Natalie Portman the Musical @ Hollywood Fringe

Laurence Olivier starred in a production of “Romeo and Juliet” where the reviews he received for his rendering of the star crossed Montague kid were so uniformly abysmal that he seriously considered giving up on acting. Bob Dylan started his musical career with a band christened the Golden Chords. They lost to a tap dancing act in a high school talent show. Myself, I began with a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” bloated by 27 numbers featuring 39 actors (more or less), with the sociopathic Amazon wife of my musical partner at my throat throughout the entire rehearsal period, performed in a four foot square space inside the old Déjà Vu Coffeehouse. Oh yeah, big time disaster.

What I am saying here is basically we all start somewhere and most of those “starts”, regardless of where we end up; tend to be painful and best forgotten. So congratulation to the kids of “Nailed It! Productions” and their staging of “Natalie Portman the Musical” – you’ve got your “start” outta the way! Over long, under rehearsed, poorly produced, shoddily directed and terribly self-indulgent. (But let’s be honest, we’ve all been there.)

Still in its rawness there are a few inspired nano-moments that manage to squeak through. Though sadly too few. Most failures, I find, stem from some talented soul trying to wear too many hats, and that seems to be the case here.

Book and lyrics by Brittany Garms!

Directed by Brittany Garms!

Lighting design by Brittany Garms!

Featuring Brittany Garms!

And produced (one assumes) by Brittany Garms!

Ms. Garms is not without talent, but that talent is shown in its best light when paired with the musical chops of Frankie Marrone and Tara Pitts. Next time – and hopefully there’ll be a next time – Ms. Garms would be wise to keep those hats to a maximum of three. A good producer to keep the show tight, and a better director to work the flab off the actors would certainly help too.

Also, do not, I repeat, do not list a show as running for sixty-five minutes and then drag it out for ninety minutes plus. Some audience members might be packing heat.