POP/ROCK AND BEYOND
Get out those skates – cause you are about to go on a magical journey. A young man who has dreams of bringing back to life an old Theatre that has been closed for years has dreams that may not come true. There are some bumps along the way as a Greek muse Kira descends from the heavens to Venice Beach, California. Kira and Sonny skate around each other and well, they kinda, fall in love and make the Theatre Dream come true.
She meets up with Sonny, a struggling artist. He not only wants to make canvas come alive, he also wants to turn an abandoned Theatre into the first ROLLER DISCO! Remember, we are now in 1980’s time. There are problems with the well-oiled skates. Kira falls into forbidden love with the handsome and charming Sonny. However, Kira’s sisters are jealous witches that whip all the magic they can to destroy the romance between Kira and Sonny.
This is pure Theatre. Each Actor fills the magic with astounding sparkly visions. This comedy cocktail will definitely give you a buzz. There is a treasure trove of beautiful tunes, a madcap plot and visual inventive delights. Then there are the frothy, fabulous costumes and the beautiful sets. Believe me you will be astounded with the romantic moments. It’s a choreography marvel!
The music is heavenly. You’ll recognize fragments of “Mama Mia”. And songs like “I’m Alive”, “Magic and Dancin” – and that’s just a beginning. The basket of tunes takes us up to Mount Olympus. Oh yes – it’s really heavenly up there in the clouds where the non-mortal Zeus sits on his Throne. And we are not talking about “Apple’s Clouds”. They didn’t do computers in those days.
All in all “Xanadu” is a rip-roaring, ridiculous entertainment. It’s pure exhilaration!
YOU CAN’T RESIST THE ACTORS. THEY ARE THE BEST! And here they are: Tim Homsley (Sonny) is electrifyingly alive. He could charm the butterflies off the trees. He should put that charisma in a bottle and sell it! He’s every Broadway character actor you ever wanted to see.
Brittany Danielle (Clio/Kira) plays the Muse love interest of Sonny. She’s bold, refreshing, lucid, and insightful. She’s terrific! Instantly won us over!
All the Actors give us summer smiles. I can’t tell you how wonderfully expert everyone was. But I was overwhelmed with the whip-smart cast. You are ALL brilliant! Mark Farrell, Catherine Gloria, Sharon Rietkerk, Dyan McBride, Maureen McVerry, Evan Boomer, Tom Reardon, Ben Bogen and Taylor Jones.
Xanadu is a “Triumph” – “This is one of Center Repertory’s funniest pleasures.
Hooray’s for: Michael Butler, Artistic Director, Scott Denison, Managing Director, Kelly Tighe – Scenic Designer is Marvelous. Sound Design by Jeff Mockus is really crisp. Not a note was missed. Costume Designer – Victoria Livingston-Hall and Lighting Designer – by Kurt Lanisman really know their stuff. And there’s more. Jeff Collister Director - kept those roller skates moving. And Brandon Adams did a bang up job with the musical direction. The fabulous Choreography by Jennifer Perry is excellent.
NOW PLAYING AT THE LESHER CENTER IN WALNUT CREEK
RATING: Four glasses of champagne!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked-
A Doctor and his friend an electrician tries a "new electrical Device to Calm women down. Courtesy Photo.
UNCENSORED!!!!! HYSTERIA – A GREAT COMEDY; “SLIPPING” by DANIEL TALBOTT
YES! – TWO STORIES ABOUT SEXUAL PLEASURE
LETS START OUT with the lavish splendid sets. Sumptuous clothes and sexy hands in Victorian England uncover astounding delights – especially for the women. The male doctors have discovered a way to keep women from becoming “Hysterical”. The women line up at the Docs office as the men make the women moan and groan. Good for the women, but very hard on the young doctors hand. Plus, it takes too long to get a reaction from the patient.
As the story advances, the film becomes even more hysterical for the women. The Doctor and a friend knows a lot about electrical elements. He comes up with an electrical spinning device. Of course today – it would be called an electric Dildo.
A very heavyset woman was extremely disappointed about the old hand procedure. But when the Doctor (Hugh Dancy) probes her with the vibrator machine – she starts to sing an Opera. Wow! I never knew that electricity would do that. Did you? Well, I will tell you that the woman got a good dose of Hysteria cure. When the Doc removes the device, the ladies are as happy as a clam. An exhausted one.
The production is outstanding. The Acting by Jonathon Price is marvelous, Hugh Dancy is unbelievably charming and handsome. How does he stay so young looking? Maggie Gyllenhaal is volatile, and compassionate.
The bizarre treatment in Victorian times were a little on the weird side. But, they do things with all there clothes on – so that’s a relief right there.
Hey, this movie is much more than I expected. It’s funny; it has great direction and excellent photography and a really terrific score. It’s hysterical and I might add, full of Hysteria. But, what do I know – the Docs have stronger hands than I do. OH, I do feel a buzz!
NOW PLAYING AT THEATERS EVERYWHERE
RATING: FOUR BOXES OF POPCORN!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-
Bullying goes on in a high school in 2006. Photo: Lois Tema
High school boy shows a little too much of his gayety in 2006. He dresses in bizarre clothes. His hair is died blue and it appears that he might even wear a bit of makeup. I guess he thinks that because he is in San Francisco – that he can get away with it. Some at the High School may not mind, but in 2006 – there is still bully-ism. A couple of boys are attracted to the gay boy (who looks a little old for High
School) – One guy (Chris) acts like he hates gays, but on the other hand, he want to F—k. And when he does the deed – he gets mad. It’s the Game to play.
There are flashes of nudity in the play – but not total bareness. Depends on where you are sitting. Some views are better then others. Another young man (Jake) – seems to be more of a friend. He always sits and talks with the gay guy. He asks lots of questions. He’s curious to the point that we know what he’s after. And it’s not playing football.
Not only does “Eli” the gay have troubles in the schoolyard – he has a problem. The problem is that he cuts himself on his wrists and arms. Mentally – I would suggest that he see a doctor. But it’s only a play. I wasn’t convinced that it was touching enough for me to care. It seems that Eli has had affairs in and out of school. That’s O.K. – many do it – but they are usually not going insane. Here’s a quote from the play “I’m like a 49 year-old at 17.”
Evan Johnson is Eli, who is confused about life. Eli’s role is fascinating, but runs thin as his problems seem to become too much baggage for him to deal with life.
Benjamin T. Ismail (Jake) has mixed emotions about Eli. He thinks he’s straight – but we wonder. It seems to me that he would screw a pine tree as long as it doesn’t move. But that’s what boys do.
Both boys have had sex with Eli. Something that Eli has done many times before, with others.
Another strong performance is by Eli’s mother “Stacy Thunes) – She’s a little wacko also. No wonder Eli cuts himself.
Some tense moments are in this play – but much of it seems a little repetitious. There are flickers of “Rebel Without a Cause.” But then, all Teens are “Rebels” aren’t they?
The Direction by Andrew Lance is visionary.
Now playing at the New Conservatory Theatre
RATING: Three Glasses of Champagne!!! –trademarked-
The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.
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