Janae Parson (center) in "33 1/3 House of Dreams" at San Diego Rep. Photo by Daren Scott
For those with long memories and silvering hair, 33/1/3 House of Dreams is a great big nostalgic hug. For music-heads in general, this world premiere at the San Diego Repertory is a delightful and revealing chronicle of Gold Star Recording Studios, from which Top 40 hits flowed like fine wine. Written by Jonathan Rosenberg and Brad Ross in collaboration with Steve Gunderson and Javier Velasco (who directs), House of Dreams is a docu-musical focused on Gold Star co-founders Stan Ross (Nicholas Nogiardo-Cooper) and Dave Gold (Jacob Caltrider), with cast members portraying, and performing as the case may be, everyone from Phil Spector (Collin Leydon) to Brian Wilson (Joshua Penrod) to Tina Turner (Janae Parson, a showstopper).
The hits (too many to list here) just keep on coming in this show, but House of Dreams isn’t just another churned-out jukebox musical. The odyssey of Stan, the dreamer, and Dave, the technical wizard, may be star studded but it’s a genuinely human one. With a massive cast (including students like Parson from the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts), multiple set pieces and costumes, and over 20 musicians, House of Dreams is the Rep at its most ambitious, and with all this talent involved it becomes its own house of dreams.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 8/14/19.)
David L. Coddon is a Southern California theater critic.