Dear Readers ... we are delighted to introduce our newest writer-reviewer Amy Bosler ... profile below ....
A fan of all forms of arts, culture and entertainment, Amy Bosler is currently the Executive Director of the Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a non-profit organization. She has been working in the non-profit field for over 5 years, including a year at SDSU’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, which houses the Colleges of Music and Dance as well as Theatre, Television and Film, among others. Her history also includes almost 5 years at Channel 4 San Diego.
In addition to supporting the arts, Amy believes in giving back to the community, and has been a volunteer broadcaster for the Radio Reading Service for over 20 years, bringing the written word to a reading-impaired radio audience.
"Welcome" on board Amy ....
Further readers, we will be dedicating this Editor's Notes Column to selected NEW show openings. Our new show review this issue:
Per Rob Appel
On this Opening Preview Night of a new musical to us all, the LJP's Christopher Beach's 'curtain speech' announced this was to be the World Premiere (1st time ever performance) of "UP HERE". The excitement and fascination of this new 'love story' by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, with plentiful (19) dancing-nuances all over the stage, took us all on a 2-hour, hard-hitting journey into the mind of the leading character, computer-repairman ...
Betsy Wolfe & Matt Bittner
DAN (played by Matt Bittner - LJP Debut), and his love-to-be, T-shirt designer LINDSAY (played by Betsy Wolfe) - last seen on Broadway, starring in Woody Allen's musical adaptation of BULLETS Over BROADWAY, as 'Ellen', under the direction of Susan Stroman.
UP HERE Director Alex Timbers
The first question, we, as an audience, had to ask ourselves straight-away - were we here to see a thoughtful 'love story', or a Cirque Rock extravaganza? We had both in abundance! The 19 dancers-singers-actors of DAN's sub-conscious, virtually whirled all over the LJP stage - and though brilliantly staged and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse - who kept the 'action' up to 180-degrees of dynamics - and thereby, leading further to the question … was all this frantic madness really necessary?
Alex Timbers, Betsy Wolfe & Matt Bittner
As staged & Directed by Alex Timbers, he faced some daunting challenges, in getting the DAN and LINDSAY story out, as the simple love story (boy-meets-girl), it was supposed to be - despite, yes DAN has issues - and even a small child (Giovanni Cozic), on stage as his 'conscience' - and a solid mountain 'rock' center-stage, as the mainstay for all their meetings and communications - however, was all this admittedly, entertaining hell-a-ba-loo constantly surrounding DAN (?) … ever made clear … how this all begins. Authors below, Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez.
Authors Kristen Anderson-Lopez
& Robert Lopez
( Per noted by Christopher Ashley) - "Musicals - particularly those written by the Lopezes, have the ability to transport us to startling and surprising places. And, no place is quite as glorious and kaleidoscopic as our own minds. UP HERE shows us how the complexity of our inner-landscape, can't be a gigantic obstacle … to simply living our lives. How well can we ever truly know another person? How well can we let another person know us? Can we ever simply be? In this collision between romantic comedy and circus, Kristen and Bobby frame the fantastical, against the backdrop of two everyday people: a computer repairman named DAN, and an extroverted T-shirt designer, named LINDSAY. This contrast - the extraordinary hidden within the ordinary … grounds the musical in a lovely way."
My question … did the authors, write-up a plot-script, as seriously as it appears, and suddenly, someone suggested, that the plot simplicity would not make for a big Broadway musical - so the 'word' went-out, to jazz-it-up, to electrify the stage, and here, is where the Cirque Rock madness was created - with major 'kudos' (by the way) to costume designer Ann Closs-Farley, and scenic designer David Korins (and their respective teams), for what they accomplished - it could not have been executed better!
Likewise, the musical direction of Aron Accurso (and his 19-piece show orchestra), gave some lovely vocal moments to Betsy Wolfe in "I Have No Idea What I'm Doing" … "I Like You" … and a momentary showstopper, with "Happy Go Lucky" - along with the Act I Finale "I Can Never Know You". The Act II duet between Betsy and Matt Bittner, "You Will Always Be The One I Love" ... was also quite lovely.
In conclusion - go see UP HERE …
make your own summations …
now, playing nightly at the La Jolla Playhouse - call for reservations at; (858) 229-3081 -
and do watch for future La Jolla Playhouse productions -
soon to be announced.
Readers - watch for next week's FAST-TRACK review on a new show review.