HILARIOUS HEELS AND WIGS ARE FLYING HIGH IN THE BITCH FESTIVAL AT SF OASIS CRAZY TAKE ON DYNASTY AND A BACKHAND TO THE FACE
It is a “Slap Fest” this Labor Day weekend at the SF Oasis 11th and Folsom stage, one of the hottest new theatre spots in the San Francisco Bay Area. Producer, director, and writer D’arcy Drollinger produces one original show each year. D’Arcy ended this summer with the ultimate BITCH SLAP, her new over blown soap opera play. Her mosh send-up of the 80's television soap-opera and telenovela must close September 9th.
D’Arcy says he was inspired to tackle an 80s nighttime soap genre “I knew I wanted to spoof an old TV show. Initially I wanted to spoof Dynasty. In fact, I was thinking about calling it ‘Die Nasty’. - Wait, what about ‘THOT’s Landing’?! - I felt like the idea of spoofing that genre is in the zeitgeist at the moment. Susan Lucci is in that new insurance commercial and it’s hilarious. Instead of tackling one show, I thought we should go after the entire genre of nighttime soaps – Dynasty, Dallas, Knots Landing and even the telenovela."
The Oasis favorites make up this “Bitch Fun” story of catfights & shoulder pads with the star-studded cast of San Francisco A listers: D'Arcy Drollinger, Matthew Martin, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, Nancy French, Steven LeMay, Jef Valentine & Chrissy Fields; along with the wonderful Leigh Crow, Adam Roy, Manuel Caneri and Sergio Lobito as the dapper leading men.
Drollinger's insane over the top script is a 90 minute plus camp silly soap opera that makes “shoulder pads” a household word. With a cast of characters that are slap crazy bitches. The character names are priceless; Detective Schnacks, Reverend Felcher, Porsche the teen adopted cripple, Savannah White and of course Ryder Knigutty. From “Dynasty” to “Dallas” the story includes inspiration from that famous “Bitch Slap” swimming pool romp. The story is all about the women, sisters, whores and cripples vying for the coveted patent for the shoulder pad business. Rivals battle between mothers, grandma, wealthy frisky lovers, who love to blackmail, commit adultery, have nervous breakdowns, Seduce and goose cute doctors.
BITCH SLAP centers around Diana Midnight and her fashion empire, as she struggles to maintain power and desperately keep control of her prize possession - the patent for shoulder pads. The camp is pure fun with more than 70 costume changes that are orchestrated by Ruby Vixenn and Jolie O'Dell who brought together some of the best outlandish gowns. The big hair 80’s wigs by Laundra Tyme and Becky Motorlodge. Drollinger huge collection of dresses and heels were at their max and all looked perfect. D'Arcy also bought many of those 80s dresses off the rack - and from his collection, then Ruby and Jolie altered the look to handle the many slaps.
Director Drollinger was asked if she watched much 80’s Television, “Honestly, I didn’t watch a lot of Dynasty. I was a little too young in 1981. It seemed like such a grown-up show for me as a kid, but I’ve become a fan as an adult watching the old episodes on Amazon. I absolutely fell in love with it all over again while writing this show. It’s so much more outrageous than I remember it being. Everyone is falling down the stairs, and even Krystle Carrington had an evil twin for like six episodes! Seriously?! It’s so over the top and campy and unbelievable.” He keeps the script non stop slaps and even one stabbing, and of course the perfect amount of sassy sex and cock grabs.
The well produced video clips by Richard Neveu, are just as extreme as the live scenes on the small Oasis stage. The actors enter from the audience and the characters just keep coming as more layers of drama and soap keep this story as hilarious as any Marx brothers film. Drollinger says the video clips add to the slap party, “We have 13 video elements where we interact with the screen. People exit the screen and come on the stage and continue the dialogue. All the stuff we couldn’t do on stage every night, like fight in a lily pond, we could do that on video once and then interact with the footage each night. It was a smart way to take this production really over the top".
