I only caught one production on the weekend. It was a Rockin’ n’ Rollin’ musical winner!
All Together Now – The All-New Beatles Musical
Are you a diehard supporter of The Beatles, like trillions of other “forever fans”? If so, this humorous, nostalgic, and musically power-packed show is a must see! Produced by Ronald Kurtz and David Leon, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their American breakthrough on The Ed Sullivan Show, this intimate production is a “Rockin’ Good Time!” The premise is “What if the Beatles came together now and reunited to rehearse in Ringo’s basement?” Hoping to recreate their “magic,” decades after they ruled the world musically … They verbally banter, and gloriously play/sing many of our fave Beatles hits. All “fab” musicians/vocalists, and each bearing a resemblance to the “Fab 4” – this is a non-stop joy for the audience. As I looked around me, the entire audience was mouthing the words gleefully to every single song! Eventually they agree to play a bar mitzvah in Calabasas, opening for pop hit band “One Direction.” Riotous! Magically starring David Leon as John Lennon … his likeness to Lennon in all aspects is mind-blowing! He starred in both the Broadway and motion picture productions of Beatlemania. Jeff Toczynski plays McCartney, David Brighton plays George Harrison, and Mike Sarafian plays Ringo … all excellent! The familiar songs (well over a dozen), the British banter, the musicianship, and the reminiscent infectious Beatles charm, was a joy throughout! In highlight moments for me … “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by Brighton as Harrison, and “Imagine” by Leon as Lennon were showstoppers. In an intimate 99 seat theatre, the “close up” experience was like catching the guys in your own den, for a private performance. These consummate musicians “rocked the house.” The sound, designed by Gary Grantham, was flawless, and the lighting by Zac Codner was mood inspiring! This musically and magically rewarding production is sure to stir up memories in all who see it. You must book seats quickly though, as there are only a few performances left this upcoming weekend. The El Portal Monroe Forum Theatre located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in NoHo. For tickets and more info, call (818) 508-4200 or online at elportaltheatre.com.
Presented by Off Broadway Productions they have quite a schedule planned here this year: They will be covering the music and careers of many of our favorite megastars, in the same theatre. John Denver, Frankie Valli, Neil Diamond, The Eagles, and one unnamed mystery show will all “rock out” between now and December. I’ll keep you up on each one as they get closer to opening. I’m sure I will be at each one of them … These shows are pretty magical! Mark your calendars – for these upcoming plays which I’ll tell you all about as I see them.
Life Is…. — Opening at Stella Adler Theatre on Feb. 7.
Presented by the Towne Street Theatre actors, L.A.’s Premiere African American Theatre Co. Ten unique and diverse 10-minute “one acts,” chosen from 200 writers’ submissions, will celebrate Black History Month. I’ve attended these many times … and always find them funny, serious, and contemplative in turns … For tickets, visit 10minplayfest.eventbrite.com.
Obama Spy Drama — Opening at Acme Comedy Hollywood on Feb. 15.
A satire with musical parodies, loaded with spy agency intrigue, romantic complications, and a display of international muscle. Timely it would seem, with the Winter Olympics upon us, and recent attempts to halt NSA spying. For early tickets, call (626) 864-3173.
The Foreigner – Opening at Crown Theatre in North Hollywood on Feb. 20.
Said to be a hilarious farce … Charlie, a proofreader by day and a boring husband by night … Pretending to be a non-English speaking foreigner allows him to learn dangerous and frivolous secrets. In the process, he finds the hidden extrovert that lurks within himself. For early tickets call (626) 864-3173.
That’s about all I have to say this time. Check in again next week. Never having been a football fan, I sat through Super Bowl with my son Jeff, and his wife Debby, here visiting me for the weekend from Las Vegas. They are football fanatics … and said it was the worst game they’d ever seen as the Denver Broncos (the team they were rooting for) got mercilessly creamed! Still, it was wonderful hangin’ out with them … it had been ages since we got together.