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Viva Karaoke: Searching for Wayne
This original show was first performed in August 2003. As far as we know this was the first all-karaoke musical comedy... or comusical... errr, karamusedy?
Then, it was reborn in September 2004 as part of the San Francisco Fringe Festival. This new tighter, shorter version sold out all the shows and received rave reviews.
From the press release: "You get kung-fu fighting, hot girl-on-girl action, a balloon dance, and skanky cheerleaders! Viva Karaoke is not just your average musical comedy or comedy with music in it, but a jazz-handed smack in the face of Broadway."
The playbill from the 2003 shows:
¡Viva Karaoke!: Searching for Wayne
Written by 2good4u: Leslie Dotson, Eileen Murphy, Karen Whitehouse and Melinda Whitehouse
Director: Dave Chambers
Stage manager: Terri J. Freedman
Fight choreographer: Jon Bailey
Cheer choreographer: Heather Hawkins
Music Supervisor / Music Editor: Tony Brooke
Costumes: Eileen Murphy
Additional material: Jody Handley
The Cast, in order of appearance:
Hamon Rye (Molly Pomeroy): queen of karaoke at Mandy's
RK Cola (Melinda Whitehouse): cocktail waitress
Dr. Butterscotch Brown (Leslie Dotson): bartender
Pepper Turmeric (Karen Whitehouse): aspiring singer
Scott Skeevy (Tony Brooke): karaoke regular at Mandy's
Corky (Celeste Kopel): another karaoke regular at Mandy's
Mandy (Stephanie Andelman): owner of Mandy's
Dude/Cowboy (Mike Spiegelman): every woman's dream
Elvis Impersonator (Andy Tully): likewise
Mr. Charisma (Tony Brooke): the karaoke host at Casa del Queso Casino in Vegas
Tina (Jamie Pickard): skanky cheerleader in Las Vegas
Marie (Heather Hawkins): even skankier cheerleader; Tina's partner
Bones (Andrew Tully): karaoke regular at Casa del Queso
Gentle Ben (Bryan Reinero): leader of cheerleader group at Casa del Queso
Thanks go to:
Annie Whiteside, owner of Annie's Cocktail Lounge, for letting us write and rehearse in her fabulous bar; Jody, for being the best Whycca We-Lo ever; Rob Master B, for being himself; all of Terri's bodyguards; and you, for coming to our show.
Ages ago, Melinda Whitehouse was just a drunk who started fires. Then she found comedy. Being a sketch, stand-up, and musical comedian in this two-donkey 'burg for the past five years taught Melinda a lot. Like, how to chug a fifth of Jack Daniels. And why you should never chug a fifth of Jack Daniels. She is currently making her rent money by taking bar bets.
The best way to describe Miss Leslie Dotson's sense of humor is that it is like falling into a rip in the fabric of reality. The Santa Monica native spent the majority of her life on the East Coast getting that sarcastic edginess that has made her the belle of the ball at many a Woody Allen movie screening. She lives in Pac Heights with her cat Minnow, who, contrary to popular belief, is not cross-eyed.
Eileen Murphy grew up on the mean streets of Brooklyn. She supported herself by writing teleplays for 21 Jump Street, Remington Steele, and Head of the Class. After training at all the finest karaoke schools on the East Coast, Eileen headed west to fulfill her dream: hosting karaoke at Annie's Cocktail Lounge. To her childhood tormentors, Eileen says: "If it wasn't for your total lack of faith in me, I'd probably be a soccer mom on Long Island, fantasizing about an affair with the gardener, pool man, tennis pro ...."
Karen Whitehouse is a writer, editor, and karaoke addict who was lured into performing by her sister, Melinda. She's the shortest girl in 2good4u, and until Leslie joined, also had the biggest rack. Her turn-ons include Jack & Gingers, true-crime television, cats, dogs, and attention; turn-offs include vermouth (sweet or dry), mushrooms, people with funny-shaped heads, and whiny rock that doesn't even rock.
Andrew Tully hails from Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Although a newcomer to the theater, he is no stranger to the stage. He formerly was a co-founding member and front-man for the legendary punk band Dead Squash. When he is not perfecting his karaoke skills at Annie's Cocktail Lounge, he studies Japanese and plans on moving to Japan to teach English next spring.
