Old Hollywood, in all its glamour and glory, takes center stage at the Three Clubs in Hollywood, (a favorite signature hangout of Sinatra’s, incidentally), in ‘Frank and Ava,’ produced by David Svengalis. Enjoying a successful run at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2013, this show tells of one of the most romantic, exquisite love affairs of two of the most talented, greatest performers ever to grace the stage and screen. Frank Sinatra was truly ‘sui generis,’ in a class by himself. At the time of his often turbulent tryst with Ava Gardner, he was a struggling Vegas singer, hoping for his big break in tinseltown Hollywood, yearning to ‘jump over the wall’ into movies. His prime moment and claim to fame came when he was cast in “From Here to Eternity.” Ava, in her own right, was a beautiful starlet, full of promise, truly the ‘it’ girl of her era. Actors Stefany Northcutt and Rico Simonini portray the two, in all their complexity, a contrasting mix of confidence and vulnerability; narcissism and self absorption to a fault. As much as their personalities and co-dependence drew them together, it also inevitably cast them apart. As they each advanced quickly yet steadily up the Hollywood ladder, each with their own agenda and career goals, they maintained an almost animalistic attraction, which clearly sizzles on the stage of Three Clubs Bar and Lounge.
Both stubborn, hot blooded lovers filled with self aggrandizement, yet with a deep void and loneliness that eternally lies within the human condition. The two actors profoundly reveal how no man/woman is truly ‘an island unto oneself.’ Their love affair, a hot, steamy interlude, worthy of many a Hollywood tabloid, was portrayed, amidst a simple set, with musical interludes of romantic Sinatra faves. A hard drinking, ambitious true New Jersey Italian ‘prince,’ who truly became one of the most beloved singers/swooners of all time. This was Sinatra, in essence, and this theatrical reenactment shows his vulnerable, sensitive, oft insecure side, when it came to the love of his life. Frank was an inveterate gambler in both life and love; Ava, who strived to be the leading lady of the actors she admired, i.e Humphrey Bogart; Clark Gable; Cliff Montgomery; she was a chanteuse, an ultimate charmer. Their real life love affair was so different from their on screen personas. The setting of this play is so appropriate, as they were serious ‘drinking buddies,’ as well as lovers. Their love was akin to a turbulent ocean in a storm. ‘Frank and Ava’ tells the story, in the midst and backdrop of 1940’s glam Hollywood, this dramatic, torrid love story.
Three Clubs 1123 N Vine St Hollywood CA
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