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 Volume 12, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020


The Elephant in the Room, a pandemic parody by No Square Theatre, to be presented online for free on Sunday

By DIANNE RUSSELL

No Square Theatre has succeeded in making the elephant in the room visible and very vocal – in a parody of our shared pandemic experience in the new musical The Elephant in the Room.

This free show can only be seen online at www.nosquare.org on Sunday, Nov 1 at 6 p.m. Despite the cost of the production, the decision to offer it free of charge was unanimous, because everyone involved felt it would pull the community together. 

This isn’t the normal Lagunatics, but then nothing is normal now.

Lagunatics is not all about local topics this year. If it were a drinking game, participants would take a swig at every mention of “These Unprecedented Times,” “These Uncertain Times,” “Our New Normal,” “At Home Together,” and “Oh crap, I forgot my mask.” The song parodies deal with such issues as TP hoarding, my-salon-is-closed hair, waiting for a vaccine, quarantine fat, home schooling, Zoom meetings, outdoor concerts, the bread baking craze, delivery services, and more. 

For a sneak peek, see below.

If all that isn’t enough to create a party atmosphere – for the perfect Pandemic Party Experience (PPE), you can purchase a bottle of excellent wine and other silly Lagunatics 2020 party essentials. PPE will be available for purchase ($100) and free local delivery starting October 20 by visiting www.nosquare.org

No Square Founder and Artistic Director Bree Burgess Rosen, known by the cast as “Cecil Bree DeMille,” says, “I have no experience in television or movies.” 

However, she and her cast and crew achieved the seemingly impossible task of producing a full-length musical within the bounds of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Although Bree says, “It’s hard to find the funny in this pandemic,” they did.

At first she says that the idea of producing the show was overwhelming, and she didn’t think it could be done, but spurred on by Roxanna Ward, Bree says, “I wrote the song ‘Wear a mask, wear a mask, wear a mask,’ in one night, some of it on the shower walls.” 

The Elephant girl

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Juliet Fischer-Schulein

With a cast of 26, The Elephant in the Room features 19 original songs – with no narration. 

Bree says, “Rehearsals for a Lagunatics production would have taken months, but we started rehearsing this in early September.”

Paul Nygro, who has been at No Square since 1993, was in charge of the filming.

The song and dance numbers couldn’t be filmed at the same time, so the singing and dancing were filmed separately. The group numbers had to be filmed in three different segments because of distancing requirements, which meant three rehearsals and three recordings. The largest group number was eight cast members.

One number involved filming a green screen, then dropping the actress into the scene. 

They also shot outdoors in different locations – on the field of Laguna Beach High School and in the parking lot of LBUSD.

I watched the filming of “Everything Blows” sung to the melody of “Anything Goes” with Bree, Rylee Bullington, and Nicholas Reardon. It’s hilarious but witnessing the logistics and re-takes of just this one number was a real eye-opener – the production of this musical was no easy task.

The Elephant band

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

(L-R) Nicolas Reardon, Jay Rechter, Tom Joliet, and Patrick Quilter performing Concert in the Parked (at LBUSD parking lot)

Bree says, “It’s a tragedy. Normally, we’d have rehearsals with all the cast members together. During that time, the show organically evolves and goes to a different level.”

The star-studded cast includes these favorite familiar faces: Bree Burgess Rosen, Tom Joliet, Patrick Quilter, Bridget English, Carrie Reynolds, Ella Wyatt, Emma Hutchinson, Eric T. Anderson, Jay Rechter, Juliet Fischer-Schulein, Kristen Matson, Marc Marger, McKay Mangum, Paul Nygro, Rob Harryman, Roxanna Ward, Sabrina Harper, and Yvonne Browning. And in addition, you’ll see this talented group of OCSA and LBHS students and recent grads: Rylee Bullington, Charlee Rubino, Grace Gilchrist, Luka Salib, Lula Buckle, Nicholas Reardon, and Shelby Thomas.

The Elephant in the Room is directed by Bree Burgess Rosen and Paul Nygro, with Music Direction by Roxanna Ward. Writers include Bree Burgess Rosen, Rebecca Lyles, Bridget English, Ella Wyatt, Paul Nygro, and Rob Harryman. Choreography and Cinematography are by Paul Nygro, the Audio Engineer is Danny Rios, and Costumes are once more brilliantly created by Brigitte Harper. Props are by Marley Oyen, Larry Lewis, and Jean Fallowfield, and the Set is by Brigitte Harper and Marley Oyen. 

Although live shows have been suspended during pandemic, the No Square space has been used by Orange County High School of the Arts kids, Jodie Gates of the Laguna Dance Festival for filming classes for USC, and recordings by staff of auditions for students applying to college.

The Elephant TP

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

“The Elephant in the Room” will explore toilet paper hoarding

Lagunatics is sponsored by Pavilions, Ketel One Vodka, Nolet Silver Gin, and Forge To Table. 

So tune in November 1 at 6 p.m. at www.nosquare.org to laugh, commiserate, and stay connected with our community of crazies in The Elephant In The Room

To stay current with all the latest information, sign up for the eBlasts. 

Bree says, “Remember – live is best, but until we can deliver that again, this is going to be a No Square CDC (comically different choice)!”

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by the City of Laguna Beach, the lodging establishments of Laguna Beach, Yvonne and John Browning, Patrick Quilter, the Dorene and Lee Butler Family Foundation, the FOA Foundation, and the Laguna Board of REALTORS® Charitable Assistance Fund.

 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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949.315.0259

Email: [email protected] with news releases, letters, etc.

949.315.0259

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