Stop Drop Robot: Cerebral Eviction Notice

For today’s Music Monday feature we thought we needed to get your supremely hard core electronic rock band juices flowing!

Stop-Drop-Robot

 

Hailing all the way from the UK, Stop Drop Robot (SDR) is already set to release a second EP this coming November, for mere anniversary #2 as a band. With a blend of synthesized blues and rock these break outs from Sheffield are creating a unique sound that will grind you to a pulp.

There’s nothing tame about these boys.  What they’re producing is not for the timid.  Get ready for some aggressive visuals and an intensely addictive music explosion.

According to the band, Sam Christie on vocals, Nathan Bailey on bass, Matt Ross on guitar and Daniel Battye on drums, they use vocals as a tool to express conceptual ideas rather than narratives.  You can be sure, however, that SDR is an adventure no matter how you ride it.  The music just “cuts like a knife … so good!”

They are currently also working on some new videos.  For now you can check out the Official Stop Drop Robot Website, YouTube page and all their other channels listed below.  I’ve been told that if you really want to get their attention, they are regularly LIVE on Facebook.  Bonus:  you can also download some free tracks from their Soundcloud page.  Ahhhh…can anybody say “F*&%^ Yeah!”

@stopdroprobot

SDR BANDCAMP 

SDR GOOGLE

DAN (drummer) @StopDropDan

NATHAN (guitar) @nathbailey

SAM (frontman) @StopDropSam

The Behavior of Broadus: Jacob Sidney Takes The Lead

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Photo from the @BurglarsofHamm

Photo from the @BurglarsofHamm Twitter feed

It was a one shot deal for actor Jacob Sidney stepping into the title role of The Behavior of Broadus at the Sacred Fools Theatre on Thursday evening (Oct. 16). And oh how he pulled it off!

Ok, I’ll confess, I seem to have a penchant these days for alternate casts and understudies.  But when every other critic in Los Angeles is jumping into the fray to be the “first man out”, it’s so much more interesting to take a step back and see how things actually progress – well after opening night.

Over the summer at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, I had the opportunity to review Mr. Sidney for his lead role in Hamlet Max, a rather amorphous yet off-handedly effective characterization of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  So I was quite looking forward to seeing what he could do with an even more obsessive personality.

For his “singular” achievement, Mr. Sidney, who normally plays Dean Stevens, completely dove into the character with exceeding skill.  In comparing photographs of the real John Broadus Watson, it could even be said that Sidney is a bit of a ringer. Truth be told, I never once thought about the fact that he was a “step-in” for the evening. It was the most natural, spot-on, technically well-presented performance that could have been rendered, supported by a wonderfully quick-witted ensemble which, coincidentally also included three other cast members switching places that evening. Due to an injury by actress C.J. Merriman, shortly on her way to foot surgery, cast members took the following roles: Aviva Pressman as Whitey; Kurt Bonnem as Loeb US; Scott Golden as Dean.  Overall, it was a total success.

The Behavior of Broadus

As a musical play, The Behavior of Broadus is mostly hilarious, bright, sit-up-and-pay-attention material that captures the imagination with ridiculous and often profane humor mitigated by dark moments that either suddenly creep in or which are thrust into the forum of the doctor’s lab, his relationships and his own psyche, a place where he himself fears to tread and yet, in his late life, has no choice but to confront. It is a fictionally composed story of the real life of John Broadus Watson, the American psychologist who established the Psychological School of Behaviorism and modern Advertising.

Coming from humble beginnings, John Broadus Watson starts off as a farm boy growing up in rural South Carolina circa early 1900.  Coerced, by his mother, into the religious road of preacher-ism, he eventually makes his way to the savvy sin bearing streets of Chicago to find converts. There he quickly throws down his Bible and finds a path to science.

Little-albertAided by his will, his imagination and in this version, his very intriguing, anthropomorphic relationships with farm animals and other four-legged testing patients he begins a life-long study on fear and classical conditioning, i.e. how to manipulate the human brain into doing what it is told. In his lifetime, John Broadus Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing and advertising.  His most famous, greatest and undoubtedly shocking experiment was on an 8 month old baby named (Little) Albert with whom he took dangerously extreme liberties in the dissecting and retraining of the baby’s behaviors.  But it was his love affair (as then a married man) with his graduate student assistant, Rosalie Rayner, that ultimately sends him spiraling out of control and summarily booted from John Hopkins University. This consequently also leaves a once emotionally stable baby Albert mentally skewed for life, having been conditioned into phobias he never had. Watson never reconditions the baby back to normal behaviors.

