The late night horror show was a staple in generations past, but Dustin Turner plans to bring it back. Taking the stage at the URS Black Box next month is Uncle Fang-en-stein’s Last Show.
“I call it Elvis meets ‘Saturday Night Live,’” Turner said. “It has all the shlock of late night theatre mixed with the sketch comedy of SNL.”
The show helped Paul Wilson win a local playwright competition in 2010, and Turner, the best man at his wedding, jumped on board to help get the show to stage.
“It’s a little different from what I’m used to,” Turner said of starting the show from square one. “It’s only my second show directing, but I just though this would be something fun to work on. It’s a new process for me, but I thought it’d be nice to learn, too.”
The process of taking the show from paper to stage involved Tuner hand-picking a cast, and going through two small, live shows to get feedback. Then he re-wrote the script, reducing it from 100 pages to about 76, and used the help of his cast to get the finished product.
“Some of the cast has been here since the beginning, so they’ve been working on their characters for about a year,” Turner said. “Dave Engleman (Fangenstein) has really got into it. He’s really cheesed it up.”
The play focuses on Frank (Fangenstein) as he hosts his last episode of his beloved show, “The Scaratorium.” He shows clips from his favorite B-rated movies throughout, everything from a battery-operated woman to Bill Cosby’s fake cousin Dale.
Turner uses four actors to play the multiple “clip-show” roles.
“They have taken to it with all kinds of enthusiasm,” Turner said.
Frank launches a campaign to save his show just as the producer’s air-headed girlfriend Morgana Dark shows up on the set. But things aren’t what they seem.
It turns out that the show isn’t being cancelled, just Frank, and he finds that his true love was there all along.
Turner said there should be a lot of laughs once Fangenstein hits the stage.
“There a lot of inside jokes about horror and sci-fi, but you don’t have to be a fan of those to enjoy it,” Turner said. “(Fans) can expect to have a good time. They don’t have to think a lot, there’s no deep meaning, just sit back and laugh.”
Chris Walsh is the arts and entertainment reporter for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from Valdosta State University and hails from Atlanta, Ga.