What happens when you blend Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “Lost?” Drive up to Ojai, Calif., tonight to find out.
Niki Blumberg (pictured left), aspiring legiter and associate artistic director of Ojai’s Theater 150, got the initial inspiration to pen “Love’s Labour’s LOST: The Musical” while she was watching season five of the ABC drama series. She found herself utterly perplexed by the plot and needed some way to express her befuddled love for the series, particularly the seg “The Constant.”
But that doesn’t mean that only “Lost” geeks should check out the show, her first professionally produced tuner.
“There’s this whole wave happening with movies and TV shows being turned into musicals. This isn’t like that,” Blumberg assures. “It’s more inspired by ‘Lost.’ If you’re a fan, you will love it; there are winks and nods to (the show) everywhere. But I also wanted to make it accessible to anyone who’s never seen ‘Lost’ or read ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost.’ ”
Blumberg wrote a series of original tunes for the show over a period of about a year and a half — toe-tappers like “I Have Nothing Left to Live for So I Kill” (sung by Sayid), “The Constant” and “Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do.”
The 75-minute production bows tonight and runs through Aug. 1. Blumberg has worked at Theater 150 (an Equity house) for the past two years, after graduating from Emerson College, where she studied theater and lit.
Once Blumberg started working on the tuner, strange things started to happen. She began running into “Lost” thesps in Ojai. Sonya Walger showed up in town one day, and Jeremy Davies is practically a regular in the hamlet known as a funky artists’ colony. Ojai, for the uninitiated, lies about 70 miles north of L.A. on the cusp of the Los Padres
National Forest. (Now, there’s a place to get lost.)
“Ojai in a very weird way is sort of like a lost island itself,” Blumberg says. “When all of these things started happening, it felt like serendipity.”
— Cynthia Littleton