Category Archives: Reviews

Leaving Home at the Ruskin Group Theatre Co.

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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It was shocking to watch Jacob Mercer (Chris Mulkey) take off his belt and violently whip his eldest son in the final moments of Leaving Home.  I daresay that is what has kept me from commenting on this play for such a long time until now.  It had less to do with this show being an otherwise mostly low key performance or that it was a good show with good direction, populated and performed by really great actors or that I found anything particularly wrong with the production. It was my loathing as a human being at witnessing the family dysfunction that was presented here. It struck a heavy cord.

Leaving Home, set in the 1970s, written by Canadian playwright David French and listed as one of the 1000 essential plays in the Oxford Dictionary, is according to director Barbara Tarbuck, a love story, an immigrant-generated struggle.  And I suppose seen in its full 5 play cycle it does showcase a much more intensified view of that.  However, seen as a single play, it had a slightly different effect. Whether or not Mr. French intended to spotlight the subject within his text, the issue of child ownership comes directly into play.

It’s a theme that resonates as much in Leaving Home as it does in classics like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream; parents forcing their children to be adults – into making adult choices and decisions that will steer the course of their entire lives, and yet controlling every aspect as to who, when, what, why, and how they will do it, deciding for them, conditionally, regardless of the intention. There is so much blame, emotional recklessness and revenge-taking in the first installment of this episodic, that it’s difficult to see how anyone is going to be able to rise above any of the issues and break free.  Jacob’s eldest son Ben (Kayde McMullen) tries.

With Jacob raising his sons to be men, it’s more than just proud father parenting.  Sure there is love.  I’m not saying Jacob is a heartless man or even that he is simply a man of his generation.  But for all of his good qualities, he is weak. And when he rips up his son’s high school diploma, threatens to cut him off financially, prevents him from taking his books, empties his suitcase of clothing, then finally forces him down onto the kitchen table for a brutal dose of, “you’re not a man”, it’s not about love or discipline or a punishment for ungratefulness or disobedience, it’s intentional hurt, anger, jealousy and resentment for not being included in both his boys’ lives and the petty household secrets they keep with their mother Mary (Karen Landry). The surface argument here is the issue of Ben  moving out of the house to live with his soon-to-be-married younger brother Bill (James Lastovic).  Ben actually wants to respect his father by becoming the man Jacob desires him to be.  He just wants to do it on his own terms.  Part of Jacob’s fear though is that his son might actually succeed and that Ben’s independence will make him irrelevant as a man and a father.  It’s a horrible emasculating moment for both of them.

In fact, the very behavior Jacob displays is exactly the kind foisted upon him by his own father in a past life only regarding the issue of religion, which is the cause of the strife surrounding the impending marriage of his son and pregnant daughter-in-law to be (Sierra Barter).

It’s ugly and it’s difficult to watch; which is the very reason to see this play in the first place. If you don’t feel confronted by the family dynamics and the subject matter in some way, then maybe you’ve had a blessed life free from turmoil.  I think most of us however, are going to find something deeply resonant within this play, immigrant status aside.

LEAVING HOME runs through MARCH 14, 2015 

Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm

Now playing at the Ruskin Group Theatre
3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Directed by Barbara Tarbuck
Produced by John Ruskin and Mike Myers

Starring Chris Mulkey, Karen Landry, Kayde McMullen, James Lastovic, Sierra Barter, and Mary Carrig

Show Run Time: 1 ½ hours

Follow the Ruskin Group Theatre on Twitter @RuskinGroupThtr, and like them on Facebook.com/RuskinGroupTheatre

Tickets are $25 ($20 for students, seniors, and guild members) and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244 or online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com.

Free parking is available at the theater.

DOMA Theatre Company Rocks in Jesus Christ Superstar

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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DOMA Theatre Company’s new rendition of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s 1970’s ground-breaking rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar is simply a hit.  Slightly modernized to the concept: “What would it be like if Jesus walked around now in a world of Twitter, Facebook & Selfies,” it’s many parts, Goth, glitter and new wave bohemia including girl groupies, band-aides, army greens and skin cabaret moments amped up the flair and entertainment factor for the audience. It’s an exciting, thoroughly accessible take on a classic for Los Angeles small theater and thank you DOMA for that!

Of course, it would be pretty hard to screw it up.  Radical for its debut in 1970 as a concept album which topped the American pop charts and ignited controversy by questioning the divine nature of Christ, then produced on Broadway in 1971 starring Ben Vareen as Judas, and then transformed into a feature film in 1973, it still, even after 40 years, remains a global phenomenon.

