Forget all you know, or think you know, about live theatre. You know those performances as always being the routine of just you and maybe a friend or companion showing up to the theatre as an audience member, ticket in hand, ushered to your seat? You prepare as the lights dim to sit back just as comfortably as you would in your own home, for a presentation before you brought on by actors, a plot line, and maybe some special effects thrown in just to keep things interesting.
Let me inform you, my fellow theatre goers, that now those routine times have changed. It’s time to wake up and attend a new kind of production and be entertained by the resounding, thoughtful, picturesque, music-filled enlightenment of Lemon Boots, directed by Ezra LeBank.
Mr. LeBank is currently an assistant professor of theatre arts and head of movement at California State University, Long Beach, and the artistic director of the Curbside Company. He has a résumé within the theatre arts that is so long and impressive, including teaching at The Juilliard School, to name just one of his many accomplishments, that my only hope could be that my mother never meets him for fear of trading me in for a more impressive model!
The storyline for Lemon Boots as it was presented to me by the University Players was that a girl named Lemon finds herself thrown off course in her life. With her identity suddenly removed, she now must make the journey to rediscover that which makes her who she is in a world that already is trying to make its way without water, a world of post-apocalyptic desolation.
The audience itself is brought into the action as the young performers from the CSULB University Players take on the roles of every creature, every emotion, every part of Lemon’s journey. The music that is played to enhance the wonder and performances in Lemon Boots makes up a character all its own and sets much of the tone, the feeling, and the emotion that is only enhanced by the performers onstage.
I have to make mention of the great cast for this show by name because this very talented group of young actors and dancers deserve praise for the wonderful fluidity of movement that they presented in Lemon Boots. It was their energy, their dedication to the story and their complete interest in what the show has to say to us as the audience that kept me riveted to their every movement and the emotions they presented before me.
You should make plans now to see these wonderful actors in action: Jamiel Abdelrazzaq, Sebastian Arboleda, Christopher Bearden, Chelsea Brynd, Jose Corea, Penny De Vera, Andrew Douglas, Liliana Frandsen, Lottie Frick, Marissa Ibarra, Benji Kaufman, Jeff McCarthy, Diego Parada, Israel Powe, Jocelyn Sanchez and Rachel Zink.
Lemon Boots is performed in the Studio Theatre on the CSULB, South Campus (accessible via West Campus Drive). There will be three more performances: Friday, Nov. 30 at 8pm; and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for seniors and students (with a valid student ID). For more information, call (562) 985-5526 or visit csulb.edu/depts/theatre .