Welcome to Sacred Fools Theater Company, est. 1997

"...audaciously original... suggests what might result if the Dixie Chicks channeled William S. Burroughs
while Ren and Stimpy stole Willie Nelson's stash."
–L.A. TIMES Recommended! [Read The Reviews!]

Sacred Fools Theater Company
presents the World Premiere of

BEAVERQUEST!
The Musical

A Beaver.  A Bunny.
A Love Story.

book & lyrics by PADRAIC DUFFY
music by BOBBY STAPF
directed by SCOTT LEGGETT

MARCH 28 - MAY 3, 2008
Fri-Sat @ 8pm / Sun @ 7pm

PREVIEW: Thurs, 3/27 @ 8pm

Tickets: $25 (Preview: $15)
Reservations: (310) 281-8337
or Buy Online NOW!

Bunny (Bryan Krasner)
& Beaver (Corey Klemow)

Narrators Pepper (Emily Pennington),
Annie Mae (Darrin Revitz)
and Betty Lynn (Lauren Nasman)

Petunia (Laura Sperazza) & Jack (Joe Fria)

Cletis (Michael Holmes)
& Pepper (Emily Pennington)

CAST

Annie Mae
Pepper
Betty Lynn
Beaver
Bunny
Cletis
Clem
Petunia
Jack
Arleta
Neville
Spirit of the Forest

Bear/Ensemble
Quail/Ensemble
Skunk/Ensemble

Darrin Revitz
Emily Pennington
Lauren Nasman
Corey Klemow
Bryan Krasner
Michael Holmes
Jacob Sidney
Laura Sperazza
Joe Fria
Alyssa Preston
Philip Newby
Emily Kosloski
Liz Bennett (3/27 - 4/6)
Chairman Barnes
Jennifer Gail Fenten
Eulis Kay

THE BAND

Guitar
Mandolin
Harmonica
Slide Guitar
Guitar
Banjo
Harmonica
Fiddle
Bass
Drums

Bobby Stapf


Brian Robbins



Lydia Veilleux
Stew O'Dell
Steve Riley

CREW

Producer
Stage Manager
Choreographer
Makeup
Music Director
Ass't Director
Co-Choreographer
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Costume Design
Set Design
Props
Technical Director
Poster Art
Other Artwork
Photography
Publicity

Emily Kosloski
Hans Gelpke
Dorothy Dillingham Blue
Heather Hopkins
Bobby Stapf
Natasha Norman
Natasha Norman
Jake Mitchell
Tim Labor
Wes Crain
Janne Zirkle Larsen
Kat Bardot
Aaron Francis
Jay Shultz
Jennifer Plamann
Maia Rosenfeld
Constance Tollotson
Jean-Paul Zapata
Angelique Cardinet
Kathryn True

SUN, APRIL 6 - Talkback with the cast & crew following the show, hosted by ONEGOODLOVE.COM!

Nominated for an L.A. Weekly Award for Direction of a Musical (Scott Leggett)

REVIEWS

L.A. Times (RECOMMENDED)

Renegade lunatics should high-tail it to Sacred Fools, where "Beaverquest! The Musical" is chewing across boundaries of genre and logic. At its shaggily enjoyable best, Padraic Duffy and Bobby Stapf's sweetly ribald Southern-rock ode to interspecies tolerance suggests what might result if the Dixie Chicks channeled William S. Burroughs while Ren and Stimpy stole Willie Nelson's stash.

Although overstuffed, author Duffy's scenario is drolly self-deprecating. Overseen by three archetypal narrators (Darrin Revitz, Lauren Nasman and Emily Pennington), a cracked passel of "Hee-Haw" types goes rabid in pursuit of an erudite pet bunny (imposing Bryan Krasner) and the last living beaver (riotous Corey Klemow). Their anthropomorphic romance brings "Beaverquest!" into audaciously original territory.

It's easier to track the tangled upstage map on designer Janne Zinkle Larsen's truck-and-outhouse set than to stay abreast of Duffy's countless satirical twists. About a third of the double-entendre takes on the title can go, and the libretto still requires much musical realignment. Luckily, director Scott Leggett, an inventive design team -- Wes Crain's wacky costumes are their own show -- and the unfettered cast inhales the craziness, selling Stapf's chugging songs with panache. Thus, when Sheriff Jack (Joe Fria, hilarious as ever) forswears sex with girlfriend Petunia (big-voiced Laura Sperrazza), their gyrations are a hoot precisely because of their straight-faced attack.

Alyssa Preston drives the pile a bit as mayor/taxidermist Arleta, but she's outlandishly funny; ditto Jacob Sidney as Clem, Petunia's overzealous brother. Michael Holmes scores as lovelorn Cletis, whose subplot with Pennington's wistful Pepper merits expansion. And when Philip Newby's hybrid love child appears in Act 2, his sidesplitting antics typify the enterprise. If Duffy and Stapf keep gnawing away at the most sophomoric aspects, "Beaverquest!" could become a toothsome cult hit.

