As always, it was visually spectacular! They always “do it up big!” Known for mastering the art of presenting large scale musicals in a 99-seat venue, they are a visionary and respected troupe in the L.A. scene. I’ll never forget their exciting production of The Who’s “Tommy” (which I saw twice). Due to personal taste, you may like some of their offerings more than others… but you will always get eye-poppingly large scale productions in an equity waiver theatre space. I congratulate their vision!
A world premiere musical based on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. This new version was co-written by Marco Gomez, Chris Raymond and Michael Gray (book). (Lyrics by Gomez and Raymond, and music and EXCELLENT onstage orchestrations by Raymond). A spectacular production to accomplish in a 99-seat theatre, this troupe is fearless! Gomez recently received the L.A. Weekly award for last season’s brilliant production of Dream Girls. The set design here is EYEPOPPING, created by John Iacovelli. The myriad of costumes are BEAUTIFUL beyond belief (by Michael Mullen), and Tania Possick’s choreography is EXCITINGLY SENSUAL. In fact, all of the technical efforts are wildly worthy! Under the PASSIONATE direction of Gomez, a huge cast of over 20 actors/singers play out an eerie and decadent story. When artist Basil Hallwood (Jeremy Sage) paints a large portrait of his young muse Dorian, (an IMPRESSIVE Michael D’Elia with a “Fab” singing voice), the young man’s life takes an eerie turn. As the stuffy and aristocratic Henry (Kelly Brighton) introduces Dorian to the decadent night life, the young man’s persona, destiny, and values change forever. As Dorian’s behavior and reckless “playboy life” surfaces, his appearance in the painting begins to “age.” EERIE! When at The Zodiac club, “tasting society’s elite,” he falls for the sweet Sybil, (A STRONG performance by Cassandra Nuss) but loses her soon after, to life’s darker side. A SIZZLING standout performance by Toni Smith as “The Demon” must be applauded! The sexy, attractive, and high energy cast of singer/actors all fare well, but there are too many to personally credit here. Over 20 exciting songs and sizzling dance productions drive the story with sensual PIZAZZ! Although I enjoyed the experience totally, I must say that the over two and a half hour length could benefit by some trimming.
A HAUNTINGLY SURREALISTIC story about a young man who loses himself to the evils of nightlife… this is a bawdy extravaganza, loaded with colorful performances! Running through July 20th at the Met Theatre in Hollywood. 1089 N. Oxford Ave. For seats, call (323) 802-4990 or go to www.doriansdescent.com. Note: If you can’t find a street parking space, $5.00 parking is available two blocks east of the theatre at 5250 Santa Monica Blvd.
Mark Your Calendars –
Drop Dead – Opening June 6th at The No Ho Arts Center. Written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, this one opens locally 29 years after the original production. “Theatre 68” is thrilled to have obtained the rights to present it now, with one of the playwrights (Van Zandt) wearing the director’s hat! A cast of seven will play the roles of desperate actors attempting to revive their careers in this theatrical murder mystery. Sounds intriguing… I’ll let you know. For early booking – Call (323) 960-5068 or go to www.plays411.com/dropdead.
That’s my story for this week. As always… more to come soon.