FOR THE RECORD: BAZ LUHRMANN COMES TO THE ACE PALM SPRINGS

Anyone who has seen the For The Record series – which takes a famous film director’s repertoire and melds selections from the movies’ soundtracks and snippets from his films in a cohesive manner – knows something rare is being achieved.

And while the company continues to thrill Los Angeles audiences with its For The Record: Baz Lurhmann show, which continues its run at its home on 1714 N Vermont Avenue through the end of the month, along with performances on March 28 and 29 at the ACE Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs.

But Show at Barre has bigger plans on its horizons. On March 14, it performed For The Record -Tarantino in Concert at the 2,300 seat Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, with a cast including Tracie Thoms, Annelies van der Pol, Ginifer King, Darryl Semira, and Von Smith.

Meanwhile, its breakout hit For The Record: John Hughes, which featured TV and Broadway star Barrett Foa, is looking for a New York City venue; and in May, the Los Angeles show will move to a much larger space at Vermont, with shows planned to salute Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, and Cameron Crowe.

The entire enterprise began when artistic director Shane Scheel and music supervisor Christopher Lloyd Bratten, who worked together on L.A.’s Upright Cabaret, were offered a residency at Vermont. “The owners wanted to create a show that used the same artists,” says Scheel. “And we wanted to go in a different direction from what did before. We thought ‘What if we cover a great album?’ which we took to ‘What about a soundtrack?’ And then Tarantino came up because of Pulp Fiction and his other movies.”

“We always want to make sure we’re paying homage to works but we don’t want to imitate or parody,” says Bratten. “A show like the Baz Luhrman one writes itself, since his movies are essentially musical. The format and artistic element is obvious. But when we decided to do the Coen Brothers, we had to ask ‘What’s the overarching theme? How do we put these disparate elements into one show?’ It was interesting to see how these pieces fit together. Part of the show’s purpose is to educate audiences of the repertoire of the artists. They know the directors, they know the songs, but they don’t always put them together.”

With the location in the heart of Hollywood, the company has gotten positive reactions from celebrities, particularly the directors they’ve honored. “Baz’s reaction was caught on tape. It can be found on You Tube telling how much he loved the show,” Scheel says. “Tarantino showed up unannounced, took pictures, and did tequila shots with us till 4 am.”

“That was the night I feel like we were making some sort of waves,” says Bratten. “These directors have great taste in music and how it informs their films. They enjoy their own material examined in a way they haven’t seen before. When you watch a film, a soundtrack supports a film. What we do, is to have the film support the soundtrack. The soundtrack becomes the main event. The film snippets are nostalgia.”

The Palm Springs performance will be very different than the one seen in Los Angeles, says Scheel. “We’re going to enhance what we usually do with video. It will still be an immersive experience, just amplified. We’ve been given a gift and have to figure out how to paint these pictures and tell this story and turn it on its ear.”

IF YOU GO –
FOR THE RECORD: Baz Luhrmann Edition Live Cabaret at The ACE, Palm Springs,
March 28 & 29 at 8 pm in the Commune. Event is 21+
760.325.9900 / acehotel.com

Via The Bottom Line Magazine.

‘For the Record: Tarantino in Concert’ combines film, music, theater

Film? Music? Theater?

Yes, yes and yes.

“For the Record: Tarantino in Concert” combines all three, bringing some of the well-known filmmaker’s works to life on stage using the soundtracks from “Inglourious Basterds,” “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs” and more.

“To watch this idea and show grow over the past year and a half from an intimate concert in front of about 40 friends to now performing at the Long Center for the Performing Arts for over 2,000 people has been an incredible journey,” said Shane Scheel , who conceived and directed the show with Christopher Lloyd Bratten. “Having Quentin Tarantino come to see ‘For the Record: Tarantino in Concert’ and absolutely love it reaffirmed that what we are presenting is truly something special and unique.”

The cast includes Ginifer King from Broadway’s “Gypsy,” “American Idol” alum Von Smith and recording
artist Audra Mae.

Catch “For the Record” Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. Tickets are $24 to $49. More details at LongCenter.org.