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DOMA lived up to every moment starting with its powerful lead singing cast, which included downright show-stopping performances chiefly by a beatifically stylized, self-sacrificing, totally hot millennial Jesus (Nate Parker), Judas Iscariot (Jeremy Saje), Simon (Graham Kurtz), Mary Magdalene (Renee Cohen), Pontius Pilate (Kelly Brighton), and Peter (Blair Grotbeck), who belted their hearts out reaching the stars with their incredible range. And the songs that older audiences will remember hearing in and out of the theatre are still as gorgeous as they were the first time they were heard anywhere.

What DOMA also did was really step up the choreography factor this time.  Truly boy follies fabulous in every way, I was only disappointed by the lack of space that some of the exceptional dancers in the chorus absolutely could have used.  I got the feeling that if they actually had more room to move or if the nearly 23 member ensemble had been allowed to appear in waves and groups rather than all at once all the time, they would have been able to take the dancing to an even higher level.  Never-the-less, there were really no disappointments here.  Overall, every step, every note every moment, served the production well.

There are 12 more opportunities to experience this performance. Don’t miss it!

Music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Marco Gomez
Musical direction by Chris Raymond
Choreography by Angela Todaro
Starring Nate Parker as Jesus Christ, Jeremy Saje as Judas, Renee Cohen as Mary Magdelene, Kelly Brighton as Pontius Pilate, Andrew Diego as Caiaphas, Michelle Holmes as Annas; Blair Grotbeck as Peter,Graham Kurtz as Simon the Zealot and Venny Carranza as King Herod. Also featuring Alex Allen, Jackee Bianchi, Charlie Bostick, Tym Brown, Sandra Diana Cantu, Kevin Corsini, Kaitlyn Fajilan, Kendra M. Hill,Allison Jakubowski, Wesley Moran, Ashlie Paige, Dekontee Tucrkile, Lauren Tyni and Anthony D. Willis

Produced by Marco Gomez and Dolf Ramos
Presented by DOMA Theatre Company

JCS_Graphic_medaNow playing until March 22

Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 27 (CANCELLED); March 6, 13, 20

Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb.  28; March 7, 14, 21

Sundays at 3 p.m.: March 1, 8, 15, 22

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WHERE:
The MET Theatre
1089 N. Oxford Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90029

HOW:

• Call 323-802-9181 or go to www.domatheatre.com
• Visit DOMA facebook: www.facebook.com/DOMATHEATRE
• Follow DOMA on twitter: @domatheatre
• Follow DOMA on instagram: @domatheatre

TICKET PRICES:
• General Admission: $30
• VIP: $34.99 (includes reserved seating and a complimentary snack and beverage)
• Seniors and students with ID: $20

PARKING:
Parking: $6 at 5250 Santa Monica Blvd (2 blocks east of the theater)

Learning Diversity From “The Church of Why Not” in NYC

Reviewed by Midge Guerrera, She’s one hot Italian Mamma!”

The Church of Why Not

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As we got to NYC, winter storm Pandora was racing across the Northeast.  We parked in a snowdrift on 86th street and promptly hit a coffee house.  We sat next to two women who were talking about The Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew.  Since I was headed there to see Theatre 167’s production of “The Church of Why Not” – which is based on the various congregations of that church – I shamelessly eavesdropped.  The women belonged to the Jewish congregation B’nai Jeshrun.  Yup, a Jewish congregation shares space with Christians, Muslims, activists and addicts. The women spoke of diversity and openness and sadly noted the rest of the world is not the Upper West Side.

Well, the rest of the world needs to see and learn from “The Church of Why Not” written by Camilo Almonacid, Jenny Lyn Bader, and J. Stephen Brantley.  Conceived and directed by Ari Laura Kreith, the venue specific play brings the work of The Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew to audiences.  After the show, driving frustratingly slowly during the height of Pandora, this audience member prattled on about inclusion and diversity issues.  As my saintly spouse will attest, this production is absolutely a catalyst for conversation and if seen by enough people and congregations could also be a catalyst for change.  I’d love to see some “righter than right” folks in the audience – it might give them a kick in their intolerant butts.

The show opens with the congregation joyously singing a hymn and then cinematically streams from one character’s journey to another.  The minimal set – sturdy wooden chairs and a set of steps – facilitated the seamless flow from scene to scene.  Guitar music and familiar songs helped reinforce each characters story.  I won’t be a spoiler and tell you how, but when you go look for the clever way time travels and you know that each day of the week has past.

