[title of show] – Celebration Theatre – Los Angeles Theater Review

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by Harvey Perr on August 11, 2010

in Theater-Los Angeles


Friend: Wasn’t that fabulous? I mean, what can you say? Didn’t you just love it to bits?

Reviewer: What are you talking about?

Friend: Hello. Where are you? The show we just saw.  “[title of show].”  Didn’t you think it was just fabulous?

Reviewer: No.

Friend: Are you kidding?

Reviewer: No.

Friend: You gotta be kidding! I mean, the idea of writing a musical about writing a musical. So fucking fresh. So innovative.

Reviewer:  Granted. It was…to a degree…..you know….clever.

Friend: And it was so fucking funny.

Reviewer: Yeah, sure, it had its amusing moments.

Friend: Oh, I keep forgetting. You don’t like musicals. Unless it’s a revival of Guys And Dolls or Kiss Me Kate or anything by [sneering] Stephen Sondheim.

Reviewer: That’s not true. That’s just not true. Do you remember that scene when they were going through the box of playbills of failed musicals?

Friend: That was a great scene,

Reviewer: I never realized how much you talk in hyperbole.

Friend: Bagel and Yox. What a riot. Henry Sweet Henry. I bet they wrote that scene for Rosie O’Donnell. Just the sort of thing she loves. She knows every song from every show.

Reviewer: She would.

Friend: So?

Reviewer: So. One of the playbills was for The Golden Apple. That, the writers should have known, was not a flop. It was a brilliant musical. It even won the New York Critics Circle Award.

Friend: Never heard of it.

Reviewer: Neither did Jeff Bowen or Hunter Bell.

Friend: Who are they?

Reviewer: The authors of that show you thought was so fabulous.

Friend: I’m in sync with them.

Reviewer: If you’re so in sync with them, the least you can do is remember their names.

Friend: Gotcha. When you’re right, you’re right. Bowen and Bell. Has a nice ring to it.

Reviewer: They played themselves in the New York productions.

Friend: Didn’t you think Jeffrey Landman was great? Beautiful voice. That wonderful ordinariness.

Reviewer: I concede.

Friend: And wasn’t Mich McCain an absolute scream?

Reviewer: Oh, come on, didn’t you think he was a trifle over the top? Anyway, all I wanted to say was that, with the composer and the lyricist playing themselves, it must have been a little like Flanders and Swann…

Friend: Who?

Reviewer: Never mind. It must have provided a refreshing authenticity to the evening.

Friend: Get off it already. This New York thing you have.

Reviewer: Well, they call themselves “Two Nobodies From New York” in their first song and then they refer to Off Off Broadway as way off, like way off La Brea. And they refer to Dorothy Chandler. Whoever heard of Dorothy Chandler east of Los Angeles?

Friend: Honey, this is the Los Angeles production. What’s the big deal if they add a few local references? Really, you’re ridiculous.

Reviewer: Maybe I shouldn’t review this.

Friend: Maybe you shouldn’t. Let me review it. I’ll give it a to-die-for review and everyone will be happy.

Reviewer: Is making everyone happy that important? What happened to the concept of writing what one sees?

Friend: What about the women in the show?

Reviewer: Good for business.

Friend: But those gorgeous voices.

Reviewer: I’m tired of gorgeous voices. What happened to distinctive voices? The Mermans and the Martins and the Channings. Bernadette Peters? Madeline Kahn? Today, everyone has a great voice and I can’t tell one from the other.

Friend: Ooh, you’re so….mean! What about the production values? The Celebration can be counted on for its wonderful production values!

Reviewer: Four chairs?

Friend: But each was different. And they were moved around with such exquisite aplomb.

Reviewer: Aplomb?

Friend: You’re not the only one who can use fancy words.

Reviewer: Okay. Agreed. You write the review.

Friend: Oh dear, what will I say?

Reviewer: Aha!

[REVIEWER exits]

Friend: Son of a bitch!


harveyperr @ stageandcinema.com

photo by David Elzer

scheduled to end August 29 at time of publication
for tickets, visit http://www.celebrationtheatre.com


Edward Parone August 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Harvey: I will probably never see this musical. But I am fascinated by their resurrecting of failed musicals. Did they include Buttrio Square, Flahooly, Bajour, Portofino, We Take the Town, Wildcat, It’s a Boat, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman? To name only a few. But it’s telling that they got The Golden Apple wrong, when they could have had Sandhog and The Littlest Review as Phoenix flops.

Hallie August 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

In their defense, the Dorothy Chandler reference wasn’t for the LA audience. I was in a production of [tos] at my high school a few months ago and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is in the real, “New York” script. R&H approved.

Rimme August 31, 2010 at 11:50 pm

opinions are like assholes. everyone has one.

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