Category Archives: Reviews

One More Plate For National Pasta Month

Olive Garden's New Lasagna Fresca with Shrimp

Olive Garden’s New Lasagna Fresca with Shrimp

If you’ve been in the dark about National Pasta Month, the bad news is that well, of course is that it ends October 31st.  However, there’s always time to eat more and so there’s no cause to fret.

To make the point, t just so happens that several weeks ago, Gia On The Move was invited to taste the food re-inventions at the Olive Garden in Burbank.  After being stuffed to the gills with plenty of Italian inspired appetizers, pastas and main dishes including a new “light” menu (which we loved most!), it’s a no brainer for this down home Sicilian to urge you to go and fill your plate!

What we liked best about this menu was the absolute value and affordability mixed with some very significant upgrades in presentation and flavor.  Great date night dinners or family assemblages can be had without breaking the bank. And no one at the table will go hungry.  “Now THAT’S Italian!”

Earlier this year, Olive Garden unveiled its most significant menu evolution in the restaurant’s history, adding more than 20 new menu items that broaden the choice, variety and value it offers guests, prepared with new cooking techniques that accentuate new flavors. Olive Garden’s new menu is designed to appeal to the evolving palettes and preferences of casual dining guests, while providing more options for a customized meal experience at both lunch and dinner.

Olive Garden's Artichoke Fritti

Olive Garden’s Artichoke Fritti

New Menu Highlights

  • Small Plates: Expanding the Tastes of Italy section to include eight small plate dishes for guests who want to explore different flavors.
  • Antipasti and Caprese Salads: Creating new ways for guests to enjoy Olive Garden’s popular signature salad through the addition of antipasti or caprese toppings.
  • Lighter Italian Fare: Enhancing variety within the under-575-calories menu section by introducing additional dishes for calorie-counting guests.
  • Specialty Entrees: Bringing new culinary-forward entrees to the chicken and seafood sections of the menu, enhanced by preparation on a new Piastra flat-top grill for a more evenly cooked, tender and juicy taste.
  • “Cucina Mia” Section: Introducing a new menu section that gives guests the ability to create their own entrée from a variety of six pastas and five made-from-scratch sauces – starting at $9.99 every day.
  • Tuscan Trio Lunch Combinations: Enhancing our popular soup, salad and bread sticks lunch with choice of Mini Pasta Bowl, Small Plate or Signature Salad Topping.
Olive Garden's Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Olive Garden’s Chicken Meatball Sandwich

Dishes served at tasting event Gia On The Move thoughts are in red:  :

  • Crispy Risotto Bites (“Small Plates”) – Bite-sized blend of Italian cheeses and rice, lightly fried and served in marinara sauce.  An excellent choice even if a bit on the crispy side.  They are more like a mini arancini (an Italian rice ball) without the meat.
  • Polenta Shrimp alla Greca (“Small Plates”) – Sautéed shrimp served on creamy polenta and topped with a fresh blend of olives, capers and tomato sauce. Carby and a little bit on the heavier sided but delicious.
  • Artichoke Fritti (appetizer) – Marinated artichoke hearts, lightly battered and fried. Served with a five cheese marinara dipping sauce. Not our favorite; they were a bit too fried for our palette.  But if you are looking for an appetizer alternative in vegetable form, and like a saltier taste, it’s a way to go.
  • Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper – Fresh mozzarella bites, roasted tomato, bell pepper, basil, kale and an extra-virgin olive oil drizzle.  This was actually a Kale salad with the roasted tomato topper and our least favorite in the grouping as it was overall too dry underneath. But for vegetarians looking for absolutely simple without oils, vinegar or other heavy dressings, this is your “target zero” for a healthy choice.
  • Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich – Smashed chicken meatballs with roasted bell peppers and mozzarella on a focaccia bun.  Without a doubt this spicy number is going to be a lunch favorite for all patrons.  Already a big seller, this sandwich packs all the awesome flavor of a regular beef or pork meatball but with a lighter side poultry alternative.  You will LOVE IT!  We totally did!
  • Bucatini with Spicy Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs – part of Cucina Mia:
    • Choose your pasta: New Large Paccheri, New Tri-Colored Vegetable Penne, Bucatini, New Cavatappi, Whole Wheat Linguine, New Gluten-Free Rotini
    • Choose your made-from-scratch sauce:  New Creamy Garlic Alfredo, New Primavera, New Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato, New Spicy Diavolo, Fresh Tomato Pomodoro
    • Add a topping (additional cost): New Chicken Meatballs, New Sausage Meatballs, Meatballs, Sautéed Shrimp.  For diners who need choices but not the stress of deciding if any of the ingredients are too experimental.
Olive Garden's Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Olive Garden’s Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Garlic Rosemary Chicken (Lighter Italian Fare [under 575 calories]) – Grilled marinated chicken breast topped with rosemary and caramelized garlic cloves. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes and fresh spinach.  Hands down one of our favorites.  The only thing that could be improved is the sauce which is a bit too gravy-like instead of “jus” like and can potentially overpower the dish.  But nevertheless, it is an absolutely delicious choice and a recommend.

