Imagine John Hughes’ archetypal Brain, Athlete, Basket Case, Princess, and Criminal performing twenty or so ‘80s hits to a live band inside the Shermer High School library as the only kids left in “an apocalypse of nuclear zombies” and you’ve got The Last Breakfast Club, the latest from Rockwell Table And Stage and the ab-fab first in a series of The Fuse Project musical movie spoofs.

Like Rockwell’s popular Unauthorized Musical Parody series’ Mean Gurlz, Hocus Pocus, and Home Alone, The Last Breakfast Club takes a contemporary film classic and upends it.

This time round, however, the original gets fused with an additional high concept, in this case a Brat Pack-meets-Zombie Apocalypse mash-up that combines iconic Breakfast Club lines (“Sir? Sir? Sir? Sir?” “Do you slip her the hot beef injection?” “You want another?” “I’m cracking skulls.”) with meta gems (“Two breakups in the first act? We really are fucking with the original.” “Whoever writes this shit for Rockwell Table And Stage should stick to the tables and keep away from the stage.”) and one ‘80s smash after another.

R.E.M.’s “It’s The End Of The World (And I Feel Fine)” proves the ideal introduction to dweeb Brian (Garrett Clayton), jock Andrew (Max Ehrich), weirdo Allison (Lana McKissack), prom queen Claire (Anna Grace Barlow), and delinquent Bender (Jonah Platt), upon which the quintet of rising stage-screen-&-pop stars launch into hit after hit after hit backed by musical director Gregory Nabours and the always rocking Rockwell band.

From Kenny Loggins to Journey to Taylor Dayne to Guns N’ Roses to Tears For Fears to Prince. You name an ‘80s group or artist and they’re probably represented here, and that includes Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from guess which John Hughes’ teen classic and OMD’s “If You Leave” from guess which other Molly Ringwald ‘80s smash.

Also around for this Last Breakfast Club ride are principal-turned-zombie Vernon (Jimmy Ray Bennett) looking “like Kellyanne Conway got trapped in a sauna for a week” and janitor Carl (Damon Gravina), now a “born-again Jesus freak who thinks redemption will come from following the Bible way more literally than God ever fucking intended.”

Add to that a couple of unexpected end-of-Act-One visitors who offer our hapless high schoolers a way back to the future (or at least out of the library) and you’ve two (or should that be four?) movies parodied for the price of one.

Co-writers Bradley Bredeweg and Kate Pazakis, the former of whom directs with abundant pizzazz, pay affectionate, sometimes dirty filthy tribute to the Hughes original (“If you are humanity’s last hope, then I think we’re all just a little fucked in the hairy asshole”) with a bit of the political thrown in for good measure (“If we really are the last ones left, wouldn’t the world be a much better fucking place if it were actually run by gays and women?”) and a “Just Be Yourself” message that would do the 1985 Breakfast Club writer-director proud.

It’s hard to imagine a hotter, more vocally talented cast than The Last Breakfast Club’s, from Barlow’s gorgeous blonde priss (whose attempt at a lipstick trick may not yield the same results as Molly’s) to Clayton’s adorably nerdy Brian (who could give Anthony Michael Hall a lesson in teen idol cuteness) to Ehrich’s sexy jock (who may have a thing for an unexpected somebody not Claire) to McKissack’s deliriously quirky goth (who can swill an entire bottle of vodka and squawk to do Ally Sheedy proud) to Platt’s hunky bad boy (who may have a secret crush of his own not Claire).

As for the equally terrific Bennett and Gravina, not only do the duo ace the super-freaky Vernon and the Jesus-freaky Carl, they have great fun impersonating a couple more characters so iconic, they merited both a sequel and a prequel.

Choreographers Chris Downey and Nick Geurts get the entire cast rocking and rolling to an ‘80s beat in just about every Rockwell nook and cranny imaginable.

Chadd Michael McMillan gives Last Breakfast Clubbers contemporary costumes that pay tribute to characters’ idiosyncrasies rather than imitate the movie original’s look, and his props (including a very flexible guitar) rate snaps as well.

Additional design kudos go to Eric Larson for his flashy lighting and technical director David Evans for his crystal-clear sound design mix of amped vocals and instrumentals.

Understudies Taylor Boldt, Zack Collona, Valerie Rose Curiel, E.K. Dagenfield, A.J. Mendoza, and Emily Morris cover two roles each.

Pazakis and Bredeweg are co-producers. Nicholas Phillips is assistant choreographer. McMillan is production stage manager. Stephanie Lazard is production coordinator.

As with Rockwell’s UMPO series, you needn’t absolutely have seen the source material to have a smashingly good time at The Last Breakfast Club, but if by some inexplicable chance you’ve never spent ninety-six minutes with Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, and Ally Sheedy in a high school library, do yourself a favor and Netflix a certain John Hughes classic.

Then head on over to Rockwell Table And Stage for some apocalyptically awesome Last Breakfast Club fun. It may be the end of the world as they know it, but it’s only the beginning of some fabulous fusion ahead at Rockwell Table And Stage.

*Blake Estrada (bass), Nabours (piano), Emily Rosenfield (guitar), and Greg Sadler (drums)

follow on twitter small

Rockwell Table & Stage, 1714 N. Vermont, Los Angeles.

–Steven Stanley
June 3, 2017
Photos: Bryan Carpender


Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.