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 !
In 1960, Tom Jones’ book and lyrics along with Harvey Schmidt’s music came together in an off-Broadway production of “The Fantasticks.” More than 50 years after its New York debut, you can see it now so colorfully performed at Theatre West here in LA. It's something to relax and get lost in a musical romp of wit, fun and talent!
Are you looking for a fun and entertaining night out in North Hollywood? Then it’s almost certain you’ll enjoy Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre's production of an original and humorous script by Thomas J. Miscuraca - “The ParaAbnormals." Basically, it’s the story of an amateur paranormal investigative team who literally gets in way over its head.
"All My Sons" Is A Really Good Arthur Miller Production!
The Arthur Miller classic “All My Sons” was cleverly cast and designed for the opening production for the newly restarted Dreamhouse Theatre Company at JET STUDIOS. http://www.facebook.com/jetstudios in the NoHo Arts District.
Having seen Improv in many forms before, I must say I really enjoyed North Hollywood’s production and performances of “Tell My Secret” at Actor's Workout Studio. It literally is a play production where you (and I) wrote the details, character quirks and settings for the entire second half of the production.
Secret Rose Theatre has a production that I would be more apt to describe as an Insane “Opera-stylization” of Caligula. Author Kai Cofer was attempting to make a forceful comedy but with the productions tempo, musical score and pacing for me it was more of a forceful operatic piece. The producers tried truncating the life of Emperor Caligula into a series of events using his immediate personas around him to eventually lead up to his timely demise.
By Lorenzo Marchessi
Yes, I understand why this production received the 2010 Best Musical of the Year Tony Award – it was energetic, it was upbeat, it was passionate, it was colorful and it was fun! This current production at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood of Memphis contains some of the most amazing vocal talent I have ever seen on a live stage.
Director Christopher Ashley (Director of the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the first Broadway run of Xanadu) along with writers David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Joe DiPietro (lyrics and book) made a toe-tapping, hand-slapping, energetic musical based loosely on a real Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips who is one of the first white DJs to play "black music" in the 1950s.
First I want to say – still not completely gone even today – racial discrimination was mean, sometimes brutal and often slow to change. This show makes a real issue very clear that there is always an upside to accepting people for who they are and what they believe in. This includes love itself – a love that knows no boundaries, no limits and especially knows no skin color of any race.
The talent abounds in this entire production and let me start with Bryan Fenkart, playing Huey - the man who changed the ‘sound’ of radio by introducing the white community to the ‘soul’ of Rhythm and Blues (and the heart of Rock’N’Roll!)! His spot-on southern accent, superb timing and acting chops and especially his vocal talents spark a musical explosion of emotions toward his love for a black woman and the music that moves his very own soul. He amazingly delivers the hysterically written song “Hello, My Name Is Huey” and sets the tone for his whole mission. But, his most amazing solo number is “Memphis Lives In Me,” a heart-wrenching cry of his inner soul.
His girlfriend Felicia, played by the beautiful Felecia Boswell, is sassy, smart and full of passion with her desire to move up and out of the slums of Memphis and pursue a musical career. Ms. Boswell performance is amazingly sharp and ever-present with passion and her vocal talents will amaze you. She can sing with power and range and duration that I have not seen on stage live in a long time. She shines with her song “Colored Woman.”
Bryan and Felecia, when singing together, have amazing vocal harmony and timing with their combined musical numbers like “Ain’t Nothing But A Kiss,” “Make Me Stronger” and “Love Will Stand.” They made the audience roar with applause.
Another standout and show-stopping performance came from Huey’s ‘Mama’ played by the amazingly talented and vocally stunning actress/singer Julie Johnson. She literally stops the show to a thunderous applause with her musical number “Change Don’t Come Easy.” Not only can she sing, harmonize and scat like no one I’ve ever heard before, but she has comic timing and strong witty deliveries that make you cheer for her character throughout the production.
All of the supporting cast had amazing vocal talents, from the deep vocal stylings of Quentin Earl Darrington playing Felicia’s brother to the large janitor with the amazing song and dance moves played by the talented Will Mann, and to the amazingly charming and funny station manager Mr. Simmons played hysterically by William Perry.
The rest of the ensemble keeps the energy high with their vocal talents and energetic dance moves which were designed by the choreographer Sergio Trujillo and associate choreographer Edgar Godineaux who created some of the most entertaining and original steps for this time-sensitive play.
Some of the most amazing numbers include, “Underground,” “The Music of My Soul,” “Radio,” “Stand Up,” “Tear Down The House" and the showing stopping finale of “Steal Your Rock’N’Roll.” A special note to the scenic design by David Gallo and lighting design of Howell Binkly who created a set and look that was not only candy for the eye, but simplistic and yet functional to make us believe in this story and characters. It included live video feeds, color set pieces and a stage that moved in and out to create locations – musically – in seconds. Special note as well to the time-accurate details and colorful costuming done by Paul Tazewell too!
This musical is MUST-SEE. Nominated for nine Tony Awards and winner of four, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Orchestration and Best Score, this is a really great show, with an extremely talented cast and musicians. It’s worth the price of the ticket to see the performances of Bryan, Felicia and especially Julie and it’s exactly a production like this that reminds me why I really love musicals so much!
Macbeth Is Shakespeare ‘Light’ – Done Right!
Once again small theatre triumphs big! Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group in North Hollywood off Lankershim Blvd. has an immensely fresh (and shortened) production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Tragedy Done Well! Denmark is Done Proud!
North Hollywood has a wealth of small theatres and they all are in their own right proud places to perform the many works of various playwrights – but none more so than the Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet!
Yes – it’s Shakespeare. Yes – it’s done in his original text. Yes – it might not be one of his more well-known plays, but The Porters of Hellsgate's production at North Hollywood's The Whitmore Theatre of Shakespeare. The Merry Wives of Windsor is a fast, fun farce of comedy energy!
High Energy Rock’N’Roll Nostalgia With Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash
PANTAGES THEATRE - HOLLYWOOD - 1956 was a momentous year for a small record label in Tennessee called Sun Records. History was made and forever remembered in this tiny studio where – for the first and only time – four legends ‘rocked’ together. On 4 December of that year –t he four legends - Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all converged on the small Sun Records studios in Memphis for some impromptu music making.