All About the Stage
Mary E. Montoro reviews Los Angeles theater
August 5, 2014
Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’. from the 1990 film, Pretty Woman
Who doesn’t have a desire be a star in Hollywood? The sound of applause, fans screaming out your name during a premiere or accepting the greatest gift of all…the Oscar. Yes, Hollywood is the land of dreams and for a mother and son; it’s the only thing until love steps in and makes you go hmmm. This original production brings out classic songs from Broadway’s most recognizable musicals. “Cats,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Sunset Boulevard” and many others. Writer/director Randall Gray fastens the songs to tie-in with the modern love stories, which unfolds at an even pace.
Playwright Sarah Dulane (the richly talented Cynthia Caldwell) and aspiring actor/son Billy (a mesmerizing Dave Leon) come to Hollywood to make their individual marks on the boulevard of dreams. She holds to life her manuscript with hopes of producing it. With his stunning good looks and captivating blue eyes, Billy looks like a member of a 90s boy band. The two move into an apartment where their next-door neighbor happens to be big-shot Broadway producer Peter Legacy (the multi-talented Randall Gray) and daughter Christine (the spunky Courtney Daniels). One day, Sarah catches Peter’s attention with her beautiful voice singing “As If I’d Never Said Goodbye,” (Sunset Boulevard). After that, Peter became joyfully hooked. As Peter and Sarah connect, the same air of electricity catches Billy and Christine. The power couples find themselves attracted to one another and are very public about it.
Every love story has an opposing force trying to break the happy couple apart. In this case, it is Gillain Morrow (wonderfully played with venom by Elizabeth Adabale) a questionable talent agent. She had her eye on the gorgeous blonde Adonis and makes the switch to the more charismatic Peter. And of course, what love story wouldn’t be complete with a loving couple breaking up. Sarah never loses her faith and is determined to make her and Billy’s dreams a reality.
Musicals aren’t easy to make. For starters, you need permission from the songwriters to use their material in the production. God only knows how Gray managed to get the ok from these talented but cagey writers in allowing their music to be used. The director/writer/actor creates a fun, wholesome yet sexy story with a little bit of danger to make it more alive. Re-live the entertaining songs from different musicals all coming together nicely into another exciting show by Gray.
Hollywood Façade plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. until Sunday, August 24 at Hudson Theatre, located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., in Los Angeles. For ticket information, call (310) 960-7776 or reserve online at http://www.plays411.com/HollywoodFaçade