Monday, March 10, 2008

Post your Mask Comments and Reviews Here


Do you ride with Rocky?

And, since Rocky Dennis was from Azusa, we're especially interested in hearing from anyone who has a personal recollection they would like to share as well.

Please use the "Comments" feature to post.

P.s. If you're looking for an even bigger audience (as if that were possible) post your reader reviews at the LA Times' Calendarlive.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a good idea. Saw it tonight. Now I hope they can fix the show during the previews so it can be as moving and inspirational as it promises to be. It got better as it went on, but we couldn't even see for the first moments after being bombarded by the impossibly bright lights representing motorcycle headlights being shined into our eyes for a very very long time. Had it gone on for any longer, the entire audience might have been prime candidates for the Blind Camp in Act Two. The performances are good, and the music is very good, though almost all the songs are too long. Still, the actor playing Rocky is tremendous, and definitely worth the ticket price.

Anonymous said...

Great Show

Anonymous said...

Saw the preview performance last night and WOW! The music was brilliant and the cast was spectacular. I was very curious how such a touching story would transfer as a musical. I have to say it was smart, inspiring without being syrupy sweet.
Such an original idea, LOVED it!
See this play

Ken said...

After watching the first preview it became clear to me - the impact that Rocky's life had on everyone he knew. I know that the local media would love to hear about people in and around Azusa who knew Rocky, Rusty (his Mom) or anyone from "The Tribe." If you did please post your story; I would love to see just how many people this young man inspired! BTW, the song "Close to Heaven" rocks the house!!

Maria McCoy said...

Last night Dean and I attended Mask at Pasadena Playhouse. We didn't realize it was a musical with a full band in the pit, and with expert/renowned songwriters behind every detail! I was moved to tears by the characters. Based on a true story, the setting was 1978 Azusa, California. The ever changing stage and props made the whole story seem real. The musical captured it all...the sad impact of Rocky's disorder, the mother's drug problem, the tension and the love between a mother and son, son and step father, and the biker tribe who was their family. Most of all, the musical highlighted the beautiful heart and spirit of a kid who had too many strikes against him. The music was fantastic, and I can be a tough customer. Another BIG plus for the show was the performance of Greg Evigan, the star of one of my favorite shows as a kid "BJ & the Bear." In Mask he played the step dad, Gar. MASK WAS FANTASTIC ON EVERY LEVEL. There was a ton of technical detail involved and everything was incredibly well done. Cheers to everyone who works on Mask!

Jeff said...

Thank you so much for this journey. The cast was absolutely outstanding. WOW. I am literally blown away. I have seen alot of productions but this is my new chart topper. The writing was so incredibly beautiful. Thank you again!!

Anonymous said...

This was entertainment! A great story that was engaging from begining to end. I fell in love again with the sweet smart and oh so amazing Rocky. He had a mother who was flawed but loved him & she was the best mother for him. The show took you on a journey and kept the view engaged from begining to end. The actor, Allen Read, was hidden by his visually deformity but his HEART shown through from the moment he step on stage. The show was so smart to make the face so real that we could see how difficult his life must have been with his painful deformity of the head. He was so emotional with his body & his voice was terrific. His strong voice was captivating.

I was not too sure about seeing a "Musical" about this family but the story & the songs were well-written & it worked! I loved the stories told through the songs as well as the photos of the real Rocky as a child.

Michelle Duffy as Rusty was perfectly cast- her heart was always there if not her ability to stay away from drugs. The actress has a powerful voice with great range whioh increased the fun I had at the theatre.
Thank God for the Pasadena Playhouse who has real live musicians in the orchestra pit! Live Musicians! What a joy they were to add to the enchantment of the evening.
A MUST SEE THEATRE EXPERIENCE FOR 2008!!!

LENNON said...

I think the show is destined to be a Broadway SMASH in the likes of Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar. I'd classify it as a ROCK OPERA. GREAT songs and performances by ALL - and many very "catchy" tunes. I was very surprised that Angel's song ( a smaller character ) was one of my favorites, musically and lyrically. I'd go back to see this play in a heartbeat. I kind of agree with the prior comment, that the motorcycle lights in the beginning were too bright, but I do understand the effect that they were going for. - maybe tone them down a touch? All and all, I was impressed and as always, the staff of the Playhouse is always nice and friendly. See it now before it hits Broadway, cause this is going to catch on and not only will it cost your triple, - you'll probably have to wait in line for tickets!

