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Theatre Review of the musical “City Of Angels”
“City of Angels“ is considered as one of the most literate and smartly produced modern theater musicals. This paper discusses the Broadway production of 1989 based on the Larry Gelbart book and music by Cy Coleman-David Zippel. This particular show is directed by Terry Dobson and is set on stage to exhibit an exquisite and expensive looking production to suite the taste of the wealthy Long Island and Westchester theater lovers. This paper seeks to present an analysis of 3 different aspects of the production namely, the Director’s concept, scenic design and lighting design.
The Directors concept exhibits an entertaining, funny and action packed theatrical musical awash with splendid lyrics and music which conform to the twists and turns presented through out Larry’s book. The musical runs for approximately 140 minutes. The entire production is closely related to the Larry Gelbart masterful capabilities to write satires stinging various aspects of Hollywood productions as well as the challenges screenwriters encounter in the egocentric urban jungle battles that are common in California’s West Coast.
The director’s concept as propagated by Terry Dobson’s reflects upon the social and political rhetoric present during the production of the Musical that is, during the 19891990 period. The production especially pays tribute to the genre referred to as film noir. This genre was especially popular during the 40’s decade. The directors artistically and masterfully presents the attempts of a real life writer to transform a best selling literally work into an acclaimed theater production. The director ensures that the characters in the script have fun in present the life challenges the writer Stine experiences through out the dynamic script.
This theatrical production portrays the gum shoe life hilariously reminiscent of the film noir genre. “City of Angels” is set in the 1940’s though the reality propagated throughout the film I presented in color. However, Stine’s written analogy, or deleted or otherwise rewritten script is masterfully presented in black and white. In this musical, the scenic design also incorporates an orchestra as accompaniments to the lyrics presented by the characters.
The scenic design is complimented by the original costume choices which appear to at times be exaggerated. There are old fashioned equipments such as the typewriter and camera. Everything is grey toned from the tennis balls to the bedcovers.
The costumes and scenic designs reflect the intended visual differences as Stine’s clothing, office, office equipment and home basically reflect muted shades of the colors green, beige and brown. There are a few hints of red hue too. The stage area is set in the Old Hollywood Coral and turquoise hues with curves with an art deco orientation. Silver metallic trim also plays well in the musical’s lighting concept. The lighting enables the stage area to propagated the director’s vision to represent dim tones of the hues, black cream, gray and white to match the perceived 1940’s film lighting experience.
The flooring also significantly contributes to the lighting design which is stenciled and painted to the colors light grey as well as white. White and green benches flanking the entrance and the massive platform hosting the orchestra carried the characters occasions brilliantly. For the ladies, the stage lighting served to accentuate the white and cream costumes though uninspiring and plain.