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An Ambitious, Exciting, Mess Of A Play, 'Lost The Musical: We Have To Go Back'

Casey James Dunn |
September 25, 2014 | 3:39 p.m. PDT


The cast performs a number from the World Premiere production of "Lost The Musical" Photo by Christopher James Burke.
The cast performs a number from the World Premiere production of "Lost The Musical" Photo by Christopher James Burke.

Six seasons of “Lost” gave hope to millions of fans, inspiring youth with sweet dreams of a terrifying island full of polar bears and smoke monsters. Writers Steven Christopher Parker and Steven Brandon were among those inspired by the television show. The two set off to share the glory of “Lost” in one, two-hour theatrical experience. A script came into fruition, but without proper funds, there was nowhere and no one to perform it. Parker and Brandon quickly set up a KickStarter campaign to raise the money necessary. Calling upon the general public who, like them, had fallen in love with “Lost’s” engaging characters. Within a matter of days the funds were raised and “Lost The Musical” was set in motion. A little over a year later, and ten years after the pilot episode aired, the house has opened. Now, as if telling all six seasons over the course of two hours was not enough, there are also three separate endings; each supplying a completely distinct final scene that also varies from the original. “Lost The Musical,” now playing at the Lillian Theatre, is an ambitious concept that while very entertaining does have some issues in its staging and storytelling. A must see for any “Lost” fan, but probably not for those who never watched the TV show.

As a “Lost” devotee this show is great. The musical, directed by Steven Brandon, does a fantastic job of including as many inside jokes and side stories as possible. Basically, the play is a treasure trove of fun facts that even IMDB would not fain to know. There are not many, if any, characters from “Lost” that don’t make an appearance at some point during the duration of the show (Hint hint… Paulo lies).

Each actor has terrific energy throughout, making their performances very enjoyable. Ryan Grassmeyer plays a wonderful Hurley, giving a respectable performance to one of television’s most beloved lottery winners. The love triangle between Sawyer (Eric Fagundes), Jack (Tyler Courtad) and Kate (Cat Lacohie) provides for a hilariously strange and accurate portrayal of the original show. Playing quick witted jokes and jabbing at the back and forth of Kate’s love affair. As well, Sarah Jayne Daquioag (Sun) and Will Choi (Jin) capture the adorable couple that became fan favorites as “Lost” progressed. Taking a very intelligent and entertaining spin on Jin’s inability to communicate with the other castaways (There are no subtitles).

SEE ALSO: 7 Best 'Lost' Episodes

“Lost The Musical” is a must see for any fans of the television show, but what about those 'strange' people who never watched “Lost?” While the music is fun and the acting is exciting, theatrically, this show struggles to hold its own. The singing is a bit pitchy at moments and there are a few instances where actors fail to be in their light. Great aspects of “Lost” that are absent in this retelling are the moments of tragedy and passion. Moments that were beautiful and touching in the show are drastically changed for comedic effect.  There is not much, if any, depth to the characters and the show lives more on gimmicks and “Lost” fandom than themes that will resonate with audiences. The comedy also occasionally feels forced, breaking the suspension of disbelief. The musical’s issues are easily overlooked by “Lost” enthusiasts who are enraptured in the parody and reminiscing, but the show is certainly not for everyone.

An exciting and chaotic night of theater that pays tribute to a wonderful television sci-fi, “Lost The Musical: We Have to go Back” provides plenty of moments to geek out about. Depicting the major and minor plot points, making fun of plot holes, and providing a number of fun facts that even the most intense of fans may not know, this musical is an ode to what made “Lost” great.

"Lost The Musical: We Have to go Back" is playing through October 26 at the Lillian Theatre (1076 N. Lillian Way, Hollywood). Tickets are $20. For more information visit www.LostTheMusical.com

Reach Contributor Casey James Dunn here.

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