“Vice Palace” creator and musical director “Scrumbly” Koldewyn recently sat down for an interview with the SF Chronicle theatre critic Robert Hurwitt to talk about the Cockettes and our new production of their last musical.
On “Vice Palace:”
Vice Palace” was written because, although the Cockettes had officially disbanded, it was getting close to Halloween. The producer of the Nocturnal Dream midnight shows at the Palace needed a Halloween show, and Divine was in town and Mink Stole. A lot of the Cockettes were still around. Martin, who’d written “Hot Greeks,” was asked to do the script, and I was asked to write the music.
For the revival, I’ve had to expand the script and add about seven songs. It’s a revue, but the glue that holds it together is Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” but as seen through Fellini, sort of “La Dolce Vita” or “Juliet of the Spirits.” So it takes place in Italy at the Villa Divina – Divine was the original Divina. Now we have Leigh Crow. Who else could live up to Divine’s image?
So the prince invites all his friends to the villa and seals them all off from the plague that’s raging outside and gives them entertainment – entertainment after entertainment. That’s what makes it a revue. But the thing is, each entertainment has to be progressively more outrageous.
Read the full interview at SFGate.com.
Vetern Thrillpeddler Will McMichael writes and directs his new play Night Witches for the Hollywood Fringe Festival with the help of Thrillpeddlers. Thousands of young women went to war on the Eastern Front of WWII. Among the most elite were the women of Night Bomber Regiment 588. In hushed fearful tones, the Nazi called them Nachthexen (Night Witches). Playing June 5 - 23, 2016.
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Thrillpeddlers is auditioning performers of all genders, races and ethnicities for the acting ensemble of "Shocktoberfest," San Francisco's 17th annual extravaganza of terror and titillation celebrating the Grand Guignol theatre tradition (www.grandguignol.com). This year's lineup includes classic Grand Guignoil horror plays, black comedy, and original music by Scrumbly Koldewyn (resident composer for Thrillpeddlers and the fabulous Cockettes). Auditions are June 6, 6:30 - 8:30 pm & June 13, 6:30 - 9 (also callback) at The Hypnodrome, 575 10th St. (@ Bryant St.), S.F. Please prepare: one 1-2 minute monologue. You'll also have the option sing a song or share a special skill (musical or otherwise). Appointment/Info: Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org "Shocktoberfest" rehearsals are Aug 1 - 3 workshops, Aug 15 - Oct 12 weeknights and some Saturday days. Performance are Thur, Fri, Sat at 8 pm Oct 13 - Nov 19, plus Oct 30 and 31 at 8 pm. Performers receive a $250 travel stipend.