“Paradise” Reviewed by Rose Desena



A Bluegrass Musical Comedy

Written- By, Bill Robertson, Tom Sage and Cliff Wagner

Review by Rose Desena


This Week in Theater

Leave it to the group at the Ruskin to come up with a bluegrass musical, complete with live Appalachian sounds and strumming banjos. All set on the traditional front porch of the general store.   Lots happening here in this forgotten town called Paradise. Besides all the singing, song writing, and berry-pie baking there are serious problems: no work and a closeted, gay mayor, who has big ideas but no cash, and if that’s not enough we have the town pyromaniac, who just burned down the community church.  Don’t ask what she used to do it? It’s not pretty.


Have no fear there is a savior heading their way. Rev. John Cyrus Mountain (Jonathan Root), his gorgeous ding-dong assistant Nina Brissey ( Chastity), and Rebecca Washington (Marie-Francoise Theodore), a big Hollywood producer, they’re going to work together and make the little town of Paradise famous.



Paradise is going live as a reality TV show. I have to admit it’s a pretty entertaining group of characters and a  good bet for the TV producers; the show would most likely out do the Kardashians in terms of dysfunctional drama.





This sounds really good for this down and out town, but as we all know, fame has its price. Some folks are pretty skeptical with good reason, the Reverend is evil, his sidekick is a poll dancing virgin, and the TV station is, well you know, from La La land. Things are going to happen.



This production is action packed, full of a lot of great music, good dancing, and a whole lot of funny stuff. Oh, there is a little political in-correctness, but I like that sort of thing and it’s all in good fun. Kristal Lynn Lockyer (Cyndi) is marvelous as the town trouble maker; she made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt.  Jason Rowland is perfect as Mayor Gayeart and the single father of an African-American boy who does not know way his father is white.  Rachel Noll (Loueann Knight) has the voice of an angel, which turns out to be good considering they need one.


Do not miss the Ruskin’s version of Paradise, its playing until March 30th.  I’ve never had a pick of the week because it wouldn’t be nice to copy my friends at LA Weekly, but if I did, this would be it.


Cast: Robert Craighead, Rachel Noll, Jason Rowland, Elijah Rock, Kristal Lynn Lockyer, Jonathan Root, Nina Brissey, Marie-Francoise Theodore, Michael Rubenstone.



A Bluegrass Musical Comedy

Written- By, Bill Robertson, Tom Sage and Cliff Wagner

Ruskin Group Theater, 300 Airport Road, Santa Monica CA 90405

Friday, Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets a mere 25$


Lots of free parking, wine and water served in the lobby

4 Roses Rating


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