Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fringe Spotlight: The Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd, a Damnable Rock Musical

From the wild world of Michael Shaw Fisher and The Orgasmico Theatre Company, who brought you previous Fringe hits Exorcistic: The Rock Musical Parody Experiment and Doomsday Cabaret, comes The Werewolves of Hollywood Blvd, A Damnable Rock Musical.  

It’s a bloodthirsty new rock musical about the Hollywood underworld, the 2008 financial crisis and the corporate strategies of Vlad the Impaler. What?! When a horror lit agent gets laid off, he latches onto a mysterious werewolf script and discovers he has more in common with the werewolves of history than he could have ever dreamed. (WARNING: this musical ROCKS.)

As usual, it’s based on a fascinating story and one that should create quite a stir. Here’s what Michael has to say about his latest adventure. I think you’ll agree it sounds like a crazy ride!

Michael Shaw Fisher
“Around the time of the economic crisis in 2008 I learned about a man named Peter Stump who lived in 1590 and was tried and executed for being a werewolf. As I read on, I realized that thousands of others had been executed for being ‘werewolves.’ 

There seemed to be three reasons for this: these people were mentally ill and persecuted for their illness, or they were serial killers that the religious villagers were unable to find any rational answer for, or they suffered from lycanthropia where a person believes they are wolf. This would have been less common but the condition does exist and perhaps the superstitions of the times would convince a person of such a thing.

Anyway, I found the story of Peter Stump to be particularly gruesome-yet-provocative since, admittedly, I tend to identify with outcasts. I sat down to write the show and what ended up coming out surprised me. I found myself weaving these horrific tales into the modern landscape of hopelessness brought on by the 2008 financial crisis. As a country, we had been following the wrong ideals and corporate heroes, which created a lot of victims and even some monsters.

So I asked myself, ‘Who are the werewolves and vampires of this world we actually live in?’ I didn’t just want to do a show with werewolf makeup and a bunch of silly songs because that doesn’t seem very interesting to me. What I love most about the Hollywood Fringe is not just its potential for fun parody (which there is always a market for) but also the way Fringe audiences are sophisticated and hungry for a challenge, and love to discover powerful new theatre.

With Werewolves we hope to achieve moments of absurdity, darkness, sadness AND wild hilarity, and to give a complete emotional experience to the audiences we love. I really hope we achieve it with this show.

I think we have the strongest team yet to achieve what is certainly our most ambitious project to date. The show will have much more choreography and a larger cast. Jesse Merlin returns after playing the ‘old priest’ in Exorcistic as does David Haverty who played Kurt Billy in Doomsday Cabaret. Sarah Chaney and Leigh Wulff return for their third Orgasmico production. Aaron Lyons is helming the project as our director, and of course Michael Teoli, who I worked with several times now, is back, this time as the composer! Michael musical directed and arranged Doomsday Cabaret and Exorcistic so it’s exciting for him to be the composer this time around. I am doing book and lyrics. Other new Orgasmico members include: Mark Jablon, Laura L Thomas, Jim Hanna, Hannah Johnson, Alex Lewis and Kyle Nudo.

It’s a killer team and it is a killer show – full of twisted surprises! Can’t wait to see you all there!”

June 7 – 28, 2014
Theatre Asylum (Lillian Theatre)
6320 Santa Monica Blvd 
Tickets: $8 (preview) $16 (regular performances)

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