HEAVENLY COUNTRY at Two Roads Theatre, Studio City

Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck

If you feel to see something warm, nostalgic, and full of love, then treat yourself to 'Heavenly Country', a world premiere jukebox musical packed with very familiar songs and related genres' musical numbers. This world premiere is full of heartfelt singing (22 songs) and simple but effective dancing. A world premiere jukebox musical is an entertainment you will never forget and you will find yourself singing these songs in the days to come.

Heavenly Country, a heartwarming love story has so much love in it which surely spreads around. It is the same old story you have probably seen a hundred times or more before, where the boy meets a girl and the boy wins a girl, then the boy loses a girl and the boy wins the girl back, but this story is so wonderfully woven with the varies musical genres from Country to Gospel to Spiritual, to Blues and Rock that sends the audience down memory lane. Many times one finds himself/herself singing along with them under ones breath. Even the ten minutes intermission is entertaining, filled with some down-home music with fiddles, guitars, and banjos.

Since God is a constant word on the lips of the cast members, the attunement to God's love is with us throughout the play. The ensemble on the stage greatly represents the love that is reflected from all of them towards each other and toward the audience. Such a fabulous experience!

Some of the familiar songs you will hear are: All My Ex's Live in Texas, Should've Been a Cowboy, Good Hearted Woman, Put Your Hand in the Hand, It's Only Make Believe, Promises I Keep, Why Me, The Bottle Let me Down, One Day at a Time,  (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden, Alcohol, Forever and Ever, Amen, Could I Have This Dance etc.

The cast of Heavenly Country consists of Ray Buffer as Albert 'Boss' Ross (what a presence, what a voice) , Jennifer Anne Grimes as Lily L'Amoreaux (as they would say down in Texas, she is cute as a button) , Michael Reese Shald as Nehemiah 'Nemo' Slavikozlowski ( think s of himself as a modern-day cowboy , whose hard-drinking got him to lose the girl and win the girl), Ashton Jordaa'n Ruiz as Pastor James Roberts and Felicia Taylor E . as Sister Ruth Roberts (they represent the hands of God who do good deeds) and Isabella Urdaneta as Danielle (Danny Morris-a little cute minx who is stirring the pot with a negative force).

Joel Russell is the P laywright and Producer. This is his very first produced play. Good going, Joel!   Stephen Russell is the Executive Producer. Paul Cady is the music director and choreographer, Bobby Benjamin is the stage manager/lights/sound, JC Gafford is the set designer & builder, Paul Reid is the lighting director, Michael Mullen is the costume designer, Nina Bays is the graphic designer, Philip Sokoloff is the publicist. Under the cooperation of all the artists and under the direction of L.Flint Esquerra this inspiring, lovely musical is so entertaining that the audience can not sit still but share the rhythm of the songs with hand-clapping and foot-stomping . Suitable for all ages.

'Russell Media' presents this musical at the Two Roads Theatre a 60-seat black box theatre with an elevated stage, located in Studio City at 4348 Tujunga Avenue, CA 91604.  The performances are on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. with the last shows on April 22nd. 

Online Ticketing: https://eventbrite.com/e/heavenly-country-tickets-440764718137?aff=ebdssbdestsearch  ADMISSION: $30.

The show is simply heavenly!

Posted By DH Magazine on April 29, 2023 05:21 pm | Permalink