The Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood puts on a fantastic show of talent and staging that is not only clever but filled with some great talent. Heading the cast is Ben Rover who sings and dances his way through his birthday. With all his friends he discovers that being by himself may not be the best choice of his life, and it all culminates in his solo of the Sondheim classic “Being Alive.” Ben and his wonderful energy and his really feel good voice is what allows his friends to understand his perspective about being a bachelor.
One outstanding performance was that of Amy Albert who does an incredible job both vocally and characterization-wise with her song “Not Getting Married.” Amy was funny, has amazing breath control, and she was stunning to watch as she melodically rips through her song with such speed and clarity!
Julia Black has a beautiful voice and when she sings her song “Another Hundred People” it is amazing to hear her strength and passion come shining through. Julia leads the audience by her voice which basically guides you as the audience through everyday life of everyday people.
Sonja Alarr does an amazing job singing “The Ladies Who Lunch” and showing her skills and vocal talents. While Lena Gwendolyn, Libby Baker and Beatrice Crosbie all give a humorous twist on themselves being wives who each have their own social issues to deal with and their husbands who are not exactly perfect.
Now James Calvert has some funny wrestling moves of his own while his vocal talents lead his fellow friends (all husbands of the ladies mentioned above) to some very funny and somewhat cliché characterizations of what wives think of their husbands. Christopher Davie Carlisle, Mike Hagiwara, John Hand and Zeffin Quinn Hollis are the singing and dancing husbands that also have some very funny things to say about their wives too. (All in songs like “The Little Things You Do Together!")
Along with Julia, both Katy O’Donnell and Emma Degerstedt play three current girlfriends of Ben who each has her opinion of him and his “usage” of women and their feelings. It all culminates in the song “You Could Drive A Person Crazy.”
The set design by Jack Forrestel was r modern and a compliment to "Company" overall. The lighting design by Anna Cecilia Martin combined with the projection designs of Zeffin Quinn Hollis made the show visually interesting too. Director Albert Arr did an incredible job with such a full ensemble of a cast and the uniquely theatrical choreography of John Todd. It was well staged and the songs were coming from everywhere in the theatre, all around you!
This is a fun production filled with stereotypes and some interesting commentary on marriage, all set to Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful songs! This play will be enjoyable for both the young and old alike and made more contemporary with both tempo and visualization. Go see them soon! Check them out at www.CrownCityThetare.com!
Pic: (LtR) Julia Black, Katy O’Donnell, Emma Degerstedt, Ben Rover