Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sshhh. It's Top Secret!

It's Top Secret
Adam Miller, John Albert Price and Dan W. Davis

It’s Top Secret, now open at the NoHo Arts Center and produced by Golden Performing Arts Center, is an original musical told in the style of the 1930s and 40s screwball comedies starring the Marx Brothers. Here the brothers are brought to life by John Albert Price (Notelli Bordello), Dan W. Davis (Dr. Milton Malpractice), and Adam Miller (Lucky) in a scenario that has them attempting to solve a murder mystery at the Avendale estate.

The time is 1942. The world is at war and Dr. Avendale (John Welsh) has a top secret formula that must not fall into enemy hands. When he turns up dead in the middle of the night, chaos ensues with mistaken identities, a disappearing body and suspects galore. It’s a typical set-up, complete with familiar Marx brothers comedy bits and sight gags, and it’s up to the boys to save the day.

Written by Steven A. Muro and Dan W. Davis, the show is directed and choreographed by Robert Petrarca and has musical direction by Paul Taylor. Petrarca keeps his cast on their toes as he works to capture the pacing of the old films. Timing is what a musical like this is all about, and while not perfectly tuned on opening night, when the gags do land, the laughs roll.


It's Top Secret
Megan Campbell and Stephen Vendette

Petrarca uses some fun choreography in the production numbers that end each act – “It’s Intermission” and “Hooray, Milton P.”, two very funny specialty numbers, “Corpse Ballet” and “A Tango to Tango,” and a lovely song and dance that shows off secret sweethearts Megan Campbell (Carol Avendale) and Stephen Vendette’s (Officer Frank) Fred & Ginger moves.

The cast also features Dimitri Toscas in drag as Lydia Avendale, Kyle Nudo as mysterious butler James, Erin Daigle in the ensemble, and Allene Quincy as Sally the maid, who provides some of the best laughs of the night…from the minute she opens her mouth.


It’s Top Secret runs through July 11th. Tickets are available at www.itstopsecretthemusical.com/. The NoHo Arts Center is located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601.

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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