Category Archives: Theatre

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: Las Garcia

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festivalSome stories about love are filled with heartbreak.  This is  one of them. Some stories about love empower and enliven the narrator.  This is one of them. And some stories about love make us realize that when all is said, done and experienced, the only thing we are is very, very human – to the core.

Gabriela Ortega opened her world premiere solo show, Las Garcia, at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe with an invitation to audiences to be wrapped into her very personal family tale of life-long searching for the grandmother who has influenced her life in so many more ways than she initially realizes. What they got was an enlightening, partly historical-political journey, that exquisitely and quite playfully details the closed-door intricacies of love and war, secrets and adventure.

The struggle of a woman takes place in her heart.  She is strong, defiant, longing for beauty in love and life, capable of reaching into the deepest places within herself to dream and willing to sacrifice everything to achieve it. Las Garcia are these women – to the core.

Gabriela Ortega is thoroughly enchanting as an actress.  As a female storyteller, her appeal rests within her own willingness to expose her most vulnerable and naive parts. Las Garcia is a gorgeous ode, in Ortega’s carefully crafted words, to the women who have come before us and whose lives help us to discover our own power through losses as well as triumphs.

“Come fly with me.”

*WINNER: ENCORE PRODUCER’S AWARD 2016
*WINNER: 2016 FRINGE SCHOLARSHIP
*NOMINEE: “BEST SOLO SHOW” HOLLYWOOD FRINGE 2016
*NOMINEE: O FACE AWARD “MOST ORGASMIC WRITING” 2016
*NOMINEE: BECHDEL-WALLACE AWARD, FRINGE 2016

Directed by Alex Alpharaoh

For more information visit: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3451

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: Angel’s Flight

gia on the move theatre reviews hollywood fringe festival“Someone to watch over me…”

The sexiest surprise this year at Hollywood Fringe filled the Three Clubs on Vine with the worst campy one-liners of all time, goofy gags, a ridiculous premise, smokin’ hot “I’ve been a bad, bad” bad girls in sparkly costumes, dazzling over-the-top burlesque, a dead guardian angel and a pathetic ending. It was AWESOME!

Refer madness rules at #NoirAtTheBar with a page ripped right out of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer , in Angel’s Flight, written by Matt Ritchey and Benjamin Schwartz who have created a truly entertaining montage of film and stage noir ‘caberlesque’ comedy.

It’s Los Angeles, 1944. A girl’s gone missing, but a gumshoe is hot on the case. Will our sloppy, bum-luck, detective, Duff (Schoen Hodges), save the raven-haired beauty or will he fall short? As Duff reluctantly mucks his way through ridiculously obvious clues he gets caught up in booze, deadly illegal marijuana, prostitution and rivalries with foes that want him gone baby gone, especially the secret boss who’s right under his nose.

Hands-down best choreography, the girls swished, shimmied and slinked through the genre perfectly inserting a live LIVE performance into the night club space. The entire cast delivers on style, story, timing, direction, dance and overall performance. We’re hoping it makes a comeback somewhere, somehow.

Winner: Best Cabaret and Variety Show at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe and a “Pick of Fringe”.

Highly Recommended.

With: Bradely Bentz, Ben Bonigan, Heath Butler, Dvid Garver, Brin Hamblin, Sarah Hawarth, Madeleine Heil, Schoen Hodges, Allison Miller, Michel Onofri, Benjamin Schwartz, Kelly Stevenson and Ben Goldberg.

Directed by Matt Richey.

For more information visit: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3353

Gia #Hff16 Reviews: Metamorphosis

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festivalIt’s Complicated.

You are the household’s sole income and the cure to your family’s debt (which won’t be paid for another 5 years). You’ve never missed a day of work and you don’t even remember being sick – ever! Life is pretty automated if not wonderfully exciting. Then suddenly you wake up and you’re ‘vermin’. No really. You are a four-legged big-eyed, screechy, grotesque, parasitic who-knows-what.

People perceived you as despicable and as causing problems for the rest of society.  Everyone is afraid of and disgusted by you. And all the recognition and admiration of your dedicated service is suddenly forgotten same as your former face. Now what?

The Moving Art Collective recreates Kafka’s novella into a movement-based piece telling the story of Gregor Samsa, an overworked traveling salesman who one morning wakes from uneasy dreams to find he is transformed into a monstrous vermin. Gregor must now adjust to his new condition, as he deals with being burdensome to his parents and sister, who are repelled by the horrible creature he has become.

Hands down the most choreographically inventive movement performance to present at Hollywood Fringe this year.  The Moving Art Collective has outdone themselves with a highly sophisticated storytelling art piece.  Should it return at other venues in future, it is to be very highly recommended for all of its graphically descriptive aspects set in a minimalistic stage and  design.

