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300-spamiltonSPAMILTON – Culver City:  A show called Forbidden Broadway has played Off-Broadway and in cabarets around the world since 1982.  The show is a spoof of whatever Broadway shows are then current, with a cast of five singing parodies from the shows.  It gets re-written every year or two, which has resulted in 13 separate cast recordings.  All of the productions were conceived, written and directed by Gerard Alessandrini.  He has now turned his skills and attention to the Broadway super-blockbuster Hamilton and developed a full-length parody which opens this month at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.  The New York Times called it “Smart, silly, and convulsively funny,” and The Chicago Tribune says it will leave you “howling with delight all night.”  You don’t have to know the score to Hamilton, though it would help.  And you’ve got a much better chance of getting a ticket, with best availability for after Thanksgiving.  Kirk Douglas Theatre (CenterTheatreGroup.org), 11/5 – 12/31.

300-MoorsTHE MOORS – San Diego:  Playwright Jen Silverman has turned her satiric wit to a pair of sister who live in solitude on the storm-swept moors, not unlike a setting from virtually any of the Bronte Sisters’ novels.  One of the sisters is stern and controlling, the other whimsical and silly.  The household also includes a maid, a mastiff, a moorhen (played by an actor and actress), and a brother who is never seen.  The household’s stable monotony is upset when a governess arrives, hoping to meet up with the brother whom she has grown to love through correspondence.  The script is full of anachronisms (the British sisters unabashedly speak with American accents), and stretches of imagination (the whiskery man curled up at the foot of the chair is the family dog), but packed with plenty of laughs, and some significant observations.  Playwright Jen Silverman, a proud queer woman, is incredibly prolific.  Her shows primarily feature female actors, and are being produced around the world to great acclaim. Diversionary Theatre (diversionary.org) 11/9 – 12/10.

300-lereve-logoLE REVE – Las Vegas:  In conjunction with last month’s Las Vegas Pride, I decided to drop in on Le Reve (The Dream) at Wynn’s.  The show is performed in, over, and under a 60’ round pool.  Some 1,600 seats are in concentric circles around the pool, but no seat is more than 42’ from the water.   I had seen the show shortly after it opened about ten years ago.  At that time, the producers had offered me one of their deluxe seats in the outer row, complete with champagne, strawberries, and little monitors near our knees which showed us what was going on backstage.  For this outing, I asked for the front row, and was glad I did.  The show is packed with hot, muscular men, and seeing them up close is a treat, although admittedly, further back you get more benefit of the settings and choreography.  I understand why the VIP row is the highest ring of seats.

The show is aptly called The Dream (in French) because it’s like a 90-minute acid trip.  It starts with a young couple finishing a date. The girl reclines on a sofa.  She goes to sleep, and the rest of the evening is her dream – and what a dream it is.  Every inch of the pool and the ceiling is packed with props, fire rings, underwater breathing stations, fountains, and all nature of flying apparatus.  The cast of approximately 40 includes gymnasts, dancers, acrobats, divers, and aerialists, and of course, everyone has to be completely comfortable swimming.  A 30’ tall tree emerges from underwater and it is quickly populated with muscular divers, who eventually plunge back into the water.  The tree sinks back down, and a parade of platforms, fountains, and diving towers emerge from the same part of the pool where the tree was.  A highlight of the evening is when a diver is pulled out of the water and hoisted to the very highest point at the center of the roof over the pool – perhaps 80’ or higher.  He then dives back into the pool.

Le Reve-Nets Tritons 1 WEB-Tomasz Rossa-HRThe mix of dance and athleticism, groups and solos or duets, muscularity and pure beauty has been magnificently fine-tuned since the show opened.  Le Reve is a must-see on your next visit to Vegas.  Discount seats are often available on week nights. Wynn  Hotel Las Vegas (wynnlasvegas.com) ongoing.

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