BWW Reviews: CRUEL INTENTIONS at Rockwell - A True Homage to the '90s
Soundtracks of the '90s were epic, memorable, and unforgettable. A familiar song plays on the radio and you know that song. You can name the scene in the movie, the actors, and you're probably reciting a few lines to yourself. Cruel Intentions had one of those soundtracks. The movie starred Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Joshua Jackson, Selma Blair, Eric Mabius, and Sean Patrick Thomas, all superstars on the teen scene of the late '90s. The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Cruel Intentions at Rockwell is a wonderful homage to both the '90s and a great homage to a classic movie of this generation.
Katie Stevens is the perfect Kathryn replica - sexy, seductive, manipulative. But this version of Cruel Intentions is a musical and Katie Stevens is the voice I imagine for Kathryn had she sung in the movie. It's powerful, persuasive, sultry when the scene calls for it, angry when the scene calls for it. Equally talented is Constantine Rousouli who embodies Sebastian Valmont. Sebastian was the ultimate bad boy with the heart of gold and Constantine played that part well. His voice often blends beautifully with Katie's singing one of the title songs from the movie "Every You Every Me" by Placebo.
Molly McCook plays Annette Hargrove, the virginal student, and the bet between Kathryn and Sebastian. Molly shines in the role of Annette portraying a version of the onscreen Annette come to life. Her voice is often full of raw emotion, almost too big to contain in the intimate space, but beautiful. One of the best musical and vocal arrangements of the show belonged to both McCook and Rousouli when they sang the Natalie Imbruglia hit "Torn." Shelley Regner played naive Cecile Caldwell who begins an affair with her teacher Ronald played by Alexander Pimentel. Shelley gives Cecile plenty of humor and with even more naivete than her onscreen counterpart which is incredibly entertaining to watch. Pimentel played his part well and even when he wasn't featured on the main stage, could be seen as part of the action with Kathryn. Her mother portrayed by Pamela Holt really makes the role her own, belting out a surprising and thoroughly entertaining version of the TLC favorite "No Scrubs." Tyler Scheef and Garrett Clayton played Blaine and Greg, played memorably onscreen by Joshua Jackson and Eric Mabius. The performance at Rockwell is just as memorable and energetic, their voices blending together wonderfully during a duet of "Kiss Me" by Sixpence None the Richer.
All three concept presentation shows were sold out in February, but it returns to Rockwell this April! I didn't want to give too many of the songs included away so don't miss this creative and entertaining homage by some of LA's top performers.
Photos by: Aimee Curameng
Shelley Regner and Alexander Pimentel