Fear Over Frisco: “Inventive and Hilarious!”; The Underpants: “Utter Delight”; Buzz Talk – A Theater is Moving

by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on October 7, 2011

FEAR OVER FRISCO – TENSE AND BROODING

Well, to get started there was a tall good-looking guy standing in the Lobby Entrance of the Hypnodrome Theatre. I arrived early, but he said that I would have to wait outside. The PR guy came by and brought me back into the Lobby and introduced me to the tall good-looking man. We both remembered that we already knew each other. He was the famous “Czar of Noir” – Eddie Muller. The PR guy brought me a folding chair to wait for the Theatre to open. In the meantime – Muller introduced me as a famous writer. Was this a trick? Are they planning to put me on the scary stage? After all it is Noir mixed up with deviant and sadistic scenes.

Eddie Muller has written three spell-binding Noir plays “The Grand Inquisitor”, “Obvious Explanation” and The third play (The Drug) is directed by the over the top Russell Blackwood. But we love “Over the Top” screaming. Especially when they put someone’s eyes out.

“Drug” took place originally in Saigon. Muller rewrote the kinky play to play in San Francisco. The Czar has made it even kinkier than anyone could imagine. I think you might want to cover your eyes in some scenes. This is bizarre. You can expect screams that will freeze up your spine.

Sure it’s Graphic stuff. But it’s made to shock the audience. You will love the surprise ending where the lights go out completely for a time. There you are in a real blackout. Scary? Yes! Then in the dark, strange things happen to the audience in “The Spook Show”. Wow! It’s nerve racking. Glad I still had some popcorn to chew on.

AS USUAL THE CAST WAS EXTRAORDINARY.

It’s their 12th Annual Extravaganza of Terror and titillation.

http://www.thrillpeddlers.com/

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!! – trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he also produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

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Girls having a good time while the boys are out. Courtesy Photo: CustomMade Theater.

STEVE MARTIN’S HILARIOUS ADAPATION OF 1910 PLAY IS MERCILESSLY COMIC

THE UNDERPANTS

It’s 1913 and a Lady just doesn’t let her underpants slip onto her shoes while she waves at the King. It was the scandal of the day. There they were … her underpants were resting on her Ankles. Her prudish husband (a government clerk) is worried that this improper mishap will ruin his career. And this couldn’t have happened at a worst time for him. You see — he is trying to rent out a spare room. But his wife Louise now will have a chance to drop her underpants more often because all the Tenants that want to rent are males.

Louise’s underpants became celebrity in their own right. The male boarders were lined up trying to rent the spare room. Not so much for the tiny room – but they think that if she lets her underpants slip down, maybe she might be interested in something more.

The play is witty — its double entendre wording is just a hoot. This cast — gives the words a salacious boost that keeps the laughs coming and coming.

Louise is bored with her stiff husband. And no – that is not a double entendre. But her home life is not a (‘Bowl of Cherries’).

Most of the interaction with the Tenants and her husband take place in the Kitchen – where lots of flirting goes on. It’s such juicy fun to watch.

THE CAST COULDN’T BE MORE FUN! THEY ARE: Riley Krull, David Vega, AJ Davenport, Paul Stout, Gabriel A. Ross and Michael Moerman. They are all crazily entertaining.

HAL GELB, the Director did a really swell job. And the Costume design by Scarlett Kellum kept the rest of the cast from dropping their underpants. Hector Zavala created the interesting Scenic Design.

Carl Sternheim wrote the original play. Steve Martin adapted it.

RATING: THREE GLASSES OF CHAMPANGE!!! – trademarked-

http://www.custommade.org/

BUZZ TALK

A CELEB WANTS TO KNOW. There is a rumor that a popular small Theatre near Union Square is planning a move to a 300 Seat Theatre. The Celeb heard that the plans have already been put in place. Is this true? Buzz sez yes. It is true. Rumor has it – that it could be the old Strand Theatre on Market Street near the Orpheum Theatre. Although I think the Strand have more than 300 seats. But then, on the other hand they could just the main floor and close off the balcony. You will have to figure out which Theatre on Sutter Street is making the plans to move.

A NEW COMEDY CALLED “EMBASSY” WILL OPEN ON OCT. 22 at the Berkeley City Club. Here’s the story: Graham Greene meets Liberace in this shamelessly farcical mix of the personal and the political. Can’t wait to see it. By the way, the building is absolutely gorgeous. The play (a Central Works Method Play) is written by Brian Thorstenson. OCT. 22 – NOV. 20. Previews – Oct. 20 & 21.

AND THAT’S A WRAP!!!!

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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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