Left: the cast performs the number "1984"; right: Desiree Jade Sol as Maria in front of scenic design by Shigeru Yaji. Photos by John C. Luker courtesy Cornerstone Theater Company.
There was a lot of singing and dancing at the founding of West Hollywood, but there was also anger and death. Or there was in the Cornerstone Theater Company's telling "Making Paradise: the West Hollywood Musical," which opened last week. The story is framed by events in 2009 (the city's twenty-fifth anniversary year), but mostly takes place in 1983 and 1984, in the time leading up to the city's incorporation. In the past the characters argue over rent control; in the present they're concerned about sweetheart development deals. Cultural Affairs Administrator Andrew Campbell describes the play in the program notes: "Making Paradise is not a documentary of the City's founding, but rather a fictional story of a disparate group of people whose lives play out against the background of Cityhood." And now there're only 87 musicals left to write. How about "Making Paris Hilton: the Beverly Hills Musical," set at the turn of the century? Or "Making Sprawl: the Palmdale Musical" in full mid-century Mad Men style? "Making Paradise" runs through November 7 and you can buy tickets here.
· Cornerstone Theater Company [Official Site]
· Weeeest Hollywood, Where the Wind Comes Sweepin' Down the Strip [Curbed LA]