Based in Southern California, not far from Downtown Hollywood - Lorenzo Marchessi. has always enjoyed movies, music and theatre first hand. Currently living in the San Fernando Valley Area called the ‘No Ho Arts District properly’ (Originally from Chicago!) – More than fond of Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Dramas, Animation, Independent Films and of course Comedies. I like the short film and the long film (as long as their good!) I saw my first film at the age of six - HELLO DOLLY and I saw LOGAN'S RUN ten times in the theatre! Having actually worked in the production of Film, TV, Radio and live Theatre I can always understand the work that goes into creating ANY Movie, Television Show, Theatre Production, DVD, CD's and even Live Concerts. I love to write and been doing it for decades - literally! I always appreciate any feedback or comments! P.S. My all-time favorite film is ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE along with THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE DESCENDANTS, my favorite TV series of all-time is STAR TREK as well as FRINGE and THE BIG BANG THEORY, my favorite performing artist of all-time is BARRY MANILOW, my favorite actor of all time MR. JACK LEMON and my favorite theatrical productions to date is WICKED and THE PRODUCERS. Contact: Lorenzo M. at Lorenzo@LandMProductions.com !
“The FOREIGNER” Is Breakout Comedy Fun For The Whole Family!
Crown City Theatre Company in North Hollywood has done it again! They have brought together an amazing mix of talent with a wonderful story in the gloriously funny production of “The Foreigner.” This is truly a comedy of a ‘fish out of water’ tale with a twist or two that will delight and surprise you with every move each character makes.
“Bunny Bunny” Is Truly A Four-Star Gilda Radner Slice-Of-Life At The Falcon Theatre”
What a fun evening with lots of funny parodies, heartfelt moments, disco music and a wonderful telling of a true comedic talent with a pure heart of gold. That’s what the Falcon Theatre’s production of “Bunny, Bunny Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy” is. Written by Alan Zweibel who was the longtime friend and confidant of the late and talented Gilda Radner, he takes the audience on a journey that is totally from his perspective.
From the moment Zweibel met Gilda to her final loss to her battle against ovarian cancer, the story is a personal perspective performed by three very talented and truly honest actors. Dimitri Toscas directed this production and the wonderful, simple set design and screen projections by Adam Flemming adds the warm ambiance of this incredible story of an actress/comedian who touched the hearts of millions for over a decade.
Erin Pineda is Gilda Radner. Her sweetness, energy and compassion was exactly what I remember Gilda to be when watching her on SNL and the various movies she was in that I saw growing up. Erin takes the heart and warmth of what was Gilda and channels it into very heartfelt scenes with such a truth and compassion you will defiantly be moved by her performance. I just loved her whimsical take and heartfelt commitment to her character.
Brendan Hunt plays the playwright himself, Alan Zweibel, and, not knowing him or his persona, Brendan gives a sharp, funny and often sarcastic interpretation of his best friend and confidant Gilda. Brendan is sympathetic, energetic and often the sounding board for Gilda, and his on stage chemistry with Erin is just wonderful to watch. His compassion for his best friend will get you more than a little choked up at what they do for each other.
Tom Fonss is listed as “everybody else” and he truly does an amazing job at playing bits and pieces of people in Gilda’s real life. From John Lennon to her husband Gene Wilder, Tom acts as a chameleon complete with attitudes, accents and wardrobe changes that will impress you as he guides his performances with Gilda leading the story. I applaud Tom for his unique and individual performances of all the many characters he plays.
From her walking on her first audition to her last walk with her best friend on the beach after her battle with cancer ended, “Bunny, Bunny Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy” is an amazing roller coaster of emotions and some very funny moments in Gilda Radner’s life. If you know her work, you’ll feel as if you are walking down memory lane with Gilda herself. If you don’t know her work, you’ll feel you’ve just met a sweet, funny and compassionate woman with a best friend that everyone would want. This is a wonderful show for the whole family and you can check them out at www.FalconTheatre.com.
