Editor’s note: The author of this story is a cast member of the show.
It appears it was only a matter of time before Enchanted Forest Cabaret and the Rock On the Rock Choir collided into an explosion of outrageous creativity.
Opening Feb. 1 and running for four nights, the Rock on the Rock Choir and Enchanted Forest Cabaret have united to present “Teatro Titikookoo.”
“It’s mostly choir and dance with a few pieces of nonsense thrown in just to break up the other nonsense,” said Enchanted Forest creator and director Deborah Sparks. “It’s an evening where people come, turn their brains off and have fun. It’s unpredictable.”
Enchanted Forest Cabaret features Grace McCune and Jake Perrine as Carmen and Dr. Livingston, two travelers in a rocket ship who land on various strange planets and have musical adventures with the inhabitants. This year’s Enchanted Forest features the beloved characters coming face to face with singing, dancing robots.
“It seemed like a natural thing for us to collaborate on this because we have been – in a sense – collaborating with Sparks with Enchanted Forest … Being her leads in her show, we get to have that experience of coming up with these great skits and ideas,” McCune said. “So it felt like this natural progression for us to do this show together.”
Tickets are on sale now at Darvill’s Bookstore and https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3212769 for $15. The show runs Feb. 1-4 at Sea View Theater at 7 p.m.
McCune and Perrine have been directing the Rock on the Rock choir for the past decade. Last year, the duo conducted a tribute to the tunes of the 1980s with Rock of Orcas. Previous years included an homage to “Moulin Rouge” and a celebration of the Beatles in “Across the Universe.” The newest production is conceived and directed by Sparks, McCune and Perrine.
“This is a big experiment to see: can these two things come together and be entertaining and memorable?” Sparks asked.
Added Perrine: “It’s a natural fit because we’ve done all these things before. Enchanted Forest has always been a jubilee of zaniness that meets with some adversity – every good drama has some adversity – and nothing is dealt with in a kind of linear fashion. There are themes like a dream would have and you kind of go through and everyone takes away a little something different.”
Truly a community effort, performers have rehearsed at Random Howse (thanks to Clyde Duke), The Odd Fellows Hall, Studio Z and Grace-notes Studio. Donna Laslo has opened the Sea View Theater to host the nutty show, allowing a larger stage and audience, after years of being performed in a small black box theater. Chris Brems, who donates his time and materials, is once again designing a magnificent set for the antics to take place. Brems has built every set for Enchanted Forest since its inception in 2009.
Choreographed by Tiffany Loney, with Katie Zwilling assisting and with costumes by Asifa Welch-Pasin, there are more than 50 people involved both onstage and off. The backing tracks for two of the performances were composed by Stephen Fairweather, who will also play piano accompaniment for three songs.
“For those who are right-brained, it has path; for those who are left-brained, it’s chaotic,” Sparks said. “There’s enough variety in the show to really be exciting for anyone that comes to it.”
McCune, Perrine, Sparks, Alanna Lago, Amanda Sparks, Anna Mueller, Welch-Pasin, Cali Bagby, Carla Weston, Chantelle Hildreth, Charlie Eon, Christa Smith, Chuck Silva, Clark Cundy, Colleen Smith Armstrong, Ed Lago, Frank Michels, Greg Ripley, Kaleena McGarry, Kayleigh Horton, Khadoma Colomby, Mandi Johnson, Marj Franke, Mindy Sonshine, Misty Cruz, Monty Coffey. Nancy Blystone, Pam Evans, RuthAnne Comrie, Sky Weaver, Fairweather, Stormy Hildreth and Tish Knapp.
Loney, Zwilling, Stephanie Iverson, Elysse Lightpool, Christian Hawes, Laine and Craig Pechacek as well as choir members Armstrong, Evans, Sonshine, Comrie and Alana Lago.