The Un-Authorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada.
Somewhere thats always been on my ‘to-do’ list in LA is Los Feliz’s Rockwell Table and Stage, and I was in luck when Melanie from LA Explorer invited me to join her at The Un-Authorized Musical Parody of The Devil Wears Prada, at The Rockwell this past Saturday.
I have loved Los Feliz, an eclectic, hip community of chill folks near Hollywood, since I was little. My parents Chiropractor was in the hillside neighborhood and we were whistling distance from The LA Zoo and Griffith Park when we went to appointments, why wouldn’t I love it?
Fast forward, and it seems fitting it is now grown up Mary’s type of town. The Rockwell is in the center of the hipster hub on Vermont, neighbors to Fred 62, Dresden, The Punch Bowl and Pop Killer. On the outside, you would think this is another restaurant and bar. Go in and you will immediately discover there’s a stage in the middle of the action, and, sometimes, the diners are also in the play!
(A refresher on the film)
With previous success and sold out crowds with unauthorized parodies of such 90’s faves like Home Alone and Clueless, The Rockwell is pulling out all the stops with this over the top production, bringing to life The Devil Wears Prada. Honestly? I didn’t think the film was that good, a mediocre, predictable chick flick, if you ask me. So, I KNEW I would enjoy a take off.
While nearly following the script verbatim (with more great, new jokes), it tells the tale of Andy (Played by Anne Hathaway in the film), a young college grad with no fashion style, and her journey to being personal assistant to the Editor in Chief of Runway Magazine (think Vogue and Anna Wintour), Miranda (Meryl Streep), a lady who is not known for her kindness in the industry.
The show began with a rousing ensemble number of Jay Z and Alicia Keys’ NYC anthem, Empire State of the Mind. We quickly meet Andy and her boyfriend. Andy has on her usual uniform of a cardigan, modest shoes and stockings. As the show hashes out all the quips and countless Starbucks cups, the major kicker was my not realizing Miranda would be played by a MAN! LA comedy fave and OUTfest award winner, Drew Droege was out of control, non stop as the ultimate bitch boss and coldest woman ever….and, yes–there may be a few “She looks like a guy!” jokes 😉
Drawing from 80s and 90s classics, this is a very intense showcase of not just ‘triple threat’ performers, but the artists wide range of talent as the cast players multiple parts, change in the doorway, have spotlights on them in corners of the restaurant and, at times, are simply joining into a patron’s table making them on spot cast members.
Not only can Droege hold your attention for a 2 hour performance, and, rarely not have you laughing, but, I felt that this is how the entire film should have been portrayed. With the tongue in cheek,over-the-top efforts The Rockwell’s cast delivered. I even felt empathy for Droege’s Miranda, as she tells Andy to cancel plans since she’s getting a divorce. This cues a robust rendition of No More I Love You’s.
Recording singer and Pitch Perfect’s Kelley Jakle was marvelous as naive Andy, who catches on quickly that the top is not always what it’s cracked up to be. Resembling Megan Fox with a blunt bang hair ‘do, several of Jakle’s notes in her ongs required a wide range of vocals, and torch numbers like Sia’s Chandelier were hand-made for her vocal abilities. Creating such soulful layers to the role, Jakle, much like Droege’s Miranda, has definitely mastered the acting art of recognizing the delicate balance of a dramedy. (Pal, Anna Kendrick, was in attendance cheering on her friend!)
(Video credit: Dvilscribe)
Marla Mindelle as the micro-managing Emily, who will stop at nothing to get to Paris Fashion Week, was a hoot as she made her way through Wrecking Ball and Madonna’s Vogue and had great comedic chemistry with Jakle.
Tom Detrinis as Stanley Tucci’s Nigel nails Tucci’s portrayal of the character you think should have been Hector Elizondo. Nigel starts out as the tough cookie, giving Andy such sound advice that “4 is the new 6 and 2 is the new 0 ” but, later on, gives Andy a makeover to woo over Miranda….Cover Girl (Work it Girl) is hysterical here, just sayin’.
And, not only do you get this fabulous show, but, the restaurant and bar drinks are wonderful, being a favorite among the locals. From their sangria to martinis, the burgers and entrees, the wait staff is extremely attentive and each table is given a buzzer to get a hold of your server anytime during the show. For an establishment with literal non-stop action, they really have it down to perfection.
The Unauthorized Parody of The Devil Wears Prada plays through the end of April and you can get your tickets HERE. You will not be disappointed as the production and atmosphere are phenomenal. xo