For certain Hudson Valley gay boys, and gay girls, summer means sitting poolside or beachside with a tall, frosty Pina Colada while ogling passing sculpted beach bodies…. Did you say it’s too early for such cavorting? That the weather isn’t cooperating?
Well, here’s the next best thing: attending a performance of Psycho Beach Party, produced by CenterStage at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. It opened this past weekend and there are three more performances next weekend.
Let’s be as clear as a sunny summer day, boys and girls: Run, don’t walk, to this show!
This revival of the Charles Busch off-Broadway play offers limbo stick beach parties, pansexual couplings, menacing tranny Moms and pec-perfect surfer dudes. In short, this production provides as much faaaabulous gay fun as you can have legally here in the Valley.
The show, directed adroitly by Lisa Lynds, is about a teenage girl named Chicklet Forrest who has a dream to “hang ten” with the surfer dudes on Malibu Beach. But the sexy guys are products of their male chauvinist era – it’s the summer of 1962 — and tell Chicklet to buzz off. That doesn’t sit well with the determined gal, who summons up a few of her multiple personalities to get exactly what she wants.
Psycho Beach Party is fast, foul-mouthed, furiously funny and, thanks to a cast dominated by some cuddly and physically fit men, a feast for the eyes. Choose from curly-haired Spencer Lynds (curly-haired Kanaka, the ruler of the surfer group), Michael Tobert (skinny, energetic Yo-Yo), Wiley Gorn (cuddly Provoloney) and Nate Dotson (scruffy, bongo-playing Nicky). Fair warning: you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from Rocco Palmieri as top surfer Star Cat. This actor’s matinee-idol looks and muscular body will bring on a case of sunstroke. Zowie!
But this show is not merely a parade of prime-cut beef. The cast is clearly having a good time, and their energy is infectious. Stand-outs include Victoria McCarthy who plays Berdine, Chicklet’s frantic Kierkegaard-spouting best friend; Richard Prouse as the sublimely diabolical Mrs. Forrest (he seems to be channeling Eve Arden by way of Vincent Price); and propulsive Patrick Kieran as the plucky, slightly twisted Chicklet.
So, get on your Hawaiian shirt, your Bermuda shorts, Day-glo flip-flops and bring along your best gay beach pals to Psycho Beach Party. You can even have beach-party cupcakes at the concession stand. It’s the best way to officially start the summer.
Psycho Beach Party’s remaining performances are Fri, May 15 and Sat May 16 at 8pm; Sun May 17 at 3pm. Tickets $20 adults; $18 seniors and children. For reservations, visit the Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck website or call 845-876-3080. Tell them you saw the rave review on Big Gay Hudson Valley!