A NoHo Arts theatre review of The Group Rep’s musical review, “L.A. Now and Then” musical review at The Group Rep, directed by Bruce Kimmel, musical direction by Richard Allen, orchestrations by Lanny Meyers and produced by Kathleen Delaney and Doug Haverty.
You can always count on the inventive people at The Group Rep to create just the right production at just the right time. As we file gratefully back to the theatres, we all need a jolt of fun, a reward of the familiar, and a joyful reminder that L.A. is our home.
“L.A. Now and Then” is a wonderful homage to a city full of contradictions, magic and memories.
With a huge cast of 13 enthusiastic singers and dancers, we are taken on a journey through the years of old Hollywood, vintage kids’ TV shows, iconic L.A. eateries, music, landmarks, legends and everything you can imagine that makes L.A. the unique city it is.
I particularly loved the song about the terrible L.A. traffic and loving someone enough to pick them up from LAX on a Friday at 6pm…not sure I would ever love anyone enough to do that! There’s also a brilliant and very funny song about NOHO, very lovingly sung. However, there is so much more and sketch after sketch, dance routine after dance routine.
There is certainly no chance to get bored, and the songs are really excellent. “L.A. Now and Then” is chock full of really beautiful anecdotes, very moving in places, and absolutely hilarious in others. The performers are wonderful, all working together to remind us how lucky we are to live in a city so diverse and full of talent and whimsy.
If it’s time for you to dust off your theatre attire and venture out into the world, then be reassured that The Group Rep has every precaution in place and a theatre that has been sanitised far beyond regulations. They take great care of you, and the theatre is spacious and very well ventilated. That aside, it truly feels as if “L.A. Now and Then” was chosen to help us all heal a little from the last couple of years – – with uplifting and inspiring music and dance, and a group of lovely actors who are clearly thrilled to be sharing such a terrific show with the world.
Maybe I’m sentimental…actually I know I am, but sitting in a theatre watching a show full of hardworking actors and a live band fit for the Bowl perform music written to honor L.A.’s culturally significant and important contributions to the world, as well as its quirks and history, was thrilling and filled me with joy. Bravo!!
The show runs through May 8, so you have some time, but don’t dawdle, the place was packed! Let’s support our NoHo theatres!
Composers and Writers:
Music and lyrics by Michele Brourman, Grant Geissman, Karen Gottlieb, Bruce Kimmel, Shelly Markham, Amanda McBroom, Lanny Meyers, Wayne Moore, Adryan Russ, Richard M. Sherman, and The Sherman Brothers (Academy Award-winner Richard M. Sherman contributed his song, “The Whimsey Works,” a touching and beautiful tribute to Walt Disney and his studio at the time when Mr. Sherman worked there with brother Robert.). Sketches and monologues are by Bill Fitzhugh, Doug Haverty, Bruce Kimmel and David Wechter.
The cast features the Lottie Arnold, Lisa Dyson, Harrison Fahn, Liz Grannis, Haruna Kajino, Marcel Licera, Danika Masi, Hisato Masuyama, Alariza Nevarez, Alec Reusch, Jeffrey Rockwell, Margaret Staedler and Tamir Yardenne.
The band is under the musical direction of Richard Allen who is also on Keyboard, with Ken Zambello on Bass, Ed Smith on Drums, Matt Hevesh on Guitar, Brandon Wilkins on Reeds and Bob O’Donnell on Trumpet.
The Production Team:
Bruce Kimmel (Director), Kathleen Delaney (Assistant Director), Richard Allen (Musical Director), Lanny Meyers (Orchestrations), Cheryl Baxter (Choreographer), Tesshi Nakagawa and Pawena Sriha (Set Design), Michael Mullen (Costume Design), Sammy Strittmatter (Sound Design), Tesshi Nakagawa and Doug Haverty (Projections), Bita Arefnia (Stage Manager), Doug Haverty (Graphic Design), Kristin Stancato (Online Marketing), and Kathleen Delaney and Doug Haverty (Producers).
April 1 – May 8
Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm
The Group Rep
Lonny Chapman Theatre
10900 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601