Drop Dead! Presented by Theatre 68
Written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, and directed by Van Zandt with HIGH ENERGY MADNESS. This will mark the 29th anniversary since its original debut. A cunningly clever and “larger than life” farce, the audience the night I went fell apart with laughter! Murder, mayhem and mania erupts continuously in this “over the top” production! To tell you the truth, I had trouble keeping up with it at times, although the visuals alone were HILARIOUS! At a loss to explain the plot, I will partially borrow from the explanation printed in my press release. A cast of ten desperate and marginally talented “theeatah folks” hope to revive their shaky careers in this outrageous, hilariously staged comedy.
When several actors are murdered during the opening night performance… the others are left to save the show and their careers, solve the mysteries at hand, and survive long enough to get their curtain calls. The CLEVERLY KOOKY set design by Danny Cistone, ZANY costumes by Crystal K. Craft, lighting by Matt Richter, and visions of artist D.J. Rabiola… set the zany tone with imaginative flair. Each nutty character is more “off the wall” than the last… as they perform the play within a play. Confused yet?
The first act takes us through the chaotic rehearsal process, while the second act, we view the play itself, in all of its nutty glory!! Timothy Alonzo is a RIOT as the nutcake who designed the entire set for $35 dollars… Cy Creamer is FUN as the plays volatile director, and Eddie Liu is HILARIOUS as the butler. Claudine Claudio is SASSY as the snooty Bette, and Mews Small is DELIGHTFULLY DITZY as the forgetful aging actress. As a passionate and offbeat newly married couple, Shelly Hacco and Bill Doherty Jr. as her dim-witted hubby who can’t remember her name… are a TON OF FUN! The rest of this ambitious cast includes Barry Brisco, Mark Vasquez, and Grey Rodriguez. An outrageously creative and certifiably crazy production! Taking place in a NYC “off-off-off-off” Broadway theatre… eventually I stopped trying to keep up with the zany storyline, and just take each maniacal moment as it came. There are plenty of hearty belly laughs to be had here! The whole riotous shebang is beyond insanity! Running Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through June 28th at The No Ho Arts Center – 11136 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. For seats, go to www.plays411.com/dropdead or call (323) 960-5068.
I spent Sunday evening with about 20 theatre folks, watching The Tony Awards. Hosted by the charming and talented veteran actor and dancer, Stan Mazin, who had multiple large screen T.V.’s… We all had a great time, eating, drinking, socializing, and cheering on the winners!
That’s my story for this week. As always… more to come soon.