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Archive for A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill

When memories meet the present moment

Valerie Perri, Leo Marks, Samantha Klein. Photo by Jenny Graham

Valerie Perri, Leo Marks, Samantha Klein. Photo by Jenny Graham

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Don’t forget ‘If I Forget’ at the Fountain. Plus ‘Dear Evan Hansen,’ ‘A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill,’ ‘King Liz,’ ‘Trouble the Water,’ ‘Freestyle Love Supreme,’ ‘Cookin’ with Gas’

The present moment is the essence of live performance. Everyone in the audience — or on the stage, for that matter — experiences an event that will never again be exactly replicated. More than filmed or “live” electronically recorded productions, live theater happens right now.

Of course improv-based stage productions, such as the current “Freestyle Love Supreme” at Pasadena Playhouse or the Groundlings’ “Cookin’ With Gas”, emphasize this quality. They rely on suggestions from the spectators, so the actual words and topics can change dramatically at each new performance (more about them later).

On the other hand, many scripted plays grapple so much with memories of the past that they sometimes ignore the relevance of the past to the present moment. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as long as the memories don’t feel musty. Read more…

A WICKED SOUL IN CHERRY HILL at Geffen Playhouse

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper and Rivkah Reyes. Photo by Jeff Lorch

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper and Rivkah Reyes. Photo by Jeff Lorch

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

There are many things to like about A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill, a musical by composer/lyricist Matt Schatz that was developed in a writers’ workshop at Geffen Playhouse, where the production now runs through July 24. A lively upbeat score (performed on stage by a five-member band, musical direction/orchestration by Scott Anthony), clever lyrics that tell a good story, and a well-disciplined ensemble under Mike Donahue’s very able direction are among the production’s strengths. Read more…

Jonas Schwartz-Owen

If you ever wondered what it would be like for composer William Finn (Falsettos) to musicalize an episode of Dateline, your dream has come true. A world premiere folk musical, A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill, now running at the Geffen Playhouse, features the germ of a good idea, but the execution is sloppy and confounding. Read more…

Now through July 24