Photo by Don Kellogg

Sunday, March 29, 2015

All Gone West

Jonathan Fluck does dual duty in this off-off Broadway work - both director and producer extraordinaire.   John Attanas' play is not quite a musical but is infused with great jazz vibes of the 4 piece band just off stage.  This is the story of dreams and dreamers, loves and lovers, and giving it all you got not matter what the outcome.

Sam (Joseph Robinson) a handsome young bachelor dreams of a nightclub of his own and a pretty dame on his arm.  Mary Elizabeth (Kristen French) a pretty young, and independent minded woman wants a husband to love in the soft suburban life out in California.  Once they find each other, they give it all a shot.  Not everything works out but in life, just as in love, compromises are always made.  And if you give it your all, the sky's really the limit.

There are a few side stories going on here aside from the two lovers.  Sam's best friend, Sonny Green (Jesse Maens), from the army is a great black jazz musician - and jazz (and apparently drugs) is his passion.  Sam's "business partner" Willie (Anthony Bosco) is a true gangster.  And Mary Elizabeth's "boyfriend" is a college professor quite her senior.  All these story lines merge when Sam and Mary meet, get married, and open a jazz joint.  Fireworks ensue and the tunes flow from the band.

The show is brilliantly lit especially for an off-off Broadway show (kudos Christina Wantanabe) and of course the band was delightful.

It's clear that a lot of love, care, and TLC went into cultivating this production.