From stage to screen. Local playwright Ryan J. Graham ’s story of Jimmy Zhan, The Flying Mortician —which played to sold-out houses for two Late Nights at the Blue Room in February—has been made into a short film. The world premiere will of course be at the Pageant Theatre , on Saturday, 8/17, at 10 p.m., with a DVD-release party beforehand at Café Flo . Former Blue Room Company member—and current student at L.A.’s famous improv school The Groundlings—Slim Barkowska stars as the title character who “dares to ask the most distilled of life’s questions… ‘So, maybe I show you my wrestling moves…?’”
So , an anonymous caller (sounding suspiciously like a hillbilly Count Chocula) left a message on Local Bastard ’s voicemail that just might explain a few things about the origins of the prodigal anti-son. A transcript of the call follows (though, replacing “soap operas” with “stepdad’s collection of VHS porn” would have been a more accurate reading of the history, one can see how the integrity of his airtight analogy might have been compromised):
Local Bastard, the jig is up. I’ve figured out you and your kind. You see, you probably sat at home all day during high school watching soap operas because you don’t like American culture or the repetitive nature of entertainment. No, you want something new every day. Something that changes. Something that’s interesting with the passage of time. Yes, you’re nothing but a really bad soap opera serial. Well, basically nobody watches that crap anymore. It’s worse than AM talk radio. So if you wanna rule Prairie Valley and get together with everybody and bitch and gripe in your phony little way, well, that’s O.K, because, basically I don’t care who’s dating who, and what’s going on, and who’s cool or whatever. So basically, get a life, grow up, do something, because America already has a really great…cereal, or whatever—it’s called corn flakes, and Gwen Stefani ’s spilling them all over the store. So if you wanna waste your time like Gwen Stefani wastes corn flakes, you just be a arrogant fool, and basically your target market is the person who holds the trust fund. So appeal to him, maybe to sell your crap to somebody else some day.
As life goes on in Prairie Valley, as they fight for industry, business, and status, and the girls and the trophy wives they date, we will continue day to day to day.
TO DO: As You Like It—Shakespeare in the Park , 7/13-7/24; Number One Gun at Matthew’s Café , Friday, 7/15; Kinski at Off Limits , Saturday, 7/16; Randy Travis at Gold Country Casino , Saturday, 7/16.
TWO MORE: Finally a comic book movie worth looking forward to: Nicholas Cage is Ghost Rider ! The cool poster image for the film (summer 2006) comes from the nerdly SuperHero Hype site ( www.superherohype.com/news/ghostridernews.php?id=3178 ). Also, Chico Arts Commission has approved $10K for aerosol artists to cover graffiti sites with their murals—might I suggest a flaming skeleton riding a sinister motorcycle?