Category Archives: Theatre

Halloween ‘Live On Lincoln’ Miami Beach

Gia on the move theater circusFrom Miami Book Fair to Miami Art Week, The Magic City’s bustling season has officially arrived. Miami’s resident circus cabaret and production company, CIRC X, is a force in the local theatre community presenting uncensored, dazzling work. Catch their extravagantly edgy costumes and interactive performances all over Miami this season!

This year, on Monday, October 31,2016, Lincoln Road takes Halloween to the next level through technology and art by introducing a series of cultural activations to enhance the atmosphere. One of Miami’s most exciting events, Lincoln Road will curate ten DJs across five stages and live performances from Miami’s very own CIRC X. Enhance your Halloween outfit courtesy of free make-up artists and enjoy multiple outdoor bars scattered across the pedestrianized neighborhood. FREE.


Gia on the move theater circus

The Tragedy of JFK is a Triumph for Daniel Henning

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
gia on the move theatre reviews

Chad Brannon (at coffin) and the cast of The Blank Theatre’s world premiere production of THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (AS TOLD BY WM. SHAKESPEARE) at The Skylight Theatre

Et tu, Lyndon?

“Are you ready for this?” is the question audiences should ask themselves before stepping into the conspiracy-theory world of writer/director Daniel Henning (Blank Theatre) and…William Shakespeare.

The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare) conceived, adapted and directed by Henning, is not ordinary. It is not the Camelot story the public has fantasized about, decade after decade. It is a penetrating, amalgamation of hard-core Julius Caesar and recognizably other Shakespeare plays freshly whipped with clearly defined, present-moment, modern dialog.

So powerful is the orchestration of the language within the script and articulated by the cast, that its resonance defies current propaganda and theory of Shakespearean renovation. For here is an exactitude of writing, meaning and enunciation of the spoken word far beyond pablum. It is simply impossible NOT to hear or understand a single phrase of the text or a single moment of this production!

LBJ. What means this shouting? I do fear the people
Choose Kennedy for their King.
Hoov.                                        Ay, do you fear it?
Then must I think you would not have it so.
LBJ. I would not. Edgar; yet I love him well.

The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare) is the what-might-have-happened tale of the conspiracy to assassinate the 35th President of the United States, one of the most shocking events in American history.

gia on the move theatre reviews

(R to L) Tony Abatemarco, Bruce Nehlson and Time Winters in The Blank Theatre’s world premiere production of THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (AS TOLD BY WM. SHAKESPEARE) at The Skylight Theatre

As an insider conversation, it is full of closed-door colloquy & subversion, and public bravado, keenly speculating into the hearts and minds of 17 familiar historical participants who played a role in the trifecta assassinations of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy.

A stellar cast, almost uncanny in physical appearance and behavior symphonize the intrigue of conversations, planning and warning, starting with crack character actors Tony Abatemarco (J. Edgar Hoover), Ford Austin (John F. Kennedy), Chad Brannon (Robert F. Kennedy), Brett Collier (Martin Luther King Jr.) and Time Winters (Lyndon B. Johnson).  Every actor bears a notable, transporting familiarity. And all the cast performances are so fine in this production it begs pause to collect ones breath.

The rest of the cast includes: Chris D’Annunzio (Clyde Todson/Clint Murchison), Casey MicKinnon (Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy), Susan Denaker (Lady Bird Johnson), Kelie McIver (Evelyn Lincoln), Bruce Nehlsen (Allen Dulles), Jacob Sidney (McGeorge Bundy), Jerry Della Salla (Carlos Marcello/Jack Valenti), Jonny Walker (Gov. John Connally), Brian Brennan (Lee Harvey Oswald), Roslyn Cohn (Aide/Pollster), John Knight (Aide/Pollster). ***And alternate cast may appear without notice. Check the online program for names.

Daniel Henning has produced a powerful and 100% immersive script that is worthy of its talent.

The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)
Now Playing Until November 6, 2016.
Check the listing for tickets and info.

gia on the move theatre reviews

Brett Collier (L) and the cast of The Blank Theatre’s world premiere production of THE TRAGEDY OF JFK (AS TOLD BY WM. SHAKESPEARE) at The Skylight Theatre

Life Expectancy at Malibu Playhouse Measures Up

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
gia on the move theatre reviews

Josh Banday, Annie Rives, Tisha Terrasini Banker and Derek Manson in LIFE EXPECTANCY: A COMEDY IN THREE TRIMESTERS

They’re calling it a play. Let’s just say, ‘It’s a Harold.

