For The Record: Baz Luhrmann by Steven

The Great Gatsby in the crowdImagine being a spectator of the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix in “Strictly Ballroom.”  All of a sudden, you enter the seductive world of the “Moulin Rouge” as can-can dancers surround you.  “For the Record: Baz Luhrmann” allows us to spend a night inside the creative mind of film director Baz Luhrmann.

Steven Wong and Holly WinnAs I walked into the DBA, the new home for the show, with Holly Winn from “The Social Bug,” we were greeted by a server dressed in a flapper dress reminiscent of the ones from “The Great Gatsby.”  She reminded us that there’s a two-item minimum per person.  I ordered their wild mushrooms pizza for $15.  The pizza contained tomato confit, fontina and asiago cheese, and basil on a crispy thin crust, and it was large enough for two people.  Holly did wish there were other food and snack options like chips.  Drinks included cocktails, wine, beer, and the like with the most popular being the $7 pear cider.  It would have been amazing for me if they created a food and drinks menu that’s inspired by the films of Baz Luhrmann as well.

The DBA is a small and intimate venue so you will most likely get a splendid view of the performance no matter where you sit.  In fact, if you choose the least expensive seats at the very back, you will have a better chance of the performers interacting with you.  However, a small venue does mean tighter seating with not much leg room so be prepare to get comfortable with the people around you.

Cast singing and dancing“For the Record: Baz Luhrmann” is not simply a show.  It’s an energetic spectacle filled with singing and dancing to your favorite musical numbers from “Strictly Ballroom,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “The Great Gatsby.”  Although you don’t get Ewan McGregor or Leonardo DiCaprio onstage, the actors there definitely embody those characters.  The whole venue is their stage as they run between tables and chairs.  Milena Govich, who plays Satine, even “flirted” with one of the audience members and spontaneously grabbed his cellphone to take a selfie during her ravishing performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”  While you may not be in Gatsby’s giant mansion in the 1920’s, their movement and the use of creative stage lighting allow you to be immersed in their world.  Furthermore, the different stories intertwine perfectly through their unified theme of love.  Occasionally a song made popular in one film may be used in another.  My favorite scene had to be Joanna Jone’s Daisy and Olivia Harris’ Juliet doing a powerful duet of Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful.”  In the end, “For the Record: Baz Luhrmann” not only shows us a world that’s inhabited by Lurhmann’s characters but also provides us the opportunity to feel their joys and sorrows through their performance.

Romeo + Juliet in the crowd“For the Record: Baz Lurhmann” is a 21+ event that is currently playing at the DBA on 7969 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from now through November 23rd.  Street parking is available on North Crescent Heights Blvd south of Santa Monica Blvd, but be wary of the signs.  You can also take bus #4, 217, 218, 704, and 780.  Tickets range from $35 to $55 but for a limited time, you can purchase them through Goldstar from $17.50 to $33.  You can check out more photos on our Facebook page.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter @SurvivingLA, and let us know what is your favorite moment from “For The Record: Baz Luhrmann.”

Until next time,
Steven

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