It was a funfilled and nostalgic weekend, theatrically speaking
Two highly enjoyable productions to tell you about. The first will run indefinitely, and the second will be closed by the time you read this … but you must try to catch it next time around! “The Beatles” always spur wonderful memories for people past a “certain age” … and introduce younger audiences to a magical, musical time in history!
Here’s Killing You, Kid
For a fast paced and mysteriously zany trip back in time to 1953, a wee cocktail or two, and a fabulous four-course dinner … this is a most entertaining theatrical experience! A noir parody set in Burbank, loaded with colorful characters, and a murder mystery to solve … this hilarious “Whodunnit” will keep you guessing, laughing, and eating, from start to finish. Cleverly written by James Daub, and playfully directed by Paul Galliano, we meet one animated “fruitcake” after another, as seven characters (all possible suspects) play out the story. Taking place at a fictitious dinner club “Bigelows,” the owner “Biggie” runs the whole shebang (a very funny Linwood Sasser). When a buxom babe saunters in … (A sassy Jennifer Buttell) and orders a martini … commanding “No snow and hold the groceries,” from Charlie the bartender (a lively Paul David Whetstone), the mystery unfolds. It seems her husband has turned up dead! An archaeologist who discovered a famous gem-studded, solid gold Majorcan Monkey with “mystical powers”
… he has now been murdered. Jack, a “down on his luck” detective, takes on the cast (a riotous Alex Elliot-Funk) aware that everyone in the club has possible motives. A “would be” crime reporter, Harry Obrion, is also on the scene (a goofy David Pires). Rounding out the cast in my favorite performance, Jamie McMahon as Ginger … the “ungifted” singer/waitress with a dream of stardom, is delightfully ditzy! We, the audience, even get a chance to vote on who we think killed the archaeologist … for a prize. So much fun! In case that’s not enough to pique your interest … let me tell you more. This is “Dinner Theater,” folks! You have your choice of four gourmet four-course dinners, served nicely in between acts (appetizer, crisp salad, main course, and dessert). Excellent! The play and dinner charge is $49.95 plus tax and tip (cocktails are available/cash only). A cleverly fast paced and whacky production to keep us guessing … and a delicious meal to keep us happy … What more could you ask for in a night out on the town? Celebrating a birthday, an anniversary, or just trying to impress the boss or a “hot” new romantic interest? This is the perfect option! Running weekends at The Coast Anabelle Hotel is located at 2011 W. Olive in Burbank. To book seats call (818) 845-7800 ext. 608 or via email by contacting Adrineh Avanes at Burbank@CoastHotelsUSA.com or go to their website for a “sneak peek” at www.CoastAnabelleEntertainment.com.
The Stars of Beatlemania
Starring the musicians/singers from Broadway’s smash hit show, Beatlemania, these four lads rocked North Hollywood all weekend long! Sadly, already closed … you won’t be able to catch this one this time, but I wanted to give them a glowing shout out anyway. The whole show was a retrospective “blast to the past”! As I looked around the theatre mid-concert, at the largely older crowd … their faces were beaming with joy and nostalgia … remembering where they were, and who they were with, during the Beatles iconic years. A sweeping full stage screen behind the band, showed real film clips of the Beatles’ early years, careers, and lives. Monumentally historical events and famous faces of the era were shown, chronicling the events of the world during the band’s monumental reign. The Haight Ashbury hippy years, “love-ins,” Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Hendrix, Pete Seeger, and other famous personalities of the era, were briefly featured, including Ed Sullivan’s TV debut of the “Fab Four.” How many songwriters/performers in history have written such prolific and relatable lyrics … that fans/generations later can still remember every word, and sing along with them passionately? We had a great time! With immense talent, humor, multi-costume changes, and strong performances, covering dozens of our fave songs: kaleidoscopic kudos to David Leon as Lennon (who also is the show’s musical director), Alan LeBoeuf as McCartney, Jimmy Pou as Harrison, and Carrol Parker as Starr! So pleased with their brief appearance at the El Portal … they intend to run it here again with this show in the next year. I’ll let you know when that transpires. In the meantime folks … “Give peace a chance!”
Jekyll & Hyde, The Musical
Next weekend, I will see and review Doma Theatre Company’s offering of this Robert Louis Stevenson classic story. It is a darkly gothic tale about a mentally conflicted man, internally battling “good and evil,” with his own alter ego. Following the 1977 Broadway opening, it ran for four years, earned a Tony nomination, and has since played out in countless cities. This musical adaptation, running at The Met Theatre in LA, will be directed by Marco Gomez, and musically directed by 21-year-old prodigy, Chris Raymon. A cast of over two dozen actors/singers will appear. Sounds exciting … I can’t wait!
Those are all the pearls of wisdom I have for you this week. See you at the theatre, I hope!