The not-quite-homeless, down and out character of Saul, played by author J. Stephen Brantley, brought home one of the key messages of the show – I may be misquoting a wee bit but the jist is – Where ever we are that’s where God is.  Like Shakespeare’s fools, this guy that many would walk on by as a bum, slyly brought us the wisdom of Buddha and lessons of spirituality.

The beauty of this work is that even though it is about a Church that caters to every group of people from an Ehtiopian Evangelical congregation to a LGBT Bapti-Metho-Costals and everything in between it wasn’t preachy.  The monologues in the second act got a tad “lessony” but not enough to send any atheist running.

I’m glad to have braved the storm named Pandora to see “The Church of Why Not”.  Actually, it is fitting since the play let so many thoughts out of the box.

The Church of Why Not” runs weekends through March 15, 2015 in The West End Theater at The Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew 263 West 86th Street, NYC. 

Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 7pm www.theatre167.org

Theatre 167 Presents a World Premiere Production

The Church of Why Not – At The West End Theater

A New Play Inspired By The 

Believers, Skeptics, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Activists and Addicts Who Pass Through the Doors of One New York City Church

 

Theatre Unleashed Presents Ligature Marks at the Crown

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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What a curiosity. I felt like I was walking in familiar territory with Theatre Unleashed’s remounted Fringe hit and season opener, Ligature Marks by critically-acclaimed, award winning New York playwright Mac Rogers— a story wherein which one partner is asking another to murder her to ease the pain of loneliness—one partner angry and excited enough to make the play.  Curious indeed. But this production also has a most intriguing twist in the form of a game.

Theatre Unleashed has done what it is does best.  The company takes an ordinary story and wraps it into a maze but with a simplicity that is unmistakable.

Ligature Marks is lined with licentious desire and dysfunction.  The delivery waivers between crisp and lost.  But then what is being displayed throughout most of this story is the quite aligned emotional life of the characters who are also weak and sadistic in their power struggle with each other only empowered by the knowledge that nothing they embark upon is actually real.  And so it should be noted that for any perceived mistakes or wrong turns this work could take, it is also captivating, unusually funny, even charming.

WORTH THE TICKET!

WORTH THE TICKET!

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Seriously unsettling, uncomfortable and fascinatingly delightful Ligature Marks definitely deserves a “worth the ticket” and some seat time for theatre goers looking for twisted, avant-garde adventure.

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LIGATURE MARKS

Written by Mac Rogers
Directed by Jacob Smith
Produced by Theatre Unleashed

Starring Liz Fenning and Sean Fitzgerald

 NOW PLAYING UNTIL MARCH 7
Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 8 p.m.

LOCATION:

The Belfry Stage
Upstairs at the Crown
11031 Camarillo St.
North Hollywood, CA 91602

TICKET PRICES:

General Admission: $20
**Pay What You Want if you donate $5 at the box office for
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

MORE INFORMATION:

For further information, please call: (818) 849-4039
Or check out the website at: http://www.theatreunleashed.org

I Am Already Well at The Lounge Theatre

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
I-am-already-well
Feeling quite experimental and more Fringe worthy than anything else, a free-spirited, bohemian Cosmosia danced her way onto the stage (at length), without introduction or fanfare for a “boogie on down” live opening to gaily herald a lightly designed “conference “of theatre on the subjects of fear and love.
 
Loosely executed, yet well crafted and enhanced with long character changes, there are two points which make the final performances of I Am Already Well worth seeing.  
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I guess the first would be the promise of “free therapy” delivered in the form of real life psychologist Dr. Denee Jordan’s personal mea culpa for exacting a very destructive, until now, “Sybil-like” inner life upon herself.  Each emotion has a personality which she names and gives an anthropomorphic life.   Each one attempts to justify its raison d’être and why its behaviors are meant to protect Denee from hurting herself, even though they ultimately hurt her more.
 
The second would be the elements of the presentation itself.  The character work was in fact, quite fantastic, with the added delight of costumes and wigs.  And, the appended dance/movement piece inserted a sophisticated emotional groundswell that only a professional dancer who was also the creative director/choreographer of her own dance company, on the highest level of her craft, could have offered.  That’s where it became outstanding. 
 
