St. John's Confidential File
NATASHA: Mail Order Bride
By Michael St John
Jul 14, 2012 - 10:13:14 AM
HOLLYWOOD—HELLO AMERICA! Without a doubt, “Natasha Mail Order Bride Escape to America: The Musical," being performed before a live audience serves as a most unique way of introducing a series idea to the networks including Cable. Because of the quick scenes and original music pulling the whole idea of the main character and featured cast together, it was reminiscent of a mini “Laugh In” show, one I worked on as an associate director at NBC in the 70s.
Brooke Forbes, who created the show along with Michael Bachmann and Kate Bowman, also co-produced with David Svengalis and Bowman. It turned out to be quite an entertaining effort, especially with Forbes who can sing, dance and has some of the funniest lines in the show. She is so reminiscent of Lucille Ball, one could almost imagine the former legend on stage going through her celebrated comedic moves and turns which made all of America love her.
Much of the dialogue of the show is perfectly written for a cable series; it reminded me of a show which would be seen off-Broadway. It had that kind of flavor and that’s not bad. If you enjoy ensemble work, then “Natasha” fits the bill. The supporting cast are extraordinary performers – they were disciplined, totally professional, never forgetting the central idea of the show. Kate Bowman, Sal Alvarez, Bryan Bertone, Bobbie Bullet, Ellen Carmona, Juan Lazano, Alli Miller, Jonathan Oldham, Macy Reyes, Tiffany Roberts, Sydney Thackray, Theresa Tilly, Darby Walker, Sarah Wolter and musician Evan Marcus Rosenthall are wonderful as featured players.
"Natasha" is a very special show that could have the same kind of drawing power that many of the shows of the '60s and '70s had. The use of original music is definitely a plus, and the off-beat featured characters give “Natasha” the kind of commercial punch that will garner the type of audience to keep it on the tube. It will only take a network or producer with some artistic vision. Then of course, anything is possible in Hollywood!
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