While I was in LA, I saw two INCREDIBLE shows...
The Who's Tommy
On Sunday afternoon, I drove to the Ricardo Montalban Theatre to see Brian Purcell's new show - The Who's Tommy. I'd worked with Brian a lot in the past year creating the website for his last show - the benefit Chess concert at the Ford so I definitely wanted to come out to support his latest show.
What made this show so different (and AMAZING) was that on each seat, there was a headphone set for the audience member to wear. The entire show's sound was funneled through the headphones - the idea being that Tommy (who, after witnessing a traumatic event as a child - regresses within himself and tunes out the world around him) the headphones give the audience a sense of being inside Tommy's head. It was SUCH an interesting concept and a really interesting way to watch the show. There was ambient sound for the show as well, and alternately the audience could choose NOT to wear the headphones as well.
I liked the daring way Brian staged this - his casting was incredible - as always (he cast Kevin in Chess after all...) Aleks Pevec was a great Tommy - I'd never seen him before but due to the work that I've done on the VMT website and dealing with his headshot and bio so much, it really feels like I have. :) Alice Ripley was great, and Tom Schmidt was wonderful as always (and remembers meeting me at I Do, I Do as Julie's friend).
One of the best parts of the day was FINALLY getting to meet Brian! After months of working with him and emailing and calling him, meeting him in person was an EXTREMELY wonderful moment for me! :) We spoke a bit and he said that he'd be in touch - he might have possible business opportunities in the future for me - YAY!!
Dog Sees God
That night I headed to Hudson Backstage to see Nick's new show Dog Sees God. What I love so much about all of Nick's shows (and I try to see as many of them as I can...) is that because he's SUCH an amazing storyteller, his shows just have SOOO much heart - they deeply affect the audience and he definitely brings out the best performances in all the actors.
Dog Sees God is an amazing piece to begin with. A parody of Charlie Brown, the story focuses on a group of teenage (Peanuts-like characters) who have more grown up problems to deal with than a kite getting stuck in a tree. The play itself is well written, hilarious, and touching, but add to that the great performances of the cast, and Nick's BEAUTIFUL direction and it becomes phenomenal.
During the performance that I attended, the sound system crashed a few minutes before showtime so the first act began completely with no sound... I have to say that it almost didn't need it - it was so engaging. The performances, especially by Joe Porter who played CB were just incredible!
One of the best parts of the evening, though was getting to see Nick after the show! I ADORE him and his talent is absolutely mind-boggling! I would fly out to see anything he directed... We spoke for a bit about some mutual friends, my adoration of his talent, and letting him know that I'd be back to see the show. "Good! You can see it with sound next time!" He told me. :) I LOVE HIM!!
It was SUCH an incredible theatre weekend! As a whole, one of the best LA trips I think I've ever had!! :) Thanks so much to everyone who's had to put up with my theatre and Emmy babbles this past week. HUGS!!