2019 Got You Down? Jonesing for a simpler time when Brat Pack movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful and Sixteen Candles dominated the silver screen? Having scored hits staging live multi-media productions culled from the soundtracks of iconic films, For the Record brings their magic back to Los Angeles with an homage to the Brat Pack movies in a venue that fits like a glove.
Their latest incarnation is staged inside Break Room 86, an ‘80s throwback bar/speakeasy complete with private karaoke booths housed inside the LINE Hotel, a hipster hotel in Koreatown. This super cool venue allows the audience to step back in time and feel like we’re all back in detention (in a good way) in an era that seemed a little less fraught and way more cool. With a talented ensemble of performers serving up ’80 gems like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” and “I Melt with You,” how can you go wrong?
This time around, the For the Record team has gone all out, even creating vintage lunchboxes (for purchase) stocked with retro goodies like a gourmet PB&J sandwich, a spiked Capri Sun cocktail, a Twinkie and a neon glow necklace.
For the Record Live is known for assembling top-tier talent, and this latest production is no exception. With a core ensemble taking on roles immortalized by the likes of Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Eric Stoltz (among others) etched indelibly in ‘80s pop culture, this group delivers a high-energy, high-octane evening of nostalgic fun. A blast from the past. Patrick Ortiz serves up the hunky and dreamy quotient as the Jock, immortalized by Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club. But this looker is no one-hit wonder. He’s got impressive comedic and vocal chops to back up his model-next-door looks. Likewise for Kyle Sherman who takes on the role of the Brain (or as I like to call it, the Dweeb), epitomized by Anthony Michael Hall and Jon Cryer. Sherman’s rousing rendition of “Try a Little Tenderness” will definitely steam up your glasses. James Byous takes on the role of the Rebel immortalized by Judd Nelson. And he does so with a bad-boy swagger that conjures memories of Corey Hart singing “Sunglasses at Night.” While that song isn’t among the featured songs, Byous brings the grit with solid takes on Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell.” He also has a chance to flex his comedic acting chops in familiar scenes from Brat Pack movies. Parissa Koo takes on the role of the Princess immortalized by the Queen of the Brat Pack movies, Molly Ringwald. Meanwhile, Emily Lopez brings the neurotic outcast to life as The Basket Case originated by the likes of Ally Sheedy and those who carried on the tradition of the “tomboy” outsider such as Mary Stuart Masterson’s lovesick drummer in Some Kind of Wonderful. Last but certainly not least, Doug Kreeger embodies the hard-ass authority figure who we love to hate from films like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Kreeger does it with unbridled gusto and tongue-in-cheek glee.
While there may be some debate as to what constitutes a bona fide Brat Pack flick, one thing is clear: For the Record Live knows how to harness the power of cinematic cliché like no other, with a sense of abandon and fun that is off-the-charts infectious. Playing now through June, Thursday through Sundays at Break Room 86.
Featured image: photo credit to Abel Armas
Secondary image: photo credit to Lily Lim