Anonymous said...

Saw the preview Fri night and overall was very moved. Many songs made me teary-eyed. The performances are Broadway caliber; both leads: Rusty & Rocky could easily earn Tony nominations were this Broadway. The producers should cut some of Gahr's songs (didn't seem necessary and Greg Evigan is mediocre at best) and I think the 1st act went a little long. The sets are outstanding; kudos to Robert Brill! Overall, I will definitely recommend it as the show is very life affirming and I came out of the theatre very uplifted.

Reine Wiley said...

You asked to post my comments if it "moved" me in anyway.......well, an understatement. Had to lend my husband my lace hanky, and he used it, lucky for me I brought two. It was a wonderful production of a very wonderful story of courage, resiliency and reality. We saw the original movie a long time ago, and knew the story well. But the dynamics in this play was overwhelming. The short pictures of the "real Rocky" and the explanation of the disease were an integral part of the whole experience. The music was grand, and fit the play like a glove. I hope that a CD of the songs will soon be out. I would have bought them right then had they been there. In addition, I urge every Youth Group, or Youth Club to see it as well, never mind the raw material, they are part and parcel of the lives this play depicts. Kids, when handed a dose of real life and when given the correct tools to move forward, can conquer EVERYTHING. A great musical, an important play to teach about the depth of the human spirit. Thank you for having faith in the audience to show it as you did. WOW.
Sincerely,
Reine Wiley
THousand Oaks, Ca

Anonymous said...

My wife and I saw Mask last night and with the exception of a few rough spots, absolutely loved it! We were pleasantly surprised at the transformation from film to stage. The cast was excellent---Michelle Duffy had a beautiful and powerful voice and acted with the passion and emotional intensity required for this part. Michael Lanning was cast perfectly as a very realistic and loveable Dozer. Allen Read, well, this young man’s acting, as well as his makeup, was outstanding! We also very much enjoyed the performance and singing of Suzanne Petrela, playing Angel. The poignancy of the moment between her and Rocky as he realized that even "beautiful people" have insecurities was really very touching and provided some needed levity with Angel’s performance of the Erik Estrada song. (My wife kept singing it all the way home!) We also enjoyed Diane Delano's acting in her role as the big-hearted biker, Retread. As for the rough spots, we felt some scenes were a little long…some of the school scenes, Michelle Duffy’s scene with the mirrors and although we are Greg Evigan fans, “A Woman So Beautiful” was way too long…and a little dry. The transitions between scenes could use some polish, however, overall, it was a great evening, and big thanks to the Pasadena Playhouse for debuting fresh talent.

Anonymous said...

Loved the show. Music was fantastic. Actors were great.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE ERIK ESTRADA TOO!!!

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed Mask. A great idea that could use some work. Here are some thoughts:

Opening scene: Motorcycle lights are left on too long…very distracting.
Good opening song;
Close to Heaven performed well;
Angel’s Story – great scene, song performed well, perhaps the song should be sung with an accent as well?
Lose one of the high school scenes – doesn’t move the story forward.
Lose one of Gar’s songs – way too long and performance was just ok.
Last scene – Rocky’s hair should be blowing in the wind as he’s riding.

Anonymous said...

I loved it. the main characters - rusty and rocky were amazing. i loved angel's part too because it gave comic relief to the whole story which was overall very heartwrenching.

Robert Miller said...

I feel uniquely qualified to write a Patron's review of "MASK". I too have a love of motorcycles and have ridden a Harley-Davidson from California to Sturgis 4 times, but not at age 16, but as a pre-ageing baby-boomer.

Anna Phelan work a playwright, and the music and lyrics by Mann and Weil were a beautiful combination. They hit your right in the heart with the story and the music was so full of energy and right on point about life, love, the motorcycle riding life style and addictions and life lost but swirled into a festive funeral, marriage and birthday.

Early on Dozer told a story of riding a motorcycle thru the desert to Sturgis, seeing the Black Hills or Devils Tower and those words must have been come to Phelan as they are exactly as I see those sights as I ride that same road. Perfect and the reason why, we ride. Throughout the play, the struggles of Rocky, (what a voice), and the fall of Rusty (Pistache) in her love and loss and addiction, were very moving. Were I to walk into a bar at Sturgis, standing at the corner of the bar, would be Gar,Dozer, Roadkill and T-Bone, dress and acting there part. There waiting right now to be ask in!! Maybe a tattoo on a few more arms please.