Pic 1 - Brendan Hun, Erin Pineda Bunny Bunny
Pic 2 - Erin Pineda, Tom Fonss, Brendan Hunt Bunny Bunny
“The Victory Theatre Really Hits It Right With “On The Money”
“10 Minute Benders” Is Diversely Funny 10 Minutes At A Time!
The SkyPilot Theatre Company
Wow – take a look what’s at the NoHo Actors Studio in North Hollywood. The SkyPilot Theatre Company has put together an amazing comical menu of fun and frivolity called “10 Minute Benders.” Basically they are nine short plays done 10 minutes each containing lots of fun, twisted concepts and sometimes sprinkled with a little crazy fun on the side, but all done within the setting of a local bar.
“Art Is Dynamic, Funny and Uniquely Engaging”
“Art” was an original French play produced back in 1994 and written by Yasimina Resa. An Artists Production company presents the version that is translated by Christopher Hampton and performed at the Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood.
This simple play is sharply directed by Bruce Cervi and is artfully produced by Adeye Sahran. It tells the story of three friends and their interpretation of a piece of artwork that was purchased by one of them and their various reactions to its imagery, cost and detail. It's really about three friends and their opinion of a newly purchased piece of art and how sometimes we do not always say exactly what we mean.
Joshua Thomas plays the character Yvan (pronounced Ivan) with such innocence and passion that you can’t help but feel for him. We all know someone in our lives who is the kind of person who has difficulty standing up for himself or herself and defending or supporting his own beliefs or feelings. Joshua does some enlightening monologues that really showcase his dramatic abilities and mastery of the dialogue and language of this play. It was just pure magic watching him bounce off and feed upon the abuse he was getting from his two friends ‘being honest’.
David Morgan plays Marc who is the one friend who sees the art worked purchased by their friend Serge for what it is. David plays it very serious and sarcastically with a lot of comic overtones. Watching and listening to him allows him to take the audience's position regarding the painting and what it really is. (Or how good it is.) He tends to be truthful but with a sharp edge of what may seem to be cruel commentary toward his best friends.
John Ruby is Serge and he is the more direct and one might say cruelest in terms of saying his opinions of his friends and their opinions – especially about his art that he purchased. John is calm in his delivery but an extreme amount of passion and energy in everything he has to say. The chemistry between David and John was electric to watch especially when they were arguing their points of view. Meanwhile they were both constantly persecuting Joshua and his character for being less than he should be.
Now, I don’t want to ruin the detail of the piece of artwork that was purchased. But understand, it is the reason for the excellent dynamics, some of the funniest scenes and, gives these wonderful actors a playground of dialogue to really strut their abilities, which they each do very well!
“Art” is a wonderful performance piece that these three actors make a marvelous evening of drama, comedy and the revelations that friends can have about each other. Some good. Some bad. Make sure you see this because you’ll be surprised how entertaining the story is and how real the characters are! Check them out at www.anartistsproduction.com.
Pic 001 - Joshua Thomas, David Morgan, John Ruby
“A Theatrical Rush! ‘Nightmares’ Is A Dream Made Real”
Producer and director Zombie Joe presents an experience you’ll really never forget. “Nightmares” is an ethereal and symbolic look at what journeys some dreams may take you on while you sleep. In the heart of North Hollywood, “Nightmares” is a theatrical experience with a rhythmic backbeat and has some of the most stylized and original dance sequences you’ll ever see. Perfectly stylized and choreographed by Donna Ibale, who is a veteran Zombie Joe Underground performer and talent, you’ll remember this for a long time once you’ve seen it.
This wonderful piece opens (and closes) with an amazing chant by all its performers that, for a more than a fleeting second, reminded me of the haunting and chilling chant that is seen in Stanley Kubricks’ “2001:A Space Odyssey” – the one that builds up slowly and creepy and so loudly, just after the apes touch the monolith for the first time in the beginning of the film. They do this in complete blackness and it really sets the mood for the whole production because it builds louder and louder to a dead ending. Wow, what fun!
