Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tales from the Underground (review)

Spoilers ahoy!

Actually, no, I'm giving any spoilers in this review.

One of the many things I enjoy about ZJU theatre in North Hollywood remains how it keeps experimenting. Not always successfully (if that were true then they'd be playing it safe--not a hallmark of this theatre), but often quite successful indeed.

Tales from the Underground marks something new, and something I found quite moving. In essence, one by one a series of individuals associated with ZJU--mostly cast members of different shows--get up and tell a story.  The premise seems to be that each recounts something from their personal lives.  Simple, really.  And oh so fundamentally basic!  One can hardly imagine a more primal form of theatre!

I'm not going to give away any of these stories.  Not one detail.  I will say in the course of the one hour show I was moved, a tad horrified, made to laugh out loud, feel a bit of wonder, and a few times felt different kinds of chills up my spine.  The storytellers (in no particular order) are Jeri Batzdorff, Jason Britt, Greg Dunigan, Jim Eshom (okay technically he's just the MC), Abel Horwitz, Adam Neubauer and Jessica Amal Sherrie.  I listened to their stories and was very glad to have done so.

I'm told others will include new stories this weekend!

Exactly one more performance of Tales from the Underground will take place, at 7pm Sunday March 8, 2015 at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre 4850 Lankershim Blvd. (across the street from KFC, just south of the NoHo sign) North Hollywood CA 91601.  Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door, online at or by calling (818) 202-4120.

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