In advance of the show, the American-Statesman did a quick question-and-answer with King, Smith and Mae.

American-Statesman: What makes this production so different from others?

Ginifer King: It’s truly unlike anything I have ever done before — I’ve been on Broadway, filmed movies and even played a few serial killers on television and nothing has been as much fun as performing with the “For the Record” series at Show at Barre. For 90 minutes you are transported to a whole new adventure in experiencing Tarantino films — seeing these stories through this entire multi-media experience will give you a whole new love for all things Tarantino.

Von Smith: Where else can you see your favorite movie moments come to life live, right in front of you? And with your favorite songs from the soundtracks mixed in? Who ever thought you could see Mia from Pulp Fiction sing a sexy ballad? And it works! Or Lieutenant Aldo Raine from Inglorious Basterds rock it out and have it all make sense? It’s done in such a clever way. On paper it sounds ludicrous, but it really is something to behold. It’s an amazing group of artists who have brought this iconic material to life in a way you’d never expect, yet still keeping it familiar and honoring the films and characters portrayed.

Audra Mae: People want to relive their favorite moments in entertainment. That’s why we all quote movies and buy soundtracks. When it comes to “For The Record; Tarantino In Concert”, the audience is reliving their favorite scenes through live music, dance, reenactments, and video in a way that blurs the line between performer and audience member. This show is so completely unique there is nothing to compare it to.

American-Statesman: What do you think Austin audiences are expecting to see? Are crowd expectations usually right on or are most folks in for a surprise?

Ginifer King: I don’t think they have any idea what to expect — a live Tarantino show? With music? All I have to say is sit back and enjoy the ride— I promise you will have THE BEST time. I would say with this show, go in with the expectation to have a great time and then be prepared for your mind to be blown.

Von Smith: I think everyone is in for a surprise. It’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. Most people don’t have a clue what they’re in for when they come for the first time. They don’t realize how interactive it is or how involved they will become in what’s going on in front of them.

Audra Mae: I honestly think people will be blown away. This is not “musical theatre”. It’s more like performance art that makes you feel as if you are a part of something truly cutting edge. The show is so very special. The crowd always leaves the theatre with their jaws on the floor.

American-Statesman: How did you get involved in this project? What was appealing to you?

Ginifer King: I had heard about the “For the Record” series through a friend back in January of 2011 when they were auditioning for “For the Record : Baz Lurhmann” and fell in love with this fabulous company of artists immediately. When Shane & Chris decided to bring back “For the Record: Tarantino In Concert”, being a fan of his films — I had to be involved. Initially, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be badass enough to play all these amazing characters but quickly found I had more fun holding guns and being a badass than I thought.

Von Smith: I’m proud to say that I’ve been involved in this project since a year and a half ago when it was just a baby. Originally it was a very simple show, just a theme-night of songs performed from the particular soundtracks of Tarantino’s films, but eventually it grew into an amazing theatrical evening with choreography, full costumes, full reenacted scenes from the iconic moments in the films, and the whole nine yards. I was drawn to it because A: I love the creators of the show, Shane Scheel and Christopher Lloyd Bratten, and B: Tarantino picked such awesome songs for his soundtracks, naturally I was anxious to sink my teeth into such gritty, soulful material. The whole concept is so fresh and new. I feel like I’m a part of something very special that’s never been done before.

Audra Mae: A couple performers weren’t able to come at the last minute and I was excited to jump right in and play with this amazing group of performers. They’re truly inspiring to work with. As a woman and a musician Tarantino’s films have influenced my life in countless ways. His female characters are always oozing with genius and his choices in music are never short of brilliant. How could I NOT do this show?

American-Statesman: What are you looking forward to doing during your free time in Austin?

Ginifer King: Being from Houston, I have had many fun nights in Austin but I’ve never been in town during the SXSW festival. So while I’m SUPER excited for some amazing Tex Mex and Blue Bell ice cream, I can’t wait to see what’s happening at the festival this year. Our group knows how to party — so you’ll definitely see us around town.

Von Smith: Checking out other performers, artists, bands, ect. Seeing great art and exploring Austin, since it’s my first time!

