August 26th, 2009

Sheri - yahoo icon

Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara

As I look back, I realize I never really did talk about this show that I saw in early August, but I began thinking about it a lot again because there's been so much talk about it recently since it has extended for a 5th time and has its eyes set on a tour and NYC.

Saw the Saturday, August 8th matinee of this show on my last LA trip and quite honestly, the reason I went to see it was because I was surprised that it won last year's Ovation Award for Best Musical. I'd never really heard of the cast (or sadly Louis Prima or Keely Smith that the show was based upon) so I went in not knowing at all what to expect.

I really have to admit that I enjoyed the show more than I thought I would.... since I'm not too much a fan of the old jazz music that they sing I didn't know if I'd enjoy it, however the story - one of love and lost love - is one that drives story and what makes the show so poignant. The show is mostly told in flashbacks and starts as Louis' career is starting to falter and he decides to add 16 year old Keely Smith to his act. The flashbacks go through their love affair, both on and off the stage.

The Keely that I saw on that day was Crystal Keith (who was an understudy and was just wonderful) and Jake Broder had amazing charisma on stage and really brought sympathy to what could have been an unsympathetic character. By the time the show was over, I really felt emotionally spent. I could see why it won all the awards that it did and why, with a small (relatively unknown) cast, it could keep extending its run.

Looking at the history of the show, it moved from the Sacred Fools Theatre, to the Matrix, to the Geffen, and it looks like it's headed on the road and NYC... Which is amazing for a show that began in a small theatre in LA. If you're in the LA area, you should really see this show before it moves on to much larger venues. :)