  • Lasagna Fresca – Hand folded vegetable lasagna, sautéed shrimp and grilled tomatoes with sun-dried tomato sauce.  Most of the tasters liked this one.  It wasn’t particularly our favorite.  We typically are traditionalists when it comes to food here at Gia On The Move.  The chopped vegetables seemed hard and detracted from the actual lasagna flavor.  BUT…patrons who prefer summer squashes to the taste of cheese are going to prefer this.  And although far from traditional, the shrimp topping adds an intriguing take.  It’s a toss-up.
Olive Garden's Chicken Abruzzi

Olive Garden’s Chicken Abruzzi

Chicken Abruzzi (Lighter Italian Fare [under 575 calories]) – Grilled chicken breast in a savory broth simmered with cannellini beans, kale and garden vegetables. We loved this.  It’s a bit on the soupy, salty side, but the cannelli beans are a perfect mid-northern touch and a superior nutritional choice. Recommended.

  • Pappardelle Pescatore (Olive Garden Specialty) – Sautéed shrimp, bay scallops and clams tossed with pappardelle pasta, fresh asparagus and tomatoes in a creamy red pepper seafood sauce. Well, first off, it’s not really a parpardelle pasta.  We were told that most of the customers didn’t quite understand how to eat Papardelle in its original form; Pappardelle is traditionally a wider noodle closer to a strip of lasagna, which seemed a bit bulky to “regulars”. So Olive Garden management decided to make it skinnier, like a thicker linguine, but kept the name.  So technically it’s not pappardelle.  And it tasted simply like linguine with a melody of shellfish. But the taste was there: spicy and actually a little piquant.  Highly recommended.
  • Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries (dessert) – Sweet summer strawberries top a rich and creamy vanilla custard inspired by Italy’s mountainous Piedmont region.  Everything you could want in a custard desert.  Not quite as light as a traditional panna cotta but every bit as delicious.  We loved it.  Highly recommended for lovers of sweets.
Olive Garden's Pappardelle Pescatore

Olive Garden’s Pappardelle Pescatore

Broomstick: Starring Jenny O’Hara at the Fountain Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Broomstick_4NC

Once upon a time, in the deep dark woods…

Actress Jenny O’Hara takes on the darker and realer side of a fairytale witch in the one woman presentation of, Broomstick, a West Coast premiere now playing at the Fountain Theatre.

Hands-down the best “timing” actress I quite possibly have ever experienced on a stage, Ms. O’Hara, in a thick Appalachian drawl, utterly embraces the poetic line, of John Biguenet’s wicked old woman.  At one turn empathetic in another cunning, she is utterly masterful — owning the language, and wielding the power of persuasion, spells and curses, spinning a voracious, intimate tale of life as an “unusual”.  She claims dominion over bugs and weather.  She is mischievous, sharp-tongued, even a bit malificent.  She may even eat children.  One can never tell in the dim shadows of a messy cottage where cooking is art and sweet. She is wise, kind and fair, but anger her, treat her unjustly and she can be vengeance itself.

It’s a deceptively tricky role navigating this multidimensional character so much more often presented as simply good or evil.  Ms. O’Hara has no trouble at all pulling out the juiciest moments for the audience to bite down on, just as ravenously as we might eat her suckling pig. So large, so comically, so real does she play this character, that I cannot think of anyone who could pull it off quite as well or at all.