Malibu Playhouse has just opened with an original production and West Coast premiere, Life Expectancy: A Comedy in Three Trimesters written by acclaimed playwright Catherine Butterfield, directed by Ron West.  It’s a hoot!

In the style of a Second City Long Form Improv (coincidentally one of West’s former directing homes) the play inventively takes the audience through the experiences of an over 40 couple having a baby. The whole process is an exciting and unnerving day-to-day emotional roller coaster ride where in addition, the mother-to-be has taken on a screenwriting project which plays hilariously in the background as counterpoint and commentary.

Narrated by the authors of a “What to Expect” book about pregnancy, this show takes on some very hilariously quirky moments and a few serious diversions during 9 months of fears, fantasies, nightmares and secrets of a couple who is technically too old to be pregnant in the first place.  So they’re told.

The writing is cheeky. The devices resourceful. The extra layer of the screenwriting project adds an amusing texture to the play. And all the characters are equally waggish. This extremely entertaining cast, including Butterfield as one of the narrators, throws down a tearfully funny story with one of the most absurd, gut-busting baby birth crescendos.

There are a few scenes where it would have served this production better with a slightly more populated set, one campy, glitzy, lighting showdown, an extra costume change and one less bit.  Overall though, it’s a delightfully real story and sweetly satisfying – sad, happy and surprising endings alike.

Featuring (in alphabetical order): Josh Banday, Catherine Butterfield, Tisha Terrasini-Banker, Derek Manson, Annie Rives and Kiff VandenHeuvel.

Now Playing at Malibu Playhouse until Sunday, October 23, 2016
Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm
(with an added performance on Saturday, October 22 at 3pm)

For more information visit the website.

Scorsese – American Crime Requiem Explodes The Wallis Stage

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

gia on the move scorsese musicals

“On every street in very city there’s a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.”

A robust mélange of dirty street slang, slut slink, curses, violence and sex took center stage at the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills last Thursday night, September 29, 2016, for the official opening of, For the Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem. But it was the set list, blazing concert light grid and hard, heavy, rock & roll belting that brought the house down with a WHAM, BAM!!!

Cramming filthy dialog, crass sketches and over-the-top bad boys and girls alike from Scorsese films – Casino, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and Taxi Driver, the immersive concert mash-up is a ‘revolutionizing’ live musical theater experience by acclaimed company, For The Record, currently returned to Los Angeles.

Step into Marty’s Place – a four tier venue (including  orchestra pit) that takes audiences from a Lower East Side dive bar to an Italian restaurant, a Las Vegas casino and a classic rock stage. More than a few miscreants – and all characters you will recognize – highlight 40 years of Scorsese storytelling on film.

There is absolutely nothing subtle about this production or a single moment of wistful pause. Forget about comic irony or any other literary device. And definitely don’t look for any feel-good Italian culture in any of this. The vignettes are cringe-worthy.  The bits almost extraneous to the music.  Much of the actual script reads incidental to the production really, with strung-together characters grinding through interchangeable story-lines that just happen to be Scorsese. But stylistically this deliciously excessive extravaganza is on the money from language, to costume to supernova vocals and a whole lot of attitude to go around. These peeps ‘put out’!

And although its difficult to tally the overwhelming number of  fucks that are uttered throughout the evening, they are most liberally spread (and…occasionally that’s not all).

Front to back, For The Record: Scorsese – American Crime Requiem knocks audiences up, down and around with salacious hilarity. The eye-popping, showstopping cast will blow you away.

Featuring all-stars, Tony Award-Winner John Lloyd Young, Tony Award-Nominee Carmen Cusack, Pia Toscano, Lindsey Gort and Grammy Award-Nominee B. Slade. Plus, For The Record Alums James Byous, Dionne Gipson, Olivia Harris, Doug Kreeger, Justin Mortelliti, Jason Paige and Zak Resnick.


