Sunday, June 3, 2012

Musical Focus on the Fringe - Part Three

Our Focus on the Fringe preview of the Hollywood Fringe Festival continues with a spotlight on more shows that feature music below. Check them out below and get ready to Fring-ify your June!

Genetic Eddy
June 15, 2012

On June 15th, audiences will get a look at Genetic Eddy in its first staged reading at the Fringe. The contemporary rock musical is about a small town, an American family, and the fall and rebirth of the automobile industry. In it, a teenaged rocker confronts his feelings of rebellion and loyalty in the face of parental opposition while following his dream. Throw in some quirky science and other comical elements and you have a quirky tale in the vein of Little Shop of Horrors, Grease and Urinetown.

John and Mary Amorosia came up with the story and the original script outline with John also writing music and lyrics. He is an accomplished pianist, studio musician, vocal director and composer who has played and recorded in a wide variety of venues, from Carnegie Recital Hall to CBGB's. John is Past Faculty with the California Conservatory of the Arts and currently at OCHSA. Mary Amorosia is Divisional Head Emeritus of Individual Voice at AMDA in Los Angeles and on the Faculty of OCHSA, Guest Faculty at UCLA, Past Faculty at the California Conservatory of the Arts, and a Private Vocal Instructor and Coach.

Joining them for additional work on the book is James Bontempo. James made his Broadway debut in the Goodspeed Opera House production of Going Up before moving onto productions such as West Side Story with Patrick Swayze and eventually a two year run in A Chorus Line for Michael Bennett. Tickets are $5. Complex Theatres, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA. Click Here for tickets.

On the Rag to Riches
June 15, 22 & 23, 2012

For Janey, every relationship seems to end before it begins. Was it her first kiss, or was it the book her Mom made her read explaining how her body works? Or maybe there is no time for a relationship with the impending zombie apocalypse. She may never know. Katie Molinaro and Shawn Northrip team up with an all Grrl rock band that will properly melt your face.

Here’s how the show came about. Katie had been working professionally in Washington DC for the past six years and was getting cast as the ingénue in a lot of plays (mostly Shakespeare). Even though she was working, she felt that she wasn’t getting to show everything she could do.

She says, “One day, my boyfriend at the time said something that really sparked a fire in me, which was ‘I'm surprised there are so many great female actors in DC. I've always thought generally men are better actors than women.’ Aww,so cute. He was being a jerk without even realizing that I would retaliate and write a show about it.”

So she wrote a kickass script showcasing what she says she does best… be weird. Then she asked her good friend, Shawn Northrip, to write the music and lyrics. “I fell in love with Shawn's work when I performed in his show, Lunch: The Musical back in 2006. I wanted some grrrl punk Broadway rock mixed with Tenacious D flair and boy, did Shawn deliver! We were in the same room writing together for a week and I was like, ‘let's do this show next year’ and Shawn was like, ‘no, let's do it in July!’”

“That's what fringe is all about! Working with people you love and coming up with some stellar work with a minimal budget in a short amount of time. It's fringe-y! It's fun! It seems impossible! On the Rag to Riches is 55 minutes of power driven grrrl rock with an all-girl band and a hilarious story about a girl named Janey fabricated from my life. Well, mostly fabricated...the zombie stuff is real. We were awarded best solo performance at the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival, so that counts for something, right? LA is totally ready for this full throttle fringe show!”

Tickets are $10. i.O. West, 6366 Hollywood Blvd., Click Here for tickets.

Carpe Noctem
June 10, 15 & 20, 2012

Cabaret Versatile’s Carpe Noctem (“Seize the Night”) is set to premiere at the Underground Theatre as part of the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In an intimate evening of authentic French Cabaret, the personalities of five Parisian Cabaret dancers unfold to the sensual music of Max Raabe, Juliette Greco, Enoch Light and more. Starring Mademoiselles Blasé, Clumsy, Klepto, Blue Eyes and Nympho (aka Alyssa Furhman, Annie Gaia, Charlotte Henry, Julianne Kusmierczyk and Lola OhLaLa) and Mr Beto Ruiz.

Dancer/Choreographer Lola OhLaLa trained in classical and modern dance at St Vincent School, Orleans and in dramatic arts at the Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique d’Orleans. Over the last ten years she has danced and choreographed shows in France for Cabaret Parad’isiaque, Cabaret Stefano Forever and Cabaret Le Royal Music Hall Palace in Bourges, Paris, Saran and St Tropez. Carpe Noctem is the first show she has written for the Los Angeles public.

Tickets $10. Underground Theatre 1314 North Wilton Place, Hollywood, CA 90028. Click Here for tickets.

Robert and the Magic Mirror
June 8, 15 & 22, 2012

Robert and the Magic Mirror will introduce Angeleno audiences to the “Adventure-Comedy” theater genre with the live show Robert and the Magic Mirror: Deep Space, NEIN!, which mixes the playful antics of Pee-wee’s Playhouse with the adventure elements of Indiana Jones. The 50-minute, fun-filled journey to outer space will answer, “What happens when an all-powerful Magic Mirror falls into the hands of a total idiot?”

In this first episode of the theatrical adventure series, you’ll meet the charming-but-clueless Robert and his all-knowing, self-absorbed Magic Mirror as the duo blasts off on a free space voyage, courtesy of Virgin CEO and billionaire Sir Richard Branson. While Robert “bros out” on Branson’s souped-up spaceship, the Magic Mirror befriends a like-minded super computer. Both believe they’ve found an intergalactic paradise until the reality of being stuck with an eccentric billionaire and an arrogant super computer becomes painfully clear.