I loved every word, every song, and the stageing was brilliant. I woke up today and began planning my 2008 summer ride to Sturgis and home for the 105 anniversary of Harley-Davidson. The music should be captured in a cd before the play moves to Broadway. Mann, Weil are so famous that it would sell and so why not??

Rocky left an indelible mark on my heart as a Father of 4, and wonder what happened to Rusty. I found the answer this morning and what a scream that she died on a 3 wheel bike, www.trirodmotorcycles.com .Tragic but fitting end to a life long rider, and while attending Narcotics Ann.

I will return from China on March 31, and expect to bring my rider friends on april 5th to share this wonderful experience. Hats off to the cast and crew, and everyone who had anything to do with "MASK".

Thanks for making last night happen, my guests loved the play and will let you know how! XO, Rob

Anonymous said...

Mask, you have my heart. Rusty (played by Duffy) has guts, grit and the heart of a mother; Rocky's soul shines through the gifted performance of Read; and Angel (played by Petrela), you have the voice of an angel and your tainted view of life has forever changed by Rocky's goodness. Thank you all for a wonderful, compelling performance.

Anonymous said...

The show was amazing. More moving and thoughtful than the movie in many ways. Thought the actors brought reality to the many issues this mother and son duo dealt with in a very entertaining and illuminating way. Much to my delight it included more about the mother and her issues. This show had great dimensionality and depth to it. Hope to see the soundtrack come out soon. The music was great.

Tracey said...

"Erik Estrada" I can't stop singing it! What a lovely show!

Anonymous said...

The best, couldn't figure how it would be as a musical, Loved it! Spectacular! Hats off to cast & crew! Recommending to everyone I know!

Anonymous said...

I am a member of 12 step program that deals with how addictions affect family members. I thought this play did a realistic, yet compassionate potrayal of the dynamics that take place in such families. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

I went to see Mask tonight and enjoyed the show, but I am confused. What happened to the Erik Estrada song that everyone is talking about on calendarlive.com? That is half the reason I came! Did I miss something?? Must have been some song!

Anonymous said...

I went to the 3/19 performance. Found out the song about Erik Estrada has been cut so I guess I'll never hear it. Loved the show though. Songs were great and the leads were outstanding. Both broke your heart. It also had far more humor than I thought it would....more than the movie. All in all a great theater experience.

Anonymous said...

So I saw the show for the 2nd time last night because I loved it so much, and I have to say that it was worse the second time. I don't understand why they'd cut Angel's song about Erik Estrada!? The entire show is somewhat somber (in a great way,) and that scene and song gave a needed bit of levity to an otherwise heartwrenching production.

Bring back Erik Estrada!!

Anonymous said...

I loved this show. I really did. Several things:

1. The opening number had way too many words in the song. It was hard to figure out what they were saying.

2. All the actors were amazing with the exception Greg Evigan. His voice was weak and his vocal technique was poor. I was expecting his voice to crack at any minute.

3. At the end, the bike needs to have fans added to the handle bars. Seeing Rocky fly was awesome, but he needed the wind blowing through his hair.

Hats off to the entire team. It was the best $55 I've spent in a long time.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This show was fantastic! From beginning to end I simply loved it. What beautiful music and what amazing actors. I really hope this show goes all the way. I was so moved by this story and yes I remember the film but I had forgotten about it and I just feel that in this crazy insane world we live in we need shows like Mask to bring us back together and help us remember what is important in life. I saw the show last night and I loved it and I definetly ride with Rocky!!!

Anonymous said...

We throughly enjoyed Mask. It was probably one of the most entertaining, heart-filled musicals we have EVER enjoyed. At first we were concerned that the musical would be as sad as the movie portrayed Rocky and Rusty. However, the exact opposite was portrayed. The sets, the music, words were uplifting and heartfelt. The actors were superb. Highly recommend this to kids and adults.

Anonymous said...

I can only say Wonderful, Moving, Spectacular!!!!! I wondered how can Mask be a musical, it can and it is and it was inspiring!!!

