Archikulture Digest

Psycho Beach Party

Psycho Beach Party

By Charles Busch

Directed by Wade Hair

Starring Joshua Eads-Brown

Breakthrough Theatre, Winter Park, FL</strong>

Nothing says “Over the top” like a Charles Busch play and tonight was no exception. Between the flipped out over-acting and non-stop pacing, this was silly, in-your-face comedy at its sloppy best. The plot is Frankie and Annette simple: Little Chicklet (Eads-Brown) wants to surf and the boys won’t teach her. Her friends Berdine (Krystal Gillette) and Marvel Ann (Rachel West) don’t care for the water – Marvel is setting a pecker trap with her push up bra, but Berdine is perfectly happy as Chicklet’s absolute bestest friend ever. Laid back Kanaka, King of the Surf (Sean Patrick Carey) leads the guys, but when Chicklet’s multiple personalities emerge, he’s brought to heal by her inner dominatrix. She learns how to hang ten, and he learns how to hang from a bondage rig.

Eads Brown does all the hard over-acting, but in this transgender romp that’s a compliment. Odd lighting changes, local in-jokes and gruesome cross dressing all spice up the punch lines, and the only competition Eads-Brown has comes from the disheveled Mrs. Forrest (Seth Lindsay.) Assistant surfer dude Provolony (Heath Boyer) was tanned and on top of his form as the about-to-come-out surfer, but his partner Yo-Yo (John A Pyatt Jr.) seemed to just be reading his lines. The hetro hit of the evening came from the busty and sexy Bettina Barnes (Penny Mathis). She’s the run-away-from-success plot device that forces all the kids to chase popularity or accept themselves as they are. However they voted, she was smart and sassy and 100% Hollywood Boulevard.

Sets were minimal and director Hair ran sound, lights, box office, follow spot, and who knows what else. The costumes were very beachy and I even saw a small but significant wardrobe failure that I’m sure the actress should have noticed. This is low comedy done in high style, and a great start to the beach season here in central Florida.

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