Bumber Madness !! A Day One Report

Day one of Bumbershoot is in the books; there were big crowds, and they didn’t get rained on.

Yers truly tried to cover as much ground as possible, so there were lots of highlights … and a few lowlights. Most of the lowlights, however, had to do with goofballs from One Reel, who make the BumberWaters just a little more difficult for Joe Customer to navigate each year. Just try to get into a Mainstage event without feeling like you should be wearing a bell around your neck and giving milk twice a day. Just try.

But on the plus side:

I don’t normally review stuff I see at the ‘Shoot, because it’s all one-time stuff. Luckily, though, there’s a second chance for those of you who missed RK Productions’ screamingly funny production of “Reefer Madness: The Musical” in the Center House Theatre (downstairs).

It plays again Sunday (8/31) at 6 p.m. The line started forming in earnest about 5 p.m., so make sure you get there early — they did allow some folks to sit on the floor in front of the seats once things filled up. Once in, though, there isn’t a bad seat.

I went because the cast included a couple of actors — Tim Davidson and Luke Walker — I’ve seen quite a bit at Bainbridge Performing Arts. Past getting to see them, I wasn’t really expecting much. The show is a cut-down “reduction” of a staging in Seattle earlier this year, and it goes uses only a few pieces of furniture, one backdrop and some props.

Doesn’t matter. The show (by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney, based on the camp-classic movie from the Thirties) is riotously funny and the cast is uniformly wonderful. I’ve got to single out Robert Scherzer (also the show’s executive producer) as the Lecturer and a variety of other smaller parts, and David Rollison as Ralph, the Reefer wastoid. Davidson, just off a good-guy role (the Baker) in Ovation! Musical Theatre Bainbridge‘s fine “Into the Woods,” gets to play a villain in “RM,” and he brings a wicked rattiness to it. Walker gets some of the show’s funniest moments, and lyrics, as Jesus. Kudos also to Ryan McCabe and Heather Gautschi as the idyllic young couple whose lives are hy-lariously ruined by the Demon Weed.

Warning, warning. Don’t take the kids. While there’s no bad language and only played-for-laughs violence, there’s lots of comically simulated sex, and just about everybody cavorts in their underwear (or just strategically placed cannabis leaves.

Nice job by director Kate Jaeger on two counts — first, putting together a fast-paced, consistently funny show with just the right note (lots) of camp, and second, translating the whole thing into the Center House for this two-off “re-production.” That also goes for stage manager Laura Lindle, music director Micah Ellison and choreographer Hailey Hays.

So go see it Sunday, already. And, if you hurry out, you won’t miss any of The Black Keys over at the Mainstage.

Places you’re liable to see MM Sunday:

The Mural and Broad Street stages were my favorite places Saturday, as usual, so I try to check out just about everthing they’ve got, besides that, the aforementioned Black Keys, and the 1-Reel Film Festival’s 3:30 p.m. offering, “Wazzu Films.”

Hopefully, the WSU filmmakers will fare better against a Bumbershoot audience than the football team did Saturday against Okie State.

More later. — MM

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