The Cameo Theatre of San Antonio has been home to some stellar productions in the area. Particularly well done was their 2007 production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret. That production had the benefit of two strong lead performances by Anne Gerber as Sally Bowles and Rick Sanchez as the Emcee.
Rick has become an acquaintance of mine in recent months (we've even had the opportunity to party it up - a welcome pastime of mine). I have yet to actually work with Rick on a show (I had opportunities for the upcoming production of Sound of Music at San Pedro Playhouse and the recently closed Man of La Mancha. Unfortunately both shows I was unable to commit to because of work), however that hasn't stopped us from still being friends (we did go see Transformers 2 at a midnight showing along with other friends - thank God for alcohol.).
Now Rick will soon be directing a production of Psycho Beach Party at the Cameo Theatre due to open I think on August 14 (dates have been somewhat up in the air and sources still are conflicting a bit. I'll update as soon as I know for sure.). The movie and the original Off-Broadway play that it's based on are send ups of 1950s and 60s beach movies with a nod to 70s slasher films. The Cameo's website offers this description:
Summer, 1962. Malibu Beach. Imagine ‘Gidget’ crossed with ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ and ‘Mommie Dearest’. Sun, surf, sand, and ‘Chicklet’ Forrest wants nothing more than to learn to ‘shoot the curl’. Ride the waves. And who better to study under than the Great Kanaka? The macho king of the surfers, who rode the killer wave off the coast of Bali... handcuffed....But something isn't right...People are turning up shaved from head to toe by a mysterious assailant. The star of “Sex-Kittens Go To Outer Space” has disappeared from the set of her latest film. Surfers are coming out of the closet. And who, exactly, is Ann Bowman, the dominatrix who has risen to claim her birthright: World Domination? The big luau is only days away. Will our heroes thwart her evil scheme in time? Will Chicklet learn to surf? Will they still have time to prepare the finger foods? Will any of these questions be answered? Come see this bizarre hybrid of the best the Sixties had to offer: beach movies, bikinis, psychological melodramas, bikinis, surf guitar, bikinis, laughter, and... surfing. Not to mention the bikinis!The movie is entertaining enough with the always fantastic Lauren Ambrose (Exit the King) cast as Chicklet. Rick has cast the show true to playwright Charles Busch's original intentions; that is to say he has cast major roles in drag.
My good friend Walter Songer - the Jeffy to my Hunter - (Side Show, The Pajama Game, and Vexed are the 3 shows we've worked on together) has been cast as the central female role of Chicklet. Other friends of mine cast include Chris Berry (A Christmas Carol, Frankenstein in Love, The Pajama Game) as Kanaka, fellow New Braunfels native Kate Miller as Marvel Ann, Chris Rodriguez as Yo-Yo, Paige Hansel as Bettina Barnes, and Cassie Moczygemba (who I worked with originally in Bye Bye Birdie and later Frankenstein in Love at the Overtime Theater).
The rest of the cast includes some people I don't know and a few others that I've seen in other productions. Judging from the production team and cast list alone, the show is gonna be a blast; at least it'll be fun for the actors. Lots of friends working together can amount to a lot of fun (it's also been known to cause lots of drama too, but I don't see that happening). I have a small regret of not auditioning; unfortunately work has gotten in the way of my Summer acting.
But nonetheless, with so many productions coming up, at least my Summer viewing will be plentiful. This Friday I'm stopping in at the San Pedro Playhouse to catch a final weekend performance of Take Me Out (with my soon to be going away to NYC buddy Ryan Ramirez) in the Cellar Theater with a brief stop upstairs in the Russell Hill Rogers Theater to catch the opening night celebrations of Sound of Music (gotta love champagne); hopefully by Saturday night I'll be able to get over my hangover and catch Cal Collins original revue titled Broadway's Best at the Brauntex Theater in New Braunfels; next weekend I'm looking forward to productions of Buddha Swings! at the Overtime Theater and the previously mentioned Sound of Music; and somewhere in there I'll squeeze in Seussical at Circle Arts Theatre in New Bruanfels, the Cameo's current production of I Hate Hamlet, and AtticRep's Blackbird.
Yay for local theater!