“Cassandra” 

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and music by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. 
A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and music by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival. 

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and music by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival

“Cassandra” is a musical based on the story from Greek mythology of Cassandra, the ‘other’ daughter of the king of Troy who caught Apollo’s eye. He gave her the gift of prophecy, but when she refused his advances, he twisted it.  She would still know the future, but no one would ever believe her. Brutal.

It’s also a great premise for a play, particularly a Hollywood Fringe play, and an even better one for a musical.  

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

The story of Cassandra set to the music of the iconic Patti Smith is an inspired choice. Her lyrics are already so full of mythical references and full of glorious feminist ideology, which work perfectly for Cassandra’s story. 

She refused the advances of a god…and he made it so no one would ever believe her? Isn’t that a story we have heard throughout history. 

I confess to not knowing much about Cassandra before this play, I have educated myself a bit, at least through Wikipedia.  Did you know that there is such a thing as the Cassandra Syndrome? Someone who suffers, attempts to share it and is disbelieved by others. Poor Cassandra! 

This play is really quite beautiful, the cast is excellent and they totally pull off the mythology of this sad story. They use the songs to further the narrative, so cleverly in fact that the songs seem written for the show. 

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

There are three fates, all female and fabulously different from each other, which is surreal and interesting in and of itself, and all utterly brilliant. Then there is Cassandra. A strong beautiful woman with cascading hair and a kind of magical physical grace as she twists and spins and contorts during her trance-like predictions. And there is an Apollo, far too handsome for such a spiteful god, but he’s excellent too. It’s such a fun show, all weird and wonderful, but there is this underlying truth to it.  Cassandra is such an interesting character and this show never shies away from her deeply difficult and heartbreaking circumstance. Cursed to watch her family destroyed even though she tries to warn them over and over again. 

It’s a lesson for our age perhaps. You never know how unintended consequences can alter absolutely everything. To listen, even when we don’t want to hear. To always check yourself, never ignore your instincts and always, always stay away from vengeful gods, even if they are handsome.  

Cassandra’s sad story, set to beautiful, meaningful music from an iconic female musician who always is herself above all else is a gloriously surprising find of the Hollywood Fringe. Get your culture on people and see this brilliant show!

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Cast:

Ada Marinelli, Hannah Howdy, Sofia Brager, Thurzday Lyons, RJ Dawson

When:

Saturday, June 18 – 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 19 – 1 p.m.

Saturday, June 25 – 2 p.m.

*All shows will also be streamed.

Where:

Studio Stage
520 Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90004

Tickets:

https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7512?tab=tickets

A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.
A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Cassandra,” written and directed by Kelly McMahon, book by Anthea Carns and mus by Patti Smith at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.