Audra Mae: Catching up with friends I haven’t seen in way too long and smoking some hookah at The Arab Cowboy.

Via Austin360.com.

Hooked on a feeling: For the Record: Tarantino in Concert celebrates the uncanny genius of the director’s soundtracks

Die-hard fans of filmmaker Quentin Tarantino know the dedication the geek autuer puts into choosing the epic soundtracks for his films.

Think of the songs you remember from classic Tarantino scenese like Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man” in Pulp Fiction and everything from the 5,6,7,8’s in Kill Bill, Part 1. From classic oldies to moody sleeper tracks, Tarantino is a master at establishing mood and tone in his films through his brilliant application of just the right tracks.

A touring concert of live music, live performance and film sequences gathers these indelible musical achievements into a whirlwind production called For the Record: Tarantino in Concert. This is the fourth in a series of director-inspired soundtrack musicals by Los Angles based company, Show At Barre. (The other directorial insprations being The Coen Brothers, John Hughes and Baz Luhrmann.) Their latest soundtrack reinterpretation makes its world premiere at The Long Center during SXSW.

The show is not an official SXSW event, says Show At Barre Artistic Director Shane Scheel, but it is appropriate that the show happens during this week considering its seemless integration of music and film. More engaging than just film, more visual than just music — For the Record reimagines the two elements in a completely unexpected way.

“SXSW just celebrated its 25th year, and Tarantino has been making movies for just as long. So it’s actually a perfect blend of all the elements involved,” Scheel adds.

While the filmmaker will most likely not be in attendance, his influence and artistry will be in grand display throughout the show. Live musicians will play the famous scores from his span of movies starting with Reservoir Dogs and ending with Inglorious Basterds while performers like Death Proof‘s Tracy Thoms will provide the vocals and choreography.

“We have such an amazing talent pool in our company now,” Scheel explains. “We’ve got people who have been on American Idol and Bravo’s Platinum Hit, others who have been on TV and film. It’s a very diverse group that has come together to form this family, which is really unique in L.A. because the city can feel very isolating and competitive. We’re really proud of that.”

Fans of Tarantino’s work, (which by now is really anyone who loves classic storytelling and doesn’t mind seeing excessive violence), will thrill at seeing the creative reinterpretations of these memorable songs presented in a brand new format.

Animated scenes, choreographed numbers and original filmed footage will transform the scenes and songs you’re familiar with. “It is definitely not a Broadway revue,” clarifies Scheel. “We don’t want anyone to confuse it as that.”

Scheel and his Show At Barre co-creator Christopher Bratten are both huge Tarantino fans and actually originated the idea of the directorial dedication show with his music in mind. Years later, after producing three other such shows with Show at Barre, they’re excited to present For the Record on a larger stage and scale than ever before.

“We started doing these shows one night a week at the bar I run in East Hollywood,” recalls Scheel,” and then we grew into doing it six nights a week. So people have definitely responded; they get it. So now we’re taking it way outside of the bar to explore what its life can be outside of the club and out of L.A. It’s a difference of about 2,200 seats between the club and the Long Center.”

The million dollar question is: Has Tarantino seen the show?

“Yeah, he’s seen it and he loves it. He drank me under the table after the show,” laughs Scheel. “We talked a long time afteward about the choices we made. Some of the lesser-known tracks, he even forgot about, so that was cool. So, yes, he knows we’re doing it and he has the invitation. But I believe he’s filming in Louisiana right now.”

Louisiana isn’t too far away from Austin, so who knows…?

For the Record: Tarantino in Concert premieres at The Long Center Mar 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the Long Center website.

Via Culture Map Austin.

Raising the Barre

Ginifer King in Tarantino in Concert (© Lily Lim)

Anyone who has encountered Show At Barre‘s For The Record series — which takes afamous film director’s repertoire and melds selections from the movies’ soundtracks and snippets from his films in a cohesive manner — knows something rare is being achieved.