--David C. Nichols
© 2008, L.A. Times

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L.A. Weekly (GO)

Sacred Fools Theatre Company has made a spectacular return from an era of what company members have described as the dysfunction of yore. I’ve seen two of the shows there (of the four that are currently in production) over the past two weeks, including the troupe’s late-night contest, Serial Killers. Enthusiastic and largely young audiences packing the house to these mid-run shows are a fair indication of this organization’s health. Such a rebound is cause for optimism in an extremely arduous field. Padraic Duffy (book and lyrics) and Bobby Stapf’s (music) animated country musical parody, Beaverquest! The Musical, was conceived from the sketch-comedy format of Serial Killers, and has evolved into a lighthearted social satire, delivered entirely through nonsense-tinged allegory. A romance between the last Beaver in the area (Corey Klemow) and a domesticated male Bunny (Bryan Krasner in bunny suit, with the grandiloquence and vocal gravitas of James Earl Jones) becomes the gay-rights answer to Animal Farm. The evil Mayor (Alyssa Preston) doubles as a taxidermist, which explains where all the other beavers have gone. And yes, she does have a song called “I’ve Never Met a Beaver That I Didn’t Want to Stuff.” Poor Jack (Joe Fria, with the hypnotic ability to distort his body into subtle contortions) has to given up drinkin’ and his frequently aroused girlfriend, Petunia (Laura Sperrazza, with dazzling vocal skill), in order to be sheriff. The Mayor’s petting-zoo project is merely a ruse to snag the last living beaver. There are all kinds of dots that barely connect, despite which the allegory becomes weirdly moving in Act 2. One subplot involves a literary conflict of interest as one of three narrators, sweet Pepper (Emily Pennington), struggles not to enter the story as she falls for one of the characters. I still can’t determine how well all this hangs together, but it’s undeniably entrancing and deceptively superficial. Director Scott Leggett knows exactly what he’s doing, the stage movement is sharp, and the onstage band, situated in the back of an old Ford pickup truck, is terrific, under composer Bobby Stapf’s musical direction.

--Steven Leigh Morris
© 2008, L.A. Weekly

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BackStage West

Okay, maybe it's not Long Day's Journey Into Night, but playwright Padraic Duffy's frothy musical comedy is genial, feel-good fun. One thing's for sure, though: When attending the show, you'd better have a near-inexhaustible appetite for sexual innuendo. If the performers handed you a nickel each time someone made that hoary old joke about a "beaver" being a nice furry animal and, well, something else, you'd have enough money by curtain call to negate the national deficit.

The show takes place in a tiny hick community, where hillbilly gal Petunia (Laura Sperrazza) is fond of her pet Bunny (Bryan Krasner, in a hilarious harrumphing, hem-hawing turn that conjures fond memories of Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life). Bunny tires of being a pet and runs away, hiding out in the forest, where he meets and falls in love with The Last Beaver in the World (Corey Klemow). Their astonishing love affair breaks taboo boundaries -- not only of gender but also of species.

Meanwhile, as hateful Mayor Arleta (Alyssa Preston, nicely channeling Cruella DeVille) vows to capture Beaver for her petting zoo, it's soon up to Bunny to save the day, along with unexpected assistance from bumpkin best pals Clem (Jacob Sidney) and Cletis (Michael Holmes), and the show's three luscious backup singers (Darrin Revitz, Lauren Nasman, and Emily Pennington), whom we can only call "the Beaverettes."

...Director Scott Leggett crafts a tight, smart, and engaging production, abetted by an extraordinarily talented ensemble, many of whom imbue the chipper, if slight, musical numbers with clockwork-precise comic timing and operatic voices.

Krasner and Klemow make the year's oddest couple, but their interplay is charming and hilarious, particularly when they're joined by a Pee Wee Herman-esque Philip Newby as their half-beaver, half-bunny son. Hilarious turns are also offered by Sidney and Holmes as the oafish, latently gay best pals.

--Paul Birchall
© 2008, BackStage West

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Edge Los Angeles

Yes, Beaverquest! The Musical does refer to whatever innuendo you want to apply here. With song titles such as "I’ve Never Met a Beaver That I Didn’t Want to Stuff," "All Good Friends Share Beaver," "Take a Good Look at the Beaver in the Mirror," and "Show Us Your Beaver," it’s almost impossible to assume anything else. And that’s really OK.

Innuendo aside, "Beaverquest! The Musical" is more than just overused double entendres. It’s actually pretty good. Trust me. It is part campy, it is part parody, and it is all in good fun.

