BWW Interviews: Fringe Spotlight: DORIAN'S DESCENT, a Modern Day Dorian Gray
DOMA Theatre Company will present the world premiere of a new musical based on Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray during this year's Hollywood Fringe Festival. DORIAN'S DESCENT opens May 30, prior to the beginning of the Fringe, and will continue through July 20 for an extended run.
Set in the future, the story follows the enigmatic Dorian Gray, the inspiration behind Basil Hallward's masterpiece, Dorian's portrait. With the influence of Basil's devious friend, Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian sells his soul in order to remain forever young while the picture ages over time.
DORIAN'S DESCENT features book by Chris Raymond, Marco Gomez and Michael Gray, lyrics by Marco Gomez and Chris Raymond, and music by Chris Raymond. Gomez directs, Raymond also provides musical direction and orchestrations, and choreography is by Tania Possick. The show is produced by Mike Abramson and Dolf Ramos.
"We stayed very close to the source material in terms of the story and tried to incorporate Wilde's language wherever possible," explains Gomez. "Our biggest challenge was the internal nature of Dorian's conflict in the novel, which we needed to open up and dramatize. We created a character, the 'Demon,' played by the wonderful Toni Smith, who helps make sense of Dorian's personality change."
Raymond adds, "It's a wild, magical and mysterious story, and the themes are so relevant in today's image-obsessed culture. The score draws on many influences, including classic Broadway, opera, and modern dance music. The large cast provides rich, complex vocal harmonies throughout the show."
Michael D'Elia stars in the title role, with Jeremy Saje as Basil, Kelly Brighton as Henry, Cassandra Nuss as Sibyl, Lauren Hill as Madeleine, Toni Smith as the Demon, Tony Graham as James and Michelle Holmes as Margaret. The ensemble includes Johanna Rose Burwell, Kevin Corsini, Robert Glen Decker, Andrew Diego, Tony Dooley, Jillian Easton, Kia Dawn Fulton, Timothy Hearl, Lauren Hill, Susan Huckle, Michael Liles, Garret Riley, Jenny Torgerson, Tiffany Williams and Lindsay Zana.
Producer Michael Abramson says the production design will be particularly impressive boasting the talents of John Iacovelli (set design), Jean-Yves Tessier (lighting design), Julie Ferrin (sound design), Michael Mullen (costume design), Karen Sanchez (makeup), Hallie Baran (props), and Gabrieal Griego (production manager).
Abramson also feels that the classic story is still timely and relevant today saying, "I think Fringe-goers will love seeing how a novel like The Picture of Dorian Gray can be modernized in such a way that even today's audiences can relate to the story. Adapting it to a modern-day setting is what is truly unique and special about the show. Marco and Chris have also added a new character - The Demon - who was not present in the original novel, which allows the audience to visually see and even develop a connection and relationship to the force that sends Dorian spiraling down the pathway of destructive love-affairs, seduction, decadence and murder."
DOMA Theatre Company and Requiem Media Productions, LLC
May 30 - July 20, 2014
The MET Theatre
1089 N. Oxford Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90029
Tickets: (323) 802-4990 or www.doriansdescent.com
Fringe Tickets (June 6-29): http://hff14.org/1827
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