Lucy Liu at the American Theatre Wing Gala

gia on the move fashionLucy Liu attended the 2016 American Theatre Wing Gala Honoring Cicely Tyson in New York City this week. Looking as beautifully ‘Lucy’ as ever, the actress accented her pink floral gown with a trend-defying Tyler Ellis’ Jamie Clutch in Silver. It’s not on the website yet and order by request only. But you can be sure you’ll need to save your pennies for this one. Nevertheless, we love it. Timeless and classic. This accessory will be in your style repertoire for years to come.


Nothing Neutral About “Charm” at Celebration Theatre

Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Lana Houston and Rebekah Walendzak star in the Celebration Theatre's West Coast Premiere of "CHARM."

Lana Houston and Rebekah Walendzak star in the Celebration Theatre’s West Coast Premiere of “CHARM.”

In no way is Charm, currently playing at Celebration Theatre on Hollywood Row, unpredictable or a shocker or immediately enthralling. Notwithstanding a very ‘everything’ Mama Darleena (Lana Houston), exquisitely coiffed and perfectly winsome in every scene.

Let’s face it, if one has ever lived or shopped anywhere remotely by the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and La Brea Ave, in Los Angeles, it’s never been hard to notice the [colorful] array of working girls, pre-ops and other gender spectrum that regularly hang out.

On the surface, Charm doesn’t cut new cloth or break new ground in so much as how today’s transgender, gender-neutral community might react to it. The simplistic title and kickin’ club pop interludes, certainly add flavor, but they merely allude to the superficiality of the moment, not the richness of the material.

For in Charm, there is a solid, singular point that screams loudly, making this story in reality, one of the more important plays a young person of any gender should see and experience.


Set in “The Center,” a shelter and safe space for LGBTQ, Charm explores the ever more complex issue of Gender Identity through Mama Darleena Andrews, an older, black transgender woman who arrives at the center to teach a class in charm to a youth group.

It’s ridiculous. Or so everyone thinks, including the center’s director of programming, ‘D’ (Rebekah Walendzak) who is happy to have Darleena there, but unnerved by her old-fashioned and potentially harmful methods of distinction.

And here’s where this world gets sticky. This particular group of young and not so young people are many things: on the street, poor, outcast, isolated, living with extraordinary, real fear, hiding in plain sight in gangs, incredibly conflicted about themselves or crossing back and forth from boy to girl at will like a Game of Life.

When Darleena steps in, the entire idea of ‘gender-neutral’ is completely challenged. She herself made a choice long ago about her own sex and in more than merely subtle ways, is instructing these young people to do the same. There are the makeup classes, the clothing choices, the tea party preparations and the dancing lessons which require a definitively unambiguous boy or girl partner.

None of this goes over well at first. But interestingly enough, against current transgender ideals of non-conformity, through etiquette and some old-school let’s get real, Darleena opens their respective eyes to the actual possibility of not just choosing the identity they want, or the labels of one. But living it. Ultimately they learn to accept themselves in their own unique ways.

Narratively and choreographically Charm is a bit of a tangle. But considering the chaos in which all these characters live, when the most truthful moments are given their deserved pauses, they land with considerable and definitive impact. And there is a substantial amount of hilarity and downright honest to goodness street smarts. The tough relationships are revealing.

Written by Philip Dawkins
Direct by Michael Matthews
With (in alphabetical order): Chris Aguila, Esteban Andres Cruz, Armand Fields, Tre Hall, Alexander Hogy, Lana Houston, Ashley Romans, Shoniqua Shandai, Rebekah Walendzak

Celebration Theatre @ The Lex
6760 Lexington Ave.
Los Angeles, CA , 90038

For more information, tickets and the online show program check the listing page.

Miss Saigon in Cinemas for Epic 25th Anniversary Event

gia on the move film theatreBoublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical, Miss Saigon is coming to select cinemas nationwide for a special one-night event on Thursday, September 22, in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Captured live in front of a sold-out audience at London’s Prince Edward Theatre, this epic love story tells the tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with American GI Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.

gia on the move film theater

Eva Noblezada as Kim in Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical, Miss Saigon. Fathom Events, Universal Pictures and Picturehouse Entertainment.

This special event features a finale of epic proportions with appearances from the original cast, including Jonathan Pryce, Lea Salonga and Simon Bowman.