Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | 2:31 p.m.
Surf the Musical
Surf the Musical director Kristin Hanggi
Surf the Musical choreographer R.J. Durell
Marshal Kennedy Carolan
After a five-day delay due to technical glitches, the cast of “Surf the Musical” will ride the waves to splash down onstage for its beach party at Planet Hollywood tonight. With the music of the Beach Boys, “Surf” re-creates the leisurely ocean-side life of 1960s sunny Southern California.
Think of this as a nostalgic jukebox musical using many of the 200 songs in the Boys’ catalog acquired over years of negotiations with the hit-makers. Think of this as a Frankie-meets-Annette movie come to life.
Tony Award-nominated director Kristin Hanggi and choreographer R.J. Durell watch over the multi-talented cast as they start the first night of previews. We posted my interview with Kristin this month, and our thanks to Christopher Rauschnot @24kMedia on Twitter for his video posted on YouTube.
More than 130 60-inch, world’s thinnest Sharp Electronics TV monitors renamed Surfvision provide a realistic 3D backdrop for the cast in their fun and flirty costumes, making it feel as if they are really at the beach -- and not in the Las Vegas desert. It’s a technical marvel with the LED screens mounted on five gigantic flying and moveable walls.
Lauren Zakrin has the lead female role as the rebellious blonde beauty Brooke. Zakrin’s resume includes national tours of “Grease,” “Legally Blonde” and “Wicked.” One of her love interests, Tanner, is portrayed by Marshal Kennedy Carolan, who was in “Mamma Mia” at Mandalay Bay.
Other performers in the cast of 21 include Alex Ringler, Riley Costello and veteran actors Adrian Zmed and Robert Torti.
Adrian, who starred alongside William Shatner in “T.J. Hooker” and whose credits also include “Bachelor Party” with Tom Hanks and “Grease 2” with Michelle Pfeiffer, plays the wise surf shop owner Nick who acts as mentor to the teens in his cool hangout.
My longtime pal told me: “When I played in ‘Grease 2,’ I worked with young actors half my age. Now I’m working with actors one-third my age! But Z- Med is still going strong.”
There’s obviously “Good Vibrations,” but also bountiful bikinis -- don’t know if they are yellow polka dots -- and booty shorts. The hot new musical with the sweet sounds of summer in the ’60s plays in Holly Madison’s Peepshow showroom at Planet Hollywood nightly except Thursdays.
It’s expected that on a break from their 50th anniversary reunion tour, Beach Boys founding members Mike Love and Al Jardine will stop in Las Vegas to see their songs come to life in “Surf.”
Henderson resident Billy Hinsche, who toured and recorded with the Beach Boys and was one-third of the ’60s group Dino, Desi and Billy, will be at the show’s premiere; his sister Annie was married to Beach Boys guitarist Carl Wilson. The red-carpet premiere is set for July 17.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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