Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’
The Thrillpedders are back again and this time Jewels of Paris is bigger, bawdy and glitzy than ever before at their intimate 49 seat Hypnodrome Theatre. This production with original music and lyrics by Scrumbly Koldewyn is more surreal and wacky. It features full male and female nudity to spice up the two hour plus musical with 20 singers and dancers.
Jewels of Paris really does not have much of a plot but it’s more like a dozen of unconnected musical numbers. All of this is connected by narrator Perrot in a stunning white clown suit and makeup played beautifully by a touching Birdie-Bob Watt who agreeably sings “Chic and Tragic”. It’s based on the “social revolution” that was occurring in Paris during the 20’s with such people as Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein, Pablo Picasso just to name a few that came to the City of Light.
Jewels of Paris has a lot going for it especially the Parisian score by Scrumbly Koldewyn. Many of the songs remind me of melodies and lyrics that one heard in the 20’s and early 30’s before the war. There were outstanding scenes such as Noah Haydon dressed in a gorgeous bright blue gown and dazzling jewels sensually singing “Singer in a Café”. Kim Larsen is pitch perfect singing “Oh What a World” and Dee Nathaniel has fantastic moves playing Josephine Baker. Roxanne Redmeat with her vibrant lively voice is terrific singing “At the Sideshow”.
Oh yes, there were some raunchy numbers as well such as Andrew Darling and Steven Satyricon, almost completely in the nude with only a chef’s hats and little aprons singing “Eat Me, Eat Me, Me”. I won’t go into any further than this. There’s a naked beaded lady who loves a special talcum power in the show. I leave that to your imagination. Even the director and producer Russell Blackwood shows up with Andy Wenger as unsophisticated Americans.
There were big production numbers that reminded me of the Ziegfeld Follies such as the number beginning of act two with Michael Soldier singing “The Jewels of Paris”. This reminded me of the opening of Sondheim’s Follies. The costumes by Tina Sogliuzzo and Birdie-Bob Watt are glitzy and fabulous. The ending of the musical you would not believe. It is a tribute to S & M (in case you don’t know it Sadism and Masochisms). They went all out on this number with a lot of fake whipping, frontal nudity and things I won’t go into in case children are reading this review. Let’s say it was X Rated.
Jewels of Paris is a wild, adults only, eyebrow raising musical that really is bubbly and nifty. The musical runs through May 2nd at the intimate 49 seat house The Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-377-4202 or on line at www.thrillpeddlers.com
Photos by David Wilson