The Lyric Hyperion Theater in Silver Lake is closed almost forever, but Dr. Strange helps him get back in.

The Lyric Hyperion Theater has been a beloved part of the Silver Lake community for decades, featuring comedy, theater, improv lessons, and more. It was on the verge of closing permanently during the pandemic, and the site was up for sale.

But in a last-minute plot, the theater reopened again. That’s thanks to Kaela Green and Brandon Wood’s role as the venue’s new operators.

The owner wanted to keep it as an independent theater and make it function as a community center for local performers and other artists. But after a bad experience with previous operators of the place, his future was in doubt. If Green and Wood hadn’t come, the site would have become something else.

“It was hard to see her go — or turn into a gym,” former Lyric performer Pam Severn said. She’s been involved in the theater and comedy scene since around 2016, giving and producing a variety of shows – including ones that feature her own puppet art skills.

“We heard the gym, we heard a Chinese food restaurant,” Green said. “But the community has loved Lyric so much for the past eighteen years, and it would have been devastated if it had turned into something else.”

Enter the multiverse

Lyric Hyperion takes on Doctor Strange (R) and Wong (L).

Before the pandemic, one of Wood’s big projects was producing a musical parody, based on existing films and TV shows. It is built in the style of a musical jukebox, and mingles in folk songs.

“That’s what led me to Lyric, I was looking for a home for these shows I wrote before the pandemic, which were unfortunately sitting on the shelf for a bit. I was looking for a place in Los Angeles to produce,” Wood said.

The venue is using a new satirical musical, called Marvel’s Dispatch Verse Running From Madness: An Unauthorized Musical Parody, as the grand calling card for reopening. The intimate venue, which seats about 65, has seven people on the cast and a four-person live band.

“There are a lot of popular culture references,” Wood said.

Presentation includes references to the walking DeadAnd the the deskAnd the The bacheloretteand much more.

Wood’s from New York, has brought his credentials as an actor in shows on Broadway and beyond. He was also a producer, writer, and director, and ran a national tour theater for young actors. Meanwhile, Green comes from outside the theater world, holds an MBA from Pepperdine and a background in aviation and healthcare.

Wood and Green didn’t know much about Lyric’s entry, but Wood knew he wanted either a performance space with some restaurant capabilities, or a restaurant with a performance space. That’s because its offerings include themed menu items, including drinks. They took their business plan to the owner of Lyric and sold it in their plan, keeping it as a theater while developing it to show more musical comedy. Severn compared the new style to another venue lost during the pandemic, the Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz Village.

When we acquired this space, our goal was really to be an inclusive environment – to give a variety of people different voices.

– Kayla Green

The Lyric has been redesigned, with new cabaret-style seating and expanded restaurant capabilities, including food delivered to you at your seat. They plan to produce more original programmes, with musical satirical shows of popular culture every two months.

“This is where we turn to: more of these high-quality, in-house produced, parodic musical styles that are being written by Brandon,” Green said.

The plan is to use the remaining months to prepare and rehearse for the next musical. The Lyric also serves as the new home of the California Comedy Club, offering a variety of stand-up shows, including shows and shows with major titles. They will also still provide space for outside producers and local artists, as well as co-produce shows with outside artists and producers, especially on weekends without other shows and on weekend nights.

“When we acquired this space, our goal was really to be an inclusive environment – ​​to give a diverse group of people different voices. So we want to continue that as we go forward,” Green said.

Building a business in a new phase of the epidemic

Dimly lit benches and tables on the floor, a podium featuring dark curtains and a red backdrop, plus two microphones in mic stands.

Revamped Lyric Hyperion stage.

(Courtesy of Lyric Hyperion)

The theater’s history goes back much longer than the Lyric Hyperion name. It previously featured Leonard Nimoy and Richard Chamberlain’s theater troupe, The Angels Company, which took over the venue in the late 1980s.

“Now I’ve got a whole new life,” Severn said.

The theater opened in December and has a large number of space rentals for other shows. They have been waiting to get a new license for beer and wine before announcing their full reopening.

“A lot of our business plans kind of took a backseat, a little bit, while we waited for them to be resolved,” Wood said.

“I think everyone knows that with the global pandemic, small businesses are struggling to get back up,” Green said. “We’re here, we’re ready for you.”

It’s a casual atmosphere, where patrons are encouraged to take photos and videos during the show, and post this on social media. The revamped food service also includes a new theater café brand – now known as Bravo Bistro.

“We just want to keep expanding access to Lyric, so more people can stay a secret,” Wood said.

Lyric has inspired a lot of warm feelings over the years. Severn has dropped out of performance during the pandemic, but still supports the venue and helps promote their comeback.

“Everyone who went to Lyric before the pandemic, they speak fondly of their memories there. And we really really appreciate that — we want to expand on that and build on that,” Wood said.

you can see Verse running from madness At Lyric Hyperion, Thursday through Sunday, through July 24 – and there will be more satirical musicals in the coming months.

Site: 2106 Hyperion Ave. , Los Angeles
phone: 323-796-2299

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