I was scheduled to see two productions on the weekend, but one was postponed due to an actor’s illness. I’ll try to catch it later…
This wildly ambitious reminiscent romp was created as a result of a 1960s themed house party held in 2007. The party guests were asked to wear ‘60s clothing and “play out” whatever the 1960s meant to them. Mod, hippy…whatever? The maniacal marathon of memories, nostalgic stories and kooky outfits on guests, reliving their experiences that night… planted the seed for “Boomermania.” A looney and lively parody, this production catapults the audience back to the 1950s and ‘60s in Act One, and the 1970s and ‘80s in Act Two. The result is screamingly funny nostalgic madness! Hilariously written by Debbie Kasper and Pat Sierchio (books and lyrics) after a well received stint in New York, this is the West Coast premiere. “Baby boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) have survived a historically eventful and rebelliously notable journey… loaded with life and world changing events. This zany chronicle studies that journey with colorful “tongue in cheek” humor, great songs, “good vibes” and nonstop historical references. You’ll laugh, reflect and relate… as you recall the “groovy” road we’ve traveled. A smokin’ hot onstage band “rocks the house,” with tasty skill, pulsating the marathon of madness throughout. They are: Savvy Music Director Mary Ekler on piano, Randy Landas on bass guitar and Jim McCarty on drums. Thanks to the brilliant multi-media design of Dan J Foegelle and Pat Sierchio, we retrospectively view “The Boomer Years.” Politics, celebrities, fads, TV clips, love-ins, bra burning, Woodstock, junk food, sexuality, old commercials, Rock n’ Roll, Howdy Doody and more… The riotous roster of memories is endless! The moody lighting of David S. Goldstein, wildly whacky wigs by Debbie Kasper, trippy choreography by Edward Carignan and flamboyantly fabulous period costuming by Erica D. Schwartz (over 100 changes)… were all eye poppingly creative! Now… let’s talk about the lovable and multitalented cast! Six attractive actor/singer/dancers with no character names… billed only as “Man or Woman, one, two or three” blow us away with supercharged, chameleon-like performances! Each morphing into so many roles, in so many wigs and costumes… that I’m not entirely sure “Who played Who?” Every one of them was nutty perfection! Kaleidoscopic kudos to: Daniel Amerman, Paul Lange, Dylan Vox, Susan Huckle, Kimberly Wood and Alison Friedman! You’re going to hear a dozen and a half familiar songs of the era… but with changed “parody lyrics,” rewritten for the show. I must admit… this takes time to get used to, cuz you want to sing along with the original lyrics… but once you get past the “urge”… you will have an absolute ball!
Running through March 27 at El Portal Forum Theatre located at 5269 Lankershim in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111.
Mark Your Calendars Ethel Merman’s Broadway
Rita McKenzie has been wowing audiences for over 20 years as Merman, in a myriad of shows throughout the country. Having heard raves about her talent, “fab” costumes and entertaining depiction… I will finally experience it for myself this week… opening at the El Portal Main stage. Tell you about it next week.
Locked and Loaded
An irreverent dramedy. Billed as “an aggressive ribald burlesque of mortality… edgy, biting and bitter…” and starring an impressive cast of actors, this one also opens this weekend at the Santa Monica Playhouse. I’ll be there!
Presented by Sex and the City’s flamboyant star Mario Cantone, this one sounds like a hoot! Billed as a “not so romantic comedy of bad manners,” we follow six romantically challenged philanderers through a maze of hilarious sexual mishaps. Should be fun! Opening at West Hollywood’s The Coast Playhouse on Feb. 25.
On a sad note:
Much loved veteran actress Betty Garrett passed away at age 91, due to an aortic aneurysm on Feb. 12. A long respected star of stage and screen, and a founding member of “Theatre West,” she was a beautiful, funny, friendly and hardworking gal… and an inspiration to all who met her. She will be greatly missed…
Until we meet again…