Insanity Theatre Review - Dangerously Delicious

NoHo Arts Center in North Hollywood, in association with Larry Russo, has yet another hit on it’s hand. Dubbed a musical, it is more an operatic style than an upbeat musical.  A powerful play about normalcy versus insanity and free will versus limited control, Insanity: the Musical debuted on Friday June 26th, 2009.  Original music and lyrics by Scott DeTurk was enhanced by additional lyrics and direction of James J Mellon and the choreography of Suzanne Carlton.  Meaningful sets were designed by Laura Fine Hawkes, lightning by Luke Moyer,  sound by Jonathan Zenz, and costume by Curtis Jackson.  

Insanity: World Premiere

The story is of ( Kevin Bailey) Zarek Saxton as he directs a mediocre slasher zombie movie with this girlfriend Katelyn ( Sabrina Miller).  He really wants to make a movie that will change the world but, of course, the executive producer, Ramsey ( Bob Morrisey) just wants a commercial flick.  He wants Zarek off the film and believes he has his chance when Zarek has a schizophrenic  reaction from a drug seeing an African Shaman ( Curtis C.)

In the hospital, he meets with Dr. Morgan Goodman ( Dana Meller) and the head of the hospital, Dr. Hudson ( Tara Lynn Orr)  as well as an assortment of patients – Peter ( Victor Warren), Monica ( Cat Davis), Virginia ( Clarissa Park), Raymond ( Alex Robert Holmes), Rex Reynolds (Brad Blaisell), Hughie ( Arthur Ross.)

It is here that he learns the difference between being crazy and being “normal.”  He befriends several of the patients and again experiences his Shaman vision.  He is more determined than ever to do the movie that will change the world.  

Meanwhile, Ramsey, the studio liason, is trying to convince the doctors that they must keep him beyond the 72 hours and even commit him.  He wants to use the “insanity clause” to get Zarek out of the movie.  Katelyn doesn’t know which way to go because she professes to love Zarek but she knows that her movie career will be doomed if she doesn’t go along with the studio.

Curtis C., Kevin Bailey and Dana Meller (background) star in the World Premiere Musical "INSANITY," directed by James J. Mellon

Ramsey even goes so far as to dig up Zarek’s past and finds out that his real name is John Young and he has a brother Matt.  Matt Young ( Jonathan Zenz) comes to try and convince Zarek to get treatment for his illness that the director apparently inherited from their father.  Zarek steadfastly refuses any medication and confronts Dr. Goodman.  What really is normal?  

Despite pressures from Ramsey, the doctor refuses to continue the commitment for Zarek.  Even so, he agrees to drop out of the movie because he wants to make his movie and realizes more and more who he is.  He shows Dr. Goodman that what we think of normal isn’t always the best route to take and that in order to express his creativity he has to be “a little crazy.”

There were a lot of inside jokes for the industry and those of us who are creative can really appreciate the message of the play.  Many of the audience seemed duly thoughtful as they left the theater.  For me, it definitely rang a bell.  Do you allow someone their own private craziness or not?  Do they get a chance to choose their own destiny?  

No Ho Arts Center is at 11136 Magnolia Blve (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.  Tickets for all performances are $35 for adults. Seniors and students pay $30.  For more information call 818 508 7101 x7 or visit

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