Theater Review: JULIUS WEEZER (The Troubies at El Portal in North Hollywood)

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by Joan Alperin on May 11, 2019

in Theater-Los Angeles


What do you get when you mix Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy Julius Caesar with the hard-driving rock band Weezer? Adapter, director and choreographer Matt Walker, who also plays Cassius,  arrived at the mash-up known as Julius Weezer, and you should be prepared before attending that you will no doubt wind up laughing your ass off.

I’ve seen the insanely funny, super-creative Troubadour Theatre Company — aka Troubies — more times then I can count. For 25 years, these crazy clowns have amalgamated freely altered classics with music of a particular artist, creating riotous entertainments that are liberally seasoned with an air of Commedia dell’Arte; this gives the immensely talented players the opportunity to act, sing, dance, improvise, and perform feats of acrobatic skill.

After performing for years at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank (now the Garry Marshall), the merrymakers of musical mayhem haved moved their mirth to the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood.

The Broadway-caliber triple-threat actor/singer/dancers have always astounded but they really nail the Shakespearean dialogue this time. For those of you unfamiliar with J.C., the year is 44 BC. The place is Rome and the Ides of March (in May!) is upon us. As in most of Shakespeare’s play we have corruption, betrayal, the thirst for absolute power and your basic psychic who no one listens to, kind of like the Reagan Era. When a sooth tells Julius (Andy Robinson) to beware the fifteenth, the dude like totally ignores him. But you can’t ignore this romp.

It’s important to know that those who pooh-pooh Shakespeare will love this show, and with a live band on stage, you will definitely be a fan of this troupe — but beware the Ides of a short run: it closes May 19.

Here’s to another quarter-century of fun!

photos by Ed Krieger

Julius Weezer
Troubadour Theatre Company
El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood
Fri at 8, Sat at 4 & 8; and Sun at 4
ends on May 19, 2019
or tickets, call 818-508-4200 or visit El Portal

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