By: Alejandra Jimenez and Karina Escamilla
Kicking off the 2018-2019 season, the theatre department debuted their first performance of Psycho Beach Party.
The play is described as a “spoof of 1960’s beach party/surfing movies and 1970s slasher schlock.” It is the perfect mix of comedy and suspense.
The main character, Florence “Chicklet” Forrest is eager to become the first female surfer but having multiple personalities gets in her way.
“Psycho Beach Party is my 21st production… This year I thought I had run out of genres and then it came to me that I had ignored one of the most fascinating late 20th century theatrical phenomena: Theatre of the Ridiculous”, stated Tom Provenzano, Director of the CSUSB theatre department.
Theater of the Ridiculous is a theatrical genre that dives away from mainstream acting and settings to be absurd, ridiculous, and shocking.
Charles Busch wrote the original play in 1987. The film was later released in 2000 earning a rotten tomatoes score of 53% from 32 reviews. The play spoofs classics like Psycho (1960), Beach Party (1963) and Marnie (1964).
The audience was in for a surprise when the show started rolling, the main role of the character, Chicklet is played by fourth-year Theatre Arts student Miles Funk.
Audience members shared a laugh when he emerged in two pigtails and a dress. From a boy-crazed vixen to a country girl, Miles did an epic job portraying the multiple personalities with different accents and gestures.
It was also interesting to see a subplot between characters Provolone and YoYo, played by students Nik Lee and Henry Ornelas.
While continuously hanging out at the beach they begin to develop feelings for one another and are confused as to whether they should act upon those feelings or not.
The music includes samples of songs from the movie Grease and artists like Beach Boys, which fit the beach party theme perfectly.
The wardrobe and set tied the look together. To the side of the set were pillars of blue and orange stripes gave off the appearance of the fraser spiral illusion which is often shown in old thriller shows like The Twilight Zone. The floor was tan to make it seem like sand along with a beach background.
Costumes also consisted of beach clothes and Hawaiian shirts.
Everything comes full circle when a flashback shows what happened to Chicklet as an adolescent that made her the way she is now and further explains her personalities, making for a shocking ending.
“It was a great performance put on by an amazing cast. I didn’t expect it to be as funny as it was and if anyone has a chance to see it then they should,” said another CSUSB student at the opening night of the play.
There is foul language that adds to the comedy, so potential viewers should note that it is not a family-friendly show. However, the play is a perfect mix of a musical, comedy and thriller.
After months of the cast and crews hard work and rehearsals, you can watch Psycho Beach Party until Nov. 18.
Prices for the play are $6 for students and $15 for adults.