Category Archives: Theatre

The World Domination of Richard III at Eclectic Company

 The villains get the best lines

Richard III

One of the most coveted roles in Shakespearean literature, Shakespeare’s history play recounts how Richard ascended to the throne and consolidated his power largely by accomplishing the murder of his perceived political adversaries, including members of his own family, in a story that resonates as surprisingly modern.  Fast, vicious and murderous, Richard III revels in Shakespeare’s gleeful poetry, hurtling along with Richard on his psychotic vision of world domination.

Directed by Natasha Troop, Eclectic Company’s Richard III is this season’s play to watch. Described as an “intimate encounter with Shakespeare’s most popular and cunning anti-hero, Richard of Gloucester,” the design elements of the current production are a mash-up of the futuristic and 1930s-era retro, highlighting both the elegance of life at court and the coldness of the Plantagenet feud.

It is both silky and seductive, ferocious and brutal, charming and repelling.

The cast includes Jon Mullich as Richard, also featuring Ovation award nominee Jesse Merlin (Re-Animator: The Musical) as Buckingham, and Christian Chan, Alon Dina, Melody Doyle, Carissa Gipprich, Rachel Kanouse, Jessicah Neufeld, David Pinion, Tim Polzin, Glenn Simon, Janie Steele, Randi Tahara, Gary Tremble, Eliot Troop, Micah Watterson and Nathan Werner.

Costume Designer: Wendell C. Carmichael   
Fight choreography: Christian Chan

Eclectic Company

The Eclectic Company Theatre
5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd. 
Valley Village, CA 91607 

(between Chandler and Magnolia)

WHEN: July 24- August 30, 2015. Fri. & Sat. at 8:00, Sun. at 2:00.

ADMISSION: $18.

RESERVATIONS: (818) 508-3003.

ONLINE TICKETING: www.eclecticcompanytheatre.org

Hollywood Fringe Announces 2015 Award Winners

Sixth Annual Festival Closes With a Bang

hfawards

Photo credit: Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

The 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival ended last night after crowning this year’s award winners at the annual Award Ceremony and Closing Night Party. Over 650 people attended the event.The Freak Awards are community-voted by Fringe participants and attendees. Winners included:

Click here to see a full list of award winners, including sponsored awards and extensions.

Hollywood Fringe

The sixth annual Fringe was a huge success according to festival organizers, with record-breaking online ticket sales and attendance. Official numbers and year-to-year comparisons will be released in the coming weeks after settlement is complete.

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD FRINGE

Hollywood Fringe Logo

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community.  Each June during the Hollywood Fringe, the arts infiltrates the Hollywood neighborhood: Fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers.

Participation in the Hollywood Fringe is completely open and uncensored. This free-for-all approach underlines the festival’s mission to be a platform for artists without the barrier of a curative body. By opening the gates to anyone with a vision, the festival is able to exhibit the most diverse and cutting-edge points-of-view the world has to offer. Additionally, by creating an environment where artists must self-produce their work, the Fringe motivates its participants to cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurialism in the arts.

Gia #HFF15 #Reviews : The Devil You Say

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

The Devil You Say

You will never look at Satan the same.  He is part origin, part change, part prankster, part evil.  Of all the monikers accorded the Devil, in this adaptation of the Dark One, he is no less a brilliant reasoner giving explanation to his very existence and in fact, so calm and likable, one cannot help but be swayed by his argument sans any manipulation.  In this conversation about himself, he is very much partial to the truth.

Exquisite puppetry beginning with an opening classic favorite of Punch and Judy which turns into a Punch and Devil battle, Punch being triumphant, creator, director and puppeteer Robin Walsh opens a portal and a forum for Satan to directly speak with the audience.

“Grace appears most purely in that human form which either has no consciousness or an infinite consciousness…And who, or what, has had and lost more grace than Satan?”

Incredibly crafted the text is compiled by existing words, sayings and dialogues attributed to Satan from the 1400’s to the 1990’s and has been interpreted from playwright Yvonne Mitchell’s solo piece “Speak of the Devil.”  The Devil, the puppet is extraordinary and so life-like as to mesmerize.

I got to see this show at midnight on Friday evening this past weekend.  What a mysterious captivating treat!

Highly recommended.

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2098

Gia #HFF15 #Reviews : Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words

Writer Stan Zimmerman returns to the 2015 Hollywood Fringe with a departure the issue of suicide.

A totally staged reading, Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words, is an account of actual letters written by people from all walks of life – veterans to LGBT  bullied teens, well-known historic figures throughout several centuries, even celebrities, including the letters of D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey and Kurt Cobain.

