THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL
I hope this show will travel, because a lot of people should see it. THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL is the current production of the San Luis Obispo Little Theatre and as the DJ's might say, "It's a hit!"
Directed by Kevin Harris, the multi media mix of live music, videos, dance, and large screen graphic augmentation is a "feel good" history lesson, poignant drama and a rocking good time. Entertaining at its core, the production confronts an ugly history when some music was called "race" music and all the cultural battle that went with it.
David Vienna has written a brilliant and timely production as he follows the mercurial and flawed Alan Freed who coined the term Rock and Roll and by bravado, ego and chutzpah fostered a new brand of radio, culture and live shows. He was also the fall guy for what became known as "Payola." Vienna is a skilled story teller and weaves strands of popular culture, history and personal story arc into an first rate script.
Harris and Choreographer Drew Silvaggio draw superb performances from a very talented cast. This is a group that moves smoothly from song, to dialogue and to dance without missing a beat. And the beat itself could be worth the price of admission. The band is the backbone and back beat of rockin story. Great musicians, playing well had the audience boogieing in the seats.
I hate to single out individual performance, because the full cast is outstanding.
Chad Stevens in the lead along with John Laird, Kerry Dimaggio, Seth Blackburn, Bill Kirkpatrick, Michelle Hansen, Jenny Beck and Travis Nefores turned in as good a performance as you could expect. Stevens is sensational. Laird and Dimaggio display great versatility.
Lana and I were rep company season ticket holders for years, enjoy theatre from New York to London and couldn't tell you how many productions we have seen from experimental to touring companies. I went expecting a nice, competent little show. There is nothing little about this SLO Little Theatre production. It is a top drawer ticket and as I say, I hope other theatre companies will take it on. This is Rock 'N' Roll is a chart topper!