Review: Tarantino's Women Front & Center in Return of For the Record

by Kevin Taft

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday August 30, 2021

A publicity photo for "Tarantino Live: Fox Force Five & The Tyranny of Evil Men"
A publicity photo for "Tarantino Live: Fox Force Five & The Tyranny of Evil Men"  

For the Record Live is back! The quintessential Los Angeles music review has been MIA since before COVID, popping up at different venues and continuing runs in Vegas and on Cruise lines, but its permanent home in LA had disappeared.

Not anymore! 

With the opening of The Bourbon Room in Hollywood — a dinner theater/nightclub space that recently housed the Tim Burton pop-up bar — For the Record returns with their latest incarnation of their ever-popular Tarantino show.

Created by Shane Sheel and Anderson Davis over 15 years ago, the concept of celebrating a director's movies through the music of the film's soundtracks and dialogue from the film was born. From Tarantino, to Baz Luhrman, to Scorcese, the shows not only rotated on a regular basis, but so did the star-studded casts. From Broadway vets, to television and film stars, to up and coming performers, the talent on stage (and behind it) is undeniable.

With the re-opening of much of the city, it's a joy to welcome back the talent and artistry of the For the Record crew, and their latest "Tarantino Live: Fox Force Five & The Tyranny of Evil Men" is a return to form.

Starring a rotating cast that includes FTR fave James Byous ("Westside"), Gabriella Carillo ("The Prince of Egypt"), Rogelio Douglas, Jr. ("In the Heights"), Dionne Gipson ("The Wilds"), Alice Lee ("Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist"), Emily Lopez ("Carrie"), Tracie Thoms ("Rent"), Zane Carney ("Spiderman: Turn off the Dark"), Jimmy Carpinello ("Rock of Ages"), and many more, the night takes the audience through a montage of Tarantino's work, sliding through images and scenes like playfully naughty poetry. (A good knowledge of Tarantino's work is suggested, but not required.)

Utilizing moments and songs from "Reservoir Dogs," "Django Unchained," "Kill Bill," "Death Proof," "Inglorious Bastards," "Pulp Fiction," and more, there's a lot to see and hear in FTR's latest version of their Tarantino mash-up.

With the audience seated in front and on the sides of the stage, the actors roam between patrons, sometimes stopping right in front of a table to play a scene or belt a power ballad. With the testosterone of Tarantino, the company has shifted their focus to the women of his films, and gives them center stage. It's a significant commentary on how women are treated, but also on how they kick ass and survive just fine on their own; this is an of-the-moment take on Quentin's oeuvre.

Each member of the company gets their chance to shine, and with so much talent it's amazing that one doesn't outshine another. At least once per cast member, you will be wowed by their vocal power and how they deliver these signature tunes. Song's like 'Bang Bang," "Hooked on a Feeling," Son of a Preacher Man," "Baby It's You," and "Satisfied Mind" will become earworms for days to come, and call attention to some amazing performers that you will not only fall in love with, but want to go back to see again and again. And with a cast that keeps alternating, each night may be different!

So, come find your faves, have a few drinks, laugh, sing along, and marvel at the extraordinary talent on display. Tarantino has! Why not you?


"Tarantino Live: Fox Force Five & The Tyranny of Evil Men" runs every Thursday through Sunday at The Bourbon Room. For more information and tickets, visit TarantinoLive.com.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.