LIFE OF AN ACTRESS: THE MUSICAL has a cast in which there is not a lemon in the bunch. The story -- of three actresses/waitresses (above: age 25, 30 and 40) continually trying to crack into the big time, middle time, even the small time, by landing a role -- is a perfectly acceptable one, if certainly tried and true. And the performances are so good -- real, energized and, as the parlance goes, always in the moment -- that watching them work is a pleasure.
Paul Chau (above, second from right, with some of his cast members), whose only other film, according to the IMDB, was the 2009 thriller called Scalp, which, to the best of my knowledge, was never released. Mr Chau's work here is not acutely embarrassing, in the manner of last week's Isn't It Delicious. It's simply... well... not very good.
Orfeh (shown below) in the film's best performance, is brave and moving. She takes, as do the other performers, Chau's straw and spins it into something approaching, well, at least gold leaf.
Taylor Louderman (above, left) is nimble and cute, while Allison Case (below), as the intelligent, on-the-cusp Sandy, brings occasional fierceness a bit of fire to the proceedings.
Bart Shatto (below, left) as the diner owner, Charlie, and Xavier Cano as Jen's boy, Carlos (shown two photos up, at right), are both fine, with Mr. Shatto particularly compelling. His final scene, which ought to be silly, he and Orfeh manage to make moving instead. And, as the villain of the piece, Richard H. Blake (below, right) proves mean, smarmy -- and sings well, too.
Laemmle's NoHo 7, and here in New York City on Friday, December 19, at the Quad Cinema.
on Tuesday, December 23.