What’s so hard-hitting about these letters is the honesty of the issues each one faces, how specifically and heartfelt they dialog to their friends and loved ones about their feelings and most of all the apologies for the guilt of committing the final act of suicide.

And yet there is an unmistakable clarity in that decision.

Most excellently directed and performed in every way, this show takes us on a journey of evidence a la Vagina Monologues and although rife with fails, ends on one incredibly hopeful note, when a young teenage LGBT boy is found lying unconscious in his room by his parents, revived at the hospital and lives.

The moral of the tale is that living is accepting that life can and will get better — if you are willing.

A portion of the proceeds for this show went to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. (800-273-8255)

Recommended (if you can comfortably sit through the material)

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2458

Gia #HFF15 #Reviews : Max & Elsa No Music No Children

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Max & Elsa No Music No ChildrenIt is Vienna and Salzburg in the last golden days of the 30s just as the Nazis are rolling in to take over.  Mostly everyone sort of knows the Sound of Music.  Proud severe Austrian Captain Georg Von Trapp, is on the hunt for a new nanny and finds Maria, a young novitiate in a convent who is temporarily sprung from taking vows in order to care for Von Trapp’s 12 neglected, rich and talented singing kids.

When dad comes back from Vienna however, he brings the new lady in his life, the Baroness Elsa Schraeder. The sudden engagement threatens the stability of their happiness with the possibility of boarding school and even less fun than before, and of course, all of Maria’s dreams of conflicted love for the Captain of ever being fulfilled.

In Max & Elsa however, there’s a different story to be told.

Max Detweiler, the Baroness’ fun loving music promoter sidekick fashionable friend, is on the prowl for new talent and a new husband for the baroness.  As they sort through the photographs of horribly unqualified candidates Von Trapp suddenly becomes the target.  Not much on mothering Elsa agrees to get busy and plays her vivacious role into the completely disinterested Captain’s rather cold and ordered life, only to be thwarted by the fact that all along, he’s been sorting both women’s most suitable qualifications.

One of the more deliciously, drier, funnier shows at Fringe this year. So well put together, this show never takes a single awkward pause and is brilliantly executed by everyone in the cast.  Their really is NO MUSIC. Nor do we ever see the kinds or the fond farewell.  In the end, poor, poor Elsa, a genuine queen of surviving heartbreak and men, tallies on to the next possibility (if there are any left!)

Recommended.

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2156

Gia #HFF15 #Reviews : The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships

These people are just crazy.

Hilarious from the grandiose melodramatic lights up.

Four contestants compete in a heated tournament of transcendental soul ripping solo acts.  These personal intimate journeys that no one particularly would ever want to know about become the fodder for self-recognition in a parody of extraordinary proportions.

Trent “The Soul Mirror” Isaacs and 6-time reigning champion returns for what he is sure to be another crushing victory. But in a shocking turn of events he is suddenly upstaged by an unlikely, last-minute wildcard Western Region finalist Gary. As each candidate 2 girls and 2 guys go for all-fired shock, penetrating realism and unmitigated self-indulgence in the quest for storytelling gold, Gary whose real life is so staggeringly stupefying and immersed in sexual depravity “without his consent”, that he pulls ahead sending Trent into a breathtaking tantrum. Calling out every detail of Gary’s story to get the judges to disqualify Gary from the event is the coup de gras of what it means to be a winner and an international celebrity.

When I say, hilarious beyond all measure, this show needs an extension after Fringe.

Very Highly Recommended.

http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2061

Gia #HFF15 #Reviews : Soundly

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Soundly

They just never stopped talking…like EVER!

Soundly takes a chapter from Daniel Handler’s novel, “Adverbs”, a collection of 17 interconnected narratives from the points of view of various people, in various sorts of love.  The book focuses on the ways people fall in love, instead of focusing on whom they are in love with.

In Soundly, Allison spends an evening of “friendship” love, out with her best friend Lila who is dying of a rare disease.  They reminisce about their lives, the things they’ve done and things they’ve meant to do, moments felt and lost, even talking about Lila’s eventual demise.

In the course of the evening, Lily gets a miraculous call to go to hospital for a transplant that can save her life but she never makes it.  The ferry goes down and the women cannot cross over to save her.

Having this story move at breakneck speed is an interesting directional choice that mostly serves the play.  However, too much of it gets lost with the narrator’s overbearing speech. Zero pause utterly forces the moments and it takes away the “land”. Ultimately, it’s hard to find the reason to stay with this piece.  The emotional payoff is small.