I am not a huge fan of award shows for the simple reason it takes too damn long to pass the coveted prize. Other than the Tony awards, as a theater lover it’s mandatory, I look forward to seeing the Thursty Awards at Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood, which took place in late July. The theater company has  the regular ongoing show, resumes Friday September 29 at 11 p.m., where about five shows are performed. At the end of the night, the audience chooses which show stays and which has got to go. The Thursty Awards are a tribute to the long-running shows. I went last year and almost left running out the door. I had no idea what I gotten myself into. They had unusual categories like “Best Religious Figure” and the coveted Mickey Rooney Award. More on that later.

The host with more posh than a Spice Girl Thurston Hillsboro-Smythe (the legendary Brandon Clark) taking a moment before he continues with another exciting episode of “Magnum Opus Theatre”.

The Thursty Award is named after the sophisticated host of the “Magnum Opus Theatre” series Thurston Hillsboro-Smythe performed by Brandon Clark . He is my boy. Looking suave and poised, the man looks hella good in his robe and ascot. Not many men can work that ensemble. The Thursty Awards honors the most innovative, bizarre outrageously funny productions not seen in theater. Imagine an incredible 3-car pile that becomes worse when the drivers exchange information. It’s like that but with laughs. After last year’s inaugural, I was better prepared on what to expect so nothing would surprise me. What the hell was I thinking?


The excitement and loud chatter permeated the dimly lit theater. Haven Hartman retired her title as the beer wench and bestowed the honor to Mary McWilliams, who did an excellent job supplying beer to thirsty patrons. The show was a half and half combination of skits from the best of the “Serial Killers” series and performances of “Best Song.” What these people came up with goes beyond the phrase out the box. First off, actor Jaime Robledo and host of the night Terry Tocantins and friends did an awesome opener with their musical version of “AC/DC Back in Black.” Still the best rock song ever and captured my interest immediately. The stories range from anything and everything that is quirky, unheard of, racy and downright nasty but always with that Sacred Fools touch.

Jane (right, Jenelle Riley) warns her friends Summer (left, Jaime Andrews) and Kaylee (Stacey Jackson) to step off her man in “Dick & Jane: A Love Story.”

Writer and director Jenelle Riley always comes up with the most disturbing noire-esque shows that are fantastic. One show I saw a while back had her as a single woman caught between two stalkers. Actor Jon Monastero took his role way out there. He stomped in wearing fatigues, night goggles, a helmet with an attached bush and flashlight on top. He was severely pissed that another guy was moving in his territory. This time, Riley created “Dick & Jane: A Love Story” directed by Douglas Clayton. Her girlfriends Kaylee (Stacey Jackson) and Summer (Jaime Andrews) are two mean girls who have dinner with Jane (Riley) to meet her boyfriend. It doesn’t matter that Dick (the always fantastic Michael Lanahan) is gay and breaks into a dance version of “It’s Raining Men.” Jane goes into frequent Sybil moments and threatens her friends with violence if they even think of claiming her man. She goes from normal to psychotic in a snap.

Moving from a dysfunctional romance to pretty girls in bikinis was Jaime Robledo’s “Glammer” directed by Rebecca Larsen. It’s a shame this had a short shelf life. It was one of the funniest shows in the evening. Jordan Savage plays Glammer a Hugh Hefner type of man only younger and way sexier. He loves his coterie of women especially when they take a dip in an inflatable pool of orange Jell-O. His Larry Flynt like rival Terence Blundy (Scott Leggett) is determined to rid of the finely coiffed Glammer. After an intense argument with his nemesis, Terence commands his assistant Toady (Robledo) to retrieve  fast relief. The docile subordinate supplies his ornery employer with a mountain of cocaine so tall Terence is buried in it.

Hot looking Glammer (Jordan Savage) surrounded by his babes in “Glammer.”

This is the same Robledo who played a tap-dancing mute in another show and I laughed so damn hard. It’s something you need to see to understand. Later in the show the New York native and his cohorts won for Best Dance (AC/DC BACK IN BLACK) and the Mickey Rooney Award for Worst Offensive Stereotype playing one of the Japanese people in “Darque Magick”. Leggett cleaned up nicely in three categories: Best Monologue, Best Director and shares the Rooney Award with Robledo.