I hope you might bring back this show next year for those who missed it. I have told everyone I know about it

The actors who were Rocky and his mother moved me to tears with their singing. The rest of the cast was fabulous. I try to take sway the feeling of awe I feel when I leave almost every show I see at the Playhouse- thank you

Anonymous said...

we're season ticket holders at the ahmanson and go to as many musicals as we can at other places...we've toured with you to london and ny for the theatre and this is the best i've seen since mama mia...if i didn't clap it was because i was holding back tears..this rated our standing ovation which we rarely do.. thank you for putting on this great show..i love the music..

Anonymous said...

Saw the show Sunday, March 23rd. Outstanding! Even though we remembered the movie, we were still moved by the show. Exceptionally talented cast. We were totally involved and loved every minute.

stacy roven said...

When I read the LA Times review I could not believe we had seen the same show. I was moved beyond words by the actors and the songs. I laughed and cried and became a part of this unusual extended family. The last song of the first ACT (Look AT You) was chilling. We left singing "Wherever This Road Goes". I fell in love with Rocky Dennis,,,after 15 minutes I was able to see past what I saw and that's what it was all about.

Bernie said...

My wife and I were in the audience for the Sunday evening, 3/23 performance. We were both very impressed with entire production, including the music, staging, acting and book. Mask is an engaging show that is accurately described on your site as a "theatrical pop-rock musical". The show grows on you, since you begin watching the production without expecting such a powerful performance, but then get drawn in by the characterizations, the staging, the music and the first class actors. From the wonderful opening, with the illusion of a pack of rumbling motorcycles zooming off the stage, the play expands to tell an interesting story with characters that your average theater-goer is unlikely to know.

The acting was truly outstanding with world-class performances by Michelle Duffy and Allen Read. They were well supported by the other members of the cast. The music greatly enhanced the performance, with the superb writing by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, as well as the spot-on conducting by Joe Church. I've recommended the show to several of my theater-going friends.

I agree with one of my fellow bloggers: the LA Times reviewer must have been in a different theater, at a different time, from the one I was in on Sunday evening, 3/23.

Anonymous said...

I was Rocky's first grade teacher, the first time he had ever been in a public school. He was 9 years old. We saw the movie and now can't wait to see the musical. Rocky was so special and one of the highlights of my teaching career.

Anonymous said...

While I thought the book needs some tweaking and some of the directorial choices need to be rethought, I thought this was the best musical I have seen in the Pasadena Playhouse and even enjoyed it more than Can-Can. Michelle Duffy's heartbreaking and superbly sung performance as Rusty is a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

Anonymous said...

To be honest the show was a letdown. Its great material for a musical and this is a first class production. The songs, while very good, dont service the show at all. For 90% of the songs, the lyrics are very general. They don't really move the story along.
The songs felt like they were pulled from the composers trunk.
I would have to say the score is the biggest problem
and those moving mirrors should be cut. They bumped Rocky TWICE last night. The book needs editing
as well with more focus.
Whose story is this? The boy? The Mother? the Tribe telling us the story? The Tribe welcomes us, and then is never used as a Greek Chorus again.
Lots of potential here but in my opinion worth fixing and more rehearsals and rewrites.

Anonymous said...

This was one of the best shows I have seen in a very long time. I thought it was perfection! Cast members spectacular. Loved the music, staging...everything!!!!
Couldn't imaging how it could be turned into a musical but YOU DID IT! Am considering seeing it again!!

Irene Villapania Azusa Chamber said...

Excellent Performance by the entire cast! It deplicted the story very well and it was definately very moving. I highly recommend it - the singing and acting was superb. As the Executive Director of the Azusa Chamber of Commerce, not only am I recommending it to my community, I am putting together a group of individuals interested in going! I will be seeing the show a second time and can't wait! Congrats to you all for an excellent play!

Anonymous said...

We, and two friends, saw "Mask" last Sunday and declared it one of the best musicals we had ever seen. The music was fabulous, the acting superb and the story touching to the point that everyone around us was wiping their eyes at the end. However, damp eyes did not keep them all from leaping to their feet at the curtain! Some earlier criticisms I would agree with: the lights in the beginning were a little disconcerting; the production is long but maybe a different break would help that. Our only regret is that the run is not longer as we want to get tickets again and the time allowed does make this possible! Congratulations again to the Pasadena Playhouse and Sheldon Epps for bring this production to us.
Stan and Yvonne Pine

Anonymous said...