Dr. Denee is a medical expert used to public speaking.  I will say, there was never a moment where she faltered. As a play however, I Am Already Well needs work where timing is concerned. The story also loses its way at the beginning and becomes briefly tangential but then recovers. The transitions are slow.  To be fair, this is a one woman show, so everything from beginning to end rests solely on herself.  It is on the other hand, a well thought out dissertation on the many faces of our internal selves conducted by a well-informed, degreed professional who also happens to be a highly skilled creative. I’d call it a directional problem, a lack of strong stage guidance which is easily adjusted.
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Apart from that, it’s a low-key, light fare, colorful panoply. If you are seeking an easy night at the theatre without a lot of commitment, I Am Already Well is your stop.
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Three Performances Left:
Friday, Feb 20th,  Saturday, 21st, 8:00pm
Sunday, Feb 22nd, 2:00pm

BUY TICKETS
$19
Running time: 60 minutes.
The Lounge Theatre
6201 Santa Monica Blvd.
Hollywood, CA  90038

The Model Critic Reviews: The Iceman Cometh at BAM Harvey Theatre

Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic
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Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane

FIRE AND ICE

On the corner of 6th Ave and West 4th Street in Greeenwich Village, NY, once stood the The Golden Swan, a rooming house/bar that became the inspiration for our greatest American playwright, Eugene O’Neill, and his play, “The Iceman Cometh.” Outside the entrance stood a golden swan, an ironic symbol of fulfillment through responsible action. Through those doors walked the characters, in the early 1900’s, that would give this institution its more familiar name, The Hell Hole. Nothing reamins on the spot but a small garden as tribute. 

Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy lead the brilliant ensemble cast, directed by Robert Falls, after having had a successful run at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 2012, and remarkably becoming the most popular play in the theatre’s 90 year history.  Dennehy is familiar with the dark side of O’Neill tragedies, having played James Tyrone on Broadway in “Long Days Journey Into Night” in 2003 with Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Sean Leonard, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Then, I remember Dennehy appearing at a bar down the street from the Plymouth stage door the eveninig I attended with my girlfriend, and quickly dashed up to the bar with us to have a well-deserved, good natured drink. He looked spent, and I remember we both admired the great performance he had just delivered.

Tickets, BAM, The Iceman Cometh, Eugene O'Neill, theatreThis time, at BAM’s Harvey, Dennehy plays Larry Slade, and once again magnifies his character with power as the philosopher/retired anarchist, nicked-named Old Cemetary by his drinking associates. Slade was a member of the Movement for thirty years, but has had his fill.  Slade sardonically describes his surroundings to a new arrival:

“What is it? It’s the No Chance Saloon, It’s Bedrock Bar, The End of the Line Cafe, The Bottom of the Sea Rathskeller! Don’t you notice the beautiful calm in the atmosphere. That’s because it’s the last harbor. No one here has to worry about where they’re going next, because there is no further they can go.  It’s a great comfort to them. Although even here they keep up the appearances of life with a few harmless pipe dreams about their yesterdays and tomorrows…”

 The assortment of characters who drink, argue, and sleep away their days with pipe dreams include Piet Wetjoen, a farmer/soldier from South Africa, and friend Cecil Lewis, a militarry captain from England, who fought each other in the Boer war, and dream of returning to their respective countries; Joe Mott, a black gambling hall owner, down on his luck, vowing to reopen his defunct establishment;  Willie Oban, a drunk Harvard law school grad with the DT’s, wishing to return to respectablity and the law;  Ed Mosher, a carnival grifter promising a return to the great show;  Jimmy Tomorrow, a beaten, shy man, who’s always cleaned and pressed and ready to go, promising it’s only a day away from his move; Don Parritt, a young, lost anarchist from the West Coast with a dark secret about his relationship to his anarchist mother, now in jail; Hugo Kalmar, and old, hypocrite anarchist from Europe who blabbers about the new world order, but a fascist at heart;  an Italian barkeep named Rocky who pimps his stable of working girls, Cora and Margie, but bristles at being called a pimp, while calling himself a simple bartender helping out some tarts;  Chuck, the morning bartender, who also has a girl he manages, Cora, and tries to trick himself into respectability through a reluctant marriage to her; and lastly, Harry Hope, the soft-hearted Irish owner whose wife has died 20 years earlier, and uses his love and remembrance of her as an excuse for giving up and hiding in the darkness of his bar.  

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But the main character is Nathan Lane who plays the famous role of Hickey, the bigger than life traveling salesman, who always shows up for Harry’s birthday, throws money around, buys drinks, and entertains the crew with his gags; especially the one about the Iceman visiting his wife while he’s away. The patrons can’t wait for his periodical arrival.  Hickey is a savior of sorts, magical and mythical.  He takes over, makes everyone forget their troubles. Everyone will drink their fill, laugh, and forget.

