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A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
Liberty Inn: The Musical
|Being a woman is good for business!
A rollicking time was had by all in the tiny Andak Theatre in North Hollywood where Dakin Matthews (book and lyrics) and B. T. Ryback (music) adapted Goldoni’s comic treasure La Locandiera (The Landlady) into 1787 Liberty, New York, and set it to music. This is the seventh world premiere for the Andak.
John Gault and Charlotte DiGregorio!
(Photo: John Demita)
Deborah May stars as the beauteous Mirandolina, who loves to torment the stiff-necked misogynist Hessian Captain played with virile venom by Norman Snow. Sniffing around Mirandolina are the Count (John Combs) and the Marquis (John DeMita) — the Count pudgy, dignified and dripping with diamond gifts and the Marquis perennially broke and standing on his pride ("I offer you the protection of my name!")— So is her faithful servant, young Faber (Bill Mendieta).
Matthews injects a few contemporary lines into his script but they’re not painfully anachronistic. Goldoni transfers nicely to Revolutionary-era New York. Mirandolina makes a delicious heroine who, when all is said and done, chooses the young servant, Faber, over the older suitors. The Captain, whom Mirandolina beguiles into falling in love for the first time, is, of course, outraged by her defection. Naturally, his Aide is very happy and moons about it in a ballad, displaying pleasing singing pipes.
A late-comer is the so-called Countess Sofia (Charlotte DiGregorio), a lusty young lady who flirts outrageously with all the men under the tolerant eyes of Mirandolina. She has a fine voice and a wicked sense of humor. Sofia and the Count have one of the loveliest ballads "Together." She also has a humorous solo "Wiesbaden," aimed (without avail) at seducing the Captain.
The impeccable set is changed by Faber and the Captain’s Aide (Mark Doerr) in choreographed perfection. Dean Cameron, who designed the set, also did the costumes, particularly outdoing himself in the Revolutionary War uniforms.
Ryback plays his own score with dashing brilliance, including an overture and scintillating arpeggios. May and Snow have outstanding voices, with Combs and Mendieta a pleasing middle range. DeMita smirks over what he doesn’t project.
Anne McNaughton directs with a never-failing sense of glee.
Liberty Inn: The Musical|
Book and Lyrics by Dakin Matthews with Music by B. T. Ryback
Director: Anne McNaughton
Cast: Bill Mendieta (Faber), John Combs (Count), John DeMita (Marquis), Norman Snow (Captain), Deborah May (Mirandolina), Mark Doerr (Aide), Charlotte DiGregorio (Sofia).
Musical Direction: B. T. Ryback
Sets and Costumes: Dean Cameron
Lights: Peter Strauss
Assistant Set Designer: David McNaughton
Stage Manager: Chelsea Bardellini
Running Time: Two hours with one intermission
Running Dates: March 13-April 25, 2010.
Where: New Place Studio Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove Street, North Hollywood. Reservations: (866) 811-4111.
Reviewed on March 13 by Laura Hitchcock.
- She’s Everything You’d/
Want In A Woman / Faber
My Mirandolina / Count/Marquis
She’s A Disease / Count/Marquis/Captain
A Lady In Love / Mirandolina
Is This Real / Faber
I’d Rather / Captain
Vice-Versa / Marquis
I Can See, Captain / Mirandolina/Captain
Make Men Pay / Sofia/Mirandolina
An Old Fashioned Notion / Count
Make Men Pay (Reprise) / Mirandolina
It’s A Problem / Mirandolina/Captain
It Can’t Be Love / Mirandolina/Captain
Vice-Versa (Reprise) / Marquis
Here’s to Bacchus / Mirandolina/Captain
Entr’Acte: Je Suis Que Je Suis / Marquis
Together / Sofia/Count
Wiesbaden / Sofia
Together (Reprise) / Sofia
The Company of Men / Captain/Aide
Is This Real (Reprise) / Aide
Impossibility / Captain/Mirandolina
Je Suis Que Je Suis (Reprise) / Marquis
Tell Him / Mirandolina
It Can’t Be Love (Reprise) / Captain/Mirandolina
Vice Versa (Reprise) / Marquis
Goodbye Love / Count/Marquis
It’s A Problem (Reprise) / Mirandolina
Love Is / Ensemble
Finale / Ensemble
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