Loosely - and I mean loosely - stitching together a libretto from captions found on I Can Has Cheezburger, the wildly addictive website featuring (mostly) felines, silly poses and bad grammar, writers Ellen Warkentine and Andrew Pedroza have pulled off an epic win with giddily absurd rock opera LOLPERA... What nudges these proceedings beyond, say, Point Break Live! ...is a smartly composed score and an underlying confidence in human intelligence. Referencing the likes of Mozart, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Les Miz, The Matrix and Erwin Schroumldinger, LOLPERA recasts this cutesy meme and its titular sandwich as vehicles for the universal quest for meaning and hug time.
LOLPERA's greatest triumph may be the sheer feat of getting the audience to turn off their cell phones for two hours, to celebrate and critique contemporary popular culture, and to share their LOLs at the theater. For that riotous and blissful moment, you can has cheezburger.
[LOLPERA] plays out to music which is intriguing and worth hearing more than once, mixing jazz idioms with classical references in a compelling score … LOLPERA is ambitious, exciting, hip, and down-to-earth
If it all sounds ridiculous, you can bet it is. But the wacky cast of twenty directed by Angela Lopez, along with eight musicians, plunges into the hysterio-mania with the utmost sincerity and therein lies the secret to the show's success. In less capable hands LOLPERA might be nothing more than a cacophony of silliness but Warkentine, Pedroza & company have created a theatrical experience that transcends the ordinary by using it to explore deeper questions about the memeing of life. And boy is it a ride!
By displaying the jumbled aesthetics of our digital age through the lens of the LOLcats spectacle, the entire production mimics our own fruitless searches for meaning and identity on the Internet
Will it be one of the most memorable productions ever? Quite possibly. Is this the best production open right now? Abso-$*#-lutely
Jean Dubuffet and Gertrude Stein meet Mark Zuckerberg and Anna Netrebko in this wild and woolly West Coast mash-up of the most banal of 21st-century social media with the most intense of operatic conventions, all tempered by a distinctly dada-ist love of the absurd and a free-wheeling sense of humor. Librettist Andrew Pedroza, who also plays a walrus in search of his bucket (don't ask), has drawn the text entirely from online cat videos. Composer Ellen Warkentine blends engaging tunes with every imaginable convention of musical theatre, and director Angela Lopez has turned a very talented cast into a terrific singing and dancing ensemble. The show is sung throughout and accompanied by the cat videos in question. In the end, good triumphs over evil, but you'll remember the trip more than the destination