Online Entertainment Magazine

April 18, 2004

Theater Reviews


An Evening of 

Steve Martin Humor 

SANTA MONICA, CA - The award winning play Picasso at the Lapin Agile makes a welcome appearance at the Ruskin Group Theatre. The year is 1904 and set at a pub in Paris called the Lapin Agile, this witty comedy revolves the meeting of two great historical figures, Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso. Added with colorful bar atmosphere characters and very intelligent humor, this play is a must see. 

All taking place in one evening, this one act gives the audience an optimistic look at life on the brink of creative breakthroughs that would help define the twentieth century in the worlds of science and art. We have Einstein, who is about to publish his Special Theory of Relativity, and Picasso, whose famous painting Les Demoiselles D’Avignon is about to be born, dueling it out in a very clever gunfight scene bringing these two forums together educating the audience in the process. The not-so-dumb bartender is an excellent host, at times breaking the fourth wall keeping the audience on its toes, while a parade of people make their way through the pub, which include an inebriated inventor named Schmendiman and a time traveler wearing blue suede shoes.

The space the Ruskin Group Theatre Company occupies is perfect for this show. The intimate setting and staging make the impact more meaningful. There is no doubt the average audience member will leave this show reflecting on their lives and feeling empowered in some way. This is one of those shows that enables that and that’s what makes theater such an enjoyable experience. 

This talented ensemble blends well together on stage and play off each other like pros. David Bosnak’s portrayal of Albert Einstein is engaging and entertaining. Jill Zimmerman is very likeable and funny as Germaine, the bar keepers waitress and love interest. Samantha Thomson is appealing and attractive as Suzanne, a young woman infatuated with Picasso. Frank Deni, perfectly cast as bar regular Gaston, displays the maturity and intelligence this show yearns for.

Directed by Mikey Myers, Picasso at the Lapin Agile runs through May 29, 2004 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sunday Matinees at 2pm. The Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405, with free parking. Admission is $20 General and $15 for Students and seniors. For reservation and other information – (310) 397-3244. – Adrian Rennie

Website : www.ruskinschool.com 


LOS ANGELES, CA - Who said science fiction was for geeks?  This 30th anniversary production of The Rocky Horror Show hits the stage of The Knightsbridge Theatre.  Jaz Davison directs this fun, lively version of Richard O'Brien's erotic rock musical and gives the audience quite a ride.  

Although similar to the Rocky Horror Picture Show which developed a cult following over the years, this live production has a certain energy that works perfectly in a small venue.  Leading the cast of ghoulish characters was Jonathan Zenz as Dr. Frank N' Furter, the "wild and untamed" mad scientist. Moving smoothly in his 6 inch heels (which is no easy task), he took command of the stage, singing powerfully in "I Can Make You A Man" and "I'm Going Home."   




Matt Clifford and Jayma Mays played Brad and Janet, the quiet unassuming couple who get a taste of the wild side: and like it!  Playing Riff-Raff and his sister Magenta was Alex Stone and Sarah Marina Ali who were among the evening's best performers.   Kristi Kraemer sparkled as Columbia in "Eddie's Teddy" roller-skating about the stage.  

The ensemble of Phantoms were exceptional throughout the production.  Whether providing the sound effects for  Brad's car or participating in the audience's running commentary, the Phantoms rocked the stage with their energetic choreography and outstanding singing.  Phantoms this evening were: Atticus Batacan, Kelli Combs, Rene Guerrero, Sybil Koblin, Jamil Chokachi and Kristen Mooney.   

The character of Rocky was played by the muscular Clinton Robert Hummel who could have modeled for Michaelangelo's David.  Rod Grindlinger humorously played the part of the narrator and Peter Finlayson "wheeled" about the stage as the ever peculiar Dr. Scott.

The choreography by Jennifer Gabbert was ideal for the Rocky Horror style of music and performed with precision, particularly by the ensemble of Phantoms.  Under the direction of Debbie Lawrence, the band kept the house rocking all night.  Produced by Joseph Stachura, The Knightsbridge Theatre has created a dynamic version this cult classic that shouldn't be missed.  The audience is an integral part of the action so be sure to pick up your participation bag in the lobby.  Review the dance steps for "The Time Warp" and join the fun on Fridays at 9pm and Saturdays at 8pm.  Visit the Knightsbridge Website for ticket information.   M. Upward



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