I only caught one production for review on the weekend
Billed as a “revealing new comedy about sex, love, and healthcare,” it was a naughty, bawdy, funfilled romp! What if you could change genders for awhile … and see what the opposite sex deals with day to day? Cute concept!
Under My Skin
OK folks … this is an outlandishly implausible, outrageously hilarious, and certifiably whacky production! Ambitiously directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, and brilliantly performed by a quirky cast of eight, this is a twisted and inventive “mind trip!” A sassy, cerebral, and mental workout for the audience to keep up with at times … but the laughter was non-stop. When a plummeting elevator crashes, inhabited by a man and a woman, it spurs a twist of fate! The jolt causes the pair to switch identity, gender, and attire. Harrison, a successful eligible bachelor, and Casey, a working mom and caretaker to her aging and forgetful father, are thrown into a position of experiencing life from each other’s perspective. Yvette Cason is a standout as the sarcastic elevator angel, who may have the power to eventually switch them back. Suddenly … a towering “hunk” of a man (Matt Walton) in a cheesy pink satin dress, and a shapely woman in a man’s business suit (Erin Cardillo) hysterically portray the opposite sex … to the max! A very clever concept … but at times a bit of a mental workout for “us” to wrap our heads around. Written by Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser with multicolor madness, their 30 year marriage and writing collaboration has spurred countless successful TV sitcoms. Although the “visuals” and belly laughs here are non-stop … the vibe is undeniably “sitcom.” And the gender changes would be much easier to keep up with as a TV show. Still … I, and the audience, laughed constantly, and left well entertained! As the play opens in Casey’s kitchen, she is caring for her family before work. Her colorfully rebellious teen daughter (a fab ‘n’ feisty Danielle Soibelman) and her elderly and forgetful father (a loveably cranky Hal Linden) both need her constant attention. (A gifted and much loved actor … Linden’s “stage time” was much too short.) None of them have any idea of the outrageous, “gender switching” events to come later in the day. Megan Sikora is sizzling hot as Casey’s sexpot gal pal, caught up in the freaky dilemma of her friend. In multiple roles Tim Bagley (as “Dr. Hurtz” and others) and Monette Magrath (as Harrison’s gorgeous girlfriend and others) give flawlessly funny performances, in a wild variety of roles. Technically impressive … Congrats to: John Iacovelli (wonderful set), Kate Bergh (eyepopping costumes), Jared A. Sayeg (inventive lighting), and Philip G. Allen (crisp sound). This mind bending comedy is a ton of fun, and earned a rousing response on opening night, from a “star studded” audience of celebrities, theater critics, and regular theater folks! As I earlier stated: It is a bit confusing at times, in the “gender identification” segments … but so funny that it’s worth the effort! Just wait till you see Him as Her, at the gynecologist’s office … or Her as Him, in a bedroom scene with a woman! See what I mean? Running through Oct. 7 at The Pasadena Playhouse located at 39 S. El Molino inPasadena. For tickets call (626) 356-7529 or stop by their box office.
Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps
I met friends at Sherman Oaks Café Cordiale on Sunday night. There to catch one of L.A.’s hottest R&B bands, together, and “blowing audiences” away since the mid-’80s, I hadn’t see them in awhile. As always … they rocked my world! Teresa has one of the most soulful voices, and welcoming “vibe” in the business, and wails on electric keyboards as well. The band is also top notch! You’ve gotta check them out! Billy Watts, great singer/guitarist, Terry Wilson, funky bass, Herman Matthews, unbelievable drummer, and Lee Thornberg on trumpet and Don Dziubia on sax are both steamin’ hot! To find out where to see them and when … or to order their new CD “Come on Home” … go to TeresaJames.com.
Those are my entertainment tips for this time. Back with two new play reviews next week….