Dames At Sea – “Refreshing!”; Aurelia’s Oratorio – “Visually Glorious!”; Upcoming Holiday Events

by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on December 18, 2009

DAMES AT SEA

The time just taps right on by as this enthusiastic and perfect cast sing and dance through this delightful musical. It all takes place in the innocent 1930’s. You can just sit back, relax and have some wonderful laughs as the ingénue Ruby bursts into a Theater with nothing but a pair of dancing shoes in her suitcase. Now, that is what I call traveling light. She could be Betty Boop with the little ringlets and the pursed lips.

She meets up with the sourpuss director – who is trying to put on a show, before they tear down the Theater. In the meantime while Ruby is trying to get in the show, she meets up with a handsome sailor as she dreams of being on Broadway.

Ruby also wants romance. And this is some of the words from her theme song. “I’ll darn his socks and wash his shirts until they shine.” Of course she does all this while batting her eyes.

Ruby also has to contend with Mona Kent, who is the star of the show (who everyone hates). No one likes a Diva. Well – Ruby has a way to get around that also.

And what would a show like “Dames” be without the hard ass Chorus Girl who has been around the block? There has to be one, and Joan is quick on the uptake. Here she goes in her Bronx attitude – “Now look wut ya done, ya big lug!”

Ruby’s sailor boyfriend just happens to write songs, and one of his songs is a big hit in the musical. Ruby, of course sings it – after almost losing the song to Diva Mona.

There are about 15 tunes in this musical that liberally borrows from Original music from other shows. I think maybe they change every other musical note to make it sound like they wrote it. The lyrics of familiar songs are changed around so that the famous “Begin the Beguine” begins to sound like the original – but somehow doesn’t. Well, it is a cartoon.

Many of the songs are of the ‘spoof’ nature. Think 42nd street, Footlight Parade, Ruby Keeler and other musical gems” of that genre. The dialogue has some little tarts here and there like: “I’m Richard. My friends call me DICK!” Another great line: “Is that really Mona Kent, the Star?” – “Every bolt and Rivet of her!”

The Theater gets the wrecking ball, and the cast moves the show to the sea, where Ruby’s boyfriend will be sailing out again soon. Now – a little splash of water and a bunch of Sailors will certainly put some starch in areas that matter. You know how Sea Water is, and how Sailors in those cute white outfits are.

It’s Humor and Heart will keep you buoyant during this Holiday season. It’s wildly enjoyable!

THE REMARKABLE CAST: Leanne Borghesi (Mona) – “Hilarious!” Rena Wilson (Ruby) who reminds of star Nannette Fabrey – “Is Awesome!” Also ridiculously great are John L. Cavellini (Dick), Christopher M. Nelson (Lucky”), Kate Paul (Joan) and Drew Todd (Captain of ship).

If you could find a better cast for this show, I’d be surprised.

AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY THEATRE CENTER

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! – (highest rating) – trademarked-


Aurelia’s Oratorio. Not easy to do. Photo by: Richard Haughton.

AURELIA’S ORATORIO – THE WORLD IS UPSIDE DOWN IN THIS VISUAL DREAM MARVEL

WHAT IS IT? Well, it’s a Circus, but not a Circus, it has dancing, but it’s not a dance show, it has gorgeous music – but it’s not a musical. But, it is highly entertaining and fascinating.

Some will find a story, but some will look at it strictly for its sensual use of blazing fabrics. Can there be a story behind altered states? Everyone that comes out of the Theater will have different feelings about what they have just seen.

There is Illusion, acrobatics, and sexy comedy. There are also hints of the medieval. Strange things happen during this hour show. Furniture does what it likes and moves when it likes. People appear and disappear without warning. And there are daredevil acts that make you squirm. Will they fall?

There are so many visual surprises in the show that it is hard to keep up with all that is going on. After all, how can you believe that a man can sit is a chair that is upside down? It’s magic and illusion.

Although two people do most of the performing – you will think that there is a cast of thousands.

THIS AMAZING VISUAL ADVENTURE IS CONCEIVED AND DIRECTED BY VICTORIA THIERREE CHAPLIN. (Yes, she is related to that famous Chaplin of movie fame).

The fantastic performers are Aurelia Thierree and Jaime Martinez.

“THIS PERFORMANCE PIECE SWEEPS YOU INTO A STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL WORLD. IT IS GORGEOUSLY SENSUAL!”

AT THE BERKELEY REP. THEATRE

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!! – trademarked-


Florence Henderson coming to The Rrazz Room.

HOLIDAY EVENTS

Saturday, Jan. 9th 2010, Carly Ozard – Winner “Best New Cabaret performer in 2009 will present a New Cabaret Show called “Bewitched, Bothered and Bipolar at the Eureka Theatre in Sf. Musical Direction will be by Joe Wicht, Acoustic guitar & vocals by Brendan Getzell & Jennifer Martinelli. http://www.carlyozard.com/

AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY You won’t want to miss that naughty Countess Katya – in her bejeweled show. Holiday BALLS will never again look so shiny and inviting. You’ll want to toss them over your shoulder. Well, anyway you look at it – Katya will whip your Holidays into shape. Ouch that hurts! If you dream it – Katya is wearing it.

THE RRAZZ ROOM GOES ALL OUT FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Coming up! Maria Muldaur (Dreamy), Mike Greensill (fastest fingers in town. (Piano). Connie Champagne (a bundle of fun), Russ Lorenson (Top-notch crooner), Judy Butterfield (Lovely) and Sharon McNight (Tart, Saucy) she will take you where no man has dared to go before.

ALSO AT THE RRAZZ: Florence Henderson, star of Broadway, movie and TV will open with “a musical journey”. You’ve seen her in Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and Annie Get Your Gun, among others. Florence is a lot of fun and a wonderful singer. I would hate for you to miss this show on Jan 5-9, 8pm on Jan 10th — 7pm. http://www.therrazzroom.com/

TOO MUCH! A Queer Marathon. There will be 10 continuous hors of performance, featuring emerging and establish LBGT artists, video, food + drink and a dance party. When? Sun. Jan 10, 2010 at Mama Calizo’s Voice Factory – 1519 Mission Street – 2pm – -midnight (come and go as your please) http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/82279

AND THAT’S A WRAP!

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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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