by Garytt Poirier
In an era where cynicism and criticism rules all, it is a rarity when someone overtly gushes over something like a second grader with a crush. You are considered cooler and more intelligent if you dissect everything down to its core to find the existence of any kind of flaw. Consider this is the exception.
I was lucky enough to attend opening night of For The Record: Scorsese The Concert at the newly renovated Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz. To say I was excited about the show beforehand is a bit of an understatement. I've always revered Martin Scorsese as my all time favorite filmmaker. His films show an understanding of the darker side of the world. He does so with masterful camera work, drawing phenomenal performances, unique editing techniques, and inspired soundtracks. Scorsese's choices of music in his films are so expertly placed that your mind immediately transports you to a scene when you hear certain songs. Ok. Enough of my bromance with Scorsese. It's time to talk about the show.
I was definitely skeptical going into this show. I had no idea what to expect. Would they butcher my memories and love for Scorsese's films and soundtracks? The answer to that question was an unequivocal no. Scorsese: The Concert was the most entertaining night I have spent in the city of Los Angeles since I moved out here five years ago. The show opens with Anderson Davis (also the show's director) on stage playing Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York. It is not long before the cast of characters fill the stage and the band begins jamming out to Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys. Davis does a masterful job crafting the show and balancing the musical numbers with sprinkling in iconic scenes and dialogue. The pacing of the show is exquisite with the Act One focusing mostly on Goodfellas, The Departed, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Mean Streets. Act Two predominantly features songs from Casino and The Aviator as well as The Color of Money and Cape Fear to a lesser extent. Be prepared for a rendition of Michael Jackson's Bad in there as well that tears the roof off the joint.
Lindsey Gort gracefully performs one of the show's most obscure songs from one of Scorsese's most obscure films: "Rainbow Sleeves" from The King of Comedy. The song is a beautiful ballad that is rare to find in the violent world of Scorsese, and Gort beautifully delivers. The performance is the most revealing and emotional of the entire show. For a few moments, we escape the male dominated world of organized crime (as fun as it is) and all eyes focus on this gorgeous blonde woman singing her heart out. Gort shows great restraint in her vocals and conveys an honest fragility and pain that makes us feel like we are alone with her as she pours her heart out. It will bring tears to your eyes.
Next on the list of scene stealers is Danielle Monet Truitt who appears onstage in full Bob Dylan wardrobe singing "Like A Rolling Stone." Enough credit cannot be given to Shane Scheel, Christopher Lloyd Bratten, and Anderson Davis for the musical arrangement of this number. The song showcases Truitt's strengths while still giving respect to the original song. Truitt 's soulful sound delivers a rendition of Bob Dylan's classic that is one of a kind.
Speaking of one of a kind, Jason Paige takes on the roles of Joe Pesci and delivers some of the most entertaining numbers in the show. You may not know Jason Paige, but you definitely know his work. Remember the catchiest cartoon theme song of all time? The theme song from Pokemon. Yeah, that's his voice. In Scorsese: The Concert Paige delivers some of the most guttural songs such as "Layla, Well Well Well," and "Bad." Paige is a joy every time he's onstage. He may not have the same amount of stage time as others, but he is one of the most memorable aspects of the show. The sound of his voice is incredibly unique and his performance is incredibly intense right down to his eyes as he stares down the audience. He is exemplary in every way.