From the forests of Alaska to save a pan-flute-playing Sasquatch to the Trans-Siberian Railway to solve an international whodunit, writer/performers Matt Moore and Robert Boesel fill Robert and the Magic Mirror with lively expeditions into the unknown. Each live episode follows the titular heroes as they meet a myriad of colorful, magical, and flat-out weird characters, predominately portrayed by the quick-changing Moore and Boesel.

The show also features original music and lyrics written and performed by the comedy duo with genres ranging anywhere from gospel to dubstep to disco. Deep Space, NEIN! will feature original music arranged and produced by Jeffrey Kirchner of Tip Top Studios with live accompaniment from Benji Vander Broek and members of bands CityCity and Nicky Davey.

Matt Moore and Robert Boesel’s credits include HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, Wizards of Waverly Place, iCarly, Funny or Die – Exclusives, ManCamp improv, iO West’s TopStory! Weekly, and DipDive.  Live performances include UCB Theatre, iO West theatre, The Comedy Store, and Laugh Factory.

Tickets are $10. ArtWorks Theatre - Annex Stage, 6567 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Click Here for tickets or call (323) 455-4585.

30 Minute Musicals
Showgirls & Jurassic Park
June 14 & 21, 2012

These two fast and furious romps, feature original songs and choreography, singing, dancing dinosaurs and showgirls. Plus, you get two shows for the price of one; who could ask for anything more?!

Creator/director Brooke Seguin and producer Tom DeTrinis have joined forces to bring 30 Minute Musicals to the Fringe. Seguin writes the original score for the shows with music director Rich Ramberg, who is also executive director of Lost Moon Radio, voted 2011's "Best of comedy" at Fringe. Their first piece, Showgirls, debuted in July 2011, and Jurassic Park will debut this year at the Fringe.

Seguin says the idea for 30 Minute Musicals came from a desire to take a movie and make it better through song and dance. “It both celebrates and pokes fun at film with those musical theatre conventions we all know and love. As intense fans of musicals, comedy, and film, we felt there was nothing better than mashing them all together in one 30 minute thrill ride. Showgirls, in particular, is just one of those movies that makes you say ‘they really made that movie?!’ It definitely deserves a little ribbing! And, what better way to address the ridiculousness of Showgirls than with even more ridiculous singing and dancing!? It's pure guilty pleasure."

"Of course, there are great films out there, like Jurassic Park, that we've chosen to ‘musicalize’ as well. That type of movie is a lot harder to condense into 30 minutes; there are so many iconic moments and lines of dialogue. It's a challenge, but it's so rewarding to celebrate a film like that with some singing and dancing dinosaurs. It's complete and total fun. With that show, we wanted to take the story we all know and love and give the audience a little glimpse at what motivates those dinosaurs. In a way, our version is their side of the story too!”

"I think Fringe-goers will really dig the shows because they’re quite bold," she adds. "Showgirls is definitely in-your-face, ‘can't believe they did that’ action. And, Jurassic Park is non-stop adventure. Fringe-goers will appreciate the edgy comedy and original score (with a couple of already famous melodies). And musical theatre fans, in particular, will get a kick out of those recognizable musical theatre references! For instance, a ballet HAS to make an appearance at some point, right!? And, hey, it's only 30 Minutes, what's not to love?! Plus, we have an amazing cast that includes Tom Lenk, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, and several other veterans of TV and musical theatre!”

Tickets are $15. Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA. Click Here for tickets.

Leprechauns & Lies
June 15 – 24, 2012

From DC in ’90 back to Salt Lake City in ’83 to Honolulu in ’87 to Right Here and Right Now, this journey back-and-forth through the mind and times of a Mormon-raised Hawaiian agnostic explores regions of the universe and soul that might make you question your sanity. In this one-man show from and starring writer-director Chad Kukahiko, Chad uses song, story, comedy, music and a whole lot of truth to present his “Being & Nothingness” – twenty years in the making.

Back in January 1994 Kukahiko and  Laurelann Porter were students at the Theatre Conservatory within BU’s School of Fine Arts (now known as the College of Fine Arts), but now in 2012, they are Creative Directors of superfreako productions. What’s interesting about this reunion is that the same two people went through a nearly identical series of events in Boston, Massachusetts nearly twenty years ago.

Though the goals, ambitions and team of the show haven’t changed in twenty years, Kukahiko and Porter themselves have grown, experienced and accomplished so much that it’s become a different piece entirely. In the years since Chad has performed in over fifty different plays including two years on the road as one of the original American tour members of STOMP. However embarking on a career as a writer/director seven years ago, marked by the founding of superfreako productions with his brother and longtime girlfriend, Chad has performed only about half a dozen times.
So why did he return to performing now? “I just couldn’t get this show out of my head,” is his response. “When we did it back in school, it was way too ambitious. I mean, it’s still a bit too ambitious, but now we have the tools to at least take a stab at it.” The show, which Kukahiko calls his ‘Being and Nothingness’ culminates in an event during the summer for ’89 which Kukahiko says “changed everything,” but he uses far more than just story-telling to deliver Leprechauns & Lies. There’s music, dancing, multi-media, audience participation and even hints of stand-up comedy.

Porter is now a writer, director, performer, producer and doctoral candidate of Theatre wrapping up her dissertation at Arizona State University. Of this collaborative reunion with Kukahiko, she’s perhaps more contemplative. “Working on Trash in ’94 was such a joyful experience,” she says. “We had no fears and just did what we thought felt right. Coming back to the next incarnation has been like revisiting an old friend. It’s great to see the story grow up and grapple with issues that hit at a deeper core level, but perhaps the story hasn’t grown up and gotten deeper. Perhaps we have.”

Tickets are $6.00. Theatre Asylum Lab, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. The show runs 70 minutes and has no intermission. Click Here for tickets.

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