Set in Appalachia and written entirely in rhymed iambic pentameter, Biguenet’s truly mesmerizing solo play introduces us to a wacky bizarre old woman living in a little shack deep in the woods…who may happen to be a witch. When a visitor, and one time runaway now grown, stops in unexpectedly, storytelling and truth meld together into a half-real, half-fantasy confession.

It’s exotic, funny, harsh, bitter and profound as the Witch reveals her childhood innocence, sexual awakening, and all of the poignant moments that have conjured to create her as she is in the present moment.

“In some ways, she’s positioned to be the freest of all human beings,” says playwright and New Orleans professor John Biguenet, who started writing this piece in 2009.  “She’s seen everything, done everything.  She doesn’t need a man.  She has the potential to live with the complete knowledge of what it is to be a human being.”

This show far surpasses folk and fairytale, from sets, sound, lights, direction and spoken word. Ms. O’Hara is bewitching “perfection” in this exquisite performance!

Not to be missed under any condition!

Broomstick_Graphic-med

NOW PLAYING UNTIL NOVEMBER 30
The Fountain Theatre
5060 Fountain Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90029
(Fountain at Normandie)

Written by John Biguenet
Directed by Stephen Sachs
Starring Jenny O’Hara
Produced by Deborah Lawlor and Simon Levy
Presented by The Fountain Theatre

Thursdays at 8 p.m.:  30; Nov. 6, 13, 20 (dark Nov. 27)
Friday at 6 p.m.: Oct. 31 ONLY (“Trick or Treat” at the Fountain with an early curtain on Halloween. Come in costume!)
Fridays at 8 p.m.:  Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28 (no 8 p.m. performance on Oct. 31)
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Sundays at 2 p.m.;  Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

TICKET AND INFORMATION:

(323) 663-1525 or www.FountainTheatre.com

Advance purchase, reserved seating: $20
Premium seating: $34 (VIP seating first 3 rows, center section – includes free parking in lot)
Students with ID: $15
RUSH tickets: $15 (at the door, subject to availability)

Parking:
Secure, on-site parking: $5

Re-Animator The Musical at The Steve Allen Theater

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Re-Animator

Jesse Merlin, Marlon Grace, Graham Skipper, Brian Gillespie. Photo Credit: Thomas Hargis

“I guess he just wasn’t fresh enough.”

This show should come with a warning label or at the very least its own wives tale…like something your mother would say to you…”You should never hang out with a mad scientist.  Hanging out with a mad scientist will make you mad! Mad I say! Absolutely mad!!!!  Now go to your room!”

What an incredible surprise.  I’m not saying I didn’t go into this with reservations.  I’m not a horror buff or die-hard fan.  And Re-Animator has done nothing to change my mind.  I say this with pure delight.  Here’s why:

Audience participation seems to be THE theme for the several freak shows I’ve seen so far this year. Local supermarkets must be making a fortune in trash bag sales.  Passing around entrails, squirts of blood, spitting at the first 5 rows, singling out theater goers for hemoglobin shock…up until now, there have been no clear winners in the contest for mash-up plasma moments. Most have been rather meek, humble and discretionary. Re-Animator The Musical, however, has taken gore to a level of excellence bar none literally hurling barely unidentifiable liquids into the audience throughout the performance. I started to wonder if I had suddenly stepped into an alternate “Wet & Wild” universe. It was total chaotic insanity … in operetta … with a love story!

RTM2014-0518

Ken Hudson Campbell, Jesse Merlin. Photo Credit: Thomas Hargis.

So..why …oh why…do guys never listen?  The eternal question that women seem to ask themselves especially when attempting to bail out the man they love from an obviously bad situation?

Herbert West, a brilliant young medical student, played [awesomely!] by a creepy and borderline nerdy Graham Skipper has created a glowing green serum that can bring the dead back to life. What should be a medical breakthrough results in hideous monstrosities and ghastly consequences.  It’s also terribly funny and just the thing for a messy Halloween, fright night, comical, cult experience.

Graham Skipper, who won a Best New Performer Award at the New York Musical Theater Festival, returns as the demented young genius.  Operatic Jesse Merlin, is back as Dr. Carl Hill who loses his head for Meg, the dean’s beautiful daughter, only to actually lose it at the hands of Herbert West. But thanks to the glowing re-agent, Dr. Hill is still able to take his curtain call with his head tucked underneath his arm.

