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New CVRep theatre in Cathedral City is beautiful, what a gift to the valley, but why anyone would select a legendary theatrical bomb, CHESS, to open the new playhouse is beyond comprehension. The musical has no redeeming characters, no heroes, no fulfilling journey... the reason Broadway audiences stayed away in droves.

Ron Celona's production here is poorly-directed, embarrassingly-acted, making clear once again, CVRep continues to lower the bar for theatre here in the desert, while being cheered on by those who don't know good theatre from bad.

Yes, Gabriela Carrilo (Florence) does fine work, but the rest of the cast suffers from bad direction. Poor Garrett Marshall (Freddie) starts on one note (obnoxious) and remains there all show, fumbling the chance to redeem himself with 'Pity the Child.'

CHESS's big number, 'One Night in Bangkok,' is thrown away. One actor, Glenn Rosenblum (Walter) seems to be acting to a theatre of two-thousand rather than two-hundred.

If you're looking for subtext or subtlety with costumes or acting, you won't find it here. Choreography makes no sense.
Putting a bushy wig on a twenty something-year-old actor to play an old man is the final embarrassment.

Maybe one day CVRep will start doing interesting plays, bring in better directors, raise the bar? One can only hope.