THRILL ME 

LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

THRILL ME
by Stephen Dolginoff
HAVOK THEATRE COMPANY, HUDSON BACKSTAGE
JANUARY 26, 2008

RECOMMENDED! - LA Times

"Now in its Los Angeles premiere at the Hudson Backstage, Thrill Me proves a propitious debut for the Havok Theatre Company.  Stephen Dolginoff's two-character musical about youthful thrill killers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb may challenge the audience's powers of empathy, but director Nick DeGruccio's taut staging and wrenching performances by Stewart W. Calhoun and Alex Schemmer make us care, almost in spite of ourselves."  

— F. Kathleen Foley, LA Times

 

PICK OF THE WEEK!  GO!! - LA Weekly
"...we're drawn into an erotically claustrophobic relationship between the needy Leopold and his bullying, Nietzsche-reading lover, Loeb (Alex Schemmer). Calhoun and Schemmer have just the right chemistry to make this asymmetrical relationship believable — and strangely endearing at times. Dolginoff's songs, guided by pianist Michael Paternostro, tend to be spare but affecting declarations... Director Nick DeGruccio knows the difference between thrill and shock, and keeps the evening from lapsing into Grand Guignol. He is aided by Steven Young's moody lighting plot and Tom Buderwitz's set, which is dominated by spiraling platforms that rise above a blood-spattered cyclorama."  -- Steven Mikulan, LA Weekly

"The production is graced by the compelling vision and astute artistry of director Nick DeGruccio and a dynamite cast of two (Stewart Calhoun and Alex Schemmer).  DeGruccio pulls no punches in depicting chemistry between the boys that's as passionate as it is deadly.  His eloquent staging seethes with erotic energy and dramatic intensity, greatly aided by the contributions of the design team: Tom Buderwitz (set), Steven Young (lighting), Rachel Myers (costumes) and Drew Dalzell (sound).  Golden-voiced Calhoun offers a mesmerizing characterization.  Schemmer brilliantly captures Loeb's steely narcissism and cruelty.  Producer Chad Borden and artistic director DeGruccio, of the new Havok Theatre Company, have launched their venture in high-flying style." - Les Spindle, IN Magazine

 

 "Thrill Me most definitely engrosses, captivates, and ultimately, indeed, thrills...under Nick DeGruccio’s impeccable direction, it is likely to be one of the most talked about, and praised, musicals of 2008."  --  Steven Stanley, LAStageScene.com

LOS ANGELES PREMIERE

2 LA OVATION AWARD NOMINATIONS
Best Musical - Intimate Theatre
Lighting Design - Steven Young

BACKSTAGE GARLAND AWARD

Ensemble Performance

L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award Nomination


TOP TEN OF 2008 – Frontiers Magazine

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