This weekend kicks off the “season of plays” at USC; from now until the end of the semester, there will be at least two productions every week, with some weeks having as many as four different productions! This weekend brings us to the School of Dramatic Arts official performances. Both are period pieces that deal with drama, families and friendships, but in very different ways.
“Broken Eggs” by Eduardo Machado tells the story of the Marquez family on the daughter’s wedding day. Lisette has landed a nice Jewish boy, but her family is still plagued by their Cuban past. As they struggle to come to terms with their heritage, the family must evaluate their relationships, often in explosive ways. Addiction, prejudice and painful memories remain an active part of these people’s lives. The play weaves humor and biting drama to narrate the lives of this family and the struggles of immigration and integration.
The show is directed by an outside professional, Laurie Woolery. She regularly works throughout Los Angeles, but this is her first production at USC. “Broken Eggs” stars 10 talented theater students from all grades. The show runs this weekend only in the Scene Dock Theater.
This weekend also kicks off the two-week run of “The Most Happy Fella,” the annual SDA all-school musical. This is the “big show” of the spring—used as a promotional tool by SDA for donors and admitted students. This show has it all: beautiful set, extremely talented cast, and spectacular music. Written by Frank Loesser (Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business) the show was nominated for numerous Tony Awards when it opened in 1956.
“The Most Happy Fella” tells the story of Tony Esposito and the waitress Rosabella. Tony sees Rosabella at a restaurant in San Francisco and writes her a note, insisting she writes back. The two begin a pen-pal relationship, and eventually Rosabella joins Tony in the Napa Valley to marry him. She doesn’t realize however, that Tony has not been entirely honest about his identity. Rosabella is suddenly faced with a tumultuous drama of disappointment, sudden passion and love.
This musical could almost be called an opera, as most of the show is sung-through. It features notable songs such as “Standing on the Corner,” “Somebody Somewhere,” “Big D,” and the title song. Three of the leads, Cole Cuomo, Kimberly Hessler and Haley Fletcher, are all vocal-performance majors, a fact which greatly contributes to the music of the show. Their vocal talent is extremely apparent, and their acting chops aren’t too shabby either.
“The Most Happy Fella,” runs April 4-14 at the Bing Theater. Tickets for both shows are currently available at the ticket office.