One of the best things about LA is that the theater productions that are not housed at the big houses (Music Center, Geffen, Pantages, et al) are still ah-ma-zing to experience. The people who are not on the “big stages” are still as awesome as those on them.
Show at Barre is located in The Vermont restaurant complex on Vermont in Los Feliz. It’s a tiny restaurant space, and the actors perform everywhere – on the bar, on the tiny stage, with the band, in the back. They make use of every open space available. The Wife and I opted to sit at the bar, which happened to be the best seats, IMO.
“For the Record: Baz Luhrmann“ showcases three movies by Luhrmann – Romeo & Juliet, Strictly Ballroom, and Moulin Rouge. Everyone in the cast had their roles to play in each movie as well as their own solos, highlighting their voices. The Wife was a ‘participant’ as one of the actors sang “Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps” and grabbed him to half-dance, half-swivel as a man-prop. Ha!
The show starts with Romeo & Juliet, takes a short break for the cast to change, and goes into Strictly Ballroom before intermission. Then the second half is all Moulin Rouge. If you haven’t seen these three movies, I’d recommend watching them first before going to the show. Strictly Ballroom is fantastic and so is the cast’s version!
The actors who stood out for me were Ginifer King who played Satine and James Snyder who played Christian in the Moulin Rouge half of the show. Their voices were strong and they needed to be for some of the songs. (I was not a fan of Nicole Kidman’s singing voice in the movie, and Ginifer will show you how it’s done.) If you’re going to see this, be sure to look outside the front window at key moments of the production.
Back to the space itself. Show at Barre will be breaking down the wall in the Vermont, making a bigger space for the productions. I loved the space for its tightness but it’ll be nice to give the actors more wiggle room and hopefully a bigger stage to sing from. The show requires a two-item minimum from patrons; that’s ok – the food is terrific. The Wife had the burger, and I had the bacon-wrapped scallops with risotto. We finished it off with a burning hot skillet of chocolate chip cookie and ice cream. (Burning hot because I touched the handle and it burned my fingers.) Sit at the bar – it’s a higher seat. One treat – the performers do use the bar to sing – plus!
The details: Tickets are $35 (plus your two-item minimum). Or you can sign up for Goldstar Events and get tickets for $17.50. Once you make your reservation, be sure to show up at least an hour early so you can get a seat and start dinner. (You can order all night; we chose to have our dessert show up during intermission.)
There are only a few more dates left before the production closes, so hurry up and go! [Wife and I are hoping they'll come back with the John Hughes production but the house manager said they'd brought it back three different times already.]