And while the company continues to thrill Los Angeles audiences with it’s For The Record: Baz Lurhmann show, which continues it’s run at it’s home on 1714 N. Vermont Avenue through the end of the month, along with performances on March 28 and 29 at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs.

But Show at Barre has bigger plans on it’s horizons. On March 14, it will perform For The Record -Tarantino in Concert at the 2,300 seat Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas as part of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival, with a cast including Tracie Thoms, Annelies van der Pol, Ginifer King, Darryl Semira, and Von Smith.

Meanwhile, it’s breakout hit For The Record: John Hughes, which featured TV and Broadway star Barrett Foa, is looking for a New York City venue; and in May, the Los Angeles show will move to a much larger space at Vermont, with shows planned to salute Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Tim Burton, and Cameron Crowe.

The entire enterprise began when artistic director Shane Scheel and music supervisor Christopher Lloyd Bratten, who worked together on L.A.’s Upright Cabaret, were offered a residency at Vermont. “The owners wanted to create a show that used the same artists,” says Scheel. “And we wanted to go in a different direction from what did before. We thought ‘What if we cover a great album?’ which we took to ‘What about a soundtrack?’ And then Tarantino came up because of Pulp Fiction and his other movies.”

We always want to make sure we’re paying homage to works but we don’t want to imitate or parody,” says Bratten. “A show like the Baz Luhrman one writes itself, since his movies are essentially musical. The format and artistic element is obvious. But when we decided to do the Coen Brothers, we had to ask ‘What’s the overarching theme? How do we put these disparate elements into one show?’ It was interesting to see how these pieces fit together. Part of the show’s purpose is to educate audiences of the repertoire of the artists. They know the directors, they know the songs, but they don’t always put them together.”

With the location in the heart of Hollywood, the company has gotten positive reactions from celebrities, particularly the directors they’ve honored. “Baz’s reaction was caught on tape. It can be found on YouTube telling how much he loved the show,” Scheel says. “Tarantino showed up unannounced, took pictures, and did tequilla shots with us till 4am.”

“That was the night I feel like we were making some sort of waves,” says Bratten. “These directors have great taste in music and how it informs their films. They enjoy their own material examined in a way they haven’t seen before. When you watch a film, a soundtrack supports a film. What we do, is to have the film support the soundtrack. The soundtrack becomes the main event. The film snippets are nostalgia.”

The Austin performance will be very different than the one seen in Los Angeles, says Scheel. “We’re going to enhance what we usually do with video. It will still be an immersive experience, just amplified. We’ve been given a gift and have to figure out how to paint these pictures and tell this story and turn it on its ear.”

Von Smith in Tarantino in Concert (© Joanne DeCaro)

Many of the show’s cast members are looking forward to working in a much larger venue than Vermont, although they’ve grown to love the intimacy of the 100-seat venue.

“There’s a certain mark on everyone’s body you can reveal and you have the mark of Barre — a bruise on the upper thigh,” says Davis. “They are ugly purple and green, from running into every chair of the cramped space of the bar. There’s a lot of physical comedy that you can’t do in that space if you’re crammed between two audience members. It helps open up the door of creativity. And because the response of the audience is so immediate that if it’s an off-night, it’s obvious. That’s good feedback.”

“It’s not normal to be six inches from the audience or to be dancing on a bar,” says Semira. “At first, I had to focus on my performance, because you know someone’s going to spill a drink over here or someone is getting tipsy. You have to take it in and react to it. It’s a lot of fun once you take it in. Eventually, you find a relaxation in it. It brings the audience even closer because you’re on the same team with them. They feel they’re in safe hands that a performer can handle any unpredictability and respond and keep going.”

“Those mistakes, like someone having to go to the bathroom in the middle of a song, instead of ignoring it, I take it as a gift and include it in my performance,” says King. But with each production we learn just a little more what this is and what it’s evolving into. Shane and Chris get a clearer, concise way to tie the songs together. All the fat has been cut so you’re getting an exciting non-stop experience. And then you want to go home and watch the movie.”

Click here for more information and For The Record-Baz Luhrmann tickets.

Click here for more information and For the Record-Tarantino In Concert tickets.

Via Theater Mania.