Lane has big shoes to follow in this role, coming from his comedic background, since this play has few laughs–its goes straight for the gut, is dark, gloomy with a large portion of grit and grime. Physically, Lane perfectly matches what O’Neil had in mind in describing Hickey, but one still wondered if this weighty role was the right fit for him.

Hickey arrives on time for the annual party, but this year he is different. He isn’t bringing a celebration of alcohol and good times, but rather a message no one wants to hear–a preacher’s message of salvation for the boys and girls, and a cure for their delusions of pipe dreams. He gaurantee’s a calming freedom, the peace from absence of guilt. He promises to help them free themselves, and although difficult, he will lead them to the real truth. For he has experienced it within himself,  and he will show them how to achieve it.  He sees beyond their excuses, and eventually convinces them to face their fears and to finally act, to give in, to live up to their words. But they all now openly hate him bitterly, and sense something deathly. 

Lane is a brilliant actor with an agile, intelligent approach to Hickey, grounded with abundant force, energy and conviction. He uses emotion to convince his pals. Whereas Jason Roberts, the quintessential O’Neillian Hickey, delivered Hickey with a cool, distant, clear-eyed conviction, portending an eerily foreboding prophet of doom, Lane goes for the tortured humanity behind this complex character, and brings a different kind of sensitive pathos. This is seen especially when he reveals to the group his troubled marriage to Evelyn, his wretched failures, lies, and constant betrayals, and Evelyn’s constant forgiveness. 

Hickey’s guilty suffering escalates to where he finds Evelyn’s forgiveness intolerable, even mocking, because he knows, and she must know, he’ll never change. But still she has faith in him, and he hates her for it. So, he chooses the only way out, to stop his tortue, and kills her while she sleeps. Now, he is free at last from her goodness, her forgiveness, and her understanding. As Hickey tells his friends, Evelyn was a big sucker for a pipe dream, and ironically would probably forgive him for the shot to her head. But Hickey’s pipe dream of peace through his insane decision, O’Neill seems to be saying, points up to those true believers in religion, politics and love who preach the wrong, deluded snake oil while being stuck in a persoanl existential quagmire. 

The reformer is taken away by the cops, and the uncomfortable message of truth all suspected and despised, is forgotten–pipe dreams revealed masquerading as other pipe dreams. Most come away unscathed by the revelations, but one doesn’t, the guilt so bad. And more may eventually fall. For the others, the drinks flow, the answers lie at the bottom of the bottle, always out of reach, and life plods on gratefully.

The scope of this play is huge. Much too much to cover in a short statement. O’Neil put a lot into this work. Each character is a world unto itself, characters who grow larger and deeper as the play develops–shackled, ordinary people with profoundly ordinary problems. Everyone sees themselves in some of these characters. O’Neill knew people well. Everyone is represented, and this is why this play is so unique–its has a kind of terrible, tawdry, realistic beauty.

Some may say the play clocks into too long, 4 hours 45 minutes, but they say that about Wagner too. Sit back, it goes by fast. The cast is impeccable. Dehenney, Lane, Salvatorre Inzerillo, and John Douglas Thompson were especially great, but the ensemble as a whole had a organic unity that was stunning.

Some years before Iceman Cometh,  O”Neill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936 for his already considerable body of works. Here is part of the closing speech at the awards ceremony:

In choosing Eugene O’Neill as the recipient of the 1936 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy can express its appreciation of his peculiar and rare literary gifts and also express their homage to his personality in these words; the Prize has been awarded to him for dramatic works of vital energy, sincerity, and intensity of feeling, stamped with an original conception of tragedy.

The Iceman ComethBy EUGENE O’NEILL

DIRECTED BY:

ROBERT FALLS

BAM HARVEY THEATE

NOW UNTIL MARCH 15th

TUESDAY THRU SATURDAY AT 7pm

SUNDAYS AT 2pm

..

