May 1, 2012

Hollywood Does Broadway

I was at a dinner party at an impeccable mansion in Beverly Hills when one of the guests started talking about Wicked. Then he said the gayest thing I have ever heard. ‘I’ve seen Wicked 20 times.’ And when I told him that he laughed, and I instantly realised he was super special gay. Chris Diamond is so super special in fact he puts on what is undoubtedly the best night out in Los Angeles.

It’s called Show At Barre Presents: For The Record. It’s at Vermont Kitchen & Bar. One half serves delicious food in a relaxed atmosphere (in fact the kitchen serves at the Elton John Oscar party every year). The other half is a cocktail bar that features Show At Barre Presents: For The Record. And it’s the most wonderful melding of Broadway and Hollywood. The shows consist of a musical version of the directors’ most known films. They work with the soundtrack from the original movie. Each show features the work of a different auteur. When it was Baz Luhrmann he turned up to the show, as did Tarantino.

It’s an intimate, cosy, dark bar which comes to life when a cast runs through it, and performs on a small stage in front and on the bar itself and among the audience. I saw For The Record: Coen Brothers – musical version of the Coen Brothers’ finest works: O Brother Where Art Thou, Fargo, True Grit, Hudsucker Proxy, and The Big Lebowski.

They act out the most memorable scenes and fit them around the songs from the soundtrack They give you delicious Coen libations, Burn After Drinking – tequila, sweet and sour lime juice and jalapenos. Or The Hudsucker – Absolut Orange, St. Germain, Triple Sec and Alizé. I had a Blueberry Lemon Drop, which was potent and sweet, like the show itself.

The performers were mostly Broadway veterans, amazing voices and great panache.

Future shows include For The Record: Martin Scorsese, followed by Paul Thomas Anderson. There’s also a Cameron Crowe show featuring Jerry Maguire, Elizabethtown, Almost Famous and Vanilla Sky. The Scorsese even features Casino, The Departed, Goodfellas and Raging Bull.

The shows have become so popular with lines around the block they are expanding into a new 200-seat showroom. There is something amazing though about having the Frances McDormand pregnant cop from Fargo poking her baby bump a few inches from your face. Magnificent.

Show At Barre Presents For The Record is at Vermont Kitchen & Bar, 1714 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Tel: (323) 661-6163

Via Beauty & the Dirt.

May 1, 2012