Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Luca Ellis Takes Edgemar Hoboken To Hollywood

Hoboken to Hollywood
Luca Ellis in Hoboken to Hollywood
Photos: James W. Thompson

Even though the name Sinatra is never mentioned in Hoboken to Hollywood, it’s clear from the moment Luca Ellis hits the stage that we’re watching a remarkable talent channeling the one and only “ol’ blue eyes” himself. Backed by the fantastic Paul Litteral Orchestra, Ellis weaves an irresistible spell over the audience with spot-on vocals and an elegant, commanding presence, all while crooning some of the best-loved songs in the Great American Songbook.

Ellis is no stranger to the style, having played Sinatra in both Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show at the Sahara in Las Vegas (under the musical direction of Joey Singer) and in A Vegas Holiday, Songs From Live at the Sahara, which ran at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood last December.


He’s joined by some outstanding professional musicians, that include Jim Jedeikin, Josh C. Harris, Colin Kupka and Damon Zick on sax, Craig Kupka and Robbie Hioki on trombone, musical director Paul Litteral, Ron Sewer and Kendall Wallace on trumpet, Paul McDonald on piano, Nicholas Klingenberg on bass, and Steve Pemberton on drums. Together they take the audience through a set list that offers a fantastic combination of popular standards and lesser known gems such as:

Bye, Bye Blackbird
Swinging on a Star
Almost Like Being in Love
I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Call Me Irresponsible
Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
The Curse of an Aching Heart
Old Black Magic
Route 66
That’s Life
You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You
Shiny Stockings
Stardust
On the Sunny Side of the Street
Blue Moon
Ciribirbin
There Are Such Things
Fly Me To The moon
Green Onions
One For My Baby
I’m Gonna Live Till I Die
Young At Heart
Ya Gotta Try Harder


Director Jeremy Aldridge has set the evening up as a behind-the-scenes look at the taping of a television show, much like Sinatra’s Timex specials from the 1960’s, complete with commercials, live camera shots, a bumbling stand-in show runner (Pat Towne), hothead producer (Al Bernstein), and Nelson Riddle (Jeff Markgraff) conducting the band. It’s an effective framework, yet still feels a bit self-conscious, as the supporting actors work to find their groove.


Hoboken to Hollywood

Nothing can take away from the real stars of the show, however, which are Ellis and the music…and for that reason alone, this is a show not to miss.

Hoboken to Hollywood is written by Luca Ellis, Paul Litteral and Jeremy Aldridge, produced by Peach Reasoner and runs through December 12, 2010 at the Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. For tickets and more information go to www.hobokentohollywood.com

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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