Struggling with a “killer cold” and still recovering from the Halloween Madness at my shop …
I only caught one production on the weekend. A popular, well known madcap musical … loaded with familiar songs and scantily clad beauties … Read on….
Presented by “Secondline Productions,” this is their full scale musical debut. A cast of 25 high energy actors/singers, performed this long revered musical with exuberance, under the direction of Robert Marra. Shirley MacLaine, “delicious” in the role of Charity in the 1969 film version, scored an Oscar nomination. It was written by Neil Simon (book), Cy Coleman (music), and Dorothy Fields (lyrics), and first produced as a Broadway stage show, conceived, directed, and choreographed by Bob Fosse, and starring Gwen Verdon. An ambitious showcase effort preview of “things to come” from “Secondline,” this production, tho’ uneven in places, and quite lengthy… (2 hrs. 45 minutes) offered sassy fun, over a dozen songs, and a happy ending. In the lead role of “Charity,” the optimistic and kooky dance hall hostess, in search of “true love,” Brooke Seguin is heart-touchingly sweet. What she may lack in brilliant vocal skills, she makes up for in comedically ditzy and infectious charm! Loveably goofy, and innocently naïve … everybody loves Charity Hope Valentine! Highlights … eye poppingly notable acting, dancing, and singing performances by Leslie Stevens as Nickie, and Elvira Barjau as Helene … a duo of explosive dance hostess “firecrackers”! Fun and clever bedroom scene between Charity and Vittorio, a European playboy actor (Ben Goldsmith) as they hide from Ursula, his lover (Girstin Berquist) and in a smaller role, Beth Robbins shines as Herman. The strongest and most loveably memorable performance for me was given by Adam Silver as Oscar … the nerdy “nice guy,” in pursuit of Charity’s heart. The stage lit up with hilariously touching magic, every time he appeared! The elevator scene finding him and Charity stuck between floors … was priceless! The remainder of the large cast (too many to mention), worked very hard and seemed to be having a ball! Under the musical direction of James Lent (keyboards), a spirited backstage band rocked the show! Justin Robertson (drums), Courtney D. Jones (trumpet), and Eric Jacobs (various horns). Kudos to the technical team! The eye appealing costumes (David Schifilliti), ever changing set design (Rocco Ambrosio), lighting (JC Gafford), and sound (Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski) … effectively create the bawdy tone! If this zany production entices you … act quickly, as it only runs one more weekend, at The Knightsbridge Theatre located at 1944 Riverside Dr. in Los Angeles. For more info and to book seats, go to www.brownpapertickets.com.
Experience NoHo 2011
I spoke to my friend Nora Feldman (one of L.A.’s hardest working and most reasonably priced publicists) to see how the first annual Festival of the Arts turned out on the weekend. Fully in charge of “spreading the word” on the event, she was beyond thrilled with the success and involvement of both the enthusiastic public and the artistic and creative participants and theatres (…especially since it was a gray and rainy day). Offering art exhibits, dance performances and classes, “live” onstage bands, a fashion show, film shorts, and 40 minute play excerpts in 14 NoHo Theatres … a great time was had by all!
Don’t miss it next year!
Sorry I’ve been “missing in action” throughout October, Halloween time kicks my bum every single year! Back soon with my “chatty” theatrical “pearls of wisdom”…