October 1 – November 20, 2009
Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 PM
At the Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street, San Francisco
$25 General Admission
$69 “Shock Box” Seat for 2
Buy Tickets Online
Thrillpeddlers are proud to announce our signature Halloween show “Shocktoberfest!! 2009: The Torture Garden,” our tenth annual pageant of titillating Grand Guignol terror plays and stimulating sex farces, running Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00pm from October 1 through November 20. The program will be presented in repertory with Thrillpeddlers’ current production “Pearls Over Shanghai,” the Cockettes musical, which will continue to run on Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm through November 22.
“Shocktoberfest!! 2009” will consist of two plays, “The Torture Garden” (1922) by Pierre Chaine and Andre de Lorde, and “The Phantom Limb,” an original play in the Grand Guignol tradition commissioned by the Thrillpeddlers from New York playwright Rob Keefe, from whose fetid mind have sprung many previous Shocktoberfest!! offerings.
“The Torture Garden (Le Jardin des supplices)” is based on the infamous novel by Octave Mirbeau, once described as “the most sickening work of art of the nineteenth century.” Mirbeau’s sensual and disturbing novel follows a young man’s journey to the ends of desire and depravity in a grand Chinese palace garden where torture is enjoyed and practiced as a form of art itself—and of the mysterious woman who leads him there. As adapted by Chaine and de Lorde, the play is an excellent example of Orientalism, a wildly popular artistic movement in Paris in the 1920s, depicting hostile and deprecatory views of the East as interpreted and shaped by the attitudes of 19th century Europeans. Well-known examples of Orientalism from this period are Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado,” Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” (and the Richard Strauss opera upon which it was based), John Colton’s play “The Shanghai Gesture” (upon whidh “Pearls Over Shanghai” was loosely based), and Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan.”
“The Phantom Limb” is set in a New Orleans brothel during the days immediately following the American Civil War, where a rag-tag parade of wounded and mutilated Confederate soldiers have gathered for solace and healing at the hands of a money-hungry madam, who is only too willing to supply the young soldiers with their every need—until a dark and mysterious stranger arrives at her door one sultry afternoon.
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 Producing Director Russell Blackwood performs White Rabbit, Red Rabbit on Sunday, May 29 at 7:00 pm, one of the eleven performers who'll play the hour-long piece during the SF International Arts Festival. Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour's instructions: the script will be opened in front of the audience and performed unrehearsed by a different protagonist for each show. The event benefits Thrillpeddlers, and Russell sees it as a fitting and fun performance risk to kick off the week he turns 50.
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