PARADISE - A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy

Critics

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93 %

Reviews: 7

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Sun Jun 16, 12:00am

Ruskin Group Theatre presents this Musical with a Live Band

Book/Music by National Lampoon Writers

"A show destined to take the country by storm...highly entertaining” - Broadway World

When a southern coal-mining town goes from boom to bust, a charismatic preacher arrives to offer salvation…along with his bombshell sidekick who he rescued from a stripper pole. But, now there's a network reality TV producer from Hollywood who has different ideas about how to make this town great again.

“A seamless flow of action… satisfying and successful. The creative team have a winner on their hands that could go the distance” - Stage and Cinema

Bill Robertson (Book/Lyrics) recently wrote two films for A&E and the Lifetime Movie Network in collaboration with Tom Sage. He is Writer/Producer on the upcoming feature film Lincoln Perry being produced by Higher Purpose Entertainment for 2019.

Tom Sage (Book/Lyrics) has written several plays and was a script consultant on the award winning short film, Night Deposit and worked as a Writer and Senior Segment Producer on the groundbreaking Reality TV show Blind Date. He is currently working, along with Bill Robertson, as a Staff Writer for ReelOne, which has produced one of their films for LMN and is now in pre-production for their second film.

Cliff Wagner (Book/Music) and his band, The Old #7, gained national exposure on The Next Great American Band (Fox TV) and played to over 10 million people each week. They appeared on six of the shows and finished 7th out of 8,000 bands who originally auditioned for the series. Soon after, Cliff and the boys recorded "Hobo's Lullaby." The album debuted at #35 and shortly rose to #28 on the AMA Americana chart, climbing to #9 on the Euro Americana chart. The band was featured in an episode of Justified (FX ) and performed Cliff's song "Castleneck." Their recording "Country Funk" became part of the songbook for the Bluegrass musical Paradise.

Directed by Michael Myers, the ensemble cast includes Nina Brissey (Chasity Jones), Chip Bolcik* (Mayor Gayheart), Jamie Daniels (Peter Silverman), Dave Florek* (Ezra Johnson), Kelsey Joyce (Louanne Knight), Jon Root (Preacher John Cyrus), Paige Segal (Cyndi), and Richard Taylor (Tater Gayheart).

The creative team includes Stephanie K. Schwartz (Set Designer), Edward Salas (Lighting Designer), Chip Bolcik (Sound Design), Dianne K. Graebner (Costume Designer), Tor Campbell (Choreographer), Paul Ruddy (Casting Director), and Nicole Millar (Stage Manager). Producers are John Ruskin, Kevin Frost, and Geric Frost.

"PARADISE - A Divine Bluegrass Musical Comedy" runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm through November 17, 2018. Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $30 - $35 (group discounts with 6 or more) and can be purchased in advance online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com or by calling (310) 397-3244. Free parking is available at the theater.

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Reviews

"Besides the lively music by Cliff Wagner and witty lyrics by Bill Robertson and Tom Sage and expert direction by Michael Myers, a big hand goes to the cast...so y'all must see it. It's the most fun you can have…..in public. Who knew life among the shit kickers could be so hilarious?"

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


"Paradise's story might be convoluted and crazy, but it is told in a snappy, bawdy way. All scenes are short and fast, ditto the seventeen songs sung by the talented cast, who are backed up by a four-man bluegrass band that really rocks... With director Michael Myers driving the engine, Paradise will undoubtedly enjoy another long run here."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


"In director Michael Myers' peppy if straightforward staging, the songs are pleasantly frothy, and the cast certainly is game for it. The book, however, plays like an early draft that needs serious workshopping before going before an audience."