Other shows involved Vice-President Dick Cheney going to college (Dick Cheney Goes to College), a disturbing love fest between animals and their owners (Beaverquest), and the annoying tantrums of a high school teenager (Barbara!). The songs matched the craziness of the shows. Victor Isaac “Animal’s Song (I’m Retarded)” from “Blackman: The Musical,” an odd mixture of “Sesame Street” and “Avenue Q”, lost to Padraic Duffy and Bobby Stapf’s collaboration of ‘Hop-Hop-a Chew (No Law Against That)’ from “Beaverquest”. The one who should have won, of course in my unbiased opinion, should have been Courtney DeCosky ‘The First Boy…” from “A Bikini Full of Trouble”. Use your imagination to fill in the rest.

Toady (Jaime Robledo) would be the man behind Larry Flynt wannabe Terence Blundy (Scott Leggett) if nosy Buzzy Grovenor (Henry Dittman) weren’t in the middle in “Glammer.”

Then, the moment I and everyone else waited for finally arrived. My man Thurston Hillsboro-Smythe from the longest running Serial Killers show ‘Magnum Opus’. Brandon Clark brought back the suave and elegance of the husky, articulate narrator as he recounted “Episode 33” selected by Vanessa Claire Perkins and directed by Joe Jordan. In this episode, Abi (the phenomenal Jaime Andrews) is unsure of her relationship with Tony (Michael Lanahan). Things get more complicated when Sheron (Franci ‘Pants’ Montgomery) becomes involved. As the piece de resistance, Clark won for Best Religious Figure for his portrayal of as Cronus in “Blaming Aphrodite”. It was beautiful. Don’t worry. If you missed this year’s award show, next year will probably be even wilder.

If you’re looking for traditional theater with hardly any surprises, drive yourself over to the Ahmanson or Mark Taper and give up your rent money to see a show and dine later. But, if you want to laugh your fool head off and not worry that you look stupid, Sacred Fools is the place to sit back and enjoy. Their upcoming shows are now listed on their site www.sacredfools.org.

Jaime Andrews as Sascha and Joe Fria as Mystere with the cast of “Darque Magick.”


THE WINNERS


 BEST SONG
     “HOP-HOP-A-CHEW” (Duffy/Stapf) from BEAVERQUEST! 

BEST NUDITY
     Jordan Savage’s full body paint in GLAMMER
 
BEST KISS
     Dawn Stahlak & Phil Newby making out in BARBARA!

BEST ACTION SEQUENCE
     Riot in ONCE UPON A TIME AT THE END OF THE WORLD

THE MICKEY ROONEY AWARD FOR WORST OFFENSIVE STEREOTYPE
     Scott Leggett, Jaime Robledo, Franci Montgomery and Joe Hendrix as the  Japanese Businesspeople in DARQUE MAGICK

BEST VILLAIN
     Michael Franco as Bartholomew the Sea Captain in BEAVERQUEST!

SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT
     The Magic of DARQUE MAGICK

AVANTE GARDE
     THREE PENNY SOAP OPERA

BEST DANCE
     The entire cast of AC/DC’S BACK IN BLACK

BEST RELIGIOUS FIGURE
     Brandon Clark as Cronus in BLAMING APHRODITE
 

BEST MONOLOGUE
     Scott Leggett’s three phone call rant as Wilton Van Nuys in BLACK

BEST COSTUME
     The magical creatures of LOLLY!!POP!!SUPERJOYFUNTIME!!

BEST NAZI
     Troy Blendell as Fritz in BLACK

BEST CROSSDRESSING
     Bryan Krasner as Ashlee in BARPHEE’S WORLD
 

BEST POLITICAL FIGURE
     Jim Nieb as George Bush, Troy Blendell as Dick Cheney and Lisa Ann Nicolai as Laura Bush in BARBARA!
 

BEST MAKE-UP (Hopkins had nothing to fear)
Heather Hopkins for BARPHEE and
                                GLAMMER and 
                                BEAVERQUEST! and 
                                DARQUE MAGICK and finally
                               THE CLOWN CHRONICLES
 
BEST PIECE UNDER 5 MINUTES
     GIANT MONOLOGUE
 
THE ANIMALS & CHILDREN AWARD    

     The explosion of bunnies in DARQUE MAGICK
 

MOST ACTOR:
     JOE FRIA

MOST ACTRESS:
     FRANCI MONTGOMERY

DIRECTOR:
     SCOTT LEGGETT


WRITER:
     JENELLE RILEY and PADRAIC DUFFY


TECH:
     HANS GELPKE


OVERALL:
     JAIME ROBLEDO


PRODUCER’S AWARD

     HEATHER GONZALEZ, CM GONZALEZ, HEATHER HOPKINS
 

Photos Courtesy of Sacred Fools Theater Company

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