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T H E A T E R   R E V I E W  -  City of Angels  -  Chromolume Theatre Company


The City is filled with Angels in North Hollywood.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - The Chromolume Theatre Company serves up an entertaining production of City of Angels, a musical that swept the Tony Awards in 1990 winning top prize in Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score.

City of Angels is a throwback to the private eye movies of the 1940s, where a fledgling screenwriter named Stine is adapting his detective novel into a film for an egomaniacal producer. While the author struggles to transform his words from page to screen, the action moves back and forth between these two worlds: Stine’s real world of a post World War II Hollywood populated with overbearing producers, saucy secretaries, and self-serving starlets, and the secluded imaginative world of the City of Angels, a film noir that stars Stine’s alter ego, a sardonic Private Investigator named Stone.

The score is reason enough to catch a performance. Theater buffs will recognize the composer Cy Coleman, whose popular Broadway credits include Sweet Charity and The Life. The music is jazzy and pleasurable to the ears. With lyrics by David Zippel and book by Larry Gelbart, one cannot deny the entertainment due, especially if the performed by a talented theater group. Thankfully, the fates have presented such a group with the direction of Steven Benson, who gets an impressed ‘thumbs up’ for taking on this vehicle.

Stef Tovar and Paul Clausen give strong performances as Stine and Stone. Kendra Munger brings the dual roles of Clara and Alaura beauty and glamour. Fleur Phillips is wonderful juggling her dual roles of troubled Bobbi and Gabi making someone who doesn’t receive a program believe that there are two different actresses performing on stage. Another strong character actress is Amy Tolsky, who delights as secretaries Donna and Oolie. The ensemble work well together and look great, which makes this production fun to watch.

Under the music direction of Gary Mattison, vocals are on key with this production. Phillips and Tolsky give a brilliant rendition of “What You Don’t Know About Women”. Phillips and Tolsky also toss out audience pleasing performances in “It Needs Work”, and “You Can Always Count On Me” respectively. The Angel City quartet, comprised of Alex Camp, Ellen Dostal, Megan Olson, and Paul Wong, who open the show are an endearing bunch of singers, especially in Act two during their reactions to an obnoxious singer.





Costume design by Shon LeBlanc is on target bringing the feel of the1940s into effect. The scenic design by Matt Scarpino looks great on paper and translates daring in appearance. However, it was somewhat distracting seeing stagehands in black run on and off stage helping with scene changes. Craig Housenick’s lighting design looks wonderful and well thought out.

City of Angels is a wonderful production to watch. The actors give an intelligent interpretation that is faithful and loveable to the original Broadway production.

Go buy a ticket and catch a performance! - Adrian Rennie   Printable View

Presented by the Chromolume Theater Company, City of Angels performs at the Noho Arts Center, located at 11136 Magnolia Boulevard in North Hollywood, CA. Running through November 6th, performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and with 2pm Matinee performances on Saturday and Sundays. General admission is $25.00, with discounts for seniors, students, and groups.

For more reservations and info, please call 310-315-3537.

Website to Explore: - Info on Cy Coleman – original ‘City of Angels’ on the IBDB

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Adrian Rennie, staff writer and editor for Maestro Arts & Reviews, is an actor and Los Angeles area playwright. Having received great reviews for his plays, The Seven Lessons of Life and Only a Phone Call Away, he continues to write and act in Los Angeles Theater, Television and Film. 

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