Ghost in the Darkness
HOLLYWOOD, CA - As a
prequel to the Charles Dickens classic Christmas Carol, Marley's
Ghost wonderfully supplements the legend of Ebenezer Scrooge's
nemesis and partner Jacob Marley.
Played convincingly by Keythe Farley, Marley is newly dead and
after freeing himself from a burlap body back near his grave, must be
convinced he is truly dead by the silent, but active phantom (Richard
Augustine), who looks frightfully like an evil Cousin It.
Eventually, Marley is brought to the surreal courtroom scene to
be shown how he lived his life, including how he helped to create the
monster, Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Bob Clendenin), and why he must
now be put in chains.
one act play takes you throughout the historic Hollywood Forever
Cemetery, each scene set in a different location and culminating in an
outlandish Alice in Wonderland trial within a large mausoleum.
The challenges of sound and lighting (designed by Geoff Korf)
were overcome by the actor’s use of handheld lights and projecting
their voices during outdoor scenes.
Also, the cast created a sound-scape of howling winds, barking
dogs and other eerie effects which surrounds the audience from the
darkness of night.
McKay delivers a standout performance as the twenty-foot tall
prosecutor, while her marionette like hands, played by Anthony Backman
and Ross Mackenzie helped bring the colorful character to life.
The prosecutor is a diminutive, flying spirit (Kevin Fabian)
and the phantom acts as his defense attorney.
ensemble cast gave an exceptional performance in this new kind
of "third dimensional" theater.
While creatively using this extraordinary environment
with an original top-notch script (by Jeff Goode),
Marley's Ghost could easily become a new
holiday classic. - R.
not gonna pay this year's
ANGELES, CA - Rockin' out at the Wilshire Theater is the
Tony Award Winning production of RENT. A modern day
retelling of the famous opera, La Boheme, this rock opera has
developed a huge fan base, mostly from the younger
generation. Reminiscent of the days when Hair was the
musical for the youth, the contemporary music is the vehicle for
a message of ideals, taking a stand against injustice. The
popularity has been ever growing even to the degree that fans
will wait more than 24 hours in line to sit in the front
story is familiar to those who know the opera. A group of
idealistic artists live in an upper loft in Alphabet City
in Manhattan. Mark, played by Brian Gligor, begins making
a documentary of their life and struggles on Christmas
Eve. Mark begins by filming Roger (Constantine Maroulis)
the guitarist, as he tries to write one last song before he
dies. Being one of many characters who has AIDS, his life
changes when he meets Mimi who knocks on his door asking
him to light her candle. Mimi, played by Jamie Lee
Kirchner, sang with dynamic energy, especially in "Out
Tonight." Playing Angel was Damien DeShaun Smith who
was decked out in a "Miss Claus" outfit.
"She" really tole the show with "Today 4 U,
" describing how he met his new lover, Collins (Marcus Paul
James). Marcus and Damien blended beautifully in their
duet, "I'll Cover You," and Collins brought down the
house with his solo performance of the reprise in Act Two.
The energy of the cast was felt throughout the production.
A high point of the show was the finale of Act One when Leslie
Diamond, playing Maureen, sang "Over the Moon," and
the entire cast joins in with "La Vie Boheme."
Another notable performance was that of Rebecca Jones, playing
Maureen's on and off again lover, Joanne. Their highly
charged fight (duet), "Take Me or Leave Me" was one of
the best renditions of all the other casts I have seen.
Another performance worth noting was David Pepin who conducted
the band while playing keyboards. Performing on stage with
the actors, the band added to the excitement of the opening
night of RENT. The run is not very long, so don't
miss Wilshire Theater's fabulous production. - M.