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Published on September 28th, 2012 | by RLn Staff

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Preview of “Bach at Leipzig” at Little Fish Theatre

By John Farrell

If you want to see Johann Sebastian Bach in action, then you probably don’t want to see Bach at Leipzig, the enormously informative and entertaining slapstick farce that is currently at the Little Fish Theatre on the weekends through October 14.
Bach only appears briefly, offstage, as he plays the organ. The play isn’t actually about Bach, the greatest composer of his generation. It is actually about seven musicians who are summoned to Leipzig on the death of Johann Kuhnau, the organist at the Thomaskirche in that great city. It’s a play about music, of course (you’ll learn more in ten minutes about the fugal form in this play than you’ll ever learned in music appreciation class). But it is really a light-hearted romp through the imagined lives of six also-rans (and another master: Telemann) and more about comic timing and hair-brained plotting than anything the real world ever offered.

The six men who star in this play (Bert Pigg, David Graham, Cylan Brown, Drew Shirley, Don Schlossman and Garrett Replogle–with a non-speaking walk-on by Ted Escobar as Telemann) have a great time as they wait for their chance at immortality.  And as the tension mounts, so do the plots, the swordplay (be careful if you are in theater’s first row) and the downright desperation of men who are hoping against hope. But we all know what they don’t: the inevitability of Bach’s victory.

The play is a lightweight Amadeus for the much-less-serious, but it is great fun and informative too. Though how much about the competition between Calvinism and Lutheranism in 18th Century Germany you actually want to know is a personal choice.

Tickets are $25, $23 for seniors and students. Performances are Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 o’clock, Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 o’clock, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7 at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

Details: (310) 512-6030, www.littlefishtheatre.org
Venue: Little Fish Theatre
Location: 777 Center Street, San Pedro

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