Category Archive for: ‘Kedar K. Adour’

Happy 40th Birthday to Beach Blanket Babylon

Steve Silver’s BEACH BLANKET BABYLON: Musical Spoof.  Club Fugazi, 678 Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard, San Francisco, CA. 415-421-4222, www.beachblanketbabylon.com

OPEN ENDED RUN. Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission

Happy 40th Birthday to Beach Blanket Babylon Rating: ★★★★★

Who would have thought that an irreverent 45 minute musical spoof written and acted in by an the then unknown 30 year old Steve Silver in the back room of the Savoy-Tivoli Bar & Restaurant would become the longest running musical revue in the world? Believe it, it has and continues to play to sold audiences at the 400 seat Club Fugazi in the North Beach area of San Francisco located on Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard. Yes, the block of Green Street on which the theater is located was officially changed in honor of what we San Franciscans claim to be “our” show.

But it is rightfully advertised as Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon and it has been exported the White House, performed before Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, had a successful run in Las Vegas and was guest of the 1997 Covent Garden Musical Arts Festival where it played to “enthusiastic audiences and rave reviews in London.”

In those intervening 39 years the staging has remained fresh with new faces, fancier sets, larger casts, with outrageous parody, zany satire and their trade mark hats have become bigger and bigger. Three of the cast members (Renee Lubin, Tammy Nelson, Doug Magpiong) have been in the show for 20 years and more.  Their performances, often show stoppers, are as vibrant as those of the relative new comers. Each year there are auditions for possible replacement. All the shenanigans have tremendous backup by a six piece band in partial view off-stage right that become part of the pandemonium on stage.

Describing the non-stop activity as pandemonium is unfair since the acts are intricately staged with hilarious (sometimes ribald) choreography, split second timing and unbelievable speedy costume changes. The hats may be the trade mark of the show but those costumes almost steal the show. The voices are excellent and the audience cheers when Lubin and Nelson belt out their songs. All the cast members play a dozen parts and keeping them separate is impossible while wearing the massive costumes and hair-pieces/hats. As an example Renee Lubin starts out playing Glinda the Good Witch switches to a suave Michelle Obama, a Country Western Cow-Gal wearing chaps and Tina Turner in a wig two feet tall.

To celebrate their 40th year there have been gala events at the Symphony Hall and City Hall along with multiple fluff pieces and cast/musician interviews for weeks in the daily and weekly newspapers. The adjective being used “magical, fun-filled; brilliant, sparkles, high paced, raucous, witty disorder, irreverence, zany musical spoof, pop culture, hilarious parodies of celebrities that changes with the times.”

The plot is simple. Poor Snow White is living in San Francisco and is looking for love. Before she goes out into the ‘real” world we meet Hippies [Age of Aquarius, Let the Sun Shine In, Flowers in Your Hair], The Beatles [Dr. Pepper] and Cher  [When the Moon Hits Your eye like a big Pizza] and we are whisked off to Rome.

Do not ask why we meet Oprah Winfrey [ book club hat], Hilary and Bill Clinton [The Heat is On], Senator Nancy Pelosi on a motorcycle, Barrack Obama [Rock Around the Clock and his Viagra ‘stimulant package’], Michelle Obama [Too Good to be True], Governor Jerry Brown [high speed train], Sarah Palin [Guns in her hair], etc. etc.

Held over from other shows are “Gay” Louie the XIV all in pink with a three foot wide pink hair-do, Tom Cruise [Scientology for Dummies], Conchita and her bannas, Jewish Mother and her shopping cart, Michael Jackson [Thriller], 50 Shades of Grey [Show you how to be a woman], and of course the naughty, naughty three French Poodles who dance up a raunchy storm and more and more.

Our intrepid heroine makes a magical change into Madonna and flies over the audience on wires before finally ending up back in San Francisco wearing a huge wedding cake hat [with a surprise inside] to share the stage with an updated skyline hat of san Francisco.

This is a MUST SEE show.

CAST: Jacqui Arslan; Isaiah Tyrelle Boyd; Curt Branom; Stephen Brennan; Paulino Duran; Renee Lubin; Doug Magpiong; Caitlin McGinty; Shawna Ferris McNulty; Tammy Nelson; Brendon North.

Originally, Conceived, Written, Performed & Directed by Steve Silver plus Costume, Scenic Prop & Hat Design by Steve Silver

Production Crew: Director Kenny Mazlow; Writers Kenny Maxlow & Jo Schyman Silver; Choreographer Kenny Mazlo; Assistant Director & Choreographer Mark Reina; Musical Director & Conductor Musical Arrangements Bill Keck; Production Manager Rick Markovich; Stage Manager John Francis Camajani;  Sound Designer Tom Schueneman; Costume Shop Manager Monique Motil; Additional Costume Design Jayne Serba; Prop & Hat Construction Matthew James; Wig Master Timothy Santry; Lighting Designer Michael Anderburg; Finale Hats Created and Executed By Alan Greenspan.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldinternetmagazine.com

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