I only caught one play on the weekend. In this shaky economy
There are noticeably fewer productions “opening” this summer. Do try to get out and enjoy some local plays… it is a fun and mind-expanding experience… and our support is needed! We must keep stage theatre alive in L.A.!
Fuggedaboutit! A New Comedy…
A wildly dysfunctional group of friends gather at Guy’s New York loft to attempt to jar him out of his amnesia, due to a car accident. A well-known male model with plenty of “skeletons in his closet,”… memories of illicit affairs, cocaine use, loan sharks, a questionable pregnancy, gay friends, and scandalous memories unfold. In spot-lit vignettes with each concerned friend, Guy’s less-than-admirable “life in the fast lane” is exposed. Humorously written and directed by Gordon Bressack, in his first L.A. staging of his original work (although he has co-won three Emmys® on Spielberg projects), I have decidedly mixed feelings on the overall effort here. While this is an enticing concept with much comedic potential, sadly, on opening night… it just wasn’t yet ready for an audience, in my opinion. It may have tightened up a bit by now, after a few performances. Directorially awkward, the blocking throughout was unrealistic, as the characters all faced “us” rather than each other, much of the time, while engaging in volatile and personal conversations. This lessened our enjoyment and was constantly distracting. Individually though, the performances were believable, for the most part. Opening with a separate skit called “Curtain Riser,” Bressack and Marie Broderick were quirky fun as a feuding stage actor and actress, rehearsing a scene backstage. Followed by the amnesia “act,” Shaw Jones as Guy, the misguided model with a colorful past, gave a sexy, spirited, and solid performance! Also, both Jessica Rose, as the loveably dingy pregnant girl, and Mary Kay Riley, as the statuesque beauty who left Guy at the altar… were a joy to watch! Armen Torosyan was riotously menacing as a towering thug, Charles M. Howell IV and Christopher Le Crenn were flamboyantly femme as a “bitchy” gay couple, and Tara Ciabattoni rounds out the cast as Guy’s current rock singer girlfriend. As I said earlier… mixed feelings on this one. Though it did have some entertaining scenes, it should’ve… could’ve… would’ve been funnier than it was with a few directorial and “timing” adjustments. Hopefully, those issues have been considered by now. Running through Sept. 20th at the Hudson Backstage Theatre — 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Call (323) 960-7753 or reserve seats at www.plays411.com/fugg.
“West”— Act Quickly on This One!
Steven Berkoff’s rarely produced, gritty, and hard-hitting British gang drama, written and performed in verse, will play out for five performances only this weekend (Aug. 21 thru 23). Director Bruce Cooper and the cast are trying to schedule a full run in the near future… and of course I’ll fully review it for you then. The entire young cast is talented and gorgeous! I know this because they’ve all been in my shop, (Hubba Hubba!) buying costumes for the production (love that!). The show is playing at the Electric Lodge in Santa Monica. F.Y.I. Interestingly… this is a fully solar-operated theatre space!
Oops! Apologies to Luke Moyer
In my glowing review last week of the doo-wop delight, “Life Could Be a Dream” at The Hudson (flawlessly produced by David Elzer and Peter Schneider), while touting the efforts of the technical team… I somehow neglected to mention Luke’s brilliantly eye-popping lighting design. One of L.A.’s most inspiring lightning wizards, he outdid himself on this show… and deserves his kudos!
I took a couple of young friends visiting from Nebraska to the Whitefire Theatre recently. Pre-show, they chatted with Reba McEntire, who graciously posed with them for a “photo-op.” Brian (an aspiring actor and early Brad Pitt look-alike) and John were thrilled! You just never know who you might bump into in our “star filled” city! I love L.A.!
Back next time with more entertainment news… I also love “Words!”