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Modelogues’ Strikes The Right Pose With Audiences
Sep 26,2007 00:00 by Amy Bowker
HOLLYWOOD – An evening of vignettes that both celebrate and deconstruct the beautiful people that strut the runways of the fashion world strikes the right pose in “Modelogues,” written and directed by Sarah Happel.
With 32 segments (and countless costume changes), it’s a crowded runway populated by model wannabees, almost has-beens, and an assortment of lazy hangers-on. Together they paint a hilarious yet tragic landscape where food is the enemy and everyone is just a pound away from that infamously punishing cucumber diet. Is it possible to feel sorry for beautiful people? After watching a caustic casting agent mop up the floor with a revolving door of perfectly acceptable rejects - yes.
Though heavy with humor, “Modelogues” doesn’t shy away from the ironic. A video segment featuring runway mishaps is at first amusing and then achingly uncomfortable. That’s the real beauty of this show. “Modelogues” injects just the right amount of emotion to get its point across – perfection is a dead-end goal.
Too many moments resonate to recount them all but standouts include a wonderful dance number, “I’m Insecure” performed to the tune of “All That Jazz,” and led by Sarah Lesley’s strong vocals. David Abed’s memorable model dude floats in and out of the evening, dropping vain asides like yawns, and his portrayal of a model turned airport security guard is priceless.
“Modelogues” plays Thursday – Sunday at 8pm, through October 14, at the Dorie Theatre in the Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood. Tickets are $20, student and Union discounts. For reservations call (323) 960-4424.
The Ticket Stub
Who would believe that a series of 32 vignettes about the world of models and modeling, ("everything you ever wanted to know but never bothered to ask"), could be done with such style, wit, insight and compassion. Putting a simple set of four screens to brilliant use so that it becomes ample enough to support the evenings many themes, we join the handsome and multi-talented cast of three women and three men, as adept at comedy as they are at acting, singing and posing. They all seamlessly move from one facet of the fashion world to another.
In MODELOGUES the universe of model's agents, clothes designers, dressers, global diversity (the world of models is a showcase of racial and ethnic diversity because only beauty and ambition rule), schools, and diets is played out in perfectly paced succession. We observe the personal world including random roommates, motel life, intrusive mothers, extreme diets, addictions, bitchy handlers and, oh yes, the insecurity of realizing you're always only a few pounds away from being unemployable as well. A song about personal insecurity is just one of many highlights and toward the end a touching vignette about "escaping" from the addiction to being center stage is poignant as well as comical. What else can one do for a living that has so many perks and no exams?
One reads in the press that Los Angeles theater lacks fine directors who can make material come fully alive. I suggest they pay attention to Sarah Happel, triple threat as the writer and producer as well as imaginative director of this newest jewel in the crown of small theater L.A.!
Herb Goldberg for THE TICKET STUB
KCLA "Love Time"
American Radio Network
The six beautiful people in this play all show incredible talent and promise in this flashy presentation of scam after scam in the modeling industry. Some get out of this mode and some just can't because of the burnout of hard work and drugs. Some go into other careers when they get their common sense back. Many go into acting with their pretty faces and unusual tiny and tall bodies.
Full of fantasy and fun, there is plenty of fashionable dancing and music watching this documentary farce. Jessica Richmond had the top model look and attitude down to perfection. Henry Jacobson was my favorite guy doing all the accents of different slimy men in the modeling industry. Each actor and actress played multiple roles.
I loved this show and I give it an A +. Hopefully we learn not to put young people in some of the circumstances they should avoid in modeling. This is a creative vision of a genius top model, writer, and director, Sarah Happel.
by Laurie Senit
KCLA American Radio Network
"Love Time" internet radio
LA's The Place Magazine
Modelogues: A Comedic Look Inside the World of Modeling
Posted By Karleigh Behbahani
September 6, 2007 @ 11:03 pm In Arts & Culture, Upcoming Events, Live Theater | Comments Disabled
Who better to poke harmless fun at the fashion industry than a former model who knows much too well all the pressures involved in the crazy world of fashion and fame?
Writer/Director Sarah Happel- a former international model who was represented by the Ford Modeling Agency in Scottsdale, Arizona- presents Modelogues….A Fashionable Farce, a two-act comedy exploring our society’s fascination with beauty, glamour and fame.
As someone who was once on the inside, Sarah is able to capture the real characters involved in a world that many dream about, talk about and make fun of. Three actors and three actresses let you peek inside the keyhole to see for yourselves the sometimes wacky, sometimes deluded and sometimes drugged up personalities that exist behind the scenes.
Modelogues will be running from September 6th through October 14th at The Dorie Theatre at The Complex Theatre, located at 6478 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. All shows begin at 8:00p.m. General admission ticket prices are $20, $15 with a Union Card and $12 with a Student ID.
MODELOGUES Writer-director Sarah Happel’s evening of sketches and monologues inspired by her stint as a fashion model skewers the love-hate relationship between the “beautiful” and the short and plain, who slander their rivals as “skinny bitches” and then copy their cucumber diets. Weight issues reign supreme. (Says one model of another, “She’s an anorexic with a bulimic personality.”) Happel’s funny and enthusiastic ensemble — Joanna Kelly, Sarah Lesley, Jessica Richmond, David Abed, Wesley Stiller and Henry Jacobson — vogue and preen their way through Happel’s promised behind-the-scenes revelations. We learn, unsurprisingly, that models are dumb, stage moms are pushy, designers are insufferable queens, and agents and casting agents are villainous. Like a model, Happel’s show is smarter than expectations.
What the Butler Saw:
The Dorie Theatre, Hollywood, CA.
by James Scarborough
Though it’s funny and irreverent (and attractive and fashionable), Modelogues: A Fashionable Farce written and directed by Sarah Happel for The Dorie Theater In The Complex, is too self-conscious and literal to be an effective farce.
Visually, to be sure, and panache-wise, the actors acquit themselves, especially Sarah Lesley who nails (and maintains throughout) that Mona Lisa runway pout, Jessica Richmond who nails that just-below-the-surface vulnerability, and Joanna Kelly who nails the angst of a desperate housewife.
Thematically, with great potential, the script examines exposure: the baring of models’ bodies and souls; the creation and marketing of fashion; and the idiosyncrasies of the profession itself.
The staging of the thing is captivating: a series of 32 intermissionless scenes that pop past faster than the flash of a photographer’s bulb and that run the gamut of a model’s life from A – Z.
Most of the vignettes are comical: we learn the mechanics (and treacheries) of modeling schools, of model’s contracts, of their diets (cucumbers, alcohol, and drugs), of their casting calls, of their sudden falls from grace, of the squalor of their living conditions, of their mentors, associates, and colleagues, of their post-runway life.
Scenes set in various stages of dress and undress, despair and agony, sleaziness and bamboozling: but to what end? That modeling has an underbelly? That models have long legs and low self-esteem? That they have a short shelf life and, like lottery winners, support an entourage?
There’s no doubt that Happel knows that of which she writes: only an insider (and, alas, too late, a bewildered, beleaguered model) would know about things like surcharges on surcharges on contracts and the indentured servitude model of rent in model dorms: they might as well be working in a coal mine.