Monday, November 24, 2008

The Flunky, A New Musical

Yesterday I was in the LA area to see a special performance of a new musical called The Flunky. The book/lyrics were written by Jimmy Van Patten, and music/lyrics written by Deborah Gibson. In the business, this performance was considered a "showcase workshop", designed to present the story to a live audience and gauge their reactions. It is also intended to garner interest and financial support of potential investors. The birth and future life of a play or musical depends on "showcase workshop performances" so the principles of the show prepare extensively for the event. I attended with friends and a few influential Hollywood moguls who are interested in the play. I had read the script last year and heard the early demo music tracks while the show was still in development. So, it was exciting to finally see the show come together on stage with a talented group of actors. It starred PJ Griffith, Jimmy Van Patten and Deborah Gibson in leading roles. The show centers around Jackie (PJ Griffith), who is the flunky to an aging former rock star, Tyler Mann (Jimmy Van Patten), who is attempting a comeback. Jackie successfully enters into the world of the rock star and develops an interest in Sandra (Deborah Gibson) who is a budding singer attempting a back up career with the rock star. As Jackie attempts to win favor with the rock star, he learns a few valuable lessons about himself along the way. The villain character is Gunar (Dennis Kenney), a butler who attempts to control the rock star with a concoction of drug laced diet Kool-Aid. It is a fun, entertaining story with a catchy score and toe tapping songs. A highly talented cast brought the musical to life, with Christopher Davis Carlisle, Michael DeLuise, Dennis Kenney, Zarah Mahler, Suzanne Petrela, and Tom Schmid. The ensemble cast included Jebbel Arce, Ceaser F. Barajas, Ryan Castellino, Drew D'Andrea, Janelle Dote, Leon Le, Marlene Martinez and Leah McKendrick. The show was directed by Kay Cole, with musical direction by Mary Ekler and choreography by Eddie Bennett. After the show a small group of us went out to dinner with Jimmy Van Patten and Deborah Gibson to celebrate and compare notes about the performance (see photo above). It was a fun evening and a terrific opportunity to see the birth of a musical in the making. I am confident that in the near future, The Flunky will have a run somewhere for a wider audience to enjoy. I'll certainly keep you posted.
-Rick Rockhill

5 comments:

Diane J Standiford said...

I've enjoyed all the Van Patten adventures, from TV to tennis and I bet I'd love this musical. Thanks for sharing a slice of LA.

Lois Grebowski said...

I know who some of these folks are... Michael De Luise used ot be on 21 Jump street back in the 1980s... Loved his dad, too!

WOW, I know that was a treat to see the performance...

Tell Debbie she still looks as good as ever!

karma lennon said...

This sounds like fun! I'm always on the lookout for new musicals!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like a terrific evening...! I know Kay Cole from her work with STAGE..(Southland Theatre Goodwill Event...) And her husband Michael Lamont, a WONDERFUL photographer...! Kay is such a talented women....And I know Michael DeLuise, too...Well, I know his parents better...(lol)
It will be interesting to see this shows progress!

Rhodester said...

I think I'm kind of "The Flunky" of blogging.

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