Reviewed by Carol Kaufman Segal



James Denton - Tanna Frederick

Ovation is an independent film by Henry Jaglom featuring the remarkable actress Tanna Frederick and charming actor James Denton. The story is written by Jaglom and Ron Vignone, and takes place in the “backstage world of theater.”

Maggie (Tanna Frederick) is the star of a stage play entitled The Rainmaker. Audiences love her and the show, yet it may not be able to stay open due to low funding. However, Maggie’s manager is looking out for her benefit, and without her knowledge, looking for a way to keep her working.

A lot goes on behind the creation of a production with the amalgamation of diverse characters spending long hours together. It is no wonder that it is not always serene among those involved.

What a surprise for Maggie when the famous actor Stewart Henry (James Denton) comes backstage after seeing the play to tell her how much he enjoyed her performance! (Aha, we may have discovered the manager’s plan.) She is naturally flattered and he begins spending a lot of time at the theater trying to persuade her to leave the play and accept a part in a television series that he tells her will make her more famous than she can ever become in the theater. Over time their plutonic relationship evolves from plutonic to more serious, much to the concern of Maggie’s jealous boyfriend (David Lee Garver).

When Michael (Simon Jaglom), the light and sound technician for The Rainmaker, catches his actress sister, Zoe (Sabrina Jaglom), backstage in an abusive conflict with her boyfriend, his concern for her safety gives him the impetus to attack him to try to save her. When it seems that Michael kills him, he panics and hides the” body.” Meanwhile, one of the women involved in the production is a psychic and, periodically, offers her predictions of what is to become of the company and those involved in it.

And what will become of the company? Will the money be found to keep the production going? If they do keep the play running, will Maggie leave to become a television star and end up with Stewart Henry? Will someone eventually discover the body hidden in a locked closet, and will Michael be accused of murder? Will all of the psychic’s predictions come true?

Well, I warned you, there is much going on in this film, and the actors in it are the means that keep it moving. It resonates with romance, mystery, and humor. In 2013 The Rainmaker was a play presented at the Edgemar Center for the Performing Arts. Tanna Fredericks played the lead in that very successful production that was extended a number of times. Henry Jaglom took the entire cast from that production and transplanted them into the film that he created with Ron Vignone – including the set. Ovation was filmed on the premises of the Edgemar Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Monica.

Soon to be released in the Los Angeles.

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