'Nine' a musical of female empowerment

LONG BEACH - "Nine," the renowned musical by Arthur Kopit, opens this weekend at the Studio Theatre on the Cal State Long Beach campus.Directed by theater department chair Joanne Gordon, "Nine" is inspired by Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical "8 1/2" and follows an aging Italian filmmaker as he is haunted, tormented, agitated, aroused, inspired and invigorated by hoards of flirtatious and potent women. Gordon said he believed the time is right for presenting the stage production after the 2009 feature film, starring Daniel Day Lewis, received lukewarm responses. "It is one of the most exquisite scores ever written," Gordon said. "The book is smart and sophisticated, yet underappreciated." And while the production is centered around a man, Gordon said he strongly believes in the message of female empowerment. "It's a celebration of women and their diversity, complexity, luscious sensuality, neurotic needs and powerful integrity," he said. "It is a recognition of man's need for woman." The CSULB production takes an unusual approach by performing "Nine" with nearly double the number of cast members for which the score was originally intended. Gordon's substantial cast creates "a staggering explosion of sound. "[It is about the] absolute deep and profound joy of a rich diet of sound, sight and emotion," Gordon said. "Nine" will run for 11 performances Oct. 29 - Nov. 7. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday at 8 p.m., with matinees at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 for seniors and students with valid ID. For tickets and information, call (562) 985-5526 or go online to www.csulb.edu/depts/theatre.

********** Published: October 28, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 28