According to the playwright, Padraic Duffy, it all started back in 2006 as a ten-minute parody sketch at Sacred Fools Theatre’s late night comedy show Serial Killers (in which five serials episodes compete for the top three spots. The audience votes on the three that will move on to the next week’s round where the process starts over again.)

"Beaverquest" returned each week for six months. Every new episode featured a new song and from there, the structure for the musical was developed. Without giving away too much of the story (it’s best to see it for yourself), the basic plotline involves Bunny (Bryan Krasner) and Beaver (Corey Klemow), Clem (Jacob Sidney) and his sister Petunia (Laura Sperrazza). Petunia and Jack (Joe Fria), Petunia and Bunny, Clem and Cletis (Michael Holmes), Arleta (Alyssa Preston) and Jack, Arleta and Beaver, a spirit of the forest (Elizabeth Bennett), some woodland critters Jennifer Gail Fenten, Eulis Kay, Chariman Barnes), Neville (Philip Newby), Bunny, and Beaver, square dancing, a rabid cake, children armed with rifles, a trio of country folk narrators (Darrin Revitz, Lauren Nasman, Emily Pennington), and some other surprises that you’ll have to check out yourself.

Ok, so that doesn’t really say much about what "Beaverquest!" is all about. And really, the fun is in going and seeing how all of this fits in --literally and metaphorically speaking, of course.
At the heart of the musical is the recurring theme of everyone’s inherent need to be accepted; whether you’re a bunny looking for gay love, a friend feeling neglected, a taxidermist needing a beaver, or a need for a male narrator (again, trust me, it makes a whole lot of sense).

Far from being the best musical in LA, "Beaverquest!" The musical works because it does not try to take itself too seriously. It pokes fun at itself and allows you to comfortably suspend your disbelief and just enjoy this wonderfully clever songs and story. The music is also well balanced with songs that move the story along (Act II opening number, "On the Move") and songs that get to the core of the story ("Say That I Kiss You" and "Somebody To Like Me, Like Me.") And if you learn something about yourself in the process, so be it. I’m sure we all have a beaver quest in all of us.

I must admit, I wasn’t expecting to be moved by this musical. But something about these characters is so endearing that you can’t help but root for them -- probably because you can see the actors really enjoying their character and the level of commitment is so genuine, you can believe they are who they portray on stage. As absurd as the concept may be, the basic human truths sprinkled throughout the narrative in this musical is something that other bigger musicals are lacking.

--Obed Medina
© 2008, Edge Los Angeles

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StageSceneLA.com

Beaverquest! The Musical, Sacred Fools’ latest offering, is the brightest and most entertaining surprise of Spring 2008, combining elements of Urinetown: The Musical, Into The Woods, and TV’s Hee Haw. Though (as might be expected) Beaverquest! The Musical has countless double entendre references to the titular dam-building rodent, including fully five songs with Beaver in the title, it is more importantly a tuneful, joyous defense of acceptance and tolerance, love and sexuality. This is a show that kids can enjoy (the beaver jokes will go right over their heads) but that adults will love even more regardless of their age.

Beaverquest! The Musical begins with a cock-a-doodle-do and a sensational a capella belt of a solo (“Serenade/Come With Me”) by the dazzling Darrin Revitz (recently in Twist), as she introduces us to the characters (human and animal) whose stories we’ll be following over the next two and a half hours.

There’s Bunny (a 6 foot mountain of a bunny rabbit), Petunia (a firecracker of a country girl), Clem and Cletis (two of the goodest good ol’ boys around), Sheriff Jack and his brand new “moooshache,” big bold and brassy Arleta, adorable Beaver the beaver, glamorous Spirit Of The Forest, and the Disney-ready animal trio of Quail, Skunk, and Bear. There’s also lead narrator Annie Mae (Revitz) and her co-narrators Betty Lynn and Pepper, and a monster truck (a real one!) onstage, inside and behind which sit the five-member band.

Petunia and Jack are crazy in love, like “Two Sticks” just a burnin’ to rub together, which they do (repeatedly) in the song of the same name. (“Rub’em together and they make fire,” they sing.) Only one hitch. Jack is now sheriff, which according to plus-size Mayor Arleta means that he must swear off liquor and sex. “The mayor says I ain’t allowed to date,” he tells a crestfallen Petunia. No matter. She and Jack are in love, and she swears she’s going to get him to “put a little baby in me,” even if it’s the last thing she does.

Since her parents died, Petunia has been getting “a little clingy” to her pet Bunny (twice her size) and Clem is envious of her good luck in having such a cuddly friend. To his bosom buddy Cletis’ jealous dismay, Clem decides to go looking for a pal like Petunia’s Bunny. Meanwhile, Bunny has had enough of clingy Petunia, and he packs his few treasures (a couple of small stuffed animals) in a burlap sack and runs away.

