Parfumerie Review – A Production to Get You in the Spirit of Christmas at the Wallis Anneberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills

When I arrived in the main hall of the Historic Post Office I immediately took notice of the stunning renovations that mixed well the classic elements of the building and modern flare. Also, the new addition that houses the theater is ultra modern and equally stunning. There is a courtyard just outside of the lounge with fantastic water features and strolling paths to enjoy prior to the show and during intermissions.

Ayre Gross and Eddie Kaye Thomas in Parfumerie

Arye Gross and Eddie Kaye Thomas. Photo by Jim Cox

Arye Gross, Jacob Kemp, Cheryl Lynn Bowers and Deborah Ann Woll. Photo by Jim Cox

Parfumerie, written by Milos Laszlo and directed by Mark Brokaw was a true delight. The stage was brilliantly designed and the lighting left nothing to be desired. The winter effects of snow outside of the parfumerie instantly transported me to a winter wonderland. The shelves stacked with parfume, creams and other apothecary goods made me want to hop on stage and begin shopping.

Arye Gross. Photo by Jim Cox

Deborah Ann Woll and Arye Gross. Photo by Jim Cox

Deborah Ann Woll. Photo by Jim Cox

The cast was all around pleasant to watch. As the play began I was a bit concerned about the pacing. It seemed a bit slow and disjointed. However, within minutes the stage became very busy with a Christmas rush and there were patrons and employees abound. Suddenly, it was all very exciting and from then on I enjoyed the show. The lead character Mr. Miklos Hammerschmidt played by Richard Schiff was believable as the shop-owner and his slight Hungarian accent was much appreciated. It would have been a more believable situation had all of the actors prepared Hungarian accents.

Deborah Ann Woll. Photo by Jim Cox

Deborah Ann Woll and Matt Walton. Photo by Jim Cox

Eddie Kaye Thomas and Jacob Kemp. Photo by Jim Cox

Set during Christmas in 1937 the other accents sounded more to the tune of Standard American of that era. Then again perhaps all of the employees and patrons hailed from the Americas or Great Britain. My two favorite characters were the Cashier, Miss Elizabeth Molnar, played by Jayne Taini and the Delivery Boy, Arpad Novack, played by Jacob Kemp. Both were full of energy that came across very natural and unforced. They provided much of the comic relief. On the other, hand I was not as impressed with the Leading Lady, Miss Amalia Balash, played by Deborah Ann Woll. Her over-the-top style was a bit exhausting at times and her use of the stage a tad sloppy. She was not the worst I simply would have enjoyed a bit more depth and range from such an important role in the play. Her secret love interest, Mr. George Horvath, played by Eddie Kaye Thomas was not as over-the-top. However, I did feel a lack of chemistry between he and Miss Amalia Balash.

Jill Van Velzer, Adam Farabee and Jacob Kemp. Photo by Jim Cox

Richard Schiff. Photo by Jim Cox

Richard Schiff and Eddie Kaye Thomas. Photo by Jim Cox

Overall I had a grand time. Definitely go to see Parfumerieif you need to get into the Christmas spirit.  

Oh, just one note if you need to leave the theater during the show for any reason. Provided is a wonderful viewing box, called the Silent Room. I know because it happened to me. I was there alone and I loved it. What a view and the sound was impeccable through the speakers. I felt like a VIP.

Matt Walton and Cheryl Lynn Bowers. Photo by Jim Cox

Eddie Kaye Thomas. Photo by Jim Cox

Jacob Kemp and Richard Schiff. Photo by Jim Cox


Calendar Listing for Parfumerie 
Venue: Bram Goldsmith Theater, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts 
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 
Performance Now through December 22, 2013 
Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Evenings at 8 pm 
Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm and 7pm 
Tickets: Prices: $49.00-$129.00 
In Person – Wallis Annenberg Center Box Office, 
9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 
By Phone - 310-746-4000 
Cast: Cheryl Lynn Bowers, Adam Farabee, Andy Goldenberg, Linda Griffin, Arye Gross, Jacob 
Kemp, Jackson Moran, Tony Pasqualini, Richard Schiff, Ariana Shore, Jayne Taini, Eddie 
Kaye Thomas, Jill Van Velzer, Matt Walton, Deborah Ann Woll 

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