The Behavior of Broadus

This past season has seen several shows come out of the Sacred Fools Company in collaboration with other theaters and groups, which has upped the level of intensity, sophistication and high-end storytelling.  If nothing else to note, above all, storytelling IS what they do best.  Broadus, written by The Burglars of Hamm and presented in association with The Center Theatre Group, hits the mark. Even with a bit too much length and repetitive music score, especially in the second act, which drains a bit of its impact, it is a first-rate production that with a “dust-up” should enjoy a second life or more in a larger theatre house and with a broader audience.  Let’s hope.

What is stunning in the show is the lighting (by Brandon Baruch) which fully activates and heightens every action and emotion, accompanied by a live onstage orchestra — a distinctly gorgeous yet un-intrusive element in this production. But what I kept coming back to most, was the cleverly thought out movement and dance choreography  (by Ken Roht), impressive in how it often created bold formations, telling its own story, using the entire space and lines of the stage, something, as a dancer, I always look for, but I don’t often see in many theatrical productions.  The costuming matched the timeline.  The animal masks were thoroughly inventive.  And…there was an abundance of absolutely priceless lines, gags and moments from each actor/character in this script.

Broadus is “made-to-order” role for Mr. Sidney and it in he triumphs along with the cast for this piece, especially, the incredibly talented and entertaining Devon Sidell who gives a knockout performance as Rosalie Raynor.  The Behavior of Broadus is undeniably good.

The Behavior of Broadus

The Behavior of Broadus was to close last week but has been extended.  Performances run until October 25th.

For more information and Tickets visit: SacredFools.org

The Behavior of Broadus was commissioned by Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, CA.  This production was developed with support from Andrew W. Mellon

WHAT IF JESUS WAS GAY? Revisiting Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption

Terrence McNally’s ”Gay Jesus Play” Feature Documentary is now available on iTunes!

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Breaking Glass Pictures just released Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption, a feature documentary focusing on Terrence McNally’s controversial off-Broadway play “Corpus Christi,” which imagines Jesus as a gay man living in Corpus Christi, Texas.  The documentary follows the troupe, Terrence, and audience around the world on a 5-year journey, where voices of protest and support collide on one of the central issues facing the LGBT community: religion.

The play originally opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 1998 to intense protest and bomb threats. Terrence McNally is a four-time Tony Award winning playwright, famous for Broadway hits Ragtime, Master Class, and Love! Valour! Compassion!

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“Playing with Redemption and the I AM Love Campaign add a new dimension to the conversation that my play continues to provoke, and I look forward to CORPUS CHRISTI starting many more conversations around the country.” - Terrence McNally

Gia On The Move had the opportunity to preview this film before its release.  Here’s what caught us off guard:

 

It wasn’t what we thought.

There may always be inflammatory reaction on subject matter concerning gays and religion…although it seems even the Vatican is changing its mind as of this past week on the issue of what the LGBT community has to offer to the Church.

But this movie brings up the most important issue of all — perspective.  One of the biggest drivers of this film is how everyone’s idea of God and the play is shifted throughout the experience.  Even some of the cast members, both Christians and Jews were resistant to the material, no matter if they grew up rigidly religious or claimed they had no connection to God at all.

Theatre comes out of ritual just like religion.  

McNally discusses the sacred moments…things like growing up and being an alter boy…what being a Catholic really meant to him.  What was most upsetting throughout his life is that gay men and women could live good moral Christian lives, but were still being rejected.  There was a lot of learning by the cast about the Passion Play.  The short version: just like theatre there has to be truth and that is what has to connect us.

We know what it’s about so we don’t need to know every last word.

Much more intriguing are the dialogs that cast members had with people in multiple cities and countries who fervently protested the play without having read the script.  And how when questioned, nicely, some of these persons actually realized that they were making judgements about something they didn’t know anything about.  What was getting in the way of the humanity, was the ideological/emotion attachment.

 You hate what you don’t understand and what you are not willing to look at. But is it really ok anymore to say that it’s ok to agree to disagree?

He thought it was a play that was going to vanish.  Terrance was wrong…Hellacrazy!

The play initially felt like a train wreck and no one wanted to even invite their friends.  But they started rehearsing and it became something else. Something special.

The protests were based on something that wasn’t true: felacio, sex acts and etc that never happened on stage.  But Manhattan Theatre Club nevertheless cancelled the production because of the bomb threats and People for the American Way getting involved.  It brought up how thin the scab of homophobia was and how easily it could be picked off.  “You can’t get rid of the things you were very carefully taught.”

History is sort of repeating itself.

Corpus Christi deeply challenges the audience on the issue of prejudice much in the same way this country (USA) was challenged during the Civil Rights era when people simply made the assumption that whites and blacks should not mingle, sit in the front of the bus, learn in the same schools, play in the same playgrounds, etc.

You’ll never believe what happened next!

 God Hates Homosexuality God Hates You

They finally went to Texas on tour in 2010.  For the cast it was like going into the Heart of Darkness, endangering people by taking the play to the south, where “they take their Jesus very serious there.”

