Below is a non-spoiler review of Rogue Artists Ensemble’s Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta.
What would we be without our memories? Those moments, stored in our minds, have so much power over who we become as people. They can remind us of those we’ve met through the years, the laughter shared, and sometimes even the terrors we have witnessed. Imagine getting to know someone by way of traveling through their own recollections and re-living them. What an imaginative way to learn about people and explore worlds we may have otherwise never seen. All of these scenes in our head make up a lifetime, and they can tell one hell of a story.
Attending Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta is exactly that. What starts off as a casual book release gathering quickly unveils a spectacular journey through the mind of Eugenio Plummer, a Los Angeleno born in 1853, who spent most of his life in the City of Angels. In fact, this book launch is happening in Plummer Park itself, only steps away from the home he lived in since 1877. Before you know it, the pages of the book, Señor Plummer: The Life and Laughter of an Old Californian, will unfold and come to life right before your eyes. This, off the page experience of tall-tales will take you down paths of adventure, romance, laughter and even horror. Get ready to travel through the vivid world of this story first hand – it’s one wild ride!
Rogue Artists Ensemble, are known for their extraordinary use of mixed media. This includes larger-than-life puppetry, shadow play, and extraordinary masks, just to name a few. Señor Plummer, along with its predecessors, such as The Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin and Wood Boy Dog Fish, does not fail to once again bring their trademark colossal theatrical style, to the stage. The set design is epic; the colors are so vibrant you feel like the paintings of cacti must be prickly to the touch, and the oranges overhead look ripe enough to eat. The musical numbers, sung by incredibly talented actors, serve to draw audiences into the festivities! Every element of this show is a spectacular feat.
The Ensemble is also known for incorporating cultural history into their storytelling. Plummer is no exception. You will hear many stories, teaching you things you may have never known about the ever-changing city of Los Angeles and its rich background. Señor Plummer’s stories will give you some insight into the beginning communities of a city that people from all over the world flock to and told in an incredibly spirited and vivid way.
The incredible writing of this show introduces you to a variety of characters, each incredibly lovable in their own way. How do you not fall for a land shark in a suit, or a feisty coyote that loves chips and salsa? This phenomenal cast presents one seriously playful fiesta that will swirl through your mind for days to come, even after the party is over.
Señor Plummer is a ‘choose your own adventure’ (sandbox) styled immersive experience, allowing you to partake in whichever memories you think sound the most intriguing. Your journey begins as you’ve arrived to learn about the new book written about our protagonist, Eugenio Plummer. As you watch a slide show and listen to tales about Plummer’s background, there is suddenly a loud knock at the door. Soon after, the room is filled with lively characters, laughing and talking and moving all around you. They have come to take you away and show you Plummer’s stories first hand. Perhaps you are most interested in Mrs. Plummer taking you to learn of his nightmares? Or maybe going to the local saloon is more up your alley. You can visit places you may have been before, such as the Vasquez Rocks, but I promise you’ve never seen them like this or heard the tales to be told there. You can even hang out at the general store and just enjoy a beer. The choice is completely yours, and throughout the whole experience you are free to move about this grand site-specific location to see as much or as little as you’d like.
While you can go off into different parts of the venue to experience more intimate memories, there will be times when the entire audience will be brought back together as a group, with the whole cast in a central courtyard. The entire show is timed perfectly and flowed so smoothly that there was never a dull moment, while trying to see as much as you can. Each scene allowed for so many touching and whimsical moments. The writing is spectacular, and you will find yourself hysterically laughing along with everyone one minute, while the next you might be brought to tears by some of the darker tales.
Thanks to the city of West Hollywood’s Arts Division and Rogue Artists, a truly beautiful adventure takes place here at Plummer Park and you’re not going to want to miss a second of it. Do yourself a favor and add to your own bank of memories by seeing this marvelous production. Dance, sing, clap and smile along with a band of animals and people that you won’t soon forget. Grab a copy of the book for your own collection and make sure you have it signed by ‘Don Juan’ himself! I’m certain you’re going to cherish what you find here, for some time to come, and in doing so, keeping one of West Hollywood’s original residence’s stories alive forever.
Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta is currently running until November 4th. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.