There is a lot of buzz in the musical world (and beyond) about Hamilton, the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda currently taking Broadway by storm. You can’t buy tickets unless you have a lot, and I mean A LOT, of cash in your back pocket. And no, I didn’t see it, nor am I reviewing it, although feel free to start a campaign to send me to NY! The best thing about the Hamilton phenomenon is that it gives hope for the future of musicals in America. I happen to love a good musical, and I guess therein lies the problem: the “good” qualifier. A good, or dare I hope for great, new musical can be hard to come by. We are fortunate in LA because there is another light that can be seen on the musical landscape, which happens to be a local light. It’s from the Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz.
The Rockwell has been mounting unauthorized movie-musical parodies on their stage for years now, and they are getting better and better. The two options you have at the moment are The Devil Wears Prada and The Big Lebowski. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a Rockwell movie-musical parody (unauthorized, of course), it’s basically dinner musical theatre. I’m aware this is not a great sell. Everyone under the age of 65 may have just stopped reading. More specifically, they put on a rock & roll show in a sexy club atmosphere, with fantastic drinks and food at your beck and call. Does that sound better? It should.
I happened to see The Devil Wears Prada on my fortunate visit. I’ve seen the movie. Once. I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it. Your feelings for the movie won’t weigh heavily on your feelings for the show, if you are anything like me. Although, I did attend with a gentleman who has seen the movie multiple times and he was pretty sure I missed a few jokes here and there. There’s no doubt I did. And I had a great time anyway.
The cast was spectacular. It’s a stretch to say that they are all true triple threats. The stage is small and the house is packed, which doesn’t leave much room for a big dance break. But there are small choreographed bits which are fun, and LOTS of singing framed with scenes throughout. So, I’m comfortable saying the cast is filled with double and a half threats. The night I attended, Rumer Willis played the role of Andy (played by Anne Hathaway in the movie), so if star power matters, you have that. Drew Droege stole the show as the iconic Miranda (played by Meryl Streep in the movie). The whole cast really is a win. The live band is a gigantic plus, and there’s a chick playing the guitar. It’s simply a great night out, that you can revisit over and over.
Two drawbacks may be that it goes a bit long for my taste. I’d prefer a 90 minute show with no intermission, which I believe they could pull off, but intermission may be a necessity for the food/drink aspect of the evening. It is, however, to the detriment of the show. I’d also say that I love the comfort of the expanded house (if you’ve seen shows in the distant past, it’s doubled in space), but your view could be obstructed at any given time with a structural pillar here and there. I am grateful, however, that the roof won’t be falling down at any moment, so the structural pillars are something you can, and will, have to deal with.
It’s a big recommend for anyone seeking some fun. And that’s everyone, right?
The Devil Wears Prada
@ Rockwell: Table & Stage
1714 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Thru June 25th
$22.00-$49.00 Discount tickets available on the usual sites
You should know:
- 18 and over is strongly recommended!
- You may be sitting with others at your table. It is an intimate venue!
- Be aware, there are pillars around the space!
- Two item minimum, no exceptions.
- No refunds, no exceptions.