focus on the ways in which technology (smartphones, sexting, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have impacted our mating rituals. Fri. at 7:00 and 9:30, Sat. at 7:00 and 9:30, and Sun. at 3:00. Ends May 17.
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..Dreamscape
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“Dreamscape.” Pioneering hip-hop playwright-director Rickerby Hinds’ fictional rendering based on real events including police use of deadly force against a young Black woman in Riverside County. At Los Angeles, Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., L.A. 90013. Thurs.- Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 3:00. Ends May 17.
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working on time“Women on Time.”  7 short plays written and directed by women about American women in different decades. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 3:00. . At Working Stage Theater, 1516 N. Gardner, L.A. 90046. Ends May 17.
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DiscordAltar“The Discord Altar.” Ovation Award-winning librettist Meghan Brown and Ovation Award-winning director Amanda McRaven (“The Pliant Girls”) reteam for this contemporary opera about the homeless, and a homeless man’s embittered daughter,  with music improvised by the cast. World Premiere. Presented by OperaWorks and The Fugitive Kind Theatre at The Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd., NoHo. Fri. & Sat. at 8, Sun. at 2. Ends May 3.
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the glass menagerie“The Glass Menagerie.” Tennessee Williams’ classic. At Renegade Theatre, 1514 N. Gardner St., L.A. 90046. Thurs. at 8, Sun. at 6. Ends May 17.
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Preview-Train-to-Zakopane-23-FINAL-693x1024“Train to Zakopane.” Tanna Frederick and Mike Falkow star in the true story of a Jewish businessman and an anti-Semitic Polish nurse in Europe who fall in love betWeen the World Wars. A  World Premiere play by Henry Jaglom. At Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405. Thurs.- Sat. at 7:30, Sun. at 5:00.Ends June 28.
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La Caberet a la Mode de Paris Kicks Up It’s Heels in Style at Sofitel

 by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
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Continuing my new “Adventures in LIVE Streaming” (just in case you didn’t catch it on Twitter/Periscope) was a visit earlier this month to the Sofitel Los Angeles for a presentation of Les Demoiselles of Cabaret Versatile “Le Caberet a la Mode de Paris”.

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What really should be taking place on a larger stage a la Moulin Rouge, is a very up close and cinematic-like view for the audience of French Cancan, cheeky Burlesque, effervescent humor and le chant très sensuelle.

The premiere of “Femmes” at Riviera 31, is a dreamy, glamorous and immersive sampling of all things feminine and female. I’d also add definitively–all things French.  We especially loved being treated chez chic champagne and macaroons while sensually embraced by the ambiance and sensational elegance.

With the Hollywood Fringe Festival fast approaching it is interesting to note that these ladies actually received an award for Best Cabaret and Variety Show, and were nominated for Best International Show at Fringe back in 2012.  Their return is nothing short of breathtaking.

ParisChansons_WebOpening act, singers Julia and Jacob of Paris Chansons, immediately set a warm, nostalgic tone with favorite tunes and sing-a-longs in French and English most recognizable to the highly percentiled Français crowd in attendance. For the rest of us, it was a ticklish treat.

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Headlining the show was actress Mhairi Morrison appearing as her ever in-a-fuss character Talullah Grace who hilariously and quite decadantly clowned up what would have otherwise been moments of unfortunate trevas in between each number.

The intermission is overly long.  But you can square away the tedium quite nicely at the fully stocked, ready and delicious bar at Riviera 31. 

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Crobot at the Viper Room Tonight with “Someting Supernatural”

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“…the dirtiness of early Soundgarden, the groove of Rage Against The Machine. And the rock? Just watch their impressive live show to witness that in sweaty action.” – REVOLVER ​

Headlining tonight at the Viper Room, West Hollywood, breakout rock band Crobot is currenty touring with ANTHRAX and VOLBEAT this Spring, ready to Deluxe Release, “Something Supernatural” due April 21!

TicketsTicket are on sale now – visit www.crobotband.com for tickets and more information.

With a live show that Loudwire reports has “a groove that could be felt through the floorboards”, these headline dates are another notch in a huge touring season for the Pennsylvania rock act. Currently conquering Europe on tour with Black Label Society and Black Tusk, Crobot will also join Volbeat and Anthrax for a North American arena tour from April 24 – June 2.

Crobot’s debut album Something Supernatural released October 2014 via Wind-up Records to critical acclaim, with USA today naming it ‘a highlight of a debut album’ and Guitar World praising the band’s “riff-heavy groove and funk mixed with a modernized spin”.

This April, the band is releasing two deluxe components to the album: The Something Supernatural Full Moon Edition, a deluxe digital album featuring 4 new tracks, and the Full Moon Howl LP, a limited edition 10 inch picture disc featuring 4 new tracks plus a never before released live track.

Crobot is also making their return to active rock radio, following up their Top 14 first single “Nowhere to Hide” with the new single “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer”.

