Sunday, April 7, 2013

Review: The Trouble With Words...in a word, Heaven

L to R: Christopher Roque, Jamie Mills, Robert Wallace, Julianne Donelle
Photos by Laura Crow

I finally caught the second incarnation of The Trouble With Words by Gregory Nabours at The Lost Studio over the weekend and it was everything I hoped it would be, and more. The breakout musical hit of the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival has emerged in 2013 as a beautiful example of what goes right in the creation of a new work. Time has only served to enrich Nabours’ songs, making way for several new compositions as others have been sacrificed in the process of revising the piece. Always present is his ability to use music as a direct through line to the heart. 

Original director Patrick Pearson has continued to polish the show until it glistens, bringing out the vulnerability in the wounded moments and highlighting the humor inherent in all that’s awkward in life. New-to-the-project choreographer Janet Roston adds a hip downtown layer of coolness to the showier songs and a healthy dose of sex appeal. 

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the twelve singers and musicians, including Nabours, whose onstage chemistry is a palpable presence in the room. The stories they communicate, both individually and collectively, are quite poignant and powerful. And as the music opens up and swells in all its full harmonic glory, it’s the best rush a music lover can experience. I sincerely hope we’ll see a third run of Coeurage Theatre Company’s The Trouble With Words before long, as this one is scheduled to close on Friday April 12. It is by far one of the most satisfying musical events I've seen in Los Angeles. 

If you’d like to learn more about the composer and director’s process for The Trouble With Words, you can read my earlier interview with Gregory Nabours and Patrick Pearson HERE.

Aimee Karlin
THE TROUBLE WITH WORDS
Coeurage Theatre Company
The Lost Studio
130 S. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tickets: Pay what you want
www.coeurage.org

Cast: Julianne Donelle, Aime Karlin, Jamie Mills, Christopher Roque, Ryan Wagner, Robert Wallace
Musicians: Gregory Nabours (musical director/piano), Brian Morales (orchestrator/reeds), Brian Cannady (drums/percussion/ mallets), David Lee (guitars/banjo), Taylor Harb (cello/bass), Darryl Balack (violins).

Designers: Susan Hallman (lighting design), Joseph V. Calarco (sound design), Abe Parker (mixer), JR Bruce (scenic design), Bradley Lock (costume design), Christopher Roque (properties), Jeremy Lelliott (producer).

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