Bryan Reinero was born in the glittering Imperial Capital of St. Petersburg. Even today he is shadowy and mysterious. Doctors and skeptics concluded he possessed some inexplicable power. This mysterious ability convinced the Tsar that Bryan, whatever people said of him, must have been sent by God. People believed he had an uncanny control over the Tsar and his wife. A number of influential churchmen fell for Bryan early in his "career" as a holy man. Later, the church turned on him, but Bryan cunningly had his enemies exiled. When a village youth said he wanted to marry but could not afford it, Bryan paid for the wedding. In return, Bryan claimed the first night with the bride. The story of Bryan's demise is well known. Admirers from peasants to noblewomen flocked to see Bryan at his secluded cottage built on the Tura River. One woman stabbed him in the name of women he had abandoned.
Tony Brooke comes to us fresh from the touring company of "Knight Rider 2003," where he played KITT's dipstick to lukewarm reviews. Tony's cabana is overflowing from the daily dumptrucks of accolades for roles such as: Frankie the Fist in "Teletubbies 2002," Sam The Butcher's Cleaver in "The Beaver Marries a Brady" and of course That Guy Waving in the Background in numerous local news murder scene reports. While his largest-profile role was his infamously sordid ESPY-winning title role in "Herve!", he has struggled to avoid typecasting since then. Interviewers will kindly not ask where his Tattoo is. More on him at his sites.
Jamie Pickard, known as The Assassin in the high-kicking, synchronized go-go troupe The Devil-Ettes, also performs with burlesque sensation Hot Pink Feathers and gyrates to the scathing speed-metal sounds of Cookie Mongoloid. When not taking the stage by storm, you can find her skillfully navigating razor wire fences or unloading a round at the firing range.
Heather Hawkins was once a fun-loving, blue-haired girl-about-town; doing stand-up at the Mock Cafe, Spanganga, and The Punchline Sacramento, performing with Cheer San Francisco, hosting karaoke at Annie's Cocktail Lounge, tongue-kissing strangers, and racking up the Craig's List Missed Connections. Then she moved to New York and it sucked the funny right out of her. Now she runs around lecturing people for pouring salt on garden slugs and rocking trousers from The Gap. At least she can still hold her foot above her head and doesn't mind flashing a little panty.
Once upon a midnight dreary the King of Time and the Mother of Pearl "came" together and created the Goddess of Theme Songs out of Super Chunk Peanut Butter. Molly Blue can be heard howling, chirping, hacking, clacking, caw-cawing, screeching, and oh-my-godding all around the Bay Area.
Celeste Kopel was born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley, attending Berkeley High School and taking part in many vocal and instrumental music projects. While a student at UC Santa Cruz, she enjoyed honing her guitar skills alone in her room, pretending to be a surfer girl, and singing in the choir. The musical highlight of her college education was taking part in UCSC's production of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana." After graduating from UCSC in 2000, Celeste promptly moved back to Berkeley, or, as she likes to call it, the "Center of the Universe." She has been a movie theater usher, a knife salesperson, a real estate agent, and a professional babysitter. She is currently serving up pastrami on rye and matzo ball soup at Saul's Deli in Berkeley while pursuing a career in rock stardom.
Mike Spiegelman is a stand-up comedian and is a member of the Bitter Show, a sketch group with Melinda Whitehouse and Dave Chambers.
Dave Chambers is too tired to write a bio. blah blah Please Leave the Bronx blah blah Six Million Dollar Band blah blah cross-dressing homophobe.
Living in the Russian ghettos from birth and then being forced out of one's cardboard home can be traumatic. Fortunately, the closest Terri J. Freedman has been to that is living in the Concord ghetto and forcing the last bits of cheese off of the cardboard pizza box. She isn't one to talk, unless you get her going. Then, when words such as "monotonitiously" or "spifferifferous" spill forth past her lips, you begin to wonder why -- "Why did I ask her something?" "Why does she speak in Simpsons quotes that only she understands?" and "Why won't she stop answering her own rhetorical questions?" Her response: "If I've learned one thing, it's that life is just one crushing event after another until you just wish Flanders was dead."