sweet-sour - Paul Birchall - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"By the time this highly entertaining and politically incorrect show wraps, you will be sorry to see this tale of Southern pride and gullibility come to an end. Kudos to director Michael Myers for his brilliant direction of a show destined to take the country by storm when it goes out on its first national tour! So if life is overwhelming and things just don't seem to be going your way, lighten up and forget your troubles for a few hours and I guarantee you will leave the Ruskin Group Theatre knowing they have made Paradise great again!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"A seamless flow of action… satisfying and successful. There are many pleasures on display. The creative team have a winner on their hands that could go the distance."

sweet - Samuel Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"This is a not-to-miss musical, charming, funny, and very much up-to-date. Never a dull moment in Paradise. Music lovers – this is a show made for you. Full of tunes which range from bluegrass to rock and gospel – and everything in between."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"“Humility is a copout,” says the preacher, echoing the behavior of multitudinous such characters parading across America's religious landscape today. A later song, “The American Way,” completely fills out our initial impression that Rev. Mountain surely cannot be a man of God in any way that feels good. Paradise might be advised for mature audiences. There's a whole lotta raunch goin' on. Chastity's number, in which she speaks of how Rev. Mountain's ministrations brought her out of her sinful past, is called “Jesus Is Deep Inside Me,” and she illustrates it graphically on the handy stripper pole. In Act 2 Cyndi sings “The Missing Link,” which to my offhand recollection may be the first song I have ever heard on the subject of lighting a bag of shit on fire—however, it's for a good cause: skewering the stuck-up kids at school who make fun of a hick farmer. There's more songs where these came from, but I can't give them all away, now, can I? Nor the playful, inventive, redemptive denouement."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review


"Besides the lively music by Cliff Wagner and witty lyrics by Bill Robertson and Tom Sage and expert direction by Michael Myers, a big hand goes to the cast...so y'all must see it. It's the most fun you can have…..in public. Who knew life among the shit kickers could be so hilarious?"

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


"Paradise's story might be convoluted and crazy, but it is told in a snappy, bawdy way. All scenes are short and fast, ditto the seventeen songs sung by the talented cast, who are backed up by a four-man bluegrass band that really rocks... With director Michael Myers driving the engine, Paradise will undoubtedly enjoy another long run here."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


"In director Michael Myers' peppy if straightforward staging, the songs are pleasantly frothy, and the cast certainly is game for it. The book, however, plays like an early draft that needs serious workshopping before going before an audience."

sweet-sour - Paul Birchall - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"By the time this highly entertaining and politically incorrect show wraps, you will be sorry to see this tale of Southern pride and gullibility come to an end. Kudos to director Michael Myers for his brilliant direction of a show destined to take the country by storm when it goes out on its first national tour! So if life is overwhelming and things just don't seem to be going your way, lighten up and forget your troubles for a few hours and I guarantee you will leave the Ruskin Group Theatre knowing they have made Paradise great again!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"A seamless flow of action… satisfying and successful. There are many pleasures on display. The creative team have a winner on their hands that could go the distance."

sweet - Samuel Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"This is a not-to-miss musical, charming, funny, and very much up-to-date. Never a dull moment in Paradise. Music lovers – this is a show made for you. Full of tunes which range from bluegrass to rock and gospel – and everything in between."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"“Humility is a copout,” says the preacher, echoing the behavior of multitudinous such characters parading across America's religious landscape today. A later song, “The American Way,” completely fills out our initial impression that Rev. Mountain surely cannot be a man of God in any way that feels good. Paradise might be advised for mature audiences. There's a whole lotta raunch goin' on. Chastity's number, in which she speaks of how Rev. Mountain's ministrations brought her out of her sinful past, is called “Jesus Is Deep Inside Me,” and she illustrates it graphically on the handy stripper pole. In Act 2 Cyndi sings “The Missing Link,” which to my offhand recollection may be the first song I have ever heard on the subject of lighting a bag of shit on fire—however, it's for a good cause: skewering the stuck-up kids at school who make fun of a hick farmer. There's more songs where these came from, but I can't give them all away, now, can I? Nor the playful, inventive, redemptive denouement."

sweet - Eric A Gordon - ...read full review