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Comic-Con the Musical — A Tune Too Far…?

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017

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Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017By Ernest Kearney — This musical celebrates that Mecca of Nerd-dom, The San Diego Comic-Con International aka Comic-Con.  Four magical days every summer filled with celebrity panels, Sci-Fi seminars, previews of wannabe blockbusters, video game tryouts, cos-play and small herds of pot-bellied Spidermans.

This production has much to recommend it, and starts off with gusto.  But regrettably falls victim to the inability of its creators to focus and refine what they’re offering on stage.

Laura Watkins who wrote music and lyrics has penned some delightful ditties, probably my favorite being “I Have Always Been a Douchebag,” but she has blunted the impact of the gems by burying them beneath an excess of less than toe-tapping tunes.

Twenty-three, not counting reprises; the magic number is eighteen.  If you dare to up the count to twenty you darn well better be Hello Dolly.  Unfortunately, Comic-Con The Musical isn’t.

The book by Nicholas David Brandt carries an irony in that “originality” plays into the plot, a plot somewhat devoid of that very quality.

The cast is generally strong and keen to their back teeth – Luke Adams, Ryan Coates, Ryan Shrime, Mark Lewis and Jessica Gardner being the shine outs.

bronze ribbon - Fringe FestivalGardner also pulls duty as the choreographer and co-director along with Brandt, and Gardner’s work in the former task sparkles even within the confines of a challenging venue.

But flaunting its weaknesses rather than featuring its strength, at two hours plus this titanic sized production provides an iceberg of its own devising.

A BRONZE MEDAL.

 

♦    ♦    ♦

 

Comic-Con: The Musical
Final Fringe 2017 Date Tonight

Thursday, June 22, 2017 — 5:00 pm

Where:

Sacred Fools Theater Company
6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

For Tickets and Information:
hollywoodfringe.org/projects/4333

 


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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, Among the Vipers was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist three times in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. After a wild and misspent youth, which lasted well into middle age, Kearney has settled down and is focusing on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. Ernest's stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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