Directed by : Jeremy Welter
Presented September 2010
|Off The Wall Theatre ended
it's summer with a wild beach bash for the ages. Continuing a tradition
started in 2006 with "Die Mommie Die" and continuing the next year
with "The Lady In Question", we proudly presented a third crazy
Charles Busch comedy, "Psycho Beach Party"! Inspired by 60's beach movies
and everyone's favorite surfer girl Gidget, "Psycho" is the story
of a teen girl named Chicklet who wants nothing more that to ride the waves
with the boys. Standing in her way is her over-bearing mother, her best
friends Marvel Ann and Berdine, a group of surf bums, a famous movie star,
and a pesky psychological problem. You see, Chicklet has multiple personality
disorder. Without warning she can turn into anything from a checkout girl
at the Safeway, to a male model named Steve, or even Ann Bowman, a dominatrix
bent on world domination.
To bring this story to life, we brought back some Off The Wall (and Charles Busch) regulars, alongside some newcomers to our stage, who aren't afraid to take the show to the crazy heights it needs. Starring as Chicklet (and her MANY personalities) was OTW regular Liz Mistele. In addition to her appearances as Little Red Ridinghood in "Into The Woods", Ophelia in "Hamlet", and Polly Peachum in "Threepenny Opera", Liz appeared in "The Lady In Question" as Heidi Mittlehoffer. And who was the "Lady In Question"? None other than Milwaukee's own drag celebrity Dear Ruthie, Mark Hagen, who appeared in "Psycho" as Chicklet's mother, Mrs Forrest. Mark has appeared in (and out) of wigs many times before at Off the Wall including performances in the aforementioned "Lady" as Gertrude Garnet, "Die Mommie Die" as Angela Arden, and even had recent turns in "Macbeth" and "Cat Among The Pigeons". As Dear Ruthie, Mark can be seen all over Milwaukee. Ruthie is a columnist for a local paper, has hosted numerous charity events, and even appeared on the "Don and Bo Show" that briefly aired in 2004.
No teen girl would be complete without her best friends and boys to ogle, and in this production Chicklet's group was definitely an eclectic bunch. Her BFF is Berdine, a nerdy, lanky, Sarte reading good girl played by Kurtis Witzlsteiner. Kurtis last was seen in "Cat Among the Pigeons" but has been in numerous productions with us including "Hamlet" and "Company". If Berdine is the "good" friend the "bad" one is definitely the vampy Marvel Ann, played by Off The Wall newcomer Kaytlyn Schwartz. Marvel Ann is always on a man-hunt, so we brought back to of the stars of "Into The Woods" to be her (and Chicklet's) prey. Eric Nelson, who played our Wolf, is featured as Star Cat, the handsome surf bum who has put aside dreams of becoming a psychiatrist to "shoot the curl". Eric has been seen not just with Off The Wall, but also with the Skylight Theatre and In Tandem over the past few seasons (among others). Patrick Mcguire, who has recieved a lot of buzz as Jack In "Woods" and the son in our show "Hamlin", was Kanaka, the king of the beach. Kanaka may seem cool and calm, but a certain personality of Chicklet's brought out a whole new side of him. Michael Raspanti and Kevin Gadzalinski joined us for the first time as surfers (with benefits?) Provoloney and Yo-Yo. And finally, as famous movie star Bettina Barnes, who was hiding from the studios, we were happy to have joining us Jocelyn Ridgely. Jocelyn may have joined us for the first time but in the past she has worked with Boulevard Theatre, Bunny Gumbo, and has appeared in many short films.
Associate Director Jeremy Welter (no stranger to playing psycho) directed psycho and "Psycho" for the first time. Past productions he directed at Off The Wall were "Shadow Box" and "Cat Among The Pigeons". He also designed the stage which made use of video to help capture the unique and sometime artificial look of the 60's beach films. Technical Director David Roper assisted with both set and the lighting.