That was a cool show and I really liked it! You rock whoever wrote the play and directed it!

Mr. & Mrs. K said...

We saw this show on March 29. Were pretty skeptical about a musical version of Mask, but went because we are season ticket holders.

We agree that this is one of the best plays we've seen this year, including three Broadway shows and season tickets to the Music Center. Wonderful material and just truly outstanding performances by all the leads -- including Greg Evigan, who's taken some knocks in other comments here. We thought his singing and acting were both terrific. And the actors playing Rusty and Rocky brought us to tears on multiple occasions.

Great musical score, and the orchestra was superb. Thanks, Pasadena Playhouse, for an unexpectedly fantastic evening at the theatre!

LittleLuLu545 said...

my dad's in the show. he play's roadkill, and i have seen this show 7 times. i love this show with ALLLLL of my heart. i want it to go to broadway. i have 150% belief and support in this show. love everyone in the cast. there's not one single person i don't adore in the cast. u might as wel "come along for the ride" as well.

PEACEXOXOXOX

Gary Brainerd said...

It usually takes a lot to get me excited about a Musical, and I have to say, Mask was outstanding. Powerful, fast paced, moving, funny. I highly recommend this play.

CR said...

My wife took my daughter and her boyfriend to see the play. It was incredible, not only because of the acting and story it told, but because it was done with tasteful humor and kept the audience engaged. Mask is definetly time well spent!

cahwyguy said...

I've written my review; you can find it over in my livejournal. Great show.

Anonymous said...

This is the second time I have seen this play, so that tells you that I liked it. I am 14 years old, and have been touched by this wonderful musical that I am 100%sure will make Brodway. The actors and actresses were wonderful! I loved the music, and everything else. I can't wait for the CD's, which you really should make, 'cause I can't get the songs out of my head haha. All and all, it is defanitly 2nd on my top five!

Caroline Riley said...

I am from England and came to see this show whilst visiting with friends - it was amazing and we were all in tears at the end. The singers were fantastic and the whole show excellent - I am only sorry that its on in Pasadena and my friends in England won't get a chance to share the experience!

Sheri from Hawaii said...

Michelle Duffy is AMAZINGLY talented and the perfect casting choice for Rusty! Her performance alone is worth the trip to see the show!

Anonymous said...

My name is Shane Bruce and I have written a Rock Musical called "Being POZ: The Musical". Do a web and YouTube Search! : )
I had the Good Fortune of seeing MASK in previews and I have to say GREAT JOB!! I don't give a ratts ass what the critics say - let them try to write, raise, and mount a show! Those who can, do. Those who can't write reviews! Clearly the audience loves it and that what counts. There is alwasy room for improvement, but what you have is potentially GREAT!! I'll ride ALL THE WAY TO BROADWAY with Rocky!! Coming to see it again next weekend and bringing a freind.
Love to the writers and to Rocky and Rusty - Their Spirits shine down on us, reminding us that LOVE prevails!!! - S. bruce

Anonymous said...

This show brought me to my knees. It was raw and emotional and stunning! Yes, it needs some fine tuning,as most masterpieces do, and it is destined for Broadway. Michelle Duffy and Allen Read will steal your heart. What a story....SEE THIS SHOW!!!!!

jackie said...

This show was really awesome! Loved it, great performance, great service and just overall great experience.

Thank You Pasadena Play House Employees & Actors and everyone in between. You guys ROCK!

Anonymous said...

Indeed a spectacular performance!!!! I love it! The rendition is so heart touching...... solute to the whole cast! Where I can get the sound track cd?

Kristin - Burbank, CA said...

I have been to many musicals from London to Broadway, to Toronto and Melbourne, Australia. I'd never seen anything at the Pasadena Playhouse until I went to see Mask. I have to say I truly loved this musical. Had I not seen it the very last weekend it was here, I would have gotten right back in line for another set of tickets. The story was amazing and the performances and music brought me to tears (many, many times!). The two leads are truly wonderful and this group really does seem like a family. I hope to see this show again on Broadway. And I'll be the first in line to buy the CD I'm sure will follow. Thanks so much again to all involved. It was a real treat to be a member of your audience!