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CAST
Harry Hope                     Stephen Ouimette
Ed Mosher                       Larry Neumann, Jr.
Rocky Pioggi                   Salvatore Inzerillo
Chuck Morello               Marc Grapey
Piet Wetjoen                   John Judd
Cecil Lewis                      John Reeger
James Cameron            James Harms
Joe Mott                           John Douglas Thompson
Larry Slade                     Brian Dennehy
Hugo Kalmar                 Lee Wilkof
Willie Oban                    John Hoogenakker
Don Parritt                     Patrick Andrews
Pearl                                 Tara Sissom
Margie                              Lee Stark
Cora                                  Kate  Arrington
Theodore Hickman     Nathan Lane
Moran                              Andrew Long
Lieb                                   Brian Sgambati

Pulp Shakespeare (or Bard Fiction) at Theatre Asylum

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

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Photo by Bren Coombs: Aaron Lyons (Vincenzio de la Vega) and Dan White (Julius Winfield)

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It’s already gotten a 100% sweet twice over on Bitter Lemons from every other critic in town whose seen it.  So I didn’t think I could add much on the subject of Pulp Shakespeare (or Bard Fiction) successfully running in revival right now at Theatre Asylum on Theatre Row.  But then I got a phone call from producer Matthew Quinn.  

“I’m not sure what I could do for you at this time Matt.  The reviews are already out.”

“Doesn’t matter. You didn’t see it during the last Hollywood Fringe and you need to.  This is the kind of play that really shows you what Fringe is all about.”

That nailed it for me.

Truth be told, I was set to attend opening night.  But the show delayed one week and with a booked out schedule until the beginning of March, I thought, “Ah me!” until a block of time suddenly appeared.  I’m thrilled to not have been disappointed, and ecstatic that it turned out juicier than I thought!

More important however, and what excites me most, is the fact that it is possible for a long-in-development Fringe play to have a superlative afterlife as a mainstream small theatre production.

Nothing is a sure bet in this town especially a one-off appearing in a “test and learn” environment such as Fringe offers to its participating artists.  Even the most notable locals of the craft work hard in this safe, but never-the-less still competitive genre. So rising to the top and getting eyeballs watching, ears listening, mouths talking and butts in the seat is no easy feat to manage.  PR, good promotion and reviews from the critics certainly will do their job.  Ultimately, though, it’s the material that has to grab and keep hold of fickle audiences.

Pulp Shakespeare suffers from none of the usual ephemerality.  And whatever supposition one might initially have about this work diving anywhere near the phrase “gimmick”, just toss that thought aside.

Pulp Shakespeare, a play written by Ben Tallen, Aaron Greer and Brian Watson-Jones, developed by the Pulp Bard wiki, based on a concept originated by Kevin Peace, and based on Quentin Tarantino’s movie Pulp Fiction, is not only meritorious in its own right as an original bard mashup, but so over-the-top original that it feels like a mind scrabble to even comprehend how in the hell these guys were able to transcribe a cult film into a modern day Shakespearean iambic pentameter that undeniably mimics the bard, and on some level surpasses classic brilliance.  It’s simply astounding.

In a way, they were incredibly lucky.  The material already lends itself to a heightened poetic experience, and has so much grit and bawdiness all around. Even luckier, this show is also endowed with an exceptional cast, not just in credits, but in palpable craft and commitment to the piece.  I think they need to take it a step further and film this baby! It’s truly a winner.  

And I doth say to the writers, producers, director, cast & crew,  “Well done. Trippingly…trippingly.”

It is a MUST SEE, HEAR, DO!  You have until March 8th. Hie thee hence to the website or box office and get a ticket!

pulp-Shakespeare-Graphic-Image

90 minutes without intermission

Directed by Amanda McRaven Produced by Matthew Quinn & Aaron Lyons

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 Now playing until March 8th, 2015

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @8pm Sundays @ 3pm No performance February 22nd

Theater Asylum 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. Hollywood, CA. 90038

WORTH THE TICKET!

WORTH THE TICKET!

General admission:  $20.00 in advance and $25.00 At The Door To purchase tickets online, visit www.combinedartform.com or  www.pulpshakes.com For reservations, call 800-838-3006 To note the cast which appeared on Saturday February 7th performance also included understudies as well as regular players:

Pumpkin-Pie / Roger / Norman / Maynard                DREW DEREK Meadsweet (Yolanda) / Jody / Player                           DYLAN JONES Tavern Wench / Anne / Fabiana                                    JULIA AKS Julius Winfield                                                                   IAN VERDUN Vincenzio de la Vega                                                         AARON LYONS Scottish Dave / Marvin / Sprint                                     HANK DOUGHAN Brittanus / Waiter 2 / Ghost  / Zed                               MATTHEW HUDACS Lord Marcellus Wallace                                                   GARY POUX Sir “Butch” Coolidge                                                         CHRISTIAN LEVATINO Lancelot / Claudio                                                             MARCELO OLIVAS Lady Mia Wallace                                                              VICTORIA HOGAN