Showing posts with label theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theater. Show all posts

Friday, October 2, 2009

“How to Survive the Apocalypse” a Burning Man Opera for Burners and Burner-curious

Much like an actual visit to Burning Man, “How to Survive the Apocalypse” is a musical production with no obvious plan: you must experience what’s in front of you as it presents itself and just go with it. There is beauty you will be transfixed by and ugliness you will want to turn your attention away from. Sometimes you might not sure what’s going on, but it’s sure fun to watch.

A Burning Man blog describes it best:
The rock opera is a little bit Hair in that it tries to capture the zeitgeist of a movement, and a little bit Rent in the joyful exuberance that sometimes comes along with incredible hardship, and maybe a little bit Jesus Christ, Superstar in the way it touches your spiritual buttons."
My favorite line: "when we stop consuming, we create."

To read more and see more photos click here

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Green Day's 'American Idiot' at the Berkeley Rep: I'd shave my head for this show

“It’s like watching someone else making out with your girlfriend” said Green Day drummer TrĂ© Cool to the women in front of us at the bar, with his trademark bleached blonde hair spiked up about three inches. They had asked about what it was like to watch someone else play his music in the new Berkeley Rep’s production of American Idiot.

The after party of the Berkeley Repertory Theater’s 2009-2010 season was the night for punk hairdos of all types. Along with food and drinks, the Levi sponsored event included a photo station with costumes and a hair salon. Guitarist/vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong even shaved one guy’s hair to a fine looking mohawk (See photo and slideshow).

For a few minutes I was tempted to track Armstrong down and ask him to shave my head, that’s how inspired I was by this production of American Idiot, and I’ve never had punk tendencies. I'm more of a hippie if you must know. After recently seeing the Tony nominated Rock of Ages and Tony winning production of Hair (and thoroughly enjoyed both), read that article here I am convinced that American Idiot will easily slide onto Broadway and do very well there. This is not the last you’ll be hearing about this show.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nobody's Token: sketch comedy at its brownest

Nobody's Token is: Robert King, Tanisha T. Long, Keith Cornell and Keisha Zollar

Americans have never really forgotten about race and racism. Individuals in the media try to persuade us that it's getting better here in the United States, but sorry folks, it's still a huge problem. At this moment, turn on your tv, race and racism is at the forefront of the news. Obama shakes it off, dealing with it like the pro we knew he'd be.

Personally, I'd like to see him shake some of these idiots. I'd be happy to do it for him myself.


The Sould Glo Project: Featuring Improv Sketch Comedy group Nobody's Token

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spamalot will entertain the funny bone in Monty Python know-it-alls as well as newbies

John O'Hurley wants you to eat your Spam

Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

There is nothing not silly about Spamalot. It is absolute, hokey fun. Die hard Monty Python fans love it because Python-isms are scattered all over the stage and newbies will love it because Python-ism never get old. If you blink you might miss one. They come at you so fast you're bound to miss one. I missed several, but I was also sitting way up on the side of the second balcony.

Playing King Arthur, John O'Hurley is San Francisco's special Spamalot celebrity. He is best known for his portrayal of Elaine's boss, J. Peterman, on Seinfeld and was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. O'Hurley performed in the Las Vegas run of Spamalot for two years but is clearly still enjoying himself.

“It’s the one promise that I make in entertainment right now," O'Hurley said in an interview with The SF Examiner. "You will laugh from the moment you sit down until the moment we do our curtain calls. I regard silliness as the highest form of comedy, and this is silly at the highest level.”

This video doesn't really have anything to do with the musical directly, but it's silly. So bring it on...

Monday, March 23, 2009

"Howling Blues & Dirty Dogs": The life and times of Big Mama Thornton - for LA peeps

This piece comes to you from my very first guest blogger, my Dad, Jeff Freedman:

If you happen to be in Los Angeles any weekend between now and April 12, run, do not walk, to the Stella Adler Theater on Hollywood Blvd. to see national treasure Barbara Morrison as "Big Mama" Willa Mae Thornton in "Howlin' Blues and Dirty Dogs," a musical about the legendary blues pioneer.

Elvis Presley is connected in immortality to the blues crossover anthem "Hound Dog." Few know that this 12 bar blues tune was written by Los Angeles natives Leiber and Stoller for Thornton, not for Elvis. She received only $500 for her recording, which became an R&B hit three years before Elvis' recording helped launch him into international
stardom. Thornton had her share of success, but questions of race and economic power deprived her of the success in the 1950's that flowed to white artists. She died at age 57, poor and forgotten, in L.A. in 1984, a victim of alcoholism on top of her diabetes.

Barbara Morrison, an amazing talent in her own right, delivers an emotional depiction of Big Mama, and lends her own fantastic voice to the performance, which combines original music as well as tunes from the 50's. (The actual song "Hound Dog" is not part of the performance,
probably because Lieber and Stoller are still quite alive and this production did not obtain usage rights.) Other characters in the show include the tragic Johnny Ace, an outstanding singer, who died at age 25, and local legend Johnny Otis (of "Hand Jive" fame) who is still
quite alive at age 88.

Morrison is backed by a talented group of singers/actors playing multiple roles, plus a great blues quartet on piano, guitar, bass and drums.

There are many yet untold stories about the founders of modern music. Movies like "Ray" and "Cadillac Records" are helping to set the record straight about the early days of the genre. Plays and movies about Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, etc. are yet to be written. This story, about Big Mama, needs to be heard. Her time has come.

The Stella Adler Theater is at 6773 Hollywood Blvd, just east of Highland.

Phone number is 310-462-1439. Also check
Go see it!

Buy tickets here.