Actors Group explores world of angels and demons


POSTED: Sunday, October 04, 2009

It's a movie!

It's a trilogy!

It's a multimedia franchise!

The “;Soul Savior Chronicles,”; filmmaker Jeff Katts' original visualizations of a dark world in which angels and demons fight for human souls, shifts from the film screen to the stage this month with the Actors Group production of “;Dancing Between Heaven and Hell,”; TAG co-founder Eric Nemoto's original musical.

“;It's another one of our TAG ventures where we're pushing the envelope. We don't know how it is going to turn out, but we're not afraid to do it,”; Nemoto said, calling shortly before midnight Wednesday after a “;hell week”; rehearsal.

TAG presented a multimedia “;Soul Savior”; play last year, Nemoto continued, and when Katts suggested doing one this year, Nemoto doubted at first that there was anything more to do be done with the characters.





        Where: The Actors Group Theater, 1116 Smith St.

When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow and Tuesday; also at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 12-14, and 19-24, and at 2 p.m. Oct. 25


Cost: $10 general admission


Call: 722-6941 or www.taghawaii.net




“;I didn't think we could do (another story) any better than we did last time. It was rather innovative even for a 'Dark Night' production. We put a lot of things into it, and it turned out great even though we worked on it for only a month.”;

When Katts said that Curtis Duncan and Renee Garcia were interested in the project, “;that turned it for me,”; Nemoto said. “;Any time I get to work with those two actors, they are like the tops, not only talent-wise, but also (based on) work ethic. They have most lines to learn, and they are the first (to go) off-book.”;

When Katts added that songwriter Sherry Eatmon was ready to write the music and Ashley Layfield also wanted to participate as an actor/dancer, Nemoto was sold.

Duncan returns as Haniel, the bombastic Irish angel who prevailed over a team of demons last time. Garcia is a soul savior—a human chosen to participate in the battle between good and evil.

Demons, like salespeople, are expected to make their quotas. The ones who failed last time have been replaced by a younger and stronger demon, Gaap. Without giving too much away, Gaap finds ways to use Haniel's strengths against him.

ONE OF THE new angles this time is casting Thomas Smith, who played a weak and miserable human last time, as Gaap.

“;He's turning out to be really interesting,”; Nemoto said. “;I'm trying to make him appear like he's never appeared before. He's only had these little good roles, (but) he's a real bad guy in this one.”;

“;The first act is about what happens in the past. Reina Barron is an attorney, seven months pregnant, representing her client who has an abusive husband. ... Long story short, he is going crazy because the demons are whispering things in his ears, (and) the voices are telling him to kill his wife.”;

Act 2 finds a disgraced angel working with a mortal to rescue a soul trapped between this world, heaven and hell.

Those familiar with the “;Soul Savior”; universe know that death is not always forever—and that the precise sequence of events in one's final moments can be extremely important. The term “;rules lawyers”; applies to demons and angels alike as they argue over important bits of minutiae that can determine the ultimate fate of human souls.

Nemoto added that he's enjoyed the challenge of writing and staging another 'Dark Night' show.

“;I've never done a musical before, so that's a challenge, something different. The second thing is that any time I can throw a 'Dark Night' in (the schedule), I have to write a story to adapt to the set that's there. That's a creative challenge that I thrive on.”;