This is a community of performers, a true ensemble piece with the following colorful and talented performers: Mathew Adams, Jason Britt, Ellen Burr, Gloria Galvan, Brett Gustafason, Samm Hill, Abel Horwitz, Donna Ibale, Leif La Duke, John Lweandowski, Rebecca Santini, Jessica Weiner, Roger K. Weiss, Kevin Van Cott, Cameron West and Corey Zicari.
The rhythmic and intensifying backbeat music is provided by the many talents of Kevin Van Cott and there is even a memorizing flutist solo that is haunting and enriching to the mood and feeling of the entire piece performed by Ellen Burr. Overall this is a moving and ethereal piece of theatre that is fresh and exciting to watch!
“Nightmares”is funny, it’s chilling, it’s scary and often comes very close to some of the fears that we have all had at one time or another while experiencing real nightmares. It’s amazing to me how many of these performers in this cast envelop the ‘spirit’ of the theme and in their expressions and in their eyes, you’ll see the horror, shock, passion and humor that appears before you in every sequence. Its body movement and performance art like you’ve never seen before.
“Nightmares” is an amazing full hour of imagination, fright, surprise, sexuality and imagery in what is truly in “Nightmares” and what they can be like. It has adult content (nudity) and adult in nature (sexual undertones) but demonstrates the dark, the light and the creepy that all our subconscious has to offer done very theatrically and with amazing passion. Don’t you dare miss this one, it may haunt you if you do. Check them out at www.ZombieJoes.com.
Pic: TOP: Donna Ibale – In Alpha: Mathew Adams, Jason Britt, Ellen Burr, Gloria Galvan, Brett Gustafason, Samm Hill, Abel Horwitz, Leif La Duke, John Lweandowski, Rebecca Santini, Jessica Weiner, Roger K. Weiss, Kevin Van Cott, Cameron West and Corey Zicari.
“Fun, Fantastic, Funny But ‘Waiting for Johnny Depp’ Warms Your Heart Too!”
Now, if you have never seen a one woman show before (or a one man show for that matter), this would be a great way to break yourself into one of the hardest, most challenging things an actor can do on stage, perform for you, an entire show, by themselves. Complete with decorative scene changes, colorful costume changes, make-up changes and more, “Waiting For Johnny Depp” is not just a musical with a sharp attitude, but one with the heart and soul of its lead performer, DeeDee O’Malley. And, Deedee has a wonderful rhythmic and theatrical voice and a superb sense of comic timing too!
North Hollywood has the Secret Rose Theatre where Emrys Entertainment presents two original one-act plays - one will make you chuckle with the sarcasm that is the voice of animals, and the second with make you think a lot about your perception of various things like Santa Clause, your family and the devil himself.
Cleverly written and dutifully directed by Jonathan Emrys, both plays take on a commentary of faith, friendships, loyalties, families and so much more. One is a commentary on humans from the animal’s perspective called “The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” and the other is a commentary on an individual’s belief systems versus reality called “The Man In The Red Suit.” What was really fresh was their approach, using most of the same cast for both productions with such very different, dynamic results.
I thought I would take each performer and discuss their parts in both while trying to reveal as little of the plot as possible so as to entice you to go see these plays. I will list the separation of characters as SQUIRREL for “The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” and RED representing “The Man In The Red Suit.”
|Keith Walker Boos, Michaela Qvale, Matt DeHaven, Martha Brigham, David Tucker, Gregory A. Thompson|
David Tucker is a very focused actor who, when on stage, keeps his soul and intensity very clear for the audience to follow and his energy seems unbounded. SQUIRREL: David is a very ornery and proud cat who has to deal with a new neighbor, another cat, who, in an ego bruising sort of way, is trying to impress her. His physicality is amazing while watching him take on the feline nature of the character ‘Tom Cat’. RED: As Perry, David really shines with a personal growth as his character comes to terms with his belief systems, including what he thought was Santa Clause, the devil and even the life of his daughter. He is again amazing to watch and you can’t help but feel his anguish when you do.