For more information visit: http://hff16.org/3376

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: The Cure to Mortality

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festivalAdventurously created, The Cure to Mortality, a futuristic, sci-fi musical comedy about corruption, depression and death, didn’t quite hit the mark suffering most by an overwritten script and for its ‘all over the place’ direction by (also lead actress) Molly Gilman who on the other hand was vocally extraordinary. The multi-level stage at the McCadden Theatre which would normally be a production’s dream, also did little to add to the colour, timing or downright sparse scenic design.

The Meds are using lower class humans as their test subjects in order to find the prescription for immortality and take over the world.

When all was said and sung (and that was a lot!), there were simply too many ideologies crammed into what could have been a tighter, darkly comedic presentation rather than what comes across as internally confused pseudo-political narrative, although there is definitely a fantastic story here. It just needs to decide what it and its characters really want to say.

What is absolutely brilliant about this show is the phenomenal dedication and vocal execution by the the five talented women: Katy Erin (XED), Brookelyn Rose (Dr. Titus), Sandra Diana Cantu (Tow), Mary Ann Pianka (Dr. Kites) and Molly Gilman (Dr. Colbert) who sung their hearts out at Broadway peak levels.

For more information visit: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3522

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: Occupation

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festivalIn one of the most riveting dramas at The Hollywood Fringe Festival this year, Occupation stands out as a powerful dystopian, speculative fiction projecting a ‘far too close to being real’ future of American society.

In some respects, Occupation seems to reference Canadian author Margret Atwood’s 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, which echoed parts of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, in a series of connected stories, in which here, because of a terrorist attack, a totalitarian dictatorship forms within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. Under the pretext of restoring order and safety for all citizens, which coincidentally includes building a wall around us to keep the enemy out (and citizens from leaving) the new regime called The Patriots, has reorganized society along a new militarized hierarchy. Freedoms and liberties have been taken away and anyone who disagrees or is reported to the authorities for suspicious activity, anything from loitering or looking strange, just disappears. Of course the ones to suffer most are women who are relegated to the least meaningful roles in society.

Like Atwood’s book, the story is told from a female point of view, five women on all sides of the issue with the interjection of a fool/foil tap dance girl caught somewhere in the middle of confusion and betrayal, isolated and struggling to find meaning in any part of it.

The threads run the gamut of women who have lost not only their rights but in some cases, who have lost their daughters to a freedom fighters network of young women who become suicide bombers. Each relates an interconnected story asking the question, ‘Who is the real enemy?’

Occupation looks for clarity, power and salvation within the gray area of fear, nationalism, and government control. It is a dynamic, chilling and also heartbreaking reflection of today’s political zeitgeist.

Excellent performances by all.

Very Highly Recommended.

For tickets and information visit: http://hff16.org/3709

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: A Useful Life in C Major

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festivalMusic connoisseurs are getting a special treat at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year with the surprising gem of a presentation, A Useful Life in C Major.

Now taking your requests is Canadian born, internationally trained and now a ‘Pick of the 2016 Fringe’ classical pianist David Wheatley who will be tickling keys to your favorite melodies and show tunes in every genre from, rock, jazz, R&B, even hillbilly. (Though, you might have heard him play at your local ball game. That is if you lived in Texas).

Delightfully immersive, one hour listening to David might make you forget you’re actually sitting in a bare, black box theater and instead live at the Hollywood Bowl sans orchestra.  Close your eyes or wait for the house to go dark during the unrehearsed lighting cues. Either way, it is high-end, lightly sketched out comedic storytelling with a lot of music.

Be sure to bring some requests. He really does take them towards the end of the show!

For tickets and more info visit:  hollywoodfringe.org/projects/3849

Gia #HFF16 Reviews: Sticky Fingers

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move theatre reviews tracey paleo hollywood fringe festival‘My husband wouldn’t buy me that phone. He bought himself another exotic fish instead.’

‘I just LOVE cosmetics.’

‘I want my Mama to have the best.’

‘We’ve always lived out of a dumpster.’

‘That red jumpsuit made all my fantasies come true. And I never did get caught.’

Of all the reasons every other civilian could think of for shoplifting Sticky Fingers nosedives into the juicy, not so desperate, and often not very remorseful psychology of why (these) women just won’t pay.

Set up like a recovery meeting (think AA), and written from the real life conversations of real shoplifters, eight women confess their secret stories about why they just HAD to have that one thing, the gains and the losses, emotional as well as material. Each woman’s story is as hilarious as it is fascinating and heartbreaking and in one woman’s case, dramatically and horribly changes her life forever through public shame, jail time and more.

Are there lessons to be learned through these women’s respective experiences? Possibly. But Sticky Fingers is definably about getting pleasurably personal with the abusers rather than excoriating them which makes it ultimately fun and quite titillating.

Excellent casting and performances by all.

For tickets and information visit: http://hff16.org/3645