SD REP has a winner in ‘Storyville’

By Steve Dreyer

THEATER REVIEW

The San Diego REPertory Theatre’s production of an overhauled and thoroughly enjoyable “Storyville” debuted Nov. 18 to a delighted opening-night Lyceum audience.

Written by Ed Bullins, the musical made its first appearance at UCSD’s Mandeville Theatre in 1977. Broadway veteran Ken Page rearranged the show and added new songs, resulting in a memorable two-act 18-scene production that tells a story filled with hope, romance and conflict.

DeBorah Sharpe-Taylor and Alvester Martin III in a scene from “Storyville,” a re-envisioned musical running at the San Diego REPertory Theatre through Dec. 12. Photo Daren Scott

Page directs and deserves his own standing ovation for his creative efforts.

The story, based on true events, takes place in 1917 in a red light section of New Orleans named after an official who created the district.

It is set in Mulligan’s Saloon and Cabaret Club which is overseen by Countess Willie (Leigh Scarritt), Mayor Mulligan (Paul James Kruse), Mamma Cecelyn Lascar (DeBorah Sharpe-Taylor) and celebrated band leader Hot Licks Sam (Victor Morris).

A former professional boxer, Butch “Cobra” Brown (Alvester Martin III) arrives with suitcase and trumpet in hand, hoping to start a career in a band. He falls hard for cabaret singer Tigre Savoy (Natalie Wachen) who is trying to further her career while caring for her young son, Georgie, (a charming Tahj Myers.)

Tigre must ultimately decide between an opportunity to sing abroad or stay with her aspiring musician. Subplots include boxing and musical competitions, a who-done-it death, some illegal drug activity and the pending demise of Storyville itself. The cast consists of 21 singers and dancers and a seven-piece band.

The show’s music and lyrics are by Mildred Kayden, who attended opening night. Among several memorable songs are “Everybody’s Got Somethin’” “The Blue Book” and “Animal Stomp” in Act One, and “Boulevardier” “Two Faced Son of a Gun” and “The Music Sends Us On” in Act Two.

Overall, the show was well-paced, although it wanders a bit in Act Two, until being put back on track with the final scene.

Cautionary notes: “Storyville” is definitely adult fare. Also, there’s quite a bit of cigarette smoking and a brief moment of male, backside nudity.

No doubt about it, the San Diego Rep has a winner with “Storyville.”

If you go

What: San Diego REPertory Theatre’s “Storyville”

When: 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; to Dec. 12

Where: Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza

Tickets: From $39

Contact: (619) 544-1000. sdrep.org

Related posts:

  1. ‘Gee’s Bend’ is both heartwarming and historically significant
  2. Rock musical cheers age ‘13’ with story about growing up from J*Company
  3. Junior Theatre presents first-rate, first-grade comedy in La Jolla
  4. La Jolla High School drama department presents ‘From Up Here’
  5. La Jolla Playhouse actress tours in solo show

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=29758

Posted by Susan DeMaggio on Nov 30, 2010. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Focus on senior portraits July 31, 2014
    As part of its contract with the San Dieguito Union High School District to shoot senior yearbook portraits, Keane Studios, located in Carmel Valley, receives personal contact information for each 12th-grade student and their parents. Some parents say this is wrong, citing a violation of privacy rights. “A few weeks ago I received a letter that [child’s] per […]
  • Carmel Valley gymnast medals at national tournament July 31, 2014
    Christopher Lucio of Carmel Valley competed in the U.S.A. Gymnastics trampoline and tumbling national champions held recently in Louisville, Ky. […]
  • Alt-rockers Neon Trees coming to Del Mar Racetrack, betting on ‘a little more pop’ to please fans July 31, 2014
    Neon Trees guitarist Chris Allen is outside a dentist's office not far from Murrieta, where he grew up. “We just finished the first leg of our tour, so I’m back home for a bit,” he said. But Allen won’t be home for long, since the band has an album to promote and a tour date coming up Aug. 1 at the Del Mar Racetrack for the Four O’Clock Friday concert s […]