August 14, 2008...
Comic strips have a way of leaping off the newsprint and into other media like movies, video games and musical theatre. Annie and Doonesbury both became musicals. Now, you can add Luann to the list. For more than two decades, cartoonist Greg Evans has been drawing the strip about the perpetually 16 year old high school sophomore. A couple of years ago he decided to turn it into stage play for young performers, called Scenes In A Teen's Life. It makes its East coast premier in Birmingham this weekend at the Virginia Samford Theatre. Evans says he was bitten with the cartooning bug early in life.
The Luann musical, Scenes In A Teens Life runs through Sunday at the Virginia Samford Theatre.
It's described as Gidget meets Hitchcock...or Frankie and Annette, mixed with Spellbound. Charles Busch's play Psycho Beach Party takes a crack at both classic genres as it follows the efforts of teenage tomboy Chicklet Forrest, as she desperately tries to be part of the surf crowd on Malibu Beach in 1962. There's only one problem. She's got a split personality - that adds psychological suspense to this kitchy send-up to beach party epics. Theatre Downtown tackles the raucous script this month. Director Billy Ray Brewton and some of his actors joined WBHM's Tanya Ott in the studio.
Theatre Downtown's Psycho Beach Party runs this weekend and next at Playhouse in downtown Birmingha
Are they gothic Southside bohemians? Modern psychedelic gypsies? Regardless of your take on the Birmingham duo Dead Flowers Commune, you can say 'experimental artists' and begin to see where Aaron Van Argersinger and Aprol Sainz are coming from. When they're not painting or drawing, you'll find the duo collaborating with other area musicians. But as the Dead Flowers Commune - Aaron contributes the vocals, guitar and percussion and Aprol sings, plays keyboards and guitar. (AUDIO MONTAGE) That's the song 'Into the Unknown' from the Dead Flowers Commune's upcoming CD The Burning Question
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with help this week from Coleman Lipsey. Next week, the powerful music of Jennifer Daniels. I'm Greg Bass, and we'll see you next week.