by Jerry Palladino
The 2017 Rogue Festival is almost here. KRL will be featuring several Rogue Performer Preview articles between now and the beginning of the Festival on March 3. You can find all of the Preview articles so far, & an interview with this year’s Festival director about this year’s festival, in our Arts & Entertainment section.
We will also be reviewing many of the shows, and we may even do some more video interviews. Check out our Rogue Performer event page for more information as it becomes available, and you can also check out the Rogue 2017 website.
When I selected Cyrus Kinzel’s first comedy as one of four original works the Curtain 5 Theatre Group sponsored in 2014 Roosevelt School of the Arts Student Playwriting competition, I knew I had found a talented writer with a flair for articulate comic scripting and clever scenarios. Cyrus was a senior at Roosevelt. His first work, Necromanci’ Around, opened the Curtain 5 2015 Season to capacity audiences. I asked Cyrus about a follow-up, and he quickly gave a detailed summary of his next comedy, Spiritual Healing, which was well received during the 2016 Rogue Festival. I received many accolades and high praise for the play and requests for this young man’s next comedy.
When Cyrus gave me the summary of Chop! Chop! Charlie’s Basement Party, I immediately asked him to write the script, which he gave me during that summer. It was so good, I chose to stage it for this year’s Rogue Festival.
In short, it’s a madcap tale of Mike, young father, who is suddenly kidnapped by Chop Chop Charlie, a notorious serial killer who happens to also be a cannibal. Mike quickly learns his kidnapper has a severe inferiority complex about being big and fat. His real name is Gregory, and he lives alone with his senile mother who is almost totally blind and deaf and has dementia. Mike then meets Steve, an awkward, but contented squatter who has been living comfortably in the basement for five years and has no plans to ever leave. Mike then encounters Sabrina, another victim, the overtly sexual femme fatale with a passion for serial killers, who falls madly in love with Chop Chop Charlie and demands that he marry her and father their children. The entire evening is a grab bag of hilarious sight gags and one-liners, and the surprise ending will keep you smiling.
Performances of Chop! Chop! Charlie’s Basement Party at Fresno Soap Co. Stage, 1470 North Van Ness Avenue, in Fresno’s Tower District
Friday, March 3 @6:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 @2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 8 @6:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 @8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 @2:00 p.m.