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New spark in revival of '2nd Wind the Musical'

November 02, 2002

JOYCE RUDOLPH

While the music and the lyrics continue to be a solid base for

"2nd Wind the Musical 2002," it's the actors who generate a fresh

spark to this revival at the Gene Bua Theatre in Burbank.

The story is about an acting coach, Teacher, who pulls together

three celebrity volunteers -- Cappy, Paaul and Valentine -- to help

him with a new program at Strawberry Fields Residential Treatment

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Center. They attempt to teach three street kids, Adam, Lix and

Sabrina, how to turn their rage, fear and shame into positive energy

through acting.

In this well-paced, dramatic rock opera, each actor exhibits

tremendous strength in character portrayals as well as vocal

capabilities while performing the energy-laden songs.

As the cast changes from week to week, a recent production cast

Joshua Zeil as Cappy. He captured vividly a successful,

happy-go-lucky actor, hiding his drug addiction.

Riley Weston, returning to the role of Lix, gracefully transforms

from streetwise girl punk to a loving and caring woman who gains

purpose and direction.

As Paaul, Paul Caroul is dynamic as the pretty-boy model. Whether

he's singing or reacting to others' lines, he achieves a striking

presence.

The surprise of the show is the spunky and colorful portrayal

Anita Vasan gives to Sabrina, after she ventures out of her shell.

The song "Sabrina" not only is a chance for Vasan to show off her

versatility as a dancer and singer, but is a tremendous tribute to

Susannah Hall's choreography skills.

Also astonishing is Gene Bua playing Teacher. Battling with his

real-life back pain, the actor is tentative in his movements early

on, but as the evening flows, so does his energy and it's easy to see

that Teacher, both on and off stage, is the impetus to his students'

electricity.

At times, lines are rushed, but are easier to hear this time

around because of head microphones, even though they are physically

annoying.

The special effects, by Timbo and Bobby Richards, are awesome,

including a scene where snow is falling. The sound, by Emanuel Brule,

is much more enjoyable this time, and not so jarring.

Bua's inspirational music is complemented by his wife, Toni Bull

Bua's poignant and timely lyrics.

While characters' lines are sprinkled with a tinge of tough,

PG-13-rated language, it's not overly used but bluntly depicts the

real world today.

"2nd Wind" plays at 8 p.m. Saturdays through December. Tickets are

$25 with discounts available for seniors, groups and teens. Proceeds

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