Grab your Hawaiian shirt and lei because sun, surf and psychosis await you for a raucous day on Malibu Beach in Garfield Theatre for the Arts’ “Psycho Beach Party,” opening Friday, February 10 at 8 pm.
This Charles Busch send-up of 1960’s-innocent “Gidget” flicks quickly morph into a beach party movie cliché wrecking ball complete with a schizophrenic teen wannabe surfer named Chicklet who declares herself empress of the world, hormonal surfer boys quipping double entendres, a series of John Carpenter slasher events, all through the lens of a non-subtle reality check on the faux innocence hanging-ten on the crashing wave of the 1960s.
“Psycho Beach Party” pulls out all the stops and Garfield director Michael Moore, whose last stint was bringing us the serious “Laramie Project,” flexes his comedic chops and lets his seasoned ensemble cast chew the curtains until there’s nothing left but a tattered memory of Sandra Dee and James Darren waxing their surfboards by the flickering light of a conjured American Dream.
“(Moore’s) casting embraces the switched gender aspect of most of Charles Busch’s plays. Chicklet will be played by J.W. Ruth, most recently seen as Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” this past December on the Garfield stage, and scene-stealing Max in “The Play That Goes Wrong” in the opener of the 2022 season at the Garfield. Patrick Pearce, also seen in “Joseph” and “The Play That Goes Wrong” plays Yo-Yo. Dominic Delcoco, who played Gingy in “Shrek” in 2021 and one of the brothers in “Joseph,” plays Star Cat. Dylan Lyles, who appeared in “Shrek,” “The Laramie Project” and “The Good Doctor” at the Garfield plays Provoloney. The Great Kanaka is played by Garfield favorite Brad Chaires, most recently seen in “Joseph” playing Potipher, the Elvis-like Pharaoh and one of the brothers. Brianna Johnson, last seen in “The Good Doctor” and “The Laramie Project” plays Berdine. Minnie Maloney, last seen on the Garfield Stage in “The Good Doctor” plays Marvel Anne, Connie Fallon, last seen in “Shrek,” plays Mrs. Forrest, and newcomer Cassi Pinder plays Bertina Barnes.
Director Moore is assisted in the production by costumer Connie Fallon, with props by Wendy Sardo, lighting by Butch Clark, sound design by Nic Carter, motion graphic projections by Steven Arnold, sound board execution by Jordan Dixon, photography by Steven Arnold, and print graphics, playbill and marketing by Francoise Sullivan.”
The Spy recently attended a dress rehearsal to grab a few minutes with Michael Moore. Don’t miss this fun.
The show opens February 10th and runs weekends through February 26th, with performances at 8:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:00 PM on Sundays. Tickets are already available online and can be purchased through our website at www.garfieldcenter.org or by calling the Box Office at 410-810-2060 on Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.