All posts by Christina Williams

Behind The Song: Cory Dagg’s “I Walk A Lonely Street” Is an Intimate and Compelling One-Man Show About the Song that Changed Rock & Roll 

Actor & Show Creator Cory Dagg – Photography by Vanie Poyey

Making the powerhouse decision to create an entire solo show from concept to curtain-down can be the pinnacle of any actor’s career, one that grants them unfettered artistic control over their own craft. 

The fusion of a beautifully scripted storyline with an outstanding on-stage presence is the essence behind a truly successful solo show, which is exactly what industry veteran Cory Dagg delivered throughout his commanding debut performance in “I Walk A Lonely Street” in Los Angeles this past August.

An intimate and compelling story behind the song that changed the course of rock and roll history, “I Walk A Lonely Street” is an emotional rollercoaster full of excitement and tragedy. Throughout the show, Dagg invites the audience on a touching and personal journey of how iconic songs and childhood idols shaped the brilliant artist that he is known as today. 

“A good solo show is told from the point of view of the actor performing the show,” explains Dagg. “To weave myself into the story that I wanted to tell in a truthful and hopefully meaningful way was not an easy task.”

A man of extraordinary talent, Dagg also worked behind the scenes as the show’s producer, which he workshopped over three weeks at the famous Hudson Theatre in LA, during the 11th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival in August 2021.  

“Producing involves a lot of work, you have to see the big picture as well as the small details,” he says. “Ultimately you are responsible for the entire show.”

Hollywood Fringe Festival official poster

In the dramaturgy phase of shaping his script, Dagg brought relevance to the team behind the unfolding of Elvis Presley’s iconic 1956 single “Heartbreak Hotel,” which deservingly went on to leave a monumental impact on the music we know today. Not only was the song the breakthrough to superstardom for Elvis Presley, but its impact on the next generation of musicians was mind-blowing. 

Beatles legend John Lennon once said, “When I first heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ my whole life changed from then on. I was just completely shaken by it.” Fellow Beatlemania superstar Paul McCartney also declared the song “nothing less than the most important artistic creation of the modern era.”

The show’s storyline focuses on a selection of influential characters, including a 19-year-old Elvis and “Heartbreak Hotel” co-writer Mae Boren Axton who, under a starry midnight sky, made a promise to the king of rock and roll to compose his first ever nationwide number 1 hit. 

The inspiration for “I Walk A Lonely Street” was born after Dagg’s coincidental onset interaction with Boren Axton’s son, as well as fellow actor Hoyt Axton (“Gremlins”) whom they worked together on the 1989 crime comedy “We’re No Angels,” starring two-time Oscar winners Robert De Niro (“Joker,” “Raging Bull”) and Sean Penn (“I Am Sam,” “21 Grams”). 

Throughout his captivating performance in “I Walk A Lonely Street,” Dagg breathed life into a wonderful and varied cast of characters who shaped the unfolding of the most pivotal rock song of all time. His effective portrayal of a young Elvis Presly, Hoyt and Mae Boren Axton, his present self and as a 7-year-old paperboy, among numerous other characters, left the mesmerized audience with an overwhelming sense of emotion. 

“It’s a big undertaking and you hope that people will say that those characters come naturally to you,” Dagg shares. “But the truth is it takes endless hours of rehearsal to get them right and to quickly transition from one character to another.”

Although the Hollywood Fringe Festival was essentially a workshop performance, this didn’t stop the devoted audience from feeling an overwhelming sense of attachment to Dagg’s stunning on-stage presence. 

One crowd member quoted, “He [Dagg] tells the story with such tremendous insight and humor, that by the end of the piece, the audience, young and old, reward him with genuine applause and occasional tears.” While another claimed, “The show was fabulous! It was funny in parts, tragic and I can’t believe one person could take you through time and space seamlessly playing many compelling characters.”

Cory Dagg in his solo show “I Walk A Lonely Street”
Image by Richard Clark & Projection Design by Jeffrey Elias Teeter

Following on from the tremendous success of the workshop in L.A, Dagg has also secured international exposure for the world premiere of “I Walk A Lonely Street,” which is set to take place at the distinguished 75th Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland in 2022. 

“Seeing the characters and story come alive on stage has been a magical experience,” Dagg shares. “Especially after so many years of development, research and writing.”

Staying true to the iconic storyline and boldly moving forward with full freedom, action has once again landed Dagg at the heart of Hollywood greatness. Over the course of 30 years, he has flawlessly portrayed every character under the sun across film, television and theatre, often sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in the game. 

Hollywood royalty Robert De Niro (“The Irishman”) once threw his arm around Dagg on set while commending his phenomenal work as an actor, while two-time Oscar nominated director Mikael Salomon (“Band of Brothers”) offered Dagg a featured series role as General Michaelson in the seven-time Emmy Award nominated miniseries “The Andromeda Strain,” which was executive produced by Golden Globe winner and four-time Oscar nominated filmmaker Ridley Scott (“Blade Runner,” “The Martian”). 

With a long list of illustrious film and television credits to his name, and an upcoming world premiere of his already successful one-man show “I Walk A Lonely Street,” it’s fair to say that Cory Dagg is among the select few in the competitive industry who can truly master it all, and no doubt will continue to deliver timeless performances for years on end.

Alice Del Corso’s Novel “Magnolia Hearts On Fire: Vol 1” Becomes Award-Winning Film

Magnolia
Film Poster for “Magnolia: Hearts on Fire Vol. 1”

When it was published in Italy in November 2018, “Magnolia: Hearts on Fire Vol. 1” was undoubtedly a runaway success novel for its author, Alice Del Corso, but it was her proficient skills as a screenwriter that led the source material to be transformed into a multi-award winning film.

