Famed piano bar Don’t Tell Mama played host to quite the interesting show the other night, where a group of gifted & young performers took on Dreyfus: The Musical. The Dreyfus here in question is not Academy Award winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, but the one with one less “s” in their last name… Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
I’m usually not one to enjoy these sorts of shows, as spaces like this tend to be cramped and I feel like the actors who perform them are very “theatre geek” and not in a good way. The performance of Dreyfus: The Musical couldn’t be farther from that thought process, as each actor on stage brought something to this nifty show that was hilarious and spot on about one of the greatest comedic actresses of our time.
Maybe I’m a bit biased about my similar love for JLD (read the glowing review of “Veep” here) so I went into this show with the understanding of the casts love for her, just on a much deeper level. The show (directed by the fabulous and amazing Alexandra Nader) is set in Evanston, Indiana at a high school where two girls (played brilliantly by Maddie Nehlen and Amy Lynne Berger), are trying to get their JLD fan club approved by their high school and will go at extreme lengths to do so. These lengths include getting potentially kicked out of their prom and many other oddities to showcase their love for Elaine Christine Selina Benes Myers.
My favorite part during the show was the musical part about Julia’s career, especially her downfall after Seinfeld ended and how she, like the rest of the cast, was part of the curse in that they couldn’t get their original audience to follow them onto the next project. Some of them referred to her as Christina instead of Christine from her CBS sitcom “The New Adventures of Old Christine”, which I giggled at (although the show did run for five seasons.)
This parlays them into discussing her meteoric rise back into the spotlight on HBO’s “Veep” and then back into them trying desperately to still get the signatures for their fan club to actually exist. There was no real sign of “overdoing” it within this cast (others include Josh Daniels, Marissa Miller, Ali Gordon and Andrew Barbato). It was wisely done and something that I hope makes its way to Julia at some point as I think she would get a good kick out of it, similar to her kick style dancing in that episode of Seinfeld. Hehe. This was a great job by all, and I hope that they get the chance to do it again.
For more information about the show and cast, check out the official Facebook page.