Last night, I had the pleasure of going to see Village Idiom Productions’ collaboration with Theatre Unleashed’s production of [title of show], and my friend Corey Lynn Howe’s directorial debut. First things first: as close, personal friends with the Director, I’m so very happy for Corey in the sheer gritted-teeth willpower and determination to make something so amazing come to life, and to do it so well. If you know her, you know it’s amazing to see her achieve something she so clearly loves and even more clearly excels at.
But seriously, folks, about the show. [title of show] surprised the heck out of me with its (fast!) dialog and constant elbow-nudging hilarity. And I could go on all day about the “musical written by 2 guys about 2 guys writing a musical about writing a musical” deal. But [title of show] is really about the absolutely terrifying notion of going after those pipe dreams we all had when we were kids and ignoring the sometimes (well, oftentimes) self-defeating fears of failure or bankruptcy or the “vampires” inside our own minds that keep us from attempting to reach for the skies. We can all relate – we all have something inside us we’d love to go after but have fought with ourselves about whether we have what it takes – if we’re good enough or talented enough or smart enough or creative enough (and the list goes on and on, doesn’t it?). This show is for all the people who think they don’t have what it takes to be who they want to be.
The cast were all fabulous. Just 5 people on a stage with the barest of set dressings, there’s absolutely nothing flashy for these talented actors to hide behind. But this was no problem for the troupe I saw last night. Each one shone both individually while lifting up and supporting their castmates. The score is just plain fun, full of lyrical and musical twists and turns, paying homage to just about every musical ever produced. If they’re anything like the characters they played (and I think they might be), Christopher Maikish (playing Jeff), Travis Dixon (Hunter), Heather Lake (Heidi) and Julia Plostnieks (Susan) have quite a career ahead of themselves. And we can’t leave out the Musical Director and ever-present on-stage pianist, Jim Blackett. This guy made singlehandedly delivering the score to an ambitious and original musical look easy, and provided a few great straight man lines that cracked me up.
[title of show] is playing the rest of June in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Support the arts and local theater like Theater Unleashed and have a great time; this show does not disappoint!