It’s getting to be that time of year again. Show Time, that is. For the 29th year in a row, sponsored by the Santa Clara Women’ League, Showtime’s intrepid players will take to the Santa Clara Recreation Center stage to benefit senior health services.
As always, the action takes place in Showtime’s perennial geography, Doomstown – a community under perpetual siege from a variety of malefactors covering the criminal spectrum from arson to white slavery. After a narrow escape from pirates last year, 2011 finds Doomstown’s residents plagued by vampires.
The show opens at the Santa Clara library. While perusing old newspapers, librarians Elaine Carmelite (Elaine Lewis) and Dorothy Warburton (City Library’s Hillary Brookshire on a busman’s holiday) faint in the airless archives, waking up in 1852 Doomstown just in time for an election.
As usual, villain (dis)Honest John Blackbottom (John Petersen) and sidekick Fella Lugosi (Bill Cannon) are up to their old election-fixing, land-grabbing, extortionist tricks. Assisting the criminals in their infernal mission of hoodwinking town voters are two undead ladies of the night, Mia Bitten (Joan Cannon) and Elvira Von Munch (Carolyn Schuk).
But the ingenuity of lawman duo Sheriff Sam (Rick Mauck) and Deputy Dan (Peter Sparaco) is – as always – more than a match for the malefactors. Aided by garlic horticulturists, the Greenjeans Sisters (Arlene Rose and Linda Sutton), the lawmen soon send the fiendish felons packing. The time-traveling librarians soon find themselves back in twenty-first century Santa Clara. And all’s well – until, of course, next year.
In between, the long-suffering citizens of Doomstown offer up plenty of comedy – not to mention corny vampire jokes and a Showtime take on Michael Jackson’s music video, Thriller.
Rounding out the cast are romantic lead Andy Goodfellow (Andrew Hyatt), drill-happy dentist and barber Billy Bob Benton (Bill Shaddle), shyster coffin salesman Drew Blood (Steve Gustafson), uncompromising elections supervisor Charlotte L. Camino (Char Blake), exercise equipment entrepreneur Bev Franklin (Bev Schuler), and a crew of unwitting coffin customers (Linda Clements, Rita Dietrich, Polly Hallek, Rosemary Husa, Savannah Jaro, Aine Kline, Mary Kline, Pam Morrison, Patrick Morrison, Janis Parenzin, and Rod Ulibarri). Showtime veterans Rick Mauck – who also wrote the script – and Robin Burdick direct the show.
The show also features a cameo of Showtime’s sole four-legged performer, Zoey the dog. This is the amiable St. Bernard’s third appearance with Showtime.
Along with the melodrama, Showtime features pre-show entertainment and a line-up of variety acts. Past shows have featured popular magician Phil Ackerly, the lyrical baritone of Mission City Opera Music Director Michael Taylor, and Craig Sala’s audience-pleasing Elvis cover.
Showtime got its start in 1982 when longtime community activist and journalist, Cleo Stuckrath decided to put on a benefit to replace senior health funding cut as a result of Proposition 13, California’s three-decade-old property tax cap. Showtime has raised more than $250,000 for Senior Center nursing services.
For more than two decades, Cleo was Showtime’s playwright, producer, production manager, stage director, set designer, wardrobe mistress, choreographer, and prop master. When poor health forced her to step down, Cleo passed the baton to co-producers and directors Robin Burdick and Rick Mauck.
Showtime is March 4-5, 2011 at 7 p.m. and March 6, 2011 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the Santa Clara Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd. Santa Clara. Tickets are available at the door, and in advance from the Santa Clara Senior Center, 1303 Fremont Street, Santa Clara. For more information, visit www.santaclarashowtime.net or call 408-615-3170.