Review: The Unauthorized Musical Parody of CluelessLEFAIR
Written By: Madeline Rosene
It’s an eclectic crowd inside Rockwell LA— Mohawks, bangs, abundant cleavage, leopard prints, and velvet robes— Clueless fans come in all shapes and sizes and tonight they have gathered to watch Kate Pazakis’ The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Clueless. For anyone unfamiliar with the 1995 blockbuster, Clueless tells the story of Cher Horowitz, a well-intentioned but superficial girl — who is attractive, popular and extremely wealthy. A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Cher and her best friend, Dionne rule the high school social scene. These girls have it all and breeze through life oblivious to the big picture problems of the world. When new girl, Tai, arrives at the school, Cher and Dionne take it upon themselves to makeover their new friend, transforming her from bland to full-blown “Betty.” Along the way, Cher plays matchmaker, using her charm and smarts to help her friends and teachers find love — and to improve not only her grades, but also the world around her. With the film’s enormous cult following, it’s no surprise there is such a large draw to the unauthorized musical parody, especially when original Clueless film cast members Nicole Bilderback (“Summer”) and Julie Brown (“Ms. Stoeger”) are in the audience.
A bass thumps and the air smells of truffle oil. It’s hard to choose one of the signature sassy cocktails— between The Rejected Suitor, Dewars Scotch, blackberries, fresh lemon and mint, and maple syrup or Jim Got Down on His Knees, Rose sparkling, Absolut Pear Vodka, and St. Germaine Elderflower.
“Who here has not seen the movie?” asks a voice from the dark runway-style stage in the middle of the room. A single hand rises in the audience of well over one hundred and “David” is shamed.
The live band plays Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America.” The entire cast is on stage singing the words, “Friday night and everyone’s moving. I can feel the heat but it’s soothing, heading down. I search for the beat in this dirty town,” with the same energy that the opening montage scene of Clueless the motion picture exudes. Although genders and ethnicities are swapped, the characters are clear from the beginning. Cher (Ashley Argota) and Dionne (Domonique Paton) are dressed in their iconic plaid getups.
For any 90s and early 2000s music lovers, this show is a dream come true. Just a few favorite tunes from the night include “No Scrubs,” “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Barbie Girl,” and even mashups of “Losing My Religion” and “You Can’t Touch This” and “Rollin’ with the Homies” and “This is How We Do It.”
The LEFAIR Magazine editorial team thoroughly enjoyed performances by Garrett Clayton (Christian/Travis) and Natalie Lander as Tai. Clayton’s enthusiasm for the role was evidenced by the sheer amount of sweat spilling off of him during the second party scene (“They’re charging for brewskis!”) Wait, where was that line? Both Clayton and Lander’s physical humor made their deliveries memorable. A few original lines may rival quotes from the original motion picture: (“Ding-dong! It’s tomorrow!”) You’ll have to see it for yourself.
Catch Clueless this summer at Rockwell LA.