Upon entering the McCadden Theatre, one is greeted by the OK Saloon. There is a bartender, some local cowboys from the Old West, and a Madam of the establishment, seemingly waiting to welcome us to their musical adventure. From the opening number to the final curtain call, the cast had me at “Howdy.”
Honestly, I wasn’t prepared to be this entertained and this smitten with the voices of this magnificent cast. What a joy to sit back in a comfortable chair, in a darkened theatre, and be transported to the Old West where the evil sheriff has everyone on their best behavior or else. Three beautiful “working girls” singing and dancing. The local barflies drink, cavort, and play cards all night. Everyone on stage was clearly enjoying themselves so much that I wanted to pull up a chair and join in on all the fun.
Of course, there is a love story. Hope, who is played by Brooke deRosa, is as angelic as she is lustful and is the OK Saloon’s most successful lady of the evening and the prize possession of Sheriff Sunday. The boy, Chance, is played with expert awkwardness by Jonathan Mathews, the orphaned boy who spends most of his life looking for his long-lost fellow orphan. We root for these love birds from the beginning. Special shout out to Floyd, played by Christopher Anderson-West and Netty, played by Nandini Sinha. I could watch these two in their own spin-off musical.
The book, written by Brooke deRosa, is clever, funny, poignant and, in the hands of this brilliant cast, full of laughs. The excellent comedic timing of the cast really complimented the songs. Speaking of the songs, they are as catchy and fun to listen to as the wonderful voices of this cast.
The direction by Jennifer Clymer was lively, deft and kept the story and characters moving like a well-oiled machine. Clearly one of the best shows in the Hollywood Fringe this year.
Do yourself a favor and mosey on down to the OK Saloon and have a good ol’ time, ya hear?
June 3 at 3:30 P.M., June 9 at 9:00 P.M., June 11 at 2:00 P.M., June 16 at 10:00 P.M., and June 17 at 7:00 P.M.
1157 N McCadden Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90038