D’Arcy is marvelous on stage as the vixen Diana Midnight, she has captured the perfect “bitch” of south of market. His “Sex and the City” and “Shit & Champagne” series have proved his fool proof on stage talent. The terrific Matthew Martin plays Drollinger’s very young looking mother, who prefers to stop the show with every one of her entrances “What’s going on here”. Martin wears each one his gowns to perfection, fluffing his wig and mugging the audience for every extra applause or laugh. The glamorous Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, who is the superb actor J. Conrad Frank brings the company that evil class as he she schemes for all of lead boy friends.
Drollinger says the diva’s in the drama is the least of the fun, “I think the story itself is not the most important part of the production. As long as the queens are in shoulder pads and everyone is cat fighting, that’s really all that matters - I string a ridiculous plot together that has all the trappings of a soap opera – amnesia, evil twins, kidnapping, etc. There are so many secrets that are revealed. Spoofing all of that in just over 90 minutes is a lot of work! My poor cast - Every day I was giving them more pages to the script as I was writing it. It was like a fucking Woody Allen movie".
Local favorite Steven LeMay, who was a hit in “Shit & Champagne,” is campy enjoyable as the loud, big haired, handicapped Porsche, the teen age adoptived daughter of Diana and continues to have a tough time staying out of the drama, she steals the stage as she cranks across the story in her perfect wheelchair. LeMay doesn’t miss a stroke in handing out some of the best slaps of the night and is the perfect teen aged bitch. The butch Manuel Caneri plays Detective Schnacks as he makes sure his gun is always the best phallic badge.
The tremendous Nancy French, who just closed playing the lead in “Debbie Does Dallas” is also a gem in this romp as the frisky nurse maid Lobito, and the Preacher. French also has that ability to bring star quality to every role I have seen her in. Stage manager Sailor Galaviz makes a guest appearance as the cute Pizza boy in a bright red shirt and adds to the fun.
The powerhouse Adam Roy, is a master of comic timing and has that Jim Carrey spirit with amazing faces and flips and pratfalls. Roy takes Dollinger's script and makes it comic gold and brings his own clown timing to each of the many characters he plays.
The versatile Sergio Lobito, is the best in the Mexican novela when the cast does an entire scene in spanish. During the scene changes Drollinger drops in 80’s commercials that kept the sold out crowd laughing and wanting to see if Walgreens still sells that classic douche. The amazing Leigh Crow has that special kick ass humor in all the men she plays including D’Arcys husband, and in the second act she actually appears as a mother matron type.
Jef Valentine & Chrissy Fields are perfect in their roles, Valentine seen drinking a super huge glass of red wine as she searches for her lost daughter and avoids being slapped. The elegant Fields plays an evil friend but later discovers her love for many of the women in the story. The sub plots and twists never end and as predictable as these soaps can be, Drollinger keeps the audience guessing.
The real key to the heart of this show is the hidden star and cast member of this opera, production manager Sarah Phykitt. In the sound booth she hits every slap on cue - and many not scripted as the perfect sound person creating all the BITCH SLAPS sound effects and running all the punches and cues from the booth. D’Arcy was asked how many slaps are in the show, “ I think we have like more than 80 slaps and at least a half dozen catfights". - I counted over 90 the night I watched the romp or maybe that was my guest slapping me for laughing too much. The SLAPS stop September 9th, but Drollinger tipped the audience that BITCH SLAP goes in front of the video camera’s Tuesday Sept 5th, as a possible pilot for Netflix. Don't miss this non stop fun and bring your own shoulder pads.
Oasis and D'Arcy Drollinger presents
Directed and Written by D'Arcy Drollinger
Must close September 9
8PM Thursdays - 7PM Fridays & Saturdays
11th and Folsom
100 minutes with one intermission
A few Tickets remain at sfoasis.com
MANUEL CANERI, LEIGH CROW, D’ARCY DROLLINGER, CRISSY FIELDS
NANCY FRENCH, STEVEN LEMAY, SERGIO LOBITO, MATTHEW MARTIN
ADAM ROY, KATYA SMIRNOFF-SKYY, and JEF VALENTINE
**INTERVIEW WITH D’Arcy Drollinger
By David Helton |LEFT MAGAZINE Images courtesy of Jeff Kaluzny August 16, 2017
some photo's by Vince Mediaa