Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco

Club Inferno
Thrillpeddlers

Also see Richard's review of Glengarry Glen Ross, Eddie's reviews of Every Little Thing, Irene and Freedomland, and Patrick's review of Cymbeline


Peggy L'Eggs
Thrillpeddlers, who have always presented outrageous Theatre of the Ridiculous musicals, are currently presenting one hell of a musical called Club Inferno, which is described as a "glam-rock musical" based on Dante's Divine Comedy. It was originally produced in 2000 at The Paradise Lounge in SOMA and the current production includes some of the original performers.

The score by Peter Fogel with lyrics by Kelly Kittell and Peter Fogel is a combination of hard rock with several hummable songs, such as "My Other Half" and "Road to Fame."

Club Inferno opens with the mega-star Dante (Peggy L'Eggs) performing her high energy club act, excitingly singing her smash hit "I Want My Fifteen Minutes of Fame." Her number is cut short by a tragic accident and she wakes up at the Gates of Hell.

Dante is greeted by poet Virgil (John Flaw) who offers her a way back to the Land of the Living. However, she first has to descend to the 8th level of hell with Virgil and sassy Xaron (Birdie-Bob Watt). Each new level of Hell reveals a famous diva suffering her own brand of torture. The audience sees a lustful Cleopatra (Noah Haydon), Karen Carpenter, Mama Cass, and murderess Lucrezia Borgia (Leigh Crow), along with the Furies and the Demons, a group of five very fine energetic dancers.

Peggy L'Eggs gives a wonderful over the top performance as Dante. She impressively belts out "I'll Help You Find a Way" and "You Got to Get Down." Noah Haydon is breathtaking as Cleopatra, singing with his dynamic vocal cords "Love Is Hell." For an encore he plays the Indian goddess Durga belting out "Blow Your Mind Away." John Thaw gives a zestful performance playing Virgil and with his effervescent vocal cords is excellent singing "I'll Help You Find a Way," "You Got to Get Down," and "So You Think You're a Bitch."

Zelda Koznofski morphs into Judy Garland, singing with her stunning voice "Road to Fame." She even has the red shoes that Judy wore in The Wizard of Oz. David Birch rocks with high energy as Aimee Semple McPherson, powerfully singing "Little White Lies." Leigh Crow as Mama Cass and Amber Sommerfeld as Karen Carpenter are harmoniously energizing singing "My Other Half."

Leigh returns in the second act, flamboyantly playing Lucrezia Borgia and singing "Your New Best Friend." Amber Sommerfeld returns to play Joan of Arc, singing "Always Say Your Prayers." Birdie-Bob Watt gives a fetching performance as the feisty Xaron. Rounding out the cast playing the Demons and the Furies are Carol Ann Walker, Lisa McHenry, Diogo Zavadzki, and Crystal Why. These tornado-driven dancers dance up a storm.

Glenn Krumbholz, Jim Kumiega, and Tina Sogliuzzo's costume designs are stunning, outlandish period costumes for each of the actors and actