Thursday, April 24, 2014

Knock Me A Kiss by Charles Smith

L - R Back-row: Keir Thirus, Ashlee Olivia, Countee Cullen
L - R Front-row: Ben Guillory, Toyin Moses, Rosie Lee Hooks

By Joe Straw

The Robey Theatre Company in association The Los Angeles Theatre Center presents Knock me a kiss written by Charles Smith and directed by Dwain A. Perry through May 11th, 2014.

Dwain A. Perry, the director, sat four seats to my right, near the office set of Knock Me A Kiss.  If there is a director within eyesight I’m going to take a peek every now and again to get a reaction, just as I do with other audience members who may enjoy a moment or otherwise.   

First of all, I love going to see the Robey Theatre Company who, by the way, is celebrating their 20th Anniversary.   It is here you will find some of the finest actors working in Los Angeles. 

There are nights when performers hit all the right notes, but that is rare in theatre, which makes it all the more exciting. And it was on this night of outstanding performances where some things require a little discussion.  I’ll have more on that later.

In the very early morning hours of the year 1928, Jimmy Lunceford (Keir Thirus), an up and coming bandleader, is escorting his date, Yolande Du Bois (Toyin Moses), home. Impatiently serenading her until that special moment arrives.  

But, before going in Yolande gives Jimmy a little warning.

“You’re gonna have to be quiet, Jimmy.” – Yolande

Ain’t nobody home. – Jimmy

Jimmy is a man who likes it his way.  This presents a problem immediately when Jimmy wants from his amour.  After a few moments of trying to get through the front door, he enters and sees “swank”. And already he’s got Yolande’s old man figured out, sees that he is a thinking man, a man of brains, and of little heart. 

But all that aside, what Jimmy wants to do is to run his tongue across Yolande’s “sweet plums”.

“Come on and knock me a kiss.” – Jimmy

“My mother’s here.” – Yolande

“ I’ll be quiet.  I swear.  Quieter than a mouse pissing on cotton.” - Jimmy

Yolande’s not fooling around with anyone at her parents home and finds little reason to go back to Jimmy’s rattrap apartment. But Jimmy says he’s got money, produces it, and says they can get a room at a nice hotel.  Yolande’s sees the bands money and protests. 

But, what Yolande really wants from Jimmy now is a proposal of marriage. Jimmy’s not quite up to speed on the marriage proposal thing and says they can get married in the morning after they’ve had a chance to curl each other’s toes.

You can throw that stuff to the side because Yolande want’s it all nice and pretty, a societal wedding, with a first class trip to Paris as a honeymoon all in line with her status.

“You are sounding more and more like your daddy everyday.” - Jimmy

That hits a raw nerve.

Yolande, living her father’s dream, is aware of her social status in the community.  She wants romance and marriage and Jimmy getting down on one knee, but most importantly taking care of her status is her birthright.   

And the noise inside Jimmy’s head thinks about getting married without the frilly stuff Yolande’s throwing his way.  It’s all about the necessary beats with him, the sound he’s trying to make to get Yolande to get on the bus with the band and to travel to Dayton.  But at this point, the night is officially over and knock me a kiss turns out to be a small peck on the lips.  

Meanwhile in the other room Nina (Rosie Lee Hooks) Yolande’s mother comes in having listened to the entire conversation. Nina and Yolande don’t see eye to eye on anything.  In fact they are as different as family members can be.   And it doesn’t help that Yolande is out with a strange man, a musician no less, until one and two in the morning.  

“I haven’t done anything wrong.” – Yolande

“Didn’t say you did.  Just saying that your father might be interested in knowing about this behavior.” – Nina

Nina tells Yolande that her father will be in the morning and Yolande says she needs to get her hair done, buy a new dress, etc., all before she presents herself the following morning.   Those are the sounds of Yolande’s scattered thoughts before they retire for the night.

Later that morning, Countee Cullen (Jason Mimms), is in a meeting with W.E.B. Du Bois (Ben Guillory), and asks for a favor.  He wants Du Bois to write an acknowledgement to a group of people so that he can go to Europe to study as a poet for two years and possibly walk in the footsteps of Shelley and Keats.

W.E.B. Du Bois wants to know how walking in the footsteps of dead European poets is going to benefit the Negro of the United States.

“You mean besides the obvious contribution to my personal growth as a poet?” – Countee

Du Bois emphasis on this meeting suggests that Countee, not being married doesn’t look right, and that he should be looking for a wife. In this regard Du Bois has got a one-track mind.  He believes that Countee should get married and he knows just the person for him, his daughter.   Of course, being a very prolix man, and loving the sound of his voice, it takes him quite a while to get to the point.

But before Du Bois has a chance to ask, his daughter Yolande and his wife Nina interrupt the meeting.  It’s obvious that W.E.B. dotes on Yolande and even has a nickname for her, “Ouchie”.  Still, Nina is not shy about ratting on their daughter being out until two and three in the morning with another young man. 

Yolande downplays her relationship to Jimmy.

“I’m tellin’ ya Daddy, he’s just a friend.  Somebody I met through Lenora.” – Yolande

Yolande says she only went out with him because she was bored, but since Countee is there in the room, she says she would love to go out with him. Sending Nina into a tizzy that proclaims that that Yolande is shameless.  But, it is on this day that Countee asks Yolande out to dinner.

A few days later Yolande is getting ready to go out with Countee with help from her friend Lenora (Ashlee Olivia).  Yolande tell Lenora that she doesn’t care for Jimmy or his lifestyle and that she is interested in Countee.  But Lenora says things are a bit peculiar with Countee and his family. Still Yolande like’s him because he’s a poet, romantic, and that she doesn’t like Jimmy with groping hands, poking around, nasty stuff.

“I don’t know what kind of sex you having but sound like you doing something wrong.” – Lenora

Charles Smith has written a fascinating play about characters trying to find their own voice.  And while others may have different interpretations of the play, the idea of finding your own voice speaks to me. Jimmy Lunceford uses his voice to get his love and to create a sound that will have the money calling. W.E.B Du Bois, a man who has a voice, but uses his to dramatically influence the voices of others, his daughter and the poet. (To silence the voice of the newspaper by a very powerful political figure is a very interesting idea and significant in today’s day and age.) Yolande lives her father’s voice and has yet to touch her own vocal reality. And Nina’s voice has been cut short by her husband with one word, “wife”.  The poet can only express his love on paper without giving the real voiced truth of his affections. It is this mixture of sounds and voices that resonate with me within the play.

Dwain A. Perry, the director, does some very nice work.  But there are elements from this show missing, mostly having to clean up relationship problems and having to define characters to take them to another level. The first scene in the office between Countee and Du Bois needs another layer of action and characterization.  Countee was very passive and we need to see more of the man in this scene. And I wanted a little more creative spirit in the opening of the second act.  It is at this point Yolande is at the end of her emotional rope, needing to confide in her unresponsive mother to find a way to touch base with someone who is not even in the park.  Still she should keep trying.  But, lying on the couch during that scene accomplishes little. (Harold Clurman was clear about having a through line that was concise and creative to give a director a stronger focal point from which to work and with that sets the conflict to a greater dramatic effect.)  Still, this was a very nice job.

Countee Cullen is a poet, and an intellectual, an alumnus of New York University and Harvard, a very interesting man to boot.  But in Jason Mimms portrayal he comes off rather shy uninteresting, hardly a man who can put two words together when it comes to his personal life.  His sexual interest lies elsewhere when we discover his wife leaves him on the second week of their honeymoon and he wants to go off with a male companion to Paris, France.  But we don’t see this character life in Mimms characterization.  Mimms, in the first scene, lets the other character control the scene without giving his perspective or the character’s peculiarities.  In order to set the stage for the later scenes to work, we need to see this in the life of the character.  Still, there was a lot of good work in Mimms performance with only a few things to add.

L - R Toyin Moses, Rosie Lee Hooks, Ben Guillory, Jason Mimms

Ben Guillory has a very distinctive voice as W.E.B. Du Bois.  Du Bois was 5’ 5” and Guillory standing a foot taller takes command of a man who was small but had a very powerful voice. Du Bois had tunnel vision when it came to turning out his vision of the world.  And even when that world collapses he is there putting his positive spin to his voice. Guillory gives a very nice performance.

Nina Du Bois is played by Rosie Lee Hooks.  This is a very interesting characterization, almost sedate but she manages to get her point across no matter how much she is silenced by her overbearing husband and her demanding daughter.   They all think she needs a brain doctor, but what she really needs is to have someone listen to her words.  They are good words that gives the ending a surprising lift.  This is very understated but marvelous role for Hooks.

I’ve seen Toyin Moses who plays Yolande Du Bois in one other production and I enjoyed her performance in both. Yolande is caught in the sound of her father’s world unable to find a way to escape and that is her conflict. There is more to be had in the character of Yolande but finding the thing that defines the character can be tricky and I’m not sure it was found. Getting ready for her date with the poet, trying to communicate with her mother in the beginning of the second act, getting the weight of her marriage off her shoulders as her mother really lays the guilt trip on her about the wedding, the baby, and her wifely duties. All that makes for dramatically strong conflict and should be dealt in a creative way.

Keir Thirus gives a remarkable strong performance as Jimmy Lunceford, a bandleader trying to find his own way, with his own voice, and his own rhythm.  Thirus gives this character a dramatic voice, one of ambition and strength.  The only thing the character hasn’t figured out yet is how to control his out of control thoughts and the way you speak to a sophisticated lady. Still, Thirus gave a astonishing performance.

Ashlee Olivia is terrific as Lenora, the friend who cannot tell a lie and lets it all hang out when it comes down to human nature. Lenora is the connect to things that are love. She understands the realities of what a woman and a man wants and she is happy to express her view whether they want it or not.  Lenora just hangs around, in the slight case, that someone should become free.  Olivia gives a marvelous, funny, and nuanced performance that should not be missed.

Jovan Adepo, Petal’d Avril, and Shon Fuller are understudies who did not perform on the night I was there.

Tom Meleck was responsible for the terrific Scenic Design, a two level set, in a Harlem brownstone and I also enjoyed the onstage projections of New York.

Also Naila Aladdin Sanders was the Costume Designer for which the characters were marvelously dressed to the period.

Other member of this crew are as follows:

Production Stage Manager – John Freeland, Jr.
Assistant Stage Manager – Melvin Ishmael Johnson
Lighting Design – Sammie Wayne IV
Music/Sound Design – Gilbert Glenn Brown
Prop Master – Melvin Ishmael Johnson
Graphic Design – Kathie Foley-Meyer
Production Photographer – Tomoko Matsushita
Publicist – Phillip Sokoloff
Development Director – Judith Bowman
Robey Office Manager – Marti Newbold
Lighting Technician – Josia Davis
Projection Technician – Corwin Evans
Multimedia Consultant – Fritz Davis
Set Construction Team – Colin Beck, Mark L. Colbenson, Matthew Greene, Christopher Ryan Litten
Multimedia Elements provided by: digital theatre technologies

Run! Run!  And take someone who loves love, jazz, and the right to free expression.

 RESERVATIONS: (866) 811-4111.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taste by Benjamin Brand

L - R Donal Thoms-Cappello, Chris L. McKenna - Photos:  Jessica Sherman Photography

By Joe Straw

Warning:  Due to strong sexual content and imagery, no one under the age of 18 will be admitted.

Terry (Donal Thoms-Cappello) stood at the kitchen island chopping a white onion meticulously, if not for a hell-bent purpose.  Slowly, he bows to capture the soupçon of the onion, letting the evaporated swirling scent lubricated his eyes if only to enjoy the painful irritation of the floating aroma. 

Finished, Terry takes his knife and forces the fragmented pieces into the frying pan, and as the onion aromatically sears in the heat, he dismisses the pieces, rather absent mindlessly, while he attends to the other matters at hand.

A seasoned professional, with epicurean tastes, Terry flits effortlessly like a dancer from one task to the next. Everything must be perfect, including having the proper red wine to accompany the red meat that will eventually find entrance into his sensitive somatosensory organ, the mouth. 

And in this atmosphere of wafting scents, Terry lights the candles in his upscale apartment.  He knows that candles will project that extra warm glow on scrumptious stark-naked skin.  And he sets up the video camera to capture that radiance for the events of the night, just for prosperity, and for his aberrant sexual gratification.

The appetizers have been prepared so delicately, next will be the embellishment for the crabcakes after the guest arrives, and voilá, on to the entrée.

The Sacred Fools Theater Company, The Schramm Group LLC, and Red Hen Production presents Taste a new play by Benjamin Brand and directed by Stuart Gordon.  This world premier plays through May 17, 2014.

Taste by Benjamin Brand is a carefully crafted and wonderfully executed play.  It is dramatically intense, delightfully horrific, and sometimes tongue in cheek recreation of actual events told by the master of the macabre storyteller Stuart Gordon.  Anyone who likes to eat and have physical relationships, not necessarily in that order, will enjoy this twistedly, intense, and horrific thrill ride.  

And in the same vein: I have never been to a live theatre attraction where the audience screamed in unison as we all watched the terror unfold on stage.  The shrieks were deafening, hands over the mouth, and heads turned uncomfortably in innumerable directions. If horror, blood, and intense sexual dramatic situations are your cup of tea, run, by all means, run to see this production!

“Sorry, I’m late.” – Vic

Listening to the timorous voice on the speaker, Terry buzzes his guest Vic (Chris L. McKenna) into his building.  Having only a few moments before Vic walks through the door, Terry turns off the haunting music, and adjusts the video camera to capture their first encounter.

Like cattle, before the slaughter, Vic enters with attenuated body and takes measured steps into Terry’s apartment.  Vic eyes the surroundings, the view of hundreds of apartments from the windows, and the slab-like concrete floor. (Blood won’t be much of a problem.)

Terry happily takes Vic’s coat, offers him vodka, and directs him into the living room near the coffee table with the photographs.  

“You don’t look like your photos.” – Terry

Vic, taking the vodka, grimaces as he gulps each drink.  He explains the difference saying he likes getting haircuts, and having the feel of someone else’s hands in his head. Hmm. At this point he takes another gulp to deaden his senses and moves uncomfortably close to Terry. 

Now each one is in each other’s space for different reasons.  And in that moment, nose to nose, it’s not really clear if Terry views Vic as a possible sexual conquest, or someone who is looking at a gorgeous piece of meat.  Still he thinks about the night and obliquely prowls his future meal until the onions, left on the stove, starts to caramelize.

“I can’t eat onions, garlic either.” – Vic

Another spoiler.  How can you devour a man on an empty stomach?  No matter Terry has more than enough food to feed this man until the job of the night is done.

But Vic is having problems with everything Terry has prepared.  Plans, carefully crafted, are not working out for either man. 

The solution?  Terry cuittles him to reaffirm what they are both here for, what they have already discussed.  Terry flutters over to the computer and asks Vic for a favor.

“Let’s read our chats.” – Terry

Vic sits but is very uncomfortable with his line readings.  No matter Terry says he has a gift and runs to the kitchen island to pull out a present, a large bottle of cough medicine that Vic opens and inhales in one lugubrious sickening slug.

All this to settle Vic’s nerves, to calm his craven terror, and to wait for the inevitable that must come this night. For this is the night, he has to “feel connected”, to be real, to feel the role.  But things on this night do not go as intended and events sway in other directions.  Which only makes for a glorious night of conflict.

This is only a small taste of the show and of my observations. Both actors are incredibly talented.  Each heart stopping moment is layered with so much life there is literally thousands of way to interpret a single theatrical moment.  

L - R Chris L. McKenna, Donal Thoms-Cappello - Photos:  Jessica Sherman Photography

Donal Thoms-Cappello is delightfully devilish as Terry.  Terry is so meticulous in his methodology of the night, he has everything planned out, and he hopes the night is laid as he has planned.  Unfortunately, things never go as prearranged which gives us a glimpse of the other man, the Jekyll to Mr. Hyde, who is much more aggressive and serious minded. But, is it love?  Thoms-Cappello physical appearance is of a character that stepped out of a ‘50’s horror film, and into this apartment, the saccharine smile used to calm things, when inside he is thinking other thoughts.  And although he smiles at giving a lesson at cutting parsley, inside he is being torn apart by his companion’s inadequacies, both mentally and physically. The fascinating part of the character, which thinks so highly of himself, is that he has “unique” bookmarked in his dictionary. Thoms-Capello is outstanding in the role and his performance is one not to miss!

Chis L. McKenna is marvelous as Vic, a man who is at the end of his rope.  His time is ending for reasons not entirely known (to the audience).  But, if he is going out, he wants to go out on his terms. McKenna brings a grand physical and emotional life to the character of Vic.  McKenna is extremely funny in a performance that one would think the opposite given the circumstances of his end, but the opposite holds true and it is a testament to his magnificently polished craft. There are no limitations to this role and this is a no-holds-bar performance for McKenna who puts everything out there, only a few feet in front of you, live on stage.

Pete Caslavka and Yuri Lowenthal are understudies for Terry and Vic respectively but did not perform on this night. 

Stuart Gordon, the director, does some amazing work.  Each moment is carefully laid out and it is almost impossible to predict what is going to happen next.  Every instant worked to near perfection. In his craft, Gordon gives us a delightful mixture of humor, horror, and sex as the events of the night play out to a wonderful dramatic conclusion. Gordon eases you into the horror. The moments are like a knife, entering bit by bit, until the time comes when the knife is forced in and suddenly twisted.  The thrill is the slow anticipation culminating into the ultimate unspeakable horrors.  And when that subsides he places the horror a few feet away from you. “Pokey” is the term someone describes it when it is right up in your face.  But in this case, (without giving this away) it is without the poke. I have two thoughts. The presentation of the knives could have been more elaborate.  And secondly the ending, taking that dramatic leap to blackout, ending on a very high note rather than one that plays to our sympathies.  

Benjamin Brand has fashioned his play on actual events and the events played, out on stage, worked dramatically.  Brand invites us into Terry’s home, gives us the full layout, and says little about the Vic (tim) his life, his work, and his relationships.  He is the meal. But, he is also a human with values and a heart who wants to know that Terry is being honest with him. All of this plays out wonderfully. Taste is an actor’s wonderland and logistically a director’s nightmare that somehow came together to give us a wonderful night of theatre.

This is a huge production Produced by Ben Rock, Jenelle Riley, Dean Schramm, Adam Goldworm & Stuart Gordon and with production values that you will not see in venues of the same size.

Set Designer DeAnne Millais did an extraordinary job on the set.

Matt Richter was the Lighting Designer worked effectively but didn’t see a lot of changes on the lighting of this stage, or ways in which the lighting changed the mood.

Jennifer Christina Smith was the Costume Designer.  

Tony Doublin was responsible for the Special Effects and Gabe Bartalos the Special Makeup Effects.  I’m not sure how they did it or where all the blood came from but it worked marvelously on stage.

Other members of this outstanding crew are as follows:

Stage Manager – Megan Crockett
Assistant Director – Ben Rock
Lead Scenic Painter – Maria Bjorkdahl
Prop Designer – Emily Donn
Fight Director – Mike Mahaffey
Marketing Associate – Bob DeRosa
Lead Builder – Dante Carr
Builders – Dominic Rains, Carlos Juarez, Colin Green, Andrew Ferrer, Luke Rhoades, Andrew Amani, Joshua Benton & Aaron Francis
Set Crew – Jaime Andrews, Zachary Bernstein, Corey Klemow, Will McMichael, Tifanie McQueen, Lisa Anne Nicolai, Bart Tangredi, Yonie Wela & Danny White
Laundry Crew – Trey Perkins (There’s a lot of blood to clean up.)
Sound, Video & Light Operator – Megan Crockett
Publicity Photographer – Jessica Sherman Photography
Graphic Designer – Johnny Mejia

The cleanup each night must be a monumental task and my hat off to all that participate.

Run!  Run!  Run!  And take someone you would like to have over for a meal.

Ninety minutes – No Intermission.

Reservations:  310-281-8337

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Altar Boyz book by Kevin Del Aguila, Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker, Conceived by Marc Kessler & Kevin Davenport, Orchestrations by Doug Katsaros & Lynne Shankel

L - R Michael Michael Marchak, Jason Chacon, Tyler Vess, Craig McEldowney, Photo: James Esposito 

By Joe Straw

Altar Boyz book by Kevin Del Aguila, music and lyrics by Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker, conceived by Marc Kessler & Kevin Davenport and directed by Kristin Towers-Rowles is now playing at the Chromolume Theatre through May 11, 2014.

The Chromolume Theatre at the Attic sounds a bit confusing. The Attic is basically the same space at 5429 Washington Boulevard. And to reacquaint you, this space is a very small black box venue, approximately 69 seats.

You can compare The Altar Boyz to ‘N Sync, or an earlier version The Backstreet Boys and/or New Kids on the Block, but The Altar Boyz are fine standing on their own merits.  

So let’s not make that comparison. Because where Jesus is concerned, The Altar Boyz are the real deal, second to none in the life of Christian Boy Bands.   Word is that a higher up has got a special place for them when things come to a harmonious end and they enter the pearly gates.  And it’s right next to the van.  

Altar Boyz is a crowd pleaser and, on this particular night, the Christians were having the time of their lives, as are the others who ventured out to see this nocturnal boy band fest.  Anyone who enjoys a little religion, with his or her entertainment, will enjoy the boyz in this show.  

Only there’s a slight problem, these are not really boyz, they are men, well into their, well let’s not go there.  Suffice it to say, they are not teenagers, and life has added a few extra pounds to their teenage frames.  But what they lack in youth, they’ve gained in experience and the ability to control an audience in support their church. 

I didn’t quite get where the proceeds of their performance were going. To God? Or the van?

Truth be told, the boyz are down on their luck. Once they commanded spaces up to the hundreds and now its come to this, a small theatre on Washington.  But that’s a challenge they’ve come to accept, because when the night is done, they will blow the Christian roof off of this venue.

Kevin Del Aguila’s book tells us the Boyz have to convert their audience.  Because, let’s be frank, this group (yours included) ain’t feeling it, so says the Boyz’ soul sensor monitor which says that 69 people just ain’t gettin’ God’s groove.

So, if it’s the telling of their story to make you come over, then that’s what they got to do.

Be that as it may, Matthew (Craig McEldowney), Mark (Michael Marchak), Luke (Jason Chacon), and Juan (Joey Acuna), put on a hell of a show (maybe a bad choice of words given the theme) to convince their audience to believe.  And by the end, they make it their objective to convert all, even if it takes the last ounce of beaded sweat pouring off their bodies and souls, to prove their point.  

The Bible has a lot of stories and so do our boyz. Matthew is a virgin, and will remain a virgin until he is married.  Mark is gay and really wants Matthew to give up this virgin thing, with him. Luke has changed his life around but still carries his street thug mentality under his tight cap.    And Juan is an orphan who wants to find his mother and father.  Abraham (Tyler Vess) is a Jew just to add one more to their religious base.

Kristin Towers-Rowles, the director, does a tremendous job defining the objectives of the characters so the audience gets a clear understanding of this musical endeavor.  The Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler & Michael Patrick Walker are very clever with a slight bash on religious thought and fanaticism. There was a moment when we seemed to head into Billy Graham territory but suddenly the show comes back to good clean religious fun as it was meant to be. The choreography by Samantha Marie is fun and keeps thing moving in a delightful direction. All in all, this is a very good outing.

The Boyz lean in the direction that says that even though were a Christian Boy Band, we’re going to give it everything we got, until God is got.

And while we are on the subject of making life changes, I have some thoughts.

This is a small venue and the actors/singers had mics and even then the words did not overcome the volume of the four-piece band. Musical director Richard Berent hasn’t found the correct satisfying levels.  Not a big problem – fixed with only a minor adjustment. The other members of the band are Joe Lawrence, synthesizer, John Harvey on drums and George “Drew” DeRieux on guitar.

L - R Jason Chacon, Michael Marchak, Craig McEldowney, Tyler Vess, Joey Acuna Photo: James Esposito 

Craig McEldowney plays Matthew, a man who won’t give “it” up until he is married. He appears to be the leader of the group and has a very nice solo number with a woman from the audience that was a big Christian crowd pleaser.

Michael Marchak is Mark, the very openly gay character on stage who would love to privately pray with a member of the band.  Marchak fits the boy-band mold with a wide-eyed expression and the ability to sing and dance with finesse and grace.   

Jason Chacon is Luke, the tough guy in the group who wants you to believe even if he has to force the religion down your throat.  It’s something that the other members of the band don’t like, given their peaceful devotion. Chacon has a very nice speaking voice but loses a little when he sings.  He has a lot of very funny moments.

Joey Acuna plays Juan, a man who was left on someone’s doorsteps, when he was a tiny baby. His one dream is to find his parents, that they will come to one of his performances, and they will lovingly reunite.  So, his dream is to find his parents but when the plan doesn’t work out, his dream becomes a physical nightmare that he must overcome. He does this in grand style and wonderfully executed. 

Tyler Vess is Abraham and keeps the ball rolling, does a nice job, but we never really get a sense of his character, aside from the menorah here, and the Star of David there. Still he has a good look and a nice voice.

Other members of the cast who did not perform on this night were Holland Noel, Kyle Shepard, Justin P. James, Charles Martinez, and Charles Martinez.

Dance Music and Additional Arrangements by Lynne Shankel.

Other members of this crew are as follows:

Scenic Design - Daniel Ingram
Lighting Design – Craig Batory
Costume Design – Wes Jenkins
Sound Design – James Esposito
Stage Manager – Lauren J. Peters
Assistant Stage Manager – Alysha Bermudez
Press Representative – Ken Werther Publicity

Run! Run!  Don't think, take a Unitarian Universalist and let them do the religious thinking for the both of you.