Title: Psycho Beach Party
Rating: 4 Stars
This was held at the Eclectic Theater. It’s a nondescript little theater lacking a marquee. It wasn’t obvious where it was until I walked in front of it. It’s a small theater, probably seating less than a hundred.
It was a wonderful play. You need go into it aware that you won’t be receiving deep existential knowledge of the human condition. If you want to see a high-camp, screw-ball comedy, this is the perfect vehicle.
Chicklet is a surfer girl wanna-be. She’s young, on the cusp of growing up. She’s interested in boys but does not really know what to do with them. She wants to surf but the surfer dudes have no interest in teaching a girl how to surf. She most enjoys hanging out with her gawky best friend to discuss literature and philosophy.
However, all is not well at home for Chicklet. Her mom is a devotee of the Joan Crawford school of maternity, complete with coat hanger. That, along with some childhood repressed memories, has made Chicklet manifest many personalities, including a sultry one that has sexually enslaved the head surfer dude.
Throw in a movie star, sick of making cinematic schlock, on the run.
Throw in a couple of surfer dudes gradually coming to the realization of their love for each other.
Throw in a seemingly dopey surfer dude who wants to escape the drudgery of studying to be a psychiatrist so that he can ride the waves but ends up saving the day by helping Chicklet.
Throw in a sex-obsessed surfer girl trying to land herself a surfer dude.
Throw in the fact that this is a LGBTQ theater, so there are several roles performed in drag.
Mix that all together and you have a madcap frenzy of chaos. Some jokes work. Some don’t. There’s occasional lags in the action. There’s a false ending (seemingly inadvertent).
However, all in all, there were more than enough laughs and silliness to make this a very entertaining night.