It is amazing how even Los Angeles natives can still overlook amazing events happening right under our noses. Apparently for the past year or so, there has a series of ten live events featuring well-known actors doing a live reading of a black listed script in front of an audience; when FangirlNation was invited to the final Blacklist Live! event for 2015, several of my fellow writers wrote wishing they were in the area. I had just learned about something marvelous for the first time, and from what I saw, I’m already looking forward to 2016.
It was a night of many discoveries for me. The Black List is a database of film scripts that were bought by film companies but have not been made into movies. These scripts were deemed awesome but are still waiting for their moment to shine (more information is available is available here. This is where BlackList Live! comes into the spotlight. The writer of the script reads alongside established actors who take the various roles in the script. These are actors who are seasoned enough in their craft that they can bring a script reading into life.
The event was at the Montalban theater on Vine street which was a mash-up of discoveries. It took me a few minutes to connect the framed picture of Kahn (played by Ricardo Montalban) from Star Trek to the name of the theater and the sponsorship by the NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent producers). On top of that revelation, was realizing the rooftop of the Montalban theater was where the Rooftop Film Club held their screenings. Seriously, who claims there is nothing to do in LA?!
The blacklisted script for this event was El Fuego Caliente! written by Ben Schwartz (House of Lies, Parks and Recreation). The script involves the crazy dramatic world of telenovelas (Spanish daytime drama shows) in front and behind the camera. The star of the show, Penelope, is tired of withering away in these ludicrous story lines; she wants to be pursued by paparazzi’s and star alongside an American movie star like Brad Pitt. The producer, Rose, tries to do whatever it takes to make Penelope happy and the ratings up. The shadowed co-star, Salma, is also tired of withering away and devises her own plans to be in the spotlight by seducing the other producers. As these two sides line up against each other, an attempt at boosting ratings by bringing a love interest from Penelope’s past stirs up more trouble than it’s worth. This is a script containing avenging horses, coincidental thunder, passionate kisses to end all kisses, mustaches, cleavage, crystal clear Pepsi, and high-octane drama.
So who was the cast that brought all the magic?
- Don Cheadle (House of Lies, a.k.a WARMACHINE)
- Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids)
- Jaime Camil (Jane the Virgin)
- Judy Reyes (Scrubs)
- Melanie Lynskey (Togetherness)
- Stephaie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
- Natalie Martinez (Kingdom)
- Diego Boneta (Scream Queens)
- Anthony Mendez ( Jane the Virgin)
The script was ridiculously hilarious and surprisingly touching. I laughed, I gasped, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. This has to be made into a movie. Stat. With all of these actors. I cannot imagine this movie without these actors. Every single person brought to the stage boundless energy and focus. Many times, they were jumping out of their chairs or actually using props. There were also some golden moments where they broke character and the theater just lost it in laughter. It was a completely amazing experience. If , scratch that, when this script becomes a movie, it will hold a special memory of this experience. The only downer for the night was not snatching up the poster of the event!
To keep tabs on the next Blacklist Live! event check out the website here.