Merely Players

musicals and operas · color & light theatre ensemble · Ages 13+ · United States of America

world premiere
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PAMELA FOARD certified reviewer June 08, 2015
The premise of 'Merely Players" is similar to the film "Waiting for Guffman": these are people who have no business putting on a musical, in this case "Bus Stop: the Musical". To add to the amateur feeling of the piece, three audience members are incorporated into the proceedings, and two of them are a large part of the play, and in fact one is the star of the show! Since incorporating unknown quantities is risky business, and I applaud the company for having the courage to try it (although this is becoming more commonplace in theater everywhere), the play could be great, amusing or painful, depending on who they end up with through an audition process that occurs early in the story. (Audience members choose to participate when invited ... full review
SHAWNA BERK uncertified reviewer June 09, 2015
I went to Merely Players as a audience member and left as a sudo cast member. The show starts with auditions and two audience member are cast in Bus Stop. I got the part! I was pulled up on stage and given a score and script; it felt like a normal rehearsal except there was an audience. I had so much fun being in the show! The actors were extremely helpful and kind in directing me on and off stage, giving cues, and ensuring I was a little lost so as to encourage my creative expression (I don't want to give away too much). I'm looking forward to coming to the show again so I can watch the whole thing!... full review
JEFF T. BUCO certified reviewer June 13, 2015
So, I came to the show under the impression that the show within the show "Bus Stop- The Musical" was a musical version of the play and movie by William Inge, but it's actually based on a painting. Not unlike Sunday...hahaha The show includes a portion in which the audience is given the chance to audition and you may even end up cast in it. I found myself in this position and the cast was great about helping myself and fellow audience member Damien through it. It was intimidating, fun, and unexpected. What a wonderful glimpse into the behind the scenes world of the Boyle Community Players- you may even recognize situations and people you've come across. It was a breath of fresh air and great time! I'm hoping to see it again as an audience me... full review
STEVEN STANLEY certified reviewer June 14, 2015
For pure, silly fun at the Hollywood Fringe (and a chance to be a star for a night), you can’t beat Merely Players, the latest from Color & Light Theatre Ensemble, the folks who brought you Giraffenstein and The Pokémusical. Click on "Original Article" to read my full review at full review
ZACH SIEGAL-EISMAN certified reviewer June 15, 2015
Great show, highly recommend it, as it's super funny and interactive!... full review
KATHERINE KING uncertified reviewer June 15, 2015
A community theater tries to mount an original musical, "Bus Stop", based off of a famous painting of the same name. Some actors are a perfect fit and others are a stretch-amusing complications arise. The play starts with an audition for "Bus Stop", with about every third audition pulled from the audience. Then rehearsals begin and tension mounts as opening day approaches and the production is falling apart. I thought one of the strongest aspects of the play were the musical numbers-I was impressed by the songs themselves as well as the ensemble performances! It made me wish "Bus Stop" actually existed so I could see it! As far as all of the rehearsal "mishaps", it was a little repetitive, but redeemed by the strong characters of The ... full review
DANIEL FAIGIN certified reviewer June 21, 2015
tagged as: musical · comedy
[See full writeup, with links, at ] It is often said that laws are like sausages: you don’t want to see how they are made — you just want to enjoy the end product. In many ways, theatre is equally like sausage — the end product is enjoyable, but the manufacturing… that’s another story. Last night we saw a World Premiere production at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB) that explored the manufacturing process: it took you behind the scenes to see how the theatrical magic is made. OK, well maybe not magic, perhaps just the illusion. OK, well maybe not the illusion, just a crumbling façade. Last night’s show at the Lounge Theatre (FB) was Merely Players (FB), a new musical play by James Penca (... full review
BREN COOMBS certified reviewer June 28, 2015
Merely Players expertly executed all the things it sets out to make fun of, with tight direction, a stellar cast, laugh lines that hit the mark, and the best audience interaction I've seen at this year's Fringe. This show achieves its intent and take you along on the ascent. From the hilarious stereotypes, tongue-in-cheek look at putting on a play, and inclusion of actual audience members into the show to giving the audience clappers to shake during the performance, Merely Players has something for everyone, and everyone becomes a part of the show. Highly recommended. ... full review
KELLY D'ANGELO certified reviewer June 08, 2015
Meta-meta-meta! For anyone who has ever been in a musical or put on a musical, this is a fun, interactive show, with surprising improvised elements (if you willingly sign-up at the beginning to participate, get ready for a ride!) A great way to spend a carefree afternoon!... full review
DAVID BICKFORD certified reviewer June 14, 2015
tagged as: fun · clever
Fun show. Clever way of incorporating some audience members into the action. Some genuine laugh out loud moments from the committed and skilled ensemble. ... full review