“Public Domain: The Musical” – A Chorus Line of Icons

By Ernest Kearney  —  Poking fun at Disney’s propensity for squeezing profits out of any literary character for whom they won’t have to pay royalties, Sam Pasternack (who wrote Public Domain’s book, music, lyrics and directs) has gathered some very talented singers to perform his very performable music.

The concept is simple and straightforward: Two producers, in the form of a pair of puppets (Pasternack and Michael Kraus) cloned off Statler and Waldorf, the beloved balcony hecklers from The Muppet Show, are auditioning figures who are free of copyright infringements so that they can make their own show.

As Disney has already claimed the pick of the litter (Snow White, the Little Mermaid, Quasimodo, etc.), the pickings are slim.

Rosie the Riveter (Codi Coates), Oedipus (Max Mahle), The Princess (Erika Cruz), and her Pea (Nathalia Coppa).

After the “slim pickings” comes the absurd pickings: The Monkey Paw (Max Ash) and Potato Mussolini (Ben Cassil), till finally, in typical Broadway musical fashion, they find their star right under their noses in the form of their receptionist (Evelyn-RoseWhitlock.)

Pasternack has some very funny numbers, such as Oedipus singing, “The Way to Become a Hero (is to be at the right place at the right time).”

He has also filled his cast with strong performers, especially Coates, Ash, Mahle, Whitlock and Cassil.  The worst element of the show was one of the puppeteers, the one on stage right, whose character stared down stage left – away from those he was auditioning – for the whole show.  A word to the wise for all productions, anywhere – there’s more to puppetry than shoving your arm up a tube sock.

Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionPublic Domain – The Musical, played at the during HFF2019 and is overall a SILVER, but the cast and Ember Everett’s clever costumes will bump that up to –


Public Domain: the Musical

was a


for HFF19

Extended for Additional Performances:
Actors Company (LET LIVE THEATER)
916 N.Formosa Ave

For Extension Information and Tickets: http://hff19.org/6191

For Events, Plays and Other Fun Fringe News and Info: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/

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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. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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