It’s not set to open at Planet Hollywood until preview performances start on June 11, but “Surf, The Musical” is already poised to become the talk of the summer entertainment scene in Las Vegas.
The cast and creative team behind this homage to surf culture and the music of The Beach Boys gave a preview to the media on May 29, 2012. Security, foolishly, allowed this blog in for some photos of select sequences from the show.
Cycling and high heels go together wonderfully in Las Vegas, thanks.
The show’s Tony-nominated director, Kristin Hanggi (“Rock of Ages”), and choreographer RJ Durell, hosted the gathering. They were noticeably giddy at the prospect of sharing snippets of their show after months of intense preparation.
Director Kristin Hanggi and choreographer RJ Durell go way back.
Kristin Hanggi talked about some of her directorial inspiration, “My mom grew up in Redondo Beach, and all of her photo albums have these people in the early ’60s on the beach. They feel like Beach Boys songs, right there, captured. I thought the show could be a love letter to Southern California and all the families there, and not only that, but also to everyone the Beach Boys touched. They brought the beach across the country and around the world, so, ideally, I hope we can bring that beach experience to audiences.”
The digital backdrop is made up of 160 60-inch screens. Yes, we counted them.
The show is still in rehearsals, so the actors weren’t in full costume, although some of the 1960s-inspired costumes (by designer Gregory Gale) made an appearance. Of course we got photos. There were bathing suits involved.
She’s a professional dancer. Your abs may vary.
“Surf, The Musical” is a full-scale, Broadway-style production, but unlike many shows in Vegas that start elsewhere and come to town for a residency, this show was created from scratch, specifically to premiere and run in Sin City.
Here are a few seconds of video to help get a sense of the show’s scale, choreography and energy level. Note: During actual performances, the actors and dancers are expected to be in focus. We are a blog, not a videographer.
The show has about 35 Beach Boys songs, many instantly recognizable, but others are lesser-known songs from the iconic group, like “That’s Not Me” from the Pet Sounds album.
Kristin Hanggi says, “We tried to do that on purpose, to give the hits, and then we tried to give, as some people call it, ‘deep cuts.’ So, some of my favorite moments in the show are songs like ‘Be Still’ or ‘I Know There’s An Answer.’ Deeper tracks that will really appeal to the Beach Boy lovers. In addition to all of those great Beach Boys hits we all know and love.”
The block of foam used to shape a surfboard is called a “blank.” Hey, we read sometimes.
The genetically-gifted cast includes Marshal Kennedy Carolan (Tanner), Lauren Zakrin (Brooke), Riley Costello (Nelson), Alex Ringler (Rip) and Robert Torti (Paul).
Lauren Zakrin has performed in the stage productions of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” and “Grease,” and this is her favorite photo taken by a blogger ever, probably.
The cast also includes a face audiences are sure to recognize, Adrian Zmed (Nick). Zmed (below) is best-known for his stint alongside William Shatner in TV’s “TJ Hooker,” as well as his hosting gig on “Dance Fever” back in the ’80s.
Adrian Zmed, ’nuff said.
The family-friendly show boasts a who’s-who of Broadway’s top backstage talents, including set designer Beowulf Boritt, lighting designer Howell Binkley, music producer Frank Filipetti and music director Ed Hamilton.
Unrelated: This blog did musical theater in high school. Now you know.
“Surf, The Musical” will performs nightly (dark Thursdays) at Planet Hollywood in the “Peepshow” theater. Tickets are $158.40, $114.40, $92.40 and $70.40. Get tickets at Ticketmaster, or from a friend in the cast. Heck, there are 23 people in the show, so you have to know somebody.
Check out more photos in our rad (just go with it) gallery.
Bio: The Pulse of Vegas blog includes references to “we” often. But it’s actually written by one (incredibly modest) individual, Scott Roeben, a humorist, photographer, author and longtime Las Vegas resident. “We should probably interview ourselves sometime. We find us fascinating,” he says.
The Pulse of Vegas blog is the official Las Vegas blog of Caesars Entertainment, the folks who run a bevy of Las Vegas hotels. It received the inaugural “Most Valuable Las Vegas Blogger” award by CBS Local/KXNT News Radio.