Live at the Purple Lounge Review – Tale of Five Comics

Maria Proios, Jeffrey Sun, and Diana Murphy in LIVE AT THE PURPLE LOUNGE - Photo by Elisabeth Tsubota
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A world premiere drama developed in the Crimson Square writer’s lab, LIVE AT THE PURPLE LOUNGE opens the Crimson Square Theatre Company’s spring season. The play, which runs the gamut of laughter through tears, tells the tales of five stand-up comedians trying to make it in the cutthroat world of comedy. What makes this production especially intriguing is that each of the five stories was written by a different company member (Caroline Patz – Scene 1, Kari Pickering – Scene 2, Rachel Drayke – Scene 3, Elisabeth Tsubota – Scene 4, and Faye Viviana – Scene 5. Tsubota also doubles as director; and Viviana, as executive producer. The Crimson Square Company definitely knows how to keep its members hopping.

Mia Christou – Photo by Elisabeth Tsubota

From seductive mama Victoria (Mia Christou) to conflicted new-at-the-game Rory (Isabella Olivas) – from persistent Sydney (Diana Murphy) to supportive John (Jeffrey Sun) – and from  all the other women trying to make people laugh (Rory/Isabella Olivas, Lena/Phoebe Pearl, Logan/Laura Diamond, Anna/Allison Carmen Cervantes, Abbie/Cameron Meyer) while Travis/James Fahselt holds a few hands too many. Each has his/her own story to share, sometime amusing, sometimes sad, and sometimes poignant. And all have ended up at the Purple Lounge, where they may find and just as easily lose love, be called upon to make life-changing sacrifices, and have the chance to test relationships.

Maria Proios and Cameron Meyer – Photo by Elisabeth Tsubota

LIVE AT THE PURPLE LOUNGE shares the back stories of five comics as they navigate the unpredictable maze that is show business while trying to hold on to the important things in their lives. The show is lovingly and gently helmed by director Elisabeth Tsubota: “When…first approached…about directing a show…(I was) riddled with self-doubt…I have a habit of approaching unfamiliar things with an attitude of ‘What I lack in skill, I’ll make up in enthusiasm!’” Her enthusiasm proved to be just what the play needed. Derrick McDaniels’ lighting, Jeffrey Sun’s sound and graphic design, Nancy Paley’s wardrobe, and Mark Iverson’s set building add immeasurably to the unfolding stories.

Mia Christou and Isabella Olivas – Photo by Elisabeth Tsubota

LIVE AT THE PURPLE LOUNGE runs through May 22, 2022, with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7 p.m. on Sundays. The Crimson Square Theatre Company performs at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 S. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Tickets are $30. For information and reservations, go online.


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