Topsy Turvey – Actors’ Gang Turns New Robbins Play

To start the summer, Culver City’s Actors’ Gang presents a new musical play written, directed and composed by it’s Creative Director Tim Robbins. Billed as a musical-Greek-Vaudeville, Topsy Turvey is all that and more.

Much more. 

In this mashup of classical Greek theater and rollicking Vaudeville, A Greek Chorus finds their unity shattered by a mysterious airborne illness. Desperately calling upon the gods for help, chaos ensues as they strive to restore their harmony.

This play, while delivering its titular themes of Greek theatre and Vaudevillie, is about COVID, isolation and what humanity craves. 

The show begins with a classic Greek Chorus, whose beautiful singing gets interrupted by a messenger, coming with great urgency speaking volumes with news of destruction and despair. Breath is the enemy. As soon as the messenger leaves, the leader of the Chorus begins to cough. So the chorus separated, each of the ensemble sitting on cubes around the stage, and entertaining themselves with small boxes of light.

They pray to and summon gods and goddesses alike, hoping for advice or just a literal way out of the space they must confine themselves to, so they may hopefully return as an in-person chorus again. Multiple deities from various cultures, as well as elements like ‘chaos’ and ‘distraction’ perform as the Vaudeville acts, coming on with a loud bang and turning the volume way up. 

The players of the Chorus carried each other perfectly, the ensemble far more than the sum of it’s parts.  The Vaudeville acts were intense; amazing show-stealing/room-filling performances from each and every one. Every actor who handled multiple roles did so with such complete identity change, they were subsumed by the spirits that spoke through them. 

While we may be seeing the COVID pandemic reflected in more art of all kinds in the coming years, this show is a both a benchmark and a milestone. It touches on the need to be touched, and it breath of fresh air to the fear of breathing together. Not to be missed. 

Topsy Turvey

The Actors’ Gang

9070 Venice Blvd. 

Closing June 8th

For Tickets, click on the banner ad for the Actors’ Gang on the page.  

The Actors' Gang