There was much anticipation at the World Premiere of Western Big Sky at the MET Theatre at 8pm on Saturday, August 28, 2004. The MET is located at 1089 North Oxford Avenue in Hollywood. The theatre has won numerous, respectable awards and realizes productions with tremendous range. This diversity has provided actors, writers, designers, and producers the opportunity to share their visions, since the current MET Theatre Company initially began in 2002.
WESTERN BIG SKY'S director L. Flint Esquerra notes in his biography that he is a Native American shaman. Esquerra is one of the MET Theatre's busiest directors, with critically acclaimed Patty Cake and Consanguinity Cycle, as well as Project Ivan.
There were many friends and acquaintances of the cast to lend support prior to the performance at the Gala reception. Snacks and drinks were served in a casual setting downstairs. The play itself was upstairs in this quirky, quaint theatre. By the time we took our seats, there was familiarity within the audience.
The protagonist was "Bill", played by Donald Osbourne. "Bill" is a simple man, who pumps gas and is a shepherd, yet still manages to attract the town beauty, "Missy" (Juliana Johnson). However, she is the cheatin' girlfriend of the town's cockiest, rowdiest cowboy, "Meselet" (Tyler Tanner). Though tough, "Meselet" does not walk alone. He has two (2) not so dangerous sidekicks. They're cheeseburgers, as opposed to his USDA beefiness! One is a dimwitted, "Phil" (Robert Benjamin). The other, a closeted gay, "Joe" (Victor Yerrid), with a pink plaid shirt. These three (3) caballeros were immediately funny without even saying a word. Their entrance was enough. Their clever ability to be natural in all situations kept the audience in outrageous laughter!
Like in most small towns, there was beer, and more beer, so why not focus on the saloon and its beer-drinkers? The saloon-keeper, "Hank" (Britt George) and his wife, "Dorothy" (Barbara Bragg) have a crazed relationship, based on yelling and fighting. "Dorothy" plots to have her lover, "Stu" a hippie (Dan Mandel), kill her husband. Even though her lover offers her a trailer (oh!), AND satellite tv to seduce her, "Dorothy's" deeper insanity is complete with kicks and slaps, to and from her hubby. Ultimately, her passion is for "Hank".
"Cody" (Kipp Chambers) keeps the character connected with his attempt to resolve and help, like a good neighbor, while having a beer. "Cody" and his friend, a likeable all-around good guy, "Taylor" (Bill Morton)seeks peace in all the chaos of cheating and drama. Then, a proud "Taylor", who is a sentimental third generation resident is confronted by an invading Satanist (played by Robert Tobin), seemingly trying to do rituals on the land. Watch for the gun smoke and sheep stealing too!
"Shemp" (Rex Lee) is introduced when "Cody" and "Taylor" ask him to go out and drink beer. "Shemp", a Native American, commands laughter in his mannerisms, much like the three caballeros. His expressive, story-telling provided amusement and deeper thought to zany bunch of small town minds.
With the showdowns, feuding, lust, cheating, hard boozing, Satanists or cowboy brawls, one needs to see the honky tonk performance under a WESTERN BIG SKY! Nothing smaller will do!
This play will run from August 28th-October 2nd. Call (323) 957-1152 for reservaton information.