“Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara” at the Geffen

Louis and Keely

Hello dear readers and #LAThtr aficionadi,

Here follows my latest review for the critical website Stage Raw — which contains current arts and theater coverage from our intrepid team of journalists & critics.

We recommend this fine play.

Happy reading!

Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara

A hit at Sacred Fools back in 2008, Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara proved to have legs; it’s been picked up and revamped several times over prior to its current production at the Geffen Playhouse.

Reworked by director Taylor Hackford, this effervescent musical charts the careers and tumultuous marriage of aging New Orleans jazz singer, Louis Prima (now played by Anthony Crivello) and his teenage muse, Keely Smith (Vanessa Claire Stewart, who has reprised the role throughout the show’s many incarnations). Paul Perroni and Erin Matthews also appear as numerous supporting characters.

Lewis and Keely took Las Vegas by storm during the 1950s, as their their signature sound and on-stage repartee “played pretty for the people.” For this staging, Hackford has amped up the off-stage personal storyline. Co-written by Vanessa Claire Stewart, Taylor Hackford and Jake Broder (who first appeared in the Prima role), the narrative, relayed by Prima, takes us through the ups and downs of their partnership. The duo is expertly backed by a seven person jazz outfit led by Paul Litteral; the group stands in for Louis’ band ‘The Witnesses’ and features a smoking brass section that rounds out the bold, big band sound.

You can read the rest of this review here.


Louis & Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara

Geffen Playhouse

10886 Le Conte Ave.,



Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat 3 p.m. & 8 p.m., Sun., 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Runs through January 17, 2016.

Box office:

(310) 208-5454 or online.

Running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, with one intermission.




Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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