Betty Rocket is a full-tilt rock-'n'-roll revue dressed up as a wacky sci-fi comedy
The latest musical play to pour forth from the fevered imaginations of Jerry Miller and Marcel Daguerre, The Adventures of Betty Rocket, Space Lawyer, is a nonstop cavalcade of golden oldies, 1950s-style sci-fi costuming, big production dance numbers and some vast stretches of comic exposition woven loosely together around a convoluted comedic plot having to do with, I think, separated lovers, absentee parents, the theme of robotic free will, the problem of obesity, girl-on-girl emotional abuse, interstellar espionage, blackmail and probably a few dozen other things that I didn’t get scribbled down in my notebook because I was having too much fun watching and listening to the play, which is, after all, the thing.
Musical Director Daguerre has assembled a sextet of Chico all-stars to provide the backup music for the 18 singers and dancers who make up the cast, and between the two dozen people on stage it can be a bit confusing regarding whose subplot is intertwined with whose, but the musical numbers of this space opera are what it’s all about, and in this regard the show shines.
Despite a few technical glitches mostly having to do with the [un]reliability of the cordless headset microphones employed by the singers, the cast presented as high a standard of quality as I have seen in a community theater musical. Particularly fun to watch and listen to—and this is a very easy-on-the-eyes-and-ears cast—were the antics of Sarah C. Foster as Miss Gato of the Viva Las Venus nightclub and Gina Henson Tropea as the venomous bounty hunter Anaconda. Allison Rich is also striking as the free-willed, 6-foot-tall blond Robotta, assistant to Betty Rocket, who is played in a cool, sort of Parker Poseyish way by Melody Hardy. As the dipsomaniacal Dock Martin, Keith Kuykendall delivers a sweet, singing-drunk persona that’s nicely balanced by the ultra- hyper characterization of Normal Ray as played by Douglas Anderson.
There are way too many people, things and plot twists to mention in this short review, so just know that the cast is superb, the set cartoonishly psychedelic, the band awesome and the spectacle a joy to watch.