Also returning from the original cast are Cynthia Carle, Brian Gillespie, Marlon Grace, and Liesel Hanson playing an assortment of doctors, nurses and rampaging zombies. And Ken Hudson Campbell, familiar to many for saving the world with Bruce Willis in “Armageddon,” plays the doomed Dean of the medical school whom West also transforms into a mindless zombie.

Re-Animator

Jessica Howell and Darren Ritchie. Photo Credit: Thomas Hargis

But it’s Darren Ritchie (veteran of five Broadway shows, including “Dracula” and “Little Shop of Horrors”) as Dan Cain, the handsome young medical student (and West’s hapless roommate) in love with the dean’s daughter, now played by the Jessica Howell, who bring the Ken and Barbie thriller-style love-story portion, going head to [severed] head with Jesse Merlin, to its re-mounted, maddening climax (ahem)…full throttle.

The effects were flawless, so was the timing throughout this entire production by the whole cast.  The music is hilarious, spunky and bourgeois silly. You’ll love the creepy sets, the moldering costumes and the cadaverous lighting. Everything about this show is a gushing, audience pleasing hit!  You’ll be sorry to miss this mayhem if you do!

“Re-Animator™ the Musical” was developed and premiered at the Steve Allen Theater under the artistic direction of Amit Itelman who also founded Trepany House.

Re-AnimatorRevival of the award-winning musical hit now playing  Fridays through Sundays at 8pm until November 23rd.

Steve Allen Theater
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027

Parking lot behind building.

ADMISSION: $25.

RESERVATIONS: (800) 595-4849.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.trepanyhouse.org

Book by Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon and William J. Norris. Music and lyrics by Mark Nutter. Adapted from the story by H.P. Lovecraft. Based on the film “H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator” produced by Brian Yuzna. Musical director: Peter Adams. Choreography by Cynthia Carle. Directed by Stuart Gordon. Produced by Dean Schramm and Stuart Gordon. Presented by The Schramm Group LLC and Red Hen Productions in association with Trepany House under the Artistic Direction of Amit Itelman.

The Zombie Effect: A North Hollywood Invasion

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The MoveThe Zombie Effect

Well, ok that might be a tiny bit of an exaggeration, but with this random Paul Bunyon-vibing actor guy strolling around Lankershim Blvd on a Friday night with an axe, tryin’ ta tell us somethin’, maybe we should pay attention?

The Zombie Effect opened last Friday at the Acme Comedy Theatre in North Hollywood, CA to a slightly rabid crowd attempting to forcefully push their way into the theatre for tickets and safety but not before being repeatedly warned to grab rations (water and wine at the front of the house for donation) and a bathroom break.  “Cause none of this might be here afterwards!”

Silly, somewhat predictable and a whole lot of outrageous fun, The Zombie Effect takes insanity to a whole other universe (Seriously, dude it’s all in your head — ah– oops!)

After the city erupts in an outbreak of mass murder, a few survivors find shelter in an isolated, dilapidated church. The government is claiming biological terrorism. Some believe it’s stem cell research gone mad. Maybe it’s the wrath of God. Or, are we suddenly at war with North Korea? Whatever it is afflicting all the funny-walking attackers, the only thing that matters is survival.

I made it through the show without a splatter of blood or brains but don’t be too cTheZombieEffectFlyerSMALLonfident that YOU will.  The walking dead are everywhere and no one can keep them out of the almost abandoned church outside the city or onstage for that matter.

Ripe with ridiculous gags, one liners and probably the world’s calmest, coolest and completely buff guy who jumps in through the window to save the night, this show is dedicated to the innumerous and utterly stupid decisions that anyone could ever make in an apocalyptic attack.

It’s gonna get better with each weekend especially for the special Halloween show. So get your tickets now.  And … a word of advice in case you get stuck in the mayhem without a rescue, don’t count on the resident priest to save you either.  He’s too busy “sipping the sacrament”.

The Zombie Effect runs through December 14th, 2014, with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 7:00 pm. On October 31st there will be a very special Halloween performance at 10:00 pm.

