Wild Songs and Naked Souls

The cast of “Wild Songs and Naked Souls.” From l, Kelly Musselwhite, Nancy Vivar, Jade Warner, Lauren Plaxco, Sterling Cardon, Chad Doreck, Francis Lansang, Alex Miller, and Billy Budinich. Center: Jeffrey Casciano.

The cast of “Wild Songs and Naked Souls.” From l, Kelly Musselwhite, Nancy Vivar, Jade Warner, Lauren Plaxco, Sterling Cardon, Chad Doreck, Francis Lansang, Alex Miller, and Billy Budinich. Center: Jeffrey Casciano.

The more things change, the more they remain the same is the quintessential theme that runs through each performance for this creative production. By using poetry, letters, diary entries, and song, Wild Songs & Naked Souls brings to us legends of the past and exposes their vulnerable, humanistic side. It is quite endearing to know that they shared the same love and lust, pride and fear that we do, breaching the years by unifying that we all long to be loved, to feel connected, to be embraced by our heart’s desire.

Created and directed by Gloria Gifford, the show is a series of vignettes, each with the cast playing a most interesting part. From D.H. Lawrence to Franz Kafka, and from Rumi to Countess Sophie Tolstoy. Even Biblical Adam gets a turn. They are short but potent pieces. Some are comical, some steeped in irony, flavored by whimsy, while others burst in song. We are familiar with the historical figures, now we can divulge in their secret thoughts and feelings. The show brushes aside the conventions of standard theater, yet it is endearing and captivating. Who among you cannot resist what George Sand or Isadora Duncan was thinking those many years ago?

The cast is immensely talented; standouts include Lucy Walsh, Kelly Musslewhite, Cynthia San Luis, and Jeffrey Casciano.

The stage was delightfully balanced with props and lighting. Some of the actors would best serve their piece by throwing away the yoke of repertoire and completely immersing themselves in the role. Wild Songs and Naked Souls is a joy. Recommended.

Wild Songs and Naked Souls

runs through April 6 at T.U. Studios located at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood. For tickets, call (310) 366-5505 or visit tix.com.

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