Resting on Del Corso’s penmanship of the triumphant novel and its successful transfer to the cinema screen, the film version of “Magnolia” won the Best Short Awards at the Rolling Ideas, Etna, Via dei Corti, Couch and The Monthly Film Festivals, as well as the Best Short Awards at the Crown Wood and Creation International Film Festivals. 

“I was living in London when I started to imagine this girl; her past, her dreams, but I had no time to write that story so I just paused it, waiting for a better moment to write it,” said Del Corso, whose industrious film career has included being a story editor and script doctor in the UK.

“That moment came three years later and it is a story that really made me feel so many emotions that I will always carry it in my heart.”

Hailing from Tuscany, Italy Del Corso has established an internationally acclaimed career as a screenwriter through her work on lauded films, such as “Inside,” “Apeiron, “Suspensum,” and “Alba,” for which she has remarkably already won eight awards and two nominations. 

In addition to her awards for “Magnolia,” Del Corso’s accolades for screenwriting for “Apeiron” have included winning the Best Short Film Award at the Hollywood Film Competition and Los Angeles CineFest, Best Drama Short Award at the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival,  Diamond Award Winner at the International Independent Film Awards, the Best of the Year Award at the Gold Movie Awards, as well as nominations at the Depth of Field International Film Festival Competition.

“I can say that I’ve always been writing stories,” said Del Corso, who has enjoyed critical praise for her work since her 20’s. “I had a journal where I used to try my ‘writing experiments,’ as I called them: some poems, ideas, dialogues of some characters I had imagined; everything that popped into my mind.” 

Taking nearly two years to complete, Del Corso’s 520-page book of “Magnolia” focuses on the romance, and subsequent drama, between Elise Sodderland, a raven-haired troubled young woman who has fled Glasgow to come to London after something terrible happens, and Colin Knight, a famous English entrepreneur.

“When I’m writing a story, I primarily follow the characters, their space inside the plot, their needs and goals, giving them priority above everything else,” said Del Corso. “I think that the only way to have a story that feels true is to create characters so real that it’s like knowing someone intimately.”

A quick hit in Italy, “Magnolia” regularly sells around 700 copies a month, a very significant number for the Italian market and a fitting testament to Del Corso’s highly-consummate writing.

Released in November 2018, the film version of “Magnolia” was directed by Del Corso’s husband, Philip Thomas Morelli, through their joint company, Castle View Studio, which they founded in 2013. In addition to garnering numerous awards, “Magnolia” earned Morelli a nomination for the Best Director Award at the 2020 Mabig Film Festival, which will take place next year. 

“In the film, we see the key moments of Elise’s life,” said Del Corso, about the film which has also received several nominations such as Best Director, Actor, Actress and Directing for the 2020 Mabig Film Festival as part of its official selection.

 “Her past, her fears, and also the moment that will change her life which is her first meeting with Colin, the male character of this story.”

“Magnolia” stars two Italian actors as its two romantic leads: Sara Matteucci, who has starred in the film “Love 14” and TV series “Sketch Up,” and whose character for the film is listed as Magnolia Queen; and Amedeo Andreozzi, who stars in the film “99.9%” and the TV series “Don Matteo”, who plays Colin.

Matteucci has been nominated for the Best Lead Actress Role for “Magnolia” at the 2020 Mabig Film Festival, whilst Rocco Fasano of “Skam Italia’ fame has been nominated for the Best Lead Actor for his portrayal of the lead antagonist, Ryan Mcneal. 

“Alice is the sweetest human being and a very talented writer: she has an immense inner world which very generously opens up to the audience,” said Fasano, who was also the lead male actor in Del Corso’s award-winning sci-fi film “Apeiron.”

“She’s proven herself capable of dealing elegantly with human emotions as well as with the design of different universes… she’s sensitive and her narrations are beautifully structured.”

In February 2019, Del Corso commenced writing her second novel, “Blossom,” and the sequel of “Magnolia” is scheduled to reach the silver screen in 2020, in which Fasano will once again take on a leading role.

Del Corso is also set to begin production on her Hollywood cinematic debut with the upcoming feature film “Memoria,” which is slated to begin filming in Atlanta, Georgia and will be directed by Morelli.

“We signed with an executive production company in Hollywood and we have a famous American actor attached to the project in the leading role, who really loved the story,” said Del Corso, who has written both the story and 125-page screenplay for the project.

“Unfortunately, we cannot reveal anything else at the moment.”

 

 

A Perfect Storm: Alexia Sabogal Seizes Entertainment Industry

Argentine actress Alexia Sabogal is captivating the world of entertainment, as she continues to star in theater, television shows, and hit music videos.

Alexia also developed her expertise with acting in the music industry when she appeared in the music video The Night is Still Young with female rap artist Nicki Minaj. This music video has also reached an extraordinary amount of views on YouTube, totaling at more than 43 million in first three months of its release.

Along with her work in theatre and music videos, Alexia has also made an impression on television, turning heads as Kalu in the hit series, Aliados. Since 2013, the television series has reached worldwide acclaim, and has been broadcast to more than 18 countries on the Fox Network.

In just two seasons, Aliados has been nominated for many awards, and won the Martin Fierro Award for “Best Teen TV Show” and the Kids Choice Argentina Award for “Best National TV Show”.