Entertainment :: Theatre

The Fix: Sins of the Father

by Jim Zians
Wednesday May 9, 2012
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Imagine the Manchurian Candidate meets Caligula in modern times, as a dark yet funny theater comedy, set to rock music. That is the fun planned for International City Theater’s West Coast premiere of The Fix in Long Beach.

It’s a show about a famous political family dynasty run amok. Reed Chan- dler is a popular U.S. senator, with a family and an extended group of political sycophants, who has a vast plan in place to run for the U.S. presidency. The infamous Chandler dies in an unexpected way-inconveniently and shockingly (not-so-much)in the arms of his mistress.

The senator’s wife, Violet, is a force to be reckoned with and her odd-man- out, brother-in-law Grahame Chandler, comes up with a plan to maintain the family’s political dynasty after the senator’s salacious death. Violet decides that if she cannot be the wife of a president, then she will be the mother of a president. To pull this off, the burden of the family political dynasty falls on the senator’s son and only heir Cal.

This award-nominated show comes to the West Coast with flamboyant and outrageous music, dance and song. The famous family and the pushy, manipulative political entourage coerce the dead senator’s dim-witted son into training for and then running in place of his father. His scheming mother and uncle devised the means Cal must train by, in order to become a successful politician and eventually President of the United States-all in rock-musical style. To the family’s chagrin, Cal only dreams of being a guitar-playing rock star, which of course becomes a fun, theatrical mess, adorned with a grand stage production, sound, music and libretto.

While the show makes you laugh and is full of just great music, it is also timely and has a message that is important," said Randy Brenner, the show’s director. "While very fun, there are also personal moments that really allow you to think," he said.

The rock musical was a Society of London Theatres’ Laurence Olivier Award nominated show for Best Musical when it premiered at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 1997. It premiered in 1998 in the U.S. where it won 10 Helen Hayes Award nominations. When the show opened in the U.S., a local critic said the show"...combined the best of Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber without being derivative of either."

The talented cast of nine members comprise a full chorus musical and dance production. Lead cast members have impressive resumes: Sal Mistretta (Sweeney Todd, Sunset Boulevard, Cats, Cabaret), a Broadway veteran, won the Helen Hayes award in this same role in the 1998 U.S. production. Adam Simmons (Jesus Christ Superstar, Forbidden Broadway, End of the World Party), and Alix Korey (All Shook Up, Chicago, 45 Seconds From Broadway, An Evening With Jerry Herman) known to the New York stage both with Broadway and Off Broadway shows.

Dana Rowe, an accomplished American composer (See Jane Run, Brother Russia, The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde, The Witches of Eastwick, Zombie Prom, The Reluctant Dragon) wrote the score and the show’s writer is the talented, writer/lyricist, John Dempsey (Witches of Eastwick, Zombie Prom, Dick Whit- tington, Brother Russia, Saved) who was twice nominated for London’s Olivier Award.

The Fix runs through Sunday, May 20 at International City Theatre in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets and information call 562.436.4610 or go to: ictlongbeach.org

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com

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