City of Angels at Lakewood Theatre Company - Sampling from the Oregonian Review
Theater review: "All the Raymond Chandler stereotypes are up and running, and they're irresistible."
Published: Saturday, May 5, 2012, 2:18 PM
Pictured: Photo by Lake Oswego Photographers.
City of Angels at Lakewood Theatre swirls so along fast, and has so much happening on different levels, that you have to pay close attention, or you'll wander down the wrong alley. The film-noir spoof, a musical that won six Tony awards in 1990, works on two levels: Most dramatic and interesting of all is the black-and-white movie world of shadows and streetlights where Stone, a gritty gumshoe (an appealing portrait by Isaac Lamb), is hired to find a missing person by an up-to-no-good rich blonde.
Here, projected backdrops of blown-up photos abound, including a 1940s Los Angeles street scene, fancy hotel wallpaper, and even a grand exterior of the blonde's opulent residence (with thunder and lightning accompanying each scene there).
The normal world is in color, of course, and mostly revolves around a writer named Stine (the golden-voiced Kurt Raimer), who is plagued by egotistical Hollywood producer-director Buddy Fiddler (unevenly portrayed by Don Stewart Burns). Fiddler demands rewrites constantly, saying things like "Flashbacks are a thing of the past" and "Give me scenes, paint me pictures. The book may be yours, but the movie is mine." We see Stine's script cuts happening when the black-and-white characters stop in midsentence, and walk and talk backwards into an earlier part of a scene. Stine's beautiful wife Gabby (Lauri Jones, who's also cast as torch singer Bobbi) feels neglected as he tries to carve out his screenplay career, and in "What You Don't Know About Women," a number she shares with Stone's fictitious secretary Oolie (the marvelous Pam Mahon), she laments his lack of attention. Oolie has a crush on Stone, whose attention is even more scarce, so she has her own list of complaints.
The problems between Stine and Fiddler aren't half as much fun, though, as the over-the-top detective story the former is trying to finish for the silver screen. All the Raymond Chandler stereotypes are up and running, and they're irresistible.
The offstage band, led by keyboard artist Mont Chris Hubbard, fills the theater with wonderful vintage jazz and blues. Many of us were tempted to stay after the show, hoping they'd stick around and turn the place into a nightclub. The revolving set designed by Chris Whitten gave director Wade Willis plenty of room for quick scene changes for his largish cast, and Phil McBeth's careful lighting created the chiaroscuro of vintage detective films.
Click here to see the full review on the OregonLive site.
Click here for more details about the show.________________________________________________________________________
City of Angels:
Ticket prices are $32/adults and $29/seniors. Other discounts are available for students and groups. For additional information and tickets, call the Lakewood Box Office at (503) 635-3901 or click here to order online.
| Click here to purchase tickets online |
May 4 - June 10, 2012