Horror in a Fedora

It’s 1920s Paris. It’s 1940s and 1960s San Francisco. It’s deviant, luscious, drag-a-licious, and as witty as it is outlandish. And it’s gore — lots of gore. It’s Thrillpeddlers’ Shocktoberfest!! 12: Fear Over Frisco. This dedicated little theater troupe that draws members from various sectors of queer, drag, and burlesque scenes seems to get stronger as time goes on. It has made a Halloween-season tradition of emulating short plays from the Theater of the Grand Guignol, a 1920s Parisian troupe whose aim was to shock and overwhelm audiences with graphic subject matter and props. In recent years it has enlisted the help of Scrumbly Koldewyn, an original member of the Cockettes, an absurdist gender-bending company from the late 1960s and early ’70s. This year it adds San Francisco “czar of noir” Eddie Muller, writer and director of The Grand Inquisitor and An Obvious Explanation. The first depicts a young woman confronting who she believes is the widow of a serial killer, while the second involves a heist gone wrong, a case of amnesia, and “memory serum.” The third play, The Drug, is directed by Thrillpeddlers’ Russell Blackwood. Originally set in Saigon, Muller has rewritten it to take place in San Francisco. It involves the disfigurement (natch) of a famous artist, and a young prosecutor torn between the truth and a burning desire for the main suspect. Expect the surprise ending to be less Raymond Chandler and more H.P. Lovecraft.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Sept. 23. Continues through Nov. 19, 2011

 
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