For a night of pure camp swathed exclusively in leopard skin print, you can’t go past Little Ones Theatre production of Charles Busch’s ‘Psycho Beach Party’. This crazy theatrical extravaganza takes its cues from the 1959 classic ‘Gidget’ and amplifies them til your head nigh on spins with references to Neitzsche and Luaus and every kooky thing in between.
Chicklet (a brilliant Ash Flanders) is an all-American teen babe who wants to learn how to surf but the boys at Malibu resist her advances … that is, until she accidentally casts a spell on the Great Kanaka (Peter Paltos) through her alter ego Anne Bowman, a fierce man-eater who lusts for nothing short of world domination. Chicklet’s best friend Berdine (Genevieve Giuffre in a wonderfully gawkish performance) knows something’s not right but despite her intellectual analyses of every situation to date, not even she can divine that her buddy is undergoing morbidly psychotic episodes of schizophrenia. It takes dreamboat surfer dude Star Cat (Kevin Kiernan Molloy), a sensitive Psychology drop-out, to disentangle that one. And by doing so, he forms a special healing kind of bond with his subject.
This hilarious play was adapted for the screen in 2000, featuring Busch as investigator Monica Stark (in the original play he claimed the role of Chicklet). And the film is a real hoot, somewhat more subtle than this current production but for an over-the-top beachside romp you’d be hard pressed to top it, especially playing as it is at the Bondi Pavilion Theatre with its Psycho Beach Bar in full swing serving up freshly shucked coconuts with organic vodka to enjoy on the balcony before and after the show.
It wraps this Saturday so get your summer vibe on and check it out before it surfs on out of town.Get PBP