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August 21,  2004


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T H E A T E R   R E V I E W  -  The Great Sebastians  -  Open City Ensemble


HOLLYWOOD, CA - One show that deserves an audience and your support is the Open City Ensemble’s latest production of Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse’s comedy The Great Sebastians which is now being performed at the Lillian Theater. 

Intelligently directed by Anthony Caldarella, this story follows the adventures of two internationally acclaimed mentalists Rudi and Essie Sebastian. Following a hilarious audience pleasing performance of their act, a General summons the duo to help him find a traitor behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia. The Sebastians fall into a situation in which they must use their talent and wit to save their own lives. 


Henry Olek and Susan Priver sink their teeth into playing the marvelous characters of Rudi Sebastian and his sexy wife Essie successfully and with such ease. They definitely have chemistry and their interaction brings memories of other successful husband-wife teams ala George Burns and Gracie Allen or Sonny and Cher. The Sebastians have refined their act and even though making money is their game, the main redeeming quality is their love for each other and to a family they share. 

They are supported by a well cast ensemble. Veteran actor Adam Gregor plays General Zandek with the perfect counterbalance needed to share the stage with The Great Sebastians. He manages to show the sternness of a General and yet convey a sensitive side to make him very likeable. Another actor to keep an eye on is Libby West who takes on the duo roles of uptight Secret Policewoman Manya and the comical pregnant Sofie Cerny. 

Another sidenote to share is that all proceeds from this production will be donated to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This outstanding fact does enhance the quality of this production and the Open City Ensemble should be commended for their efforts.

The Great Sebastians is a recommended pick. Not only for the knowledge that these actors are performing with heart and a cause, The Great Sebastians gives the audience member a strong story, witty dialogue and two main characters that will yearn for a return visit.

Presented by the Open City Ensemble, The Great Sebastians performs at the Lillian Theater, located at 1076 Lillian Way in Hollywood, California. Running through October 3, 2004, performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm. Tickets are $20.00. For reservations and more info, please call 323-969-4989. www.plays411.com   –Adrian Rennie



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