ACME Comedy North Hollywood
5124 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA. 91601
 

Running time is 75 minutes with no intermission.

Tickets_ZombieGeneral admission: $20.00.

Ponchos provided for splatter.

Playwright Leif Gantvoort

Directed by Leif Gantvoort and Jen Woldrich Pittman

Produced by Jeremy Luke, Leif Gantvoort and Eddie Alfano

Set and Lighting Design Leif Gantvoort

CAST:  Leif Gantvoort, Jeremy Luke, Krizia Bajos, Chauntal Lewis, Ana Alexander, Eddie Alfano, Kevin Small, Brett Sheridan, Femi Longe, Danny Turco, Charles McCarthy, Laura Seyffert, Meghan McCabe, Les Feltmate, Niko Bonelli and Rachel Bausch

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

The Rumer Has It at The Rockwell Table & Stage!

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The MoveRumer Willis Instagram

.

She’s got her mother’s prettiness but she’s all sex appeal and swag like her famous dad (Bruce).  And with all of that Rumer Willis still manages to simply be herself.  She’s lovely.  She’s also 100% edge without any of the roughness.

Los Feliz 90027,  written and directed by Jake Wilson (“You Must Be Joking” and “Battery’s Down”) blasted off it’s world premiere, Episode 1, last night,  at the Rockwell Table & Stage on Vermont Ave. (Los Feliz, CA) with a full house and a high energy crowd of supporters including none other than Demi Moore who sat in full view awaiting her daughter’s debut.

A mixture of alternating live stage & film, music and uber reality waitressing/bartending — an experimental  format described as “live episodic entertainment” — the show managed a successful first night without a hitch.

rumerwillisThe love letter/spoof to soapy dramedy material isn’t grand. But the audience cared more about the characters and all of the demonstrative cattiness a heck of a lot more than the script  including a cameo by Perez Hilton on camera as a horrible casting director, so a great time was had by all.

 The storyline?…well…it’s a bit ludicrous.  It’s the … you know… I’m an actor trying to make it in Hollywood…living the dream or i’ll die trying or something like that mashed together with a drug score, a bar owner mc who cares less about the talent than fame, a porn sideline, the all-encompassing, effervescent drag show and the critical musical number that deepens the relationship between the unlikely soon to be lovers (Rumer and a new musician in town who works as a busboy at the bar); Barely post teenaged schmaltz at its best.  Miss Willis’ character, Veronica Hampton is the centerpiece actress who continually is dissed by boyfriend, friends, acquaintances and industry twits who jerk her around quite a bit in her struggle for success and happiness.

But does it all work? Absolutely.  The players are current and in reality, many if not most, (so I was told) a bunch of actors with food service side jobs.  So nearly everyone is a dead ringer and appropriately cast.  And will it keep audiences coming back?  Seems so.  No one was complaining and in a somewhat interactive environment, it’s more likely that fans will keeping loading in just to be closer to the melodrama and the (frankly) hot bods.

The show will perform twice a month (Friday and Sunday) LIVE at the Rockwell with projected pre-taped scenes with new upcoming episodes continuing on October 12 at 8pm through Sunday, February 15th.

Tickets range from $15 to $50. Season passes are also available.  Dinner and drinks are served.

For reservations, tickets and information call (323) 669-1550 ext. 20 or visit: http://rockwell-la.com/

LOS-FELIZ---90027---GRAPHICStarring:
Rumer Willis
Bridgette B.
Alex Ellis
Levi Freeman
Ben D Goldberg
Blake Cooper Griffin
David Hull
Carly Jibson
Sebastian La Cause
Lisa Mindelle
Same Pancake
Corbin REid
Constantine Rousouli
Tory Devon Smith
 
Guest Starring:
Brandon Breault
Taylor Montana Catlin
Jenna Coker-Jones
Tiffany Daniels
Richie Elija Carcia
Adam Genztler
Asmeret Ghebremichael
Natalie Hall
Perez Hilton
Chauncy Jenkins
Nhut Le
Chantae Pink
 
with
Daniel Imperiale
Ruby Karyo
April Moreau
Christina Nguyen
Quinn Scillian
Caroline Smith
 
Produced by Kate Pazakis
Musical Direction by Brian P. Kennedy and Richie Garcia