Crobot is Brandon Yeagley (lead vocals, harmonica), Chris Bishop (guitar, vocals), Jake Figueroa (bass), and Paul Figueroa (drums) and are known for their powerful live performances, intelligent and unique songwriting. Catch Crobot on the road in the following cities:

Headlining Dates:

4/20 – West Hollywood, CA – Viper Room
4/21 – Las Vegas, NV – LVCS

With Volbeat & Anthrax:
4/24 – Denver, CO – 1stBAND Center
4/25 – Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
4/27 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena
4/28 – Missoula, MT – Adams Center
4/29 – Seattle, WA – WaMu Theater
5/1 – Grand Prairie, AB – Revolution Place
5/2 – Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place
5/3 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Stampede Central
5/4 – Saskatoon, SK – SaskTel Centre
5/6 – Regina, SK – Brandt Centre
5/7 – Grand Forks, ND – Ralph Englestad Arena
5/12 – Oshawa, ON – General Motors Centre
5/14 – Quebec City, QC – Quebec Colisee Pepsi
5/15 – Montreal, QC – CEPSUM Montreal
5/18 – Saginaw, MI – Dow Events Center
5/19 – Evansville, IN – Ford Center
5/20 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
5/22 – Sioux City, IA – Tyson IBF Events Center
5/27 – Dallas, TX – Verizon Grand Prairie
5/28 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
5/31 – St Louis, MO – Outdoors at Pop’s
6/2 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

Festivals:
5/9-Somerse, WI – Float Rite Amphitheater – Northern Invasion
5/17-Columbus, OH – Columbus Crew Stadium – Rock on the Range
5/23 – Pryor, OK – Pryor Creek Music Festival – Rocklahoma
5/24 – San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center – River City Rockfest
5/30 – Kansas City, MO – Liberty Memorial Park – KC Rockfest

find crobot:
f a c e b o o k // o f f i c i a l // s o u n d c l o u d //

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Music We Missed in 2014: Chris Catalena Yesterday’s Today

#ListentoThis

Recorded in Hollywood Hiccup — Hooray!

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Lights up. Lights down. That exactly describes the physical opening of Recorded in Hollywood last Friday evening at the Lillian Theatre, Hollywood, CA.

Notwithstanding a confluence of incidental events that transpired which nearly derailed the production – a pre-show audience member accident, a 30 minutes late curtain, a host of un-ending technical difficulties: actors singing and moving through stage direction (impressively without pause) in the dark at length, intermittent disappearing sound, and an overly long running time, Recorded in Hollywood, actually kept its musical momentum and pulled off a powerful “Hail Mary” for a truly celebratory opening night.

Recorded in Hollywood is not just another show.  It is a piece of true, iconic Los Angeles music history.

Although the actual script is not particularly dramatic, it nevertheless details the emphatic moments in the life of local legend John Dolphin who pulled African-American music up by its bootstraps and thrust it onto a white dominated music industry, promoting into dominance artists and sounds that we still know and love today. And according to his grandson Jamelle Dophin, the John Dolphin story gives long-overdue credit to the man he says influenced the likes of Sam Cooke, The Penguins and The Hollywood Flames.   All this by a man who was simply “a flashy music promoter” who started off as a used car salesman and who just loved music…long before Motown Records was a glint in Barry Gordy’s eye. 

Most impressive and equally fascinating is that during his run with his shop, Dolphin’s of Hollywood, with the help of famed DJ Dick “Huggy Boy” Hug and others, who spun records at one point, 24 hours a day inside the shop, he was able to grab the imagination of white and black teens alike, drawing them to a location on Central, to shop, dance, openly mingle (dangerous stuff during that generation) and love listening to Rhythm & Blues unabashedly together. As a black man he was not allowed to rent a retail space in the actual Hollywood area.  He went on to establish a chain of Dolphin’s of Hollywood shops and a recording/producing studio for up and coming talent.

Mr. Dolphin’s life, however was cut short, murdered by a singer in a disagreement over ownership of his songs. Eventually, although his wife and family took over the shop, Dolphin’s of Hollywood closed its doors, the first location in South L.A. being the last to shutter in 1989.

Recorded in Hollywood is a celebration of John Dophin’s legacy and the music he lived and breathed.  Despite the opening night hiccups it is only going to get tighter as a production.  This show is a must see for no less a reason of singing talent, music composition, choreography and every other outstanding element in this show, as it is an ode to John Dolphin’s vision of Black American music for his generation and beyond.

Recorded in Hollywood

The true story of black businessman, record label owner and music producer John Dolphin. In 1948, a decade before Motown, he opened his world-famous Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop in South Los Angeles, but his contributions to music and the formative years of rock ’n’ roll have often been overlooked. Based on the book “Recorded In Hollywood: The John Dolphin Story,” this new musical features 16 original songs to match the musical era of the 1950s, as well as hit cover songs associated with the story.

Book by Matt Donnelly and Jamelle Dolphin
Music and Lyrics by Andy Cooper
Directed by Denise Dowse
Musical Direction by Stephan Terry
Choreography by Cassie Crump
Starring Eric B. Anthony, Brooke Brewer, Justin Cowden, John Devereaux, Richie Ferris, Jenna Gillespie, Franklin Grace, Nic Hodges, Stu James, Jade Johnson, Philip Dean Lightstone, Godfrey Moye, Jake Novak, Nic Olsen, Rahsaan Patterson, James Simenc, Matthew Sims, Jr., Sha’Leah Nikole Stubblefield, Katherine Washington
Produced by Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners


NOW PLAYING UNTIL MAY 17

Fridays at 8 p.m: April 24; May 1, 8, 15
Saturdays at 8 p.m: April 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16
Sundays at 3 p.m: April 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17

WHERE:
Lillian Theatre
1076 Lillian Way
Hollywood, CA 90038
(1½ blocks west of Vine at Santa Monica Blvd.)

HOW:
(323) 960-4443 or www.RecordedInHollywood.com

TICKET PRICE$30