In another part of town, Arleta, owner of Arleta’s Taxidemy Shop, bemoans the lack of fresh beaver in town. (She’s pretty much killed and stuffed them all.) “I’ve Never Met A Beaver I Didn’t Want To Stuff,” she sings, though these days her dream is to open a petting zoo, if only she can corral enough animals to fill it.

Arleta is mistaken that there ain’t no more beavers around. There still is at least one, the eponymous Beaver, who goes about with furry flat-tailed water animal trivia on his lips: “I have webbed feet, but I am not a duck.” “I smell like clams.” “Fish live in my belly.” “My stool smells of pine cones.” “I secrete my own oils.”

Before you know it, Bunny and Beaver have met cute, and despite the fact that neither has felt same-sex urges before, they are soon doing their mating dance of love. “My heart was parched but the sight of you has quenched my soul,” declares the poetic Bunny. “We shall be homosexual lovers.” And soon the couple are declaring their love in a song: “I Must Be A Tree ‘Cause I’ve Fallen For You.”

“Seduced-and-abandoned” could easily be Beaver’s nickname the morning after, and he is soon weeping on Cletis’ shoulder, all the while Bunny (who may be running from his true self) drowns his sorrows in Jack Daniels straight from the bottle.

Meanwhile, co-narrator Pepper has defied the laws of storytelling and crossed over from narrator to character in order to be with Cletis. (It was love at first sight for her, you see.)

Beautiful and statuesque Spirit Of The Forest (who Clem keeps mistaking for Jesus) arrives at the end of Act 1 to assure everyone that “Hope’s Your Friend,” in a pre-intermission finale that has the entire cast onstage a-singin’ and a-dancin’ as if at a revival meeting.

And that’s only Act 1. Nothing will be revealed her about Act 2 except that it’s even better, cleverer, funnier, and racier than Act 1, and that it introduces one new character, Neville, an adorable one-year-old with beaver teeth and rabbit ears who is guaranteed to win everyone in the audience’s heart.

Beaverquest! The Musical is the brainchild of Sacred Fools Co-Artistic Director Padraic Duffy, who wrote the book and lyrics and wow does this guy have imagination, wit, and heart. (Proud parents Patrick and Carlyn were in the opening night audience as was dad’s Dallas costar Linda Gray.) Working with directorial whiz Scott Leggett, talented tunesmith (composer/musical director) Bobby Stapf, and choreographer Dorothy Dillingham Blue’s hoedown-ready dances, Duffy has come up with the winningest musical around.

The cast couldn’t be better. In addition to the aforementioned and stellar Revitz as Annie Mae, there are the delicious Emily Pennington as Pepper and the perky Lauren Nasman as Betty Lynn, the trio comprising the narrators/Greek chorus. Bryan Krasner and Corey Klemow are the delightfully mismatched Bunny and Beaver, the best counterarguments around to ignorant bigots like Sally Kern, and poster children for gay marriage. Krasner particularly has a set of pipes that can belt to the rafters. Laura Sperrazza is a delectable squeaky-voiced Petunia (and one hell of a singer) and Jacob Sidney and Michael Holmes are perfection as best friends Clem and Cletis (the latter a tad less dim than the former). Alyssa Preston is a powerhouse singer and comedienne who burns up the stage as Arleta. Elizabeth Bennett is a lovely Spirit Of The Forest, and Jennifer Gail Fenten, Eulis Kay, and Chairman Barnes are wonderful as both animals and triplet children. Finally, in a class by himself, is Philip Newby, who charmed Sacred Fools audiences as a talking rabbit in Poona the F***dog, and is even more adorable here as an interspecies mix, giving one of the most endearing performances you’re likely ever to see.

Stapf plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and is joined in the truck by Brian Robbins, Lydia Veileux, Stew O’Dell, and Steve Riley to make infectious get-up-and-dance music. Natasha Norman shares credit with Leggett and Blue as assistant director and co-choreographer. Janne Zirkle Larsen’s scenic design is simple in the extreme, but a big truck goes a long way, and this show is not about the set. Jake Mitchell’s lighting and Tim Labor’s sound design are just fine, and Wes Crain deserves highest marks for his imaginative costumes (human and animal), as does Heather Hopkins for makeup.

Beaverquest! The Musical combines the tradition of such offbeat Sacred Fools fare as A Dr. Jeuss Christmas, Poona The F***dog, and The Swine Show with the musical comedy excellence that they recently displayed in Drood: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Like the equally original Urinetown: The Musical, which began in a small theater and ended up a hit in a big Broadway house, it is not a far stretch of the imagination to picture Beaverquest! The Musical doing the same.

--Steven Stanley
© 2008, StageSceneLA.com

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