Fans of rock musicals were invited on Aug. 21 and 22 to Brava Theatre for a reading of a brand new offering that will be completed and ready for the public in latter March through April 17. The rock-out show, SCALPEL!, by writer/ director D’Arcy Drollinger features a cast of local favorites that is guaranteed to draw huge crowds. The event was more than just a reading, in that there were costumes, wigs, live orchestra, and even some blocking packed with action. The plot involves plastic surgery and mind control – how far does one go for ultimate beauty? As the opening rock number plainly illustrates (all music is vocally arranged by Cockette veteran musician par excellence Scrumbly Koldewyn), some people are “Dressed to Kill.” If you want the Barbie Doll look, you have to become a Stepford Wife and let your mind unwind to receive secret messages planted in your head. DEADLY MESSAGES! But aren’t you youthful looking during the process?!
Drollinger explained that the original idea came from a script from 2003 that has been revised and amplified and made into what promises to be an incredible piece of dark camp and hot rock. That night Drollinger said, “We’re just gonna let this baby walk and see what happens.” And he added, “The baby will be walking in high heels.” Yes, there are tons of drag in this over-the-top comedy.
The workshop reading of SCALPEL! featured our faves (in alphabetical order): Laurie Bushman (Molly Goodnature the plain Jane anti-beautification activist), Deena Davenport (socialite/ activist), Mike Finn (evil plastic surgeon/ mind mangler Doctor Bulgari), Marilynn Fowler (evil black beauty mind control assistant Angelica), Arturo Galster (way too wealthy socialite/ senatorial candidate Pepper Van Allen), Kelly Kittell (narrator), Jordan L’Moore (ditzy newscaster and slightly deformed activist), Emily McGowan (Cornillia “Fritzy” Fritzgerald, overly rich Ivanna Trump-like socialite victim of over-beautification and brain drain), Alice Moore (the main character, Jacquelyn Tilton, rich bitch socialite ex-wife become Stepford Wife – but with a gorgeous singing voice) Ron Richardson (handsome Jeffrey, the butler/ part-time hero), and Katie Rubin (Martha the somewhat English-speaking Spanish maid and devoted servant of Tilton). All proved to be excellent singers and actors at the reading. All of this talent is rounded out with band members Peter Fogel, Peggy L’eggs, Christian Matthews, Jeff Mitchell, and Tim Perdue.
If you are a fan of camp, rock, assassinations, hilarity, inner beauty, outer sanity, and dark drama, you too will anxiously await the arrival of SCALPEL! Lemme just CUT to the bottom line: SCALPEL! is gonna be BIG BOX OFFICE!!!