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Independent Review - Trolls Stole The North Pole at the Secret Rose
by Corina Roberts (redbirds_vision [at]
Tuesday Dec 11th, 2012 8:28 PM
The rebirth of North Hollywood as a mini-mecca for the arts has an important partner in the Secret Rose Theatre, on Magnolia Boulevard in the NoHo Arts District. Playwright, director, actor and composer Art Shulman has created a number of plays which premiered there, and his latest, Trolls Stole The North Pole, is a must-see for children of all ages.
Trolls Stole The North Pole – and you’ll be smiling all the way home.

The world premiere of Art Shulman’s musical delight Trolls Stole The North Pole plays through December 29 at the Secret Rose Theatre in the NoHo Arts District, and it can be summed up in one word…Go.

You don’t have to be a kid and you don’t have to believe in Santa Claus. You don’t even have to like the holidays…in fact, I recommend it for the sour and crabby trolls in your life. Trick them into going if you must, but don’t miss the chance to make this play a part of your holiday season.

Trolls is definitely child-friendly. If you are bringing young ones be sure to sit in the front row. If they’ve never been to a play before, this will be the perfect experience for them. They don’t have to sit agonizingly still. They don’t need to whisper. Trolls is a frolicking gallop across the planet where good triumphs over evil and actors engage the audience. Adults can take part too. This is theatre for everyone, and especially for those who love and miss the musicals of yesteryear.

It is a musical delight. Dancing, singing, chorus…all the charm of our favorite old movies come to life on the stage with talent, strength and compositional quality that is frankly a bit bigger than the theatre itself. The cast, composed of musical theatre veterans and screen actors, includes the strong and melodic voices of Lareen Faye, and Jerome St. Jerome, who surprises the audience with his singing talent after so thoroughly convincing us he is just a lowly, bumbling troll. Twenty one original scores artfully composed by Nick Pierone will make you laugh, clap your hands, snap your fingers and want to sing along.

A wonderfully choreographed mixture of old-school musical dance and modern style makes Trolls come alive across the ages. If you’re a bit long in the tooth you’ll be transported to the days when the stage was a place where magic happened to the uplifting beat of a big band; if you haven’t cut your first teeth yet, you’ll love the color, motion, energy and joy of fluid, expressive dance.

The acting is excellent. The plot may be simple, but you’ll be engaged from the moment the lights dim and the cold wind starts to blow. Steve Apperson is as gentle and lovable as Santa Claus could possibly be; Jaimyon Parker brings his role as a troll to life with passion. Michelle Chi, Joyce B. Ferrer, Kendra Hill, Tina Toner and Mark Needle ignite the stage with their highly animated and beautifully voiced characters, and after you see Cortez Johnson pull a sleigh across the heavens you’ll know exactly how Santa’s reindeer can make it all around the world in a single evening.

Taylor Pyles and Senuwell Smith complete the talented cast with their own charming and energetic contributions as Amelia Fairheart and Tip, the honest Sheriff.

Trolls Stole The North Pole needs to be on your holiday list. You will not make a better investment in your own happiness at any shopping center. This is truly a play for kids of all ages.

Corina Roberts
Freelance Writer/Photographer

E: redbirds_vision [at]
by Corina Roberts Tuesday Dec 11th, 2012 8:28 PM