For the Record: Scorsese Review - A Millennial Rave

Co-produced by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and For the Record, the acclaimed company that began in a small bar in East Hollywood in 2010, FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE – AMERICAN CRIME REQUIEM combines the best of both worlds into an immersive musical theater experience integrating media from multiple sources – film, strolling entertainers, live theater, food, drink, and a full evening of fun and surprises. A musical review and a tribute to Scorsese, this presentation has an underlying theme which ties together the many routes it travels.

John Lloyd Young and Carmen Cusack - Photo by Kevin Parry

Directed by Anderson Davis, FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE – AMERICAN CRIME REQUIEM highlights 40 years of Scorsese’s films including scenes from “GoodFellas,” “Casino,” “The Departed,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and more. Artfully woven into the fabric of Scorsese’s crime dramas is music fitting the stories and spanning 50+ years of musical history. Doo-wop vies with crooner standards, blues, and other classic tunes to spice up the tales.

Zak Resnick and Jason Paige - Photo by Kevin Parry

The very talented musical cast sing their hearts out with able backing by orchestra members punctuating their tunes. Tony Award-winner John Lloyd Young leads the multi-talented cast as Sam, a Mafioso with a story to share. Carmen Cusack (Ginger), Pia Toscano (Karen), and B. Slade (Stacks) share top billing. For the Record members James Byous, Dionne Gipson, Olivia Harris, Doug Kreeger, Justin Mortelliti, Jason Paige, and Zak Resnick join their powerful voices in this show. This is definitely an ensemble production, with all cast members working towards one goal with skill and enthusiasm.

Pia Toscano and Zak Resnick - Photo by Kevin Parry

FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE – AMERICAN CRIME REQUIEM strings together multiple brief scenes with one underlying theme: American crime. Mafia guys of every stripe and style pop up - from rich to broke, from drunks to addicts, from lovelorn to love-‘em-and-leave-‘em. The Mafia gals are also of a type – blond, sexy, and lonely inside. With wives and mistresses thrown into the mix.

B. Slade - Photo by Kevin Parry

And let’s not forget about murder, murder, murder. Gunshots may define some of the goings-on as corpses are carted off-stage wrapped in this and that. The production is a colorful and exciting view of a group that has become almost iconic in American culture. And quite an homage to Scorsese.

Dionne Gipson and Justic Mortelliti - Photo by Kevin Parry

Special kudos are in order for scenic designers Matt Steinbrenner and Kyle Courter’s four-tiered set – at once serving as restaurant/night club venues. Some audience members actually serve as “extras” onstage during the show (FYI – it costs extra to sit onstage). Gifted Steve Mazurek has designed costumes which are stunning, sparkling, and sometimes very abbreviated.  Dramatic lighting and sound was provided by Dan Efros and Michael Berger (lighting) and Ben Soldate (sound). In fact, the sound volume was booming and baffling; cut by half, it would still be loud and fitting for a Hollywood Bowl production. As one audience member opined, “It was an enjoyable show…but I got a headache.” Audience alert: you might want to bring something to cover your ears. And forget about assisted listening devices.

Lindsey Gort and James Byous - Photo by Kevin Parry

FOR THE RECORD: SCORSESE – AMERICAN CRIME REQUIEM runs through October 16, 2016 with performances at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 5 p.m. on Sundays. The Bram Goldsmith Theater is located at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9290 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Tickets range from $25 to $129. For information and reservations, call 310-746-4000 or go online.

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