Friday, June 21, 2013

Hollywood Fringe Review: 30MM Independence Day

Tommy Hobson and ensemble in 30 MM: Independence Day

If you like your musicals short, fast-paced, funny, and smart enough to spoof the big guys while delivering a healthy dose of pure fun, this is the musical for you. Brooke Seguin’s 30 MM: Independence Day clocks in around 40 minutes, which is plenty of time to run the aliens out of town and save the planet in a manner that would do the Fresh Prince proud, especially if he got to do it with a rap.

Charismatic Tommy Hobson takes on the Will Smith role of black astronaut “Blastronaut” Steve Hiller, a hotheaded pilot who can’t wait to get up in the air and kick some alien ass. He’s terrific at capturing Smith’s overly confident attitude, plus he sings and dances and has great timing. Michael Bernardi’s impersonation of Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson is equally as funny. Bernardi’s got the oddball actor’s mannerisms and distinct vocal pattern down, along with a sexy pants swagger that makes it even funnier.

All of the actors are in fine form with Seguin playing David’s cigar-wielding father, Julius (Judd Hirsch from the movie), Todd Masterson as crop duster Russell Case (Randy Quaid), Sixx Carter as Steve’s dolphin-loving stripper girlfriend Jasmine (Viveca A. Fox), Lindsay Wray as first lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell), Samantha Scanlon as David’s ex-wife Constance Spano (Margaret Colin), JD Barton as Albert Nimziki (James Rebhorn), Justin Braun as Dr. Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) and down the line.

Chaz Bono as President Thomas Whitmore

The leader of the free world, Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman in the film), is played by none other than Chaz Bono wearing a dark suit and looking perfectly presidential. When he steps in to help Steve and the other Black Knights save the world in his plane it is a triumphant victory for all.

Dancing aliens (Tom DeTrinis, Tania Possick and Sarah Schrieber), a slow motion sequence, a tap dancing “Plausible Deniability” number, comic references to Men in Black, Fiddler on the Roof, and a dog named Boomer (Kirby Slager) keep it all speeding along.

Kirby Slager as Boomer the dog

The quick cut scenes and song snippets come fast and furious in 30 MM: Independence Day with no time to waste. Original music is by
Seguin and Dan Wessels, with lyrics that are full of clever turns and echo the creativity in the scene choices. It’s the kind of show that leaves you wanting more, and that’s a very good thing. 

Through June 30, 2013
Celebration Theatre
7051 Santa Monica Boulevard 

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