In a lively telephone interview yesterday, as entertainment producer Shane Scheel drove from Hollywood to Palm Springs, to prepare for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s productions of For the Record Tarantino in Concert, he shared with me how the music series came to life.
A couple of years ago, during a casual backyard conversation with business partner, Chris Bratten, both men were aware Los Angeles needed a fresh venue to showcase live entertainment. They brainstormed in search of ways to make it happen. Finding performers wasn’t an issue, they had abundant contact with “great talent waiting for the next audition, singers who weren’t singing”. But these two visionaries wanted to create a show that went beyond performances, of tried and true “standards”, thereby connecting with an audience that reaches beyond “typical”. And appeals to a society that’s better electronically connected than ever, causing us to seek human contact.
The proverbial light bulbs went off and the idea to take Hollywood soundtracks and bring “movies to life as never seen before” evolved over the next eighteen months. “All movies are so different, from love stories, to teen classics, to the Cohen Brothers quirky comedies which offers an eclectic sound from Bacharach to country”, that “everyone knows well” in spite of personal taste for the movies per-se.
For the Record music series debuted at the Barre in LA with Tarantino in Concert which, as the name implies, “pays tribute to the amazing soundtrack of Tarantino films”, captivating “an audience you wouldn’t expect. “Women don’t like the violence”, I interjected; like men do! But by recreating scenes from the films and setting them to music, men and women alike can “appreciate a night of live entertainment”. Shane adds with a laugh, that it also offers the opportunity for “Bro dates; two guys enjoying theater”.
Recently Tarantino In Concert made its theatrical debut at the The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival. To the delight of an audience of over twenty-five hundred, the cast gave an outstanding performance of the “movies soundtrack with song choices that have helped define his (Tarantino’s) signature style.
Tributes to other greats have included productions based on films by; “Australia’s most acclaimed filmmaker”; Baz Lurhmann. Boogie Nights, a homage to the films of P.T. Anderson. The Coen Bros edgy, comedic hits. And John Hughs popular “cult classic 80′s films”, such as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, to name a few.
A native of Kansas, Mr. Steele, now resides in the heart of Hollywood. A few years ago, he traveled from his home in NY to visit his sister in LA and “never left”. His major in music, time as an actor, and five years as a talent agent, all affords him the diverse background he needed to start a successful production company. He surprised even himself recently, “life takes crazy turns” by taking over, the Barre, thus adding “restauranteur” to his growing list of stellar accomplishments. He expanded and revamped the popular site, combined the Vermont restaurant and bar along with the indoor/outdoor Rockwell area, and created a :modern day supper club” a style of venue “that’s lost”. This past weekend Shane celebrated the grand reopening of Rockwells (Table Stage) before heading to the desert.
I shared my personal affinity for places that give you reason to plan for an inclusive evening of live entertainment, dress up and make it special. I’m weary of stop what you’re doing and come as you are to hear piped in music over a beer places that have replaced ambiance with far too much casual.
Scheduled For The Record shows at the Ace Hotel for the remainder of 2012 include: “September 12 & 13 - “For The Record: Coen Brothers;” and December 12 & 13 - “For The Record: John Hughes.” The hotel’s “RECORD” package will be offered throughout the year each night there is a “For The Record” show. Performances begin at 8pm and individual tickets are also available for $20 onlinefor anyone 21 years of age or older.
The schedule of shows at Rockwells in LA and further information, including videos of past performances, can also be found on the website
I have no doubt as to the success of Shane’s vision for “Cabaret nights in Palm Springs” where they’ll “set up (a show) for a week every three months at the Ace Hotel”. It’s time is due, and I’ll be there with bells on - or perhaps sequins - enjoying live entertainment at it’s finest, with an eclectic twist. After all, “life is a Cabaret”!
Tickets for the show this Wednesday and Thursday at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs are available for purchase by visiting the For The Record website.