Written by 12:07 am Brea, Curtis Theatre, Musical, Review, Uncategorized

High Fidelity : The Musical @ The Curtis Theatre in Brea – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis 

“the reproduction of sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original.”

The term “high fidelity” is a phrase created by Audiophiles (intense music fans) looking for the most authentic and high-quality sound they can find. For many, that means vinyl since it was the musical standard for a long time. Unlike many of its contemporaries, the vinyl record is making a huge comeback. This idea of authenticity in music and life became clearer after watching the Curtis Theater’s High Fidelity: The Musical production. It was a completely different experience from the movie. This isn’t to criticize the film, but the stage production works even better. 

Story:

In High Fidelity, we first meet our main character, Rob (Jeff Lowe), a former DJ and record store owner currently receiving one of the coldest breakups imaginable from his most recent girlfriend, Laura (Hallie Mayer). What follows is a conversation between the audience and Rob as he takes us on a journey through his life, and (because he’s a DJ) his story revolves around his Top Five List.

While the movie talks about the music and elicits a sense of nostalgia about music and its devotees, it keeps you detached from the music and more focused on the mixed bag of former relationships –some interesting, some not. The musical keeps the past relationships in the story. Still, it correctly focuses on the main point, which is the relationship with Laura because the valid message in High Fidelity is that there are perfect copies, but there’s nothing like the real thing.

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Acting:

This is a fun night of theater. Everyone on stage was giving their all to make you feel at home. Even before the show, the crew walks around the record store, treating audience interaction as part of their daily routine. The show begins naturally –progressing as though you’ve always been there and are just another person in the shop.

Lowe holds his own in a highly complex show: singing, dancing, and transitioning back to regular acting in a very admirable way. The gangster flashback scene when he blasts a cap (aka a bullet) in his rival Ian’s head is hilarious. Seeing that one moment might be enough reason to see this show all by itself. That being said, the stand-out was one of the side characters. Brian Pirnat plays Dick, one of the shy, geeky characters at the shop. Pirnat, with all his anti-social awkwardness, didn’t hit a wrong note the entire night. The rest of the cast is also talented, and they all sing particularly well together. 

Side note:

I’ve read a lot of Playbills since I started reviewing theater shows, but I think this was the most creative one I’ve read. Courtesy Joey Anaya (Barry)

“Joey Anaya is a creative professional out of Whittier, CA. He finds difficulty in writing a 100-word bio that effectively rides the line between pompous and self-effacing. He wonders if, by reading this, one would grasp his love for the performing arts. Sometimes, he’s unsure his varied performances on stage and in film can be used to typify his character, define who he is as a man, and encapsulate his existence on this planet. He’s done things. He’s met, people. He’s been places. In closing, without a doubt, it can be said that Joey Anaya is.”–Joey Anaya

The show runs until June 14th

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9/10

My Review
9 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Pros

-Great story, better than the film version.
- Natural audience interaction even before the show begins.
- Live Music
- Fantastic Casting

Cons

- Some glitchy sound issues.
- Singing from the main cast is a bit too pitchy at times

Summary

A well-cast and performed musical that reaches the level of great professional theatre with only a few minor performance & technical issues.

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Exceptional Show! OCR Recommended! 

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