On opening night, however, there was not a single protester even after weeks of outcry. [Wow!] 

Of course, the issues of God and righteousness are  powerful ones, but Corpus Christi goes out of its way not to defend itself.  It merely tells a story.  And in the most off-handed of ways, it sets out to do what we’ve been told Jesus himself actually set out to do: embrace all (ostracized) persons into an understanding of a faith and a God they had been told had rejected them and to include all people, no matter what or who they were how they lived or what they did, as “children of God.” Because…All [men] are divine.

In a phrase…

It’s a warm and fuzzy film, with profound moments, downplaying the hoopla in the hope of sparking a human connection.  Forget the material.  JUST GO THERE!

Available_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_0824Get it on iTunes, today!

 

“Think Again, God.” One Night Only at the Eclectic Company Theatre

 ONE NIGHT ONLY

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Come hear the stories of several daring, reluctant heroes, who were silly enough to follow God into adventures of all kinds.

Starring Matt Brennan, Christine Newton, Leta Rector, Christin Jezak, Korfi Dorbu, Havilah Giannetta and Paul T. Buice.  Directed by Havilah Giannetta.

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.

A reception with light refreshments follows the performance.

The Eclectic Company Theatre
5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91607
United States

ADMISSION: $15

RESERVATIONS: (818) 508-3003 or  ONLINE TICKETS: www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org

@EclecticCoThtr

Bill A. Jones (‘Rod Remington’ on “Glee”) Salutes the Great Gentlemen of Song October 29

UntitledHollywood is getting a rare treat this month.

Best known as ‘Rod Remington’ on “Glee,” Bill A. Jones will be joined by “Glee’s” Brad Ellis and a Surprise Guest at the Catalina show, “Frank, Bobby and Me.”

“The A Players,” a six piece ensemble led by Paul McDonald, will provide musical accompaniment.

Jones is also known to SoCal audiences as a singer from multiple appearances with big bands in the Los Angeles area.  He has opened for Tony Bennett, Steve Tyrell, & The Mills Brothers; and toured with The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Some of the songs in the lineup include Where or When, Fly Me To The Moon, Clementine, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Mack The Knife and more. Jones has released two CDs, “Frankly,” and “I’ve Heard That Song, Big Band Songbook,” available at www.CDBaby.com/Artist/BillAJones.

$15 Cover, plus dinner or two beverage minimum. Seating is on a first come first served basis. Parking is available directly behind Catalina’s.

Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood CA 90028.

Wednesday, October 29th; Showtime – 8:30 PM.

CALL For Reservations at (323) 466-2210.

 

ONE NIGHT ONLY! Fake Radio Presents “The War of the Worlds” on October 30th

newsONFake Radio, L.A.’s Premiere Old-Time Radio Comedy Troupe, will re-create the historic 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast originally performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Radio Theatre Troupe, with a well-known surprise guest artist in the cast!

Fake Radio frequently includes celebrity guest stars in its casts. Previous celebrity guest stars have included John Larroquette, Fred Willard, The Kids in the Hall, Phil Proctor (Firesign Theatre), Jeff Garlin, John Lynch , Dean Cain, Maria Bamford, Rick Overton, George Wendt and Laraine Newman.

“’The War of the Worlds’ goes down in history as the single greatest entertainment broadcast with Orson Welles actually fooling the entire nation into believing that a Martian invasion was underway in New Jersey!” says David Koff, the show’s director and a life-long improviser, who trained with The Groundlings, Bang Comedy Theater,  and The Empty Stage, and has appeared on a host of TV shows ranging from “The West Wing” to “Sesame Street.”

WHERE: Trepany House at the Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027

WHEN: Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

ADMISSION: General $20. VIP seating, $35.

RESERVATIONS: 1-800-595-4849.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.trepanyhouse.org

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Hollywood Speaks with Film Director Troy Duffy

troy with cameraThe Stella Adler Academy & Theatre continues it’s Hollywood Speaks at the Adler series with An Evening With Troy Duffy on Tuesday, October 21st at 8 pm (The Stella Adler Theatre 6773 Hollywood Blvd. 2nd Floor, 90028)

Troy Duffy is a charismatic American film director, screen writer and musician, born and raised on the East Coast. He is a maverick who has cut a swashbuckling path through Hollywood.  His films Boondock Saints and Boondock Saints II have a global cult following of fans eagerly awaiting Boondock Saints III. Duffy also serves as a film board member of Blvd.Central.com.

HOLLYWOOD SPEAKS At THE ADLER-LA, is a monthly on-going series with the the next evening scheduled for October 21st, 8:00PM.  The Stella Adler Academy & Theatre is located at 6773 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd Floor, Hollywood, CA. 90028.

Admission is Free (100% of All Donations will go to benefit The Stella Adler Academy Scholarship Program.)  We recommend you arrive early.