A new musical comedy making its world premiere, TINY LITTLE TOWN takes Ukrainian playwright Nikolai Gogol’s nineteenth century satire, “The Inspector General,” moves the town into America in the 1970s, and adds lots of sparkling music by Wes Myers with lyrics by Richard Alger from a book by Alger and Tina Kronis (who doubles as director and choreographer). TINY LITTLE TOWN is a Theatre Movement Bazaar premiere production merging dance, theater, and cinema while heightening physicality and remixing theater forms to create provocative storytelling. The Los Angeles-based company has produced 28 original works which have garnered critical attention across the U.S., the U.K., Russia, and Asia. The composer added that “you’ll enjoy a heavy dose of Eastern European music,” while the director described Gogol’s setting as a “nightmarish, yet hilarious upside-down world…a hilarious indictment of corruption and insecurities of those in power.”
Ishika Muchhal, Paula Rebelo, and Kasper Svendsen – Photo by David Haverty
The entire town is in an uproar. Word-of-mouth news has reached almost every ear in the village. The government is sending an inspector to ferret out corruption in the burgh. Worst yet, the inspector will be traveling incognito in order to catch the mayor and his buddies “with their pants down.” But the mayor (Kasper Svendsen) and his nefarious crowd – including the postmaster (Joey Aquino), the health commissioner (Mark Doerr), the school superintendent (Jesse Myers), and the judge (Lamont Oakley) – have a plan. Why not offer friendly “loans” to the inspector? After all, it’s pretty expensive to travel for a living. Now all that remains is to locate the elusive inspector. As luck would have it, some canny newcomers to the hamlet (Nick Apostolina and Nikhil Pai) surface, and the game is on.
TINY LITTLE TOWN is as close to perfect as a new production can get. Director Kronis helms the show brilliantly – with her choreography enhancing every one of Alger’s clever lines and keeping perfect pace with music which subtly reminds the audience of the play’s origins. The talented ensemble cast is superb. With nary a misstep, they bumble on in this hilarious tale of mistaken identities and failed machinations. The audience can expect a laugh-a-minute as the clever story unfolds.
Jesse Myers, Mark Doerr, Lamont Oakley, Kasper Svendsen, and Prisca Kim – Photo by David Haverty
Kudos are also in order for the production team, who offer up a fluid setting to match the twists and turns in the tale. Evan A. Bartoletti’s scenic design (Lechetti Design) gives the cast enough space to spread out and wow the audience. Ellen McCartney’s 1970s costumes fill the bill and fit right in with John Zelewski’s sound and Aaron Francis’ and Johnny Montage’s lighting. This is a sly little show which offers flowing music and dance like you’ve probably never seen before – this is creativity at its finest. TINY LITTLE TOWN is definitely a crowd-pleaser and a must-see production. For a magical evening, TINY LITTLE TOWN awaits.
Ishika Muchhal and Paula Rebelo – Photo by David Haverty
TINY LITTLE TOWN runs through February 18, 2024, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. The Broadwater Theatre Main Stage is located at 1078 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Tickets are $22 ($15 students and seniors; Pay-What-You-Can on Sunday, 2/11/24 at 2:30 p.m.) For information and reservations, go online.