Musical Focus on the Hollywood Fringe Festival - Part One


Are you ready? Here comes the third annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, Hollywood’s fearless celebration of the emerging arts. You’ll find every kind of show you can think of at the Fringe, produced by local, national, and international arts companies and independent producers in venues that might be very traditional or completely unorthodox. Sexy, hilarious, avant garde, interactive, edgy, irreverent, heartfelt, intimate, and experimental are just a few of the words used by audiences to describe what they’ve seen at the Fringe.

Show previews are June 7 - 12 and the official Opening Night Party will be held on June 13. The Festival runs June 14 - 24, with the Closing Night Party and Award Ceremony also held on June 24. Here’s Part One of our Focus on the Fringe Series highlighting musical productions to consider adding to your Fringe dance card.

A Rock Musical of Apocalyptic Proportions
June 9 - 23, 2012

WARNING: This show is certified rock! With book, music and lyrics by Michael Shaw Fisher (Barking Pig), direction by Chris Raymond (Beginnings) and musical direction from Michael Teoli (Carnevil), DOOMSDAY CABARET is a timely musical that uses humor and a pantheon of rock-styles to explore a sub-culture of outcasts desperate for an Armageddon, and it’s backed by a full band. In it, an eclectic group of doomsday-obsessed freaks, geeks and capitalists assemble in San Bernardino’s Community Center to argue their theories, hawk their books, and maybe even get laid on 12/21/12, the date predicted by many to be the end of the world. As the doomsday clock counts down, each character takes the microphone to deliver a unique rock n’ roll dissertation to the crowd.

Fisher says the idea for DOOMSDAY began “at my friend's house in Venice while sitting around their fire pit. It was kind of a New Age crowd and everyone started taking about doomsday 12/21/2012. I mentioned the little I knew about it being a ‘Mayan thing’ but I found out that quite a few other cultures point to that date as well (from the Hopi Indians and Nostradamus to the modern day Web Bot predictions).”

“My plans to do an Exorcist Rock Musical were pushed back until next year (William Peter Blatty contacted the Fringe himself to warn us not to put on our parody while the Geffen was doing their serious version - lest we insight the legal hounds) so I thought DOOMSDAY would be equally dark and outrageous. Musically, there was a great opportunity to use a variety of popular music styles like alt rock, Sinatra, Motown, Little Richard, psychedelic rock, etc.”

Fisher first became hooked on the Fringe in 2011 when his company put up The Barking Pig, a dark comedy and, "the world's first theatrical drinking game,” he laughs. “I really loved the freedom I felt doing it. The enthusiasm on behalf of the audience to watch something that goes all the way to the edge, and then over, was so encouraging. I decided never would a June go by where I don't have something to share and promote at the beer tent. My biggest hope is that Doomsday Cabaret will make the crowd laugh cry and maybe even go home singing, ‘If You Love Me Light My Car On Fire.’”

Click Here for tickets, showtimes and more info. A limited number of preview tickets are available for $10. Regular tickets are $15. Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, CA.

June 7 - 24, 2012

VIRGINIA CITY is a world premiere family friendly 90-minute musical by brothers Daniel (music) and David Wisehart (book & lyrics, director & producer) about a young drifter named Sam Clemens who lands a job as a reporter in an old west mining town. Inspired by a visit from a scandalous showgirl, Sam finds his voice and becomes Mark Twain.

The Wisehart brothers lived in Virginia City, NV for a short while as kids, a town known as the literary birthplace of Mark Twain. According to David, “It was hard for us to avoid hearing tales of Mark Twain’s days in the old west since that’s where Sam Clemens worked as a newspaperman. He arrived in Virginia City as a failed prospector named Sam Clemens and left twenty months later as a successful writer named Mark Twain. What happened to him in Virginia City? How did Sam reinvent himself? How did a poor young drifter from Missouri become America’s greatest writer? In telling the story of how Sam Clemens found his own voice, my brother and I also wanted to tell a universal story about people discovering who they are, reinventing themselves, and learning to live authentic lives.”

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Ellen Dostal In addition to being part of the west coast Broadway World team, Ellen also publishes two popular Southern California Theatre Blogs - Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals across the country.

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