Ladies and gentlemen, how often do you get to experience the first run of a show? It’s rare, isn’t it? Well, here’s your chance! “Did You See What Walter Paisley Did Today?” was developed from the ground up at our very own La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and held its WORLD PREMIER there this past weekend.
This new production, developed and directed by La Mirada’s own Producing Artistic Director, BT McNicholl, is a fresh take on a 1950s horror-comedy film, and promises to be a thrilling and entertaining show.
“Did You See What Walter Paisley Did Today?” is a black comedy based, loosely, on the 1959 movie “Bucket of Blood” written by Charles B. Griffith and directed by Roger Corman who also went on to create “The Little Shop of Horrors.” Watch out for that fun little Easter egg in the performance!
The film has been adapted into a musical by Emmy Award-winning Randy Rogel who wrote the script, music, and lyrics. The resulting production is a twisted delight.
The musical, much like the film, follows the story of Walter Paisley (played by Steven Booth), a hapless busboy who longs to be accepted by the beatnik art community of late 1950s San Francisco. Walter struggles at creating art until an accident leads him to create sculptures which become a sensation in the art world and perhaps gets him into some trouble.
The story also serves as a commentary on the art world highlighting the idea that art is subjective and that what one person considers art, another may not. Secondly, the show portrays the pressure and desperation that artists often feel to create something new and groundbreaking in order to live up to the expectations of the art world.
CAST & PERFORMANCE
One of the highlights of the musical is Steven Booth’s performance as Walter Paisley. Booth brings a likable charm to the character, making him both sympathetic and relatable, even as he descends into madness. Despite the character's flaws and questionable actions, Booth imbues him with a certain vulnerability that makes it impossible not to feel for him. Audiences should not miss the chance to see him in action.
Vanessa Sierra’s performance as Walter's love interest, Carla displayed an extraordinary range of emotions, bringing to life the character with authenticity and depth. Her natural charisma and stage presence were evident from the moment she stepped on stage, and she commanded attention with every movement and gesture. But what truly sets Sierra apart is her exceptional vocal performance. Her voice is a force to be reckoned with, with a rich and versatile tone that effortlessly transitions between soaring high notes and soulful low tones.
The supporting cast is also strong, with a notable performance by Kingsley Leggs as Leonard, the cafe owner and Walter’s self-appointed art agent. Each of the 10 performers brought their own unique energy to their roles. Binder Casting should be given a Chef’s Kiss for their flawless casting of this performance!
MUSIC & LYRICS
The music captures the mood and era of 1950s beatnik culture, with jazzy riffs and melodies that add to the darkly comic atmosphere.
The lyrics are witty and clever, with standout numbers including "That’s Art", "The Older the Violin" and "One Hundred Dollars". If there was ANY criticism I have for the music in this production, it would be that the harmony between Walter and Carla in “She Kissed Me” didn’t mesh well. It was no Lin Manuel Mirada-esq madrigal. Other than that, the music and lyrics definitely helped to tell a story and you will be kept enraptured.
SET DESIGN AND COSTUME
The set design and costumes are also excellent, transporting the audience to the late 1950s beatnik scene, complete with berets and all. The projection work by Ryan Marsh lent an interesting visual element to the story. Most notable of all was the addition of puppetry by Aran de la Peña’s and Pro Puppet Makers to the cast! It added an extra layer of whimsy and humor to the story.
The musical adaptation of "Bucket of Blood" was an innovative take on the original film. With catchy songs, dance numbers, and superb acting, the production captured the essence of the film while adding its own unique twist. There is something in this musical for everyone and fans of horror-comedies and cult cinema such as Rocky Horror or Little Shop of Horrors will find this particularly delightful. The musical is surprisingly effective in creating an atmosphere of dread and suspense with a charming, offbeat sense of humor.
The creative team did an excellent job of balancing humor with the darker themes of the story, resulting in a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking experience. Whether you're a fan of the original film or simply enjoy musical theater, "Did You See What Walter Paisley Did Today" is an entertaining production. So grab your tickets and get ready for a night of macabre humor and toe-tapping fun!
BTS PHOTO GALLERY: "Did You See What Walter Paisley Did Today?"
LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
14900 La Mirada Blvd.La Mirada, CA 90638
March 16 - April 2* Post-show talkback with the cast on Thursday, March 30.
Thursdays at 7:30 pm Fridays at 8:00 pm Saturdays at 2:00 pm & 8 pm Sundays at 1:30 pm & 6:30 pm
Run Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes plus an intermission.
Tickets range from $28 to $40 Student tickets: $14Group and military discounts are available.
Children under 3 will not be admitted into the theatre. Parking is free.
For information and reservations, call 562-944-9801 or 714-994-6310 or visit here.