Friday, May 26, 2006

El Presidente

When you're driving east on the Santa Monica Freeway at 5:30 p.m. on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and all of a sudden the traffic in the opposite direction -- all of it! -- disappears, you know you're about to see a major motorcade.

And since it was a few minutes after his downtown meeting with Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, I'm happy to report I saw Mexican President Vicente Fox' motorcade rolling undisturbed down one of the busiest freeways in America.

I don't know where President Fox was going, but I was on my way to Burbank for dinner and a show.

Dinner was at the excellent French 75 Bistro, which opened in February in the heart of Burbank's booming media district. With its "French Bordello" interior, this is a restaurant with a lot of style. And the upscale French bistro food more than satisfies. Great service and a large menu help make this a nearly perfect restaurant.

The show was a side-splitting satire about a small theater company producing a "gay" version of a Rogers and Hammerstein musical classic, called "Oklahomo!"

This laugh riot stars Justin Tanner -- who also wrote and directed the show -- as an over-the-top, passive-aggressive, bitter, manic, needy small theater director.

Mary Scheer does a great turn as a coke-snorting musical director who can't control her addictions (drugs and musical theater).

And Julie Brown (remember Downtown Julie Brown?) shows up as a TV-sitcom star who condescends to commune with small theater hack actors because she adores the show's author (and the plentiful coke in the dressing room).

It's a ribald comedy, not for the faint-of-heart -- but a lot of fun, particularly if you've ever wanted to ride in a surrey with the fringe on top.
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