New Kind of Revival
CA - The Ridge family's land is at stake. When the patriarch is presumed dead and the oldest son decides to sell the Moab Utah wilderness to a shark investor/mad man who also leads the local cult. Mardecon, feverishly played by Christopher Paul Hart, wants to develop the land into strip malls... that and eradicate all body hair. But that's not the only loon in town. The hippie squatters combined with the town's corrupt leader, religious tourists and nuclear terrorists round out the madness. Thank goodness there is the sly coyote, who's masterful disguises enable him to walk his way into any situation and manipulate the town folk out of self destruction. And this is all done in iambic pentameter.
Sacred Fools Theatre Company presents
Midnight Brainwash Revival, an original work by Kirk Wood Bromley (the only contemporary American playwright working consistently in iambic pentameter) with direction by Alexander Yannis Stephano. Bromley's unique and vivid characters are extremely entertaining to watch and you never know what's coming next in this modern melodrama. The strong ensemble cast includes Annie Abrams, Gary Ballard, Ted DeVirgilis, M.E. Dunn, Dan Etheridge, Eric Giancoli, Jacy Gross, Adam Harrington, Kyle Ingleman, Diana Jellinek, Joe Jordan, Liesel Kopp, Yuri Lowenthal, Bruno Oliver, Paul Plunkett, Mark McClain Wilson and Philip Wofford. The Sacred Fools Theatre Company has a fine reputation of using their stage space to it's full potential. Midnight Brainwash Revival is without exception. We're taken from the vast expanses of a stark desert to a hotel room and local watering hole and then to catacombs; all transitions lasting mere moments. Subtle lighting design by Jason Mullen and sound by Mark McClain Wilson enhanced the sets and costumes by Ovation Award-winning designer M.E. Dunn. Midnight Brainwash Revival runs through June 26, 2004.
- R. Harker Printable view
the Sacred Fools Website
CA - Years before Into the Woods or Sweeney Todd,
and long before the song "Send in the Clowns" graced the
stages of Broadway, famed composer Stephen Sondheim wrote this
delightful, yet simplistic (compared to other Sondheim favorites)
musical called Saturday Night. Based on Julius and
Phillip Epstein's play, Front Porch in Flatbush, Sondheim
wrote the musical with plans for producer Lemuel Ayers to mount
the production in 1959. After Ayers died later that year,
Sondheim decided to move on to other projects, namely West Side
Story and Gypsy for which his lyrics made him
famous. In 1997, Saturday Night was finally produced
giving Sondheim fans a chance to see the master's first attempt at
musical theater. It's a charming, fun-filled musical.
The Chromolume Theatre Company at The Stella Adler Theatre has
brought Sondheim's Saturday Night to the west coast.
Directed and choreographed by Jon Engstrom, the musical gives the
audience a glimpse of 1920's small town life. The opening
number, "Saturday Night" is sung by four awkward young
men worrying about not having a date for the
weekend. Performed by Christopher Chen, Kevin Henry,
Thomas Colby and James Daly, they finally get one date between the
four of them. The harmony and melodic interplay between the
men is quite clever in the opening number as well as the reprise
in Act II. When they finally get two dates, they are
thrilled to realize that they now have 1/2 of a date each instead
of 1/4: a vast improvement.
Newcomer to LA Theater, Nathan J. Moore and veteran Jennifer Bangs
made a charming leading couple. With several dance numbers
executed with wonderful style and elegance, they filled the stage
with energy. One would never know that Moore is so new to
the theater, both his dancing and singing were effortless and
mesmerising. Jennifer Bangs' two solo songs, "Isn't
It?" and "All For You" were among the best moments
in the production.
The Chromolume Website
Playing the only steady couple, Hank and Celeste, were Adam
LeBow and Gwen Copeland. Their Act II duet "I
Remember That" about their differing views on their
first meeting was a showstopper, hinting at the true
brilliance of Sondheim's writing.
The entire cast, under the musical direction of Gary Gray, sang
well and appeared to have a great deal of fun on stage.
The ensemble included: James Stevens, Gabriella Sacci,
Jamie McMurray, Alissa-Nicole Koblentz, Richard Cline Cunningham
and Jeffrey Wolf. The sets were very simple, which seemed appropriate for the
light nature of the story. It may be a far cry from Sondheim's
later works, but considering it's his first musical it's worth
seeing. It is so nice when a theater ventures away from
the standard repertoire. Keep an eye on The Chromolume Theatre
as it continues to bring exciting new theatrical
experiences to Los Angeles audiences. - Thomas Printable