by Pat Taylor
Tolucan Times

Jesus' Kid Brother

There's an exciting new rock musical comedy in town, destined to be a big hit and a possible candidate for a New York run later on. (Big Bucks producers looking for a show to promote should see this one!) Written by brothers Brian and Mark Karmelich, the songs are fantastic, and the lyrics tell the zany story with riotous flare.

With a happening team of respected, multi award-winning, behind-the-scene notables, a cast of 18 fab singers, and a unique, off-the-wall storyline, what's not to like? Brian Paul Mendoza's choreography is fast-paced and creative, set design by Don Gruber is cool, lighting by J. Kent Inasy is effective, pulsating sound by Philip G. Allen and Leon Rothenberg and wildly wonderful costumes by Shon Le Blanc all add to the sizzle of the show. Add to that the outstanding direction of Jules Aaron (a director who really cares) and the appreciative audience went nuts!

This is the outrageous story of Larry's lifelong struggle with being the overlooked brother of Jesus. A no-win situation, he just never quite felt he measured up. A witty, tongue-in-cheek look at religion and personal acceptance, purely for fun, this is a hilarious concept. The performances are all excellent, the singers powerful and the visuals and gags are non-stop!

The two lead roles of Larry (a Jew) and Mary Pilate (a Roman Catholic) as forbidden amours, are played with perfection by David Brower and Katherine Von Till, both gifted, explosive singers! Christopher Dean Briant was great fun as Barabbas, as were Todd Stern and Paul Morente as Kris and Kross (the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of the biblical world). Too many in the cast to comment on all but each so commendable I must list their names: Rana Davis, Dana Reynolds, Amir Talai, Fernando Orozco Jr., Benjamin Sprunger, Michael Brown, Jeffrey Landman, John Altieri, Emily Falvey, Ali Spuck, Beth Crosby, Lauren Ziemski and Rory O'Malley. Kudos, too, go to musical director Brian Murphy and his band. Running through Nov. 23 at The Hudson Mainstage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. For seats and times call (323) 856-4200, Ext. 29.

(c) Tolucan Times

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