SQUIRREL: Playing Maury Dove, Keith Walker Boos is an amazing physical performer and he shines with all his physical actions in this piece. His expressive eyes and mannerism will keep you laughing as he learns of the new neighbor cat that has just moved in. RED: Keith then shows a whole new light of his sadistic nastiness as he plays the ‘Dark Angel’ himself, the devil. It’s obvious that Keith is having fun with this role as he taunts and teases David’s character into doing or not doing what he thinks he should.
SQUIRREL: Playing one of the title characters, ‘Red Squirrel’, Gregory A Thompson has a unique walk and stance with his hands and he shows a great amount of fear as a squirrel would around the ‘new cat’ in town. RED: Gregory is also the other ‘red’ suit in this production playing a very whimsical, almost Yoda-like, charming version of Santa Clause. This Santa seems to have a mission, but is very coy in letting that particular detail out.
Martha Brigham is an actress worthy of keeping an eye on. SQUIRREL: Martha plays ‘Little Kitty’ the new neighborhood cat that has moved in with more attitude than her collar can wrap around. Martha and David have some fun ‘catty’ scenes together. RED: Martha then plays a calming, esoteric but gentle character called ‘Lady in the Green Dress’ and it’s fairly open game as to who and what she represents. Martha really glows with a wisdom and serenity that helps David’s character find focus and eventually peace.
SQUIRREL: Michaela Qvaela plays Goldie Finch with a lot of fervor and force as the one who questions the new kitty cat in the neighborhood and her real intentions. RED: Michaela then dawns a haunting persona as a caroler who is chilling to watch as she recites her prose.
Matt Dehaven is a very comical and broad spectrum performer. SQUIRREL: (listed as Mathilda Ramsbottom in the program) plays the most hysterical and pitch perfect cat owner, Mrs. Switzer. With the most colorful costume, Matt’s over the top and vibrant interpretation of a woman who is dealing with her attitude-filled cat (David Tucker) is just hysterical to watch. I can tell Matt is having a blast playing her. RED: He is also another haunting caroler who’s deep resonance can vibrate the theatre as he too reads the prose.
“The Cat and Squirrel Dialogues” is a simple take on the personalities and opinions of humans that animals may have about us and more for the farce of all of it while “The Man In The Red Suit” might actually make you think of things you might not have thought about before, or at least in the way you are used to. An entertaining night of theatre will be had for anyone who attends the Secret Rose Theatre performances of these two original and inventive one-acts. Check them out at www.facebook.com/TheManInTheRedSuit.
|Martha Brigham, David Tucker, Gregory A. Thompson, Michaela Qvale, Matt DeHaven, Keith Walker Boos|
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The Falcon Theatre and one of the most creative comedy troupes you’ll ever see, the Troubadour Theatre Company, present a wildly modern/classic/musical treat they call “Walkin’ in a Winter One-Hit-Wonderland.” With some of the cleverest one-liners and bits of comedy mixed in with music and dance, you’ll have so much fun that you might actually get asked to be in the show! (Wink, wink – spoilers ahead!)
“Dysfunctional Family Christmas” Is A Holiday Treat All Families Should See!”
Located in central North Hollywood, the BrickHouse Theatre has a wonderful treat for the whole family this holiday and it’s called, “Dysfunctional Family Christmas.” Written and directed by the very talented Paul Storiale, it’s the story of a family that discovers that their grandpa is not actually sleeping in his bedroom anymore, but rather he has passed away on Christmas Eve! It is the one Christmas that this entire family of five is getting together for the last time because the house they all grew up in is up for sale and mom and dad are moving out.