Hollywood Fringe 2018
Disenchanted American finds himself, and others, in Paris.
“The Parisian Dream” is a big, ambitious show, which somehow captures the spirit of France with its near wordless story about a man who goes to Paris and gets drawn in to a world of fans and feathers.
The show starts with the man (Evan O’Brien) watching the 2016 US election results. O’Brien is an articulate mute and we fully understand his thought process as he sees a model of the Eiffel Tower and rushes to pack a suitcase. Arriving in Paris, he is immediately captivated by its charms, as represented by the dancers of Cabaret Versatile, led by performer/choreographer/director Lola Ohlala (possibly not her real name).
The story unfolds as a series of underscored vignettes, songs, and dances. Each of the dancers has their own distinct personality and is given time to shine. The routines are precise and polished, and the music choices evocative and witty. There is some lip-syncing to standards, along with some fine singing from Ms Ohlala and Sarah Marquelle Kruger, who also shines as the haughty, impatient girl. Other stand-outs for me were Natalie J. Davis as the giggly, flirty girl and Julianne Kusmierczyk as the happy, silly girl.
The one dialogue scene was all in French so I, at least, shared the hero’s confusion and alienation. There are some obstacles along the way for O’Brien’s lovably gauche tourist but it all ends happily with an extended Can-Can routine that wears you out just watching it.
If the intention of the show is to try and take this five-girl troupe to the next level then that is certainly accomplished. The show as a whole is cinematic and utterly charming.
The barn-like Assistance League Playhouse is not on most Fringe-goers’ radar, but it’s worth the trip to see this classy and clever show making full use of a big stage.
The artistry and authenticity on display are undeniable . Production values are high, particlarly costuming, with great Moulin Rougesque high heels and boas.
The show started its run of four shows half-way through the fest so don’t worry if you haven’t heard about it yet. It’s great. GUY PICOT.