Spies are Forever Review - The Cold War Strikes Back

The Tin Can Brothers have entered the realm of international intrigue. The comedy team of Corey Lubowich, Joey Richter, and Brian Rosenthal wrote and produced this entertaining musical with the able contributions of Clark Baxstresser and Pierce Siebers providing music and lyrics. Hidden in the rafters are musicians Baxtresser (keyboard) and Siebers (synthesizer), who together with Will Wu (guitar and bass) and Ben Masters (drums) comprise the quartet providing live music and mood to the production. 

 

Curt Mega, Joe Walker, and Mary Kay Wiles - Photo by Katherine Leon

The setting is the Cold War, where superspy Curt Mega (real-life Curt Mega) fights for apple pie and the American way. Danger is his business, and he relishes the risks until he inadvertently causes the death of his British counterpart and best friend. After four guilty years spent at the bottom of a bottle, he finally has an opportunity to redeem himself by taking an assignment to stop a crazed Nazi megalomaniac left over from World War II from taking over the world. Joining forces with the beautiful and mysterious Russian spy Tatiana Stozhno (Mary Kate Wiles), he sets out to do or die. 

 

Curt Mega, Tessa Netting, Mary Kay Wiles, Al Falick - Photo by Katherine Leo

SPIES ARE FOREVER pokes fun at the entire Hollywood brand of spydom - with special aim at an old favorite, 007. In fact, the first number very cleverly mimics the typical introduction to all the 007 films - including a steamy song sung by a husky-voiced female and moving silhouettes of gun-toting suited-up spies. The production rarely misses the opportunity to throw in a few stereotypes like the totally evil villain with a cackling laugh and a tough-as-nails female leader who commands the good spy guys. 

 

Joey Richter and Curt Mega - Photo by Katherine Leon

SPIES ARE FOREVER has 14 original songs, including “The Torture Tango” and “One More Shot” and moves from London to Budapest to Russia with ease. Perhaps, as the playbill suggests, a vacation in the New Democratic Republic of Old Socialist Prussian Sloviskia wouldn’t be so bad. 

 

Lauren Lopez, Brian Rosenthal, Joey Richter, Curt Mega, Mary Kay Wiles, Tessa Netting, Al Falick, Joe Walker - Photo by Katherine Leon

Director Corey Lubowich has a keen eye for satirical moments which Lauren Lopez choreographs very well. Emmy Weldon’s scenic design is elaborate, with lots of dark corners and shadows as befitting a spy’s world. In fact, the entire production team works well together to create an illusion right out of a spy’s fantasies. SPIES ARE FOREVER is an amusing and clever tale which lightly pokes fun at all the spy exploits that came before. If you’re looking for character development, this is not the place to find it. But if you would like a few chuckles and a pleasant evening, this play may well fit the bill. It’s fun and has a few surprises up its sleeve. 

 

SPIES ARE FOREVER runs through April 3, 2016, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.  The NoHo Arts Center is located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601. Tickets are $30 for matinees and $35 for evenings.  For reservations, call 800-838-3006 or go online at http://spiesareforever.diamonds

 

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