Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #291 - Loserville - Go see live theatre!!
Hi Mom, Well, this is original and substantial content, but it's the review I did last week of the show I saw at Kellogg Community College. I had not been there in a while. I like what they have done with the place. Very nice.
Overall, the show was very good. It had its uneven elements, but for the most part, it rocked. These performers gave it their all; they left it all on the stage and that alone is impressive.
Two shows left.
I am including the link here, but my full review follows. My editor really hacked up my review this time.
Theater review: KCC takes a trip to 'Loserville'
KCC will continue its 2016 theatre season this month with the musical “Loserville,” playing at 7:30 p.m. April 15, 16, 22 and 23, and at 3 p.m. April 17 and 24 at the Binda Performing Arts Center, on campus at 450 North Ave., in Battle Creek. Tickets are $5 for KCC students and employees with a current KCC ID and $10 for the general public. To make reservations or for more information, call 269-965-4154.
a production of Kellogg Community College’s Arts and Communication department
at the BINDA Performing Arts Center
Attended Date: April 16, 2016
reviewed by Christopher Tower
There are no losers in “Loserville.” The Kellogg Community College’s Arts and Communication department launched its spring musical production last weekend with a high-energy, nerdy joyride of British pop-punk with the show “Loserville.”
“More than likely, you’ve never heard of the show you’re about to see,” said director Brad Poer, “but hopefully after tonight you won’t forget it!”
And the audience showed that they won’t forget by receiving the cast of “Loserville” with cheers, infectious laughter, and thundering applause Saturday night after a heartfelt thank you by Poer in pre-show comments: “Thank you for coming out to see a show you don’t know. It’s not like we’re doing ‘The Sound of Music’ here.”
Though the talents of the performers at times leave a bit to be desired, their commitment to the show and to giving their all in performance is strong. This cast leaves it all on the stage, and the final effect – though not flawless – is stunning and impressive.
Following up the one album of British pop punk band from 2005 called Son of Dork, James Bourne and Elliot Davies turned their one hit “Ticket Outta Loserville” and other songs in a stage musical in 2009, with a production in London’s West End. Now, “Loserville” makes its Michigan premiere at KCC under the guidance of Poer and a cast of college students and community members because as Poer reminded the audience, the theater program at the college is a program that is open to the community.
Flavored with references to “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” and other nerdy canon, “Loserville” chronicles the birth of the Internet with the first communications between computers. Set in 1971, it follows the lives of four friends, who are hardcore geeks back before things like the “Big Bang Theory” made being a geek cool: Michael Dork (Jesse Cowles), the main computer nerd;
Lucas Lloyd (Patrick Lucas), a science fiction writer; Francis Wier (Hunter King), a smooth talking dweeb with Boy Scout patches on his sweater; and Marvin Camden (George Martinez), who is dressed like Spock throughout the show. Like all geeks in the 1970s, the four are bullied by jocks like Eddie Arch (Cole Tompkins) and his cronies (Andy Yerby and Richard Lowe).
The main story focuses on Michael’s computer work to allow computers to send messages back and forth, but he is banned from the school computer room after some corporate espionage at Arch Industries, Eddie’s father’s company. Michael is unable to make progress in his computer work until Holly Manson (Kaylin Howell) moves to town and offers to help him. She is trying to shed her old cheerleader image and establish herself in her new school as a brain, though her past will follow her and make up one of the show’s more unclear plot points.
Holly’s arrival causes a rift between best friends Michael and Lucas, which she also helps to heal in the show’s somewhat convoluted plot about the computer work. Side stories are actually more interesting the main story of Holly and Michael’s blooming relationship, which help to show case Eddie’s girlfriend Leia Dawkins (Julia Beffrey) and her friends Elaine (Heaven Papendick) and Samantha (Alicia Brunner) among other characters including exchange students Ivanka (Amanda Irwin) and Marina (Staci McLain).
The show’s plot is a bit contrived and cliché with its reference to “Star Trek” episodes and “Star Wars” characters. The latter we are to believe are to be Lucas’ brain child as he is writing a book called “Galaxy Battles,” which will ultimately feature Princess Leia, R2D2, and C3PO. The show does make some good use of quotes from “Star Trek,” but the jokes are more forced than clever, but fortunately, the heart and soul of the show is the music, which is quite good.
The best songs are those that were adapted from the 2005 album “Welcome to Loserville” that had three singles that charted in the top ten in UK singles charts. “Ticket Outta Loserville” closes Act One with a strong performance by the entire cast. “Sick” is the highlight of the second act with strong performances by Beffrey (Leia), Howell (Holly), and Lucas (Lucas). Lucas also shows off good singing talents on “Holly, I’m The One,” and “Slacker” also shows good singing skills by the four main friends.
The songs written for the show lack a bit of the “kick butt qualities” of the Brit pop hits from Son of Dork, but they are fun in their own right. Stand outs include “Living in the Future,” which opens the show; “Genius,” which shifts a critical plot point in the computer work; and “Don’t Let ‘Em Bring You Down,” which gets the whole cast involved and moves some company members, such as Aubrey Lynae Shore, front and center. Shore may be the best company member and serves as dance captain with Anna Lucas. Gabby Reyes, Isaac McKinley, and Jessie Diamante also shine in small roles.
Talent levels are a bit uneven, but what some of the cast lack in talent and experience, they make up for with energy and giving the performance their all. Though some of Cole Tompkins’ physical comedy as Eddie is fun, his signing is often drowned out completely by the band. Jesse Cowles is a perfect Michael with unpretentious acting, but at times his singing drones ineffectively, but at other times he’s strong and clear. Howell is fantastic as Holly, especially singing in a sweet voice, but her choice of dialogue delivery in a clipped, computer-esque speech pattern did not work all the time. But Hunter King and George Martinez are hilarious in their roles, and Julia Beffrey has great physical comedy as well as some spot on line delivery and is reminiscent at times of Lucille Ball.
The set – designed by Big John Strzelecki – that mirrors a giant computer is clever but often seems cumbersome and in the way of actors. The band led by Lori Hattfield jams smartly. Though at times choreography seems over-involved and breaches plot points by bringing characters in proximity that should not be together, the work by Dwight Trice is overall inventive and fun. The entire production is masterfully composed by director Poer, who surely has wrung every drop of effort out of these young performers.
As the cast cries out, “there are no losers in Loserville,” and it’s true. “Loserville” should be renamed “Winnerville.”
Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.
Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.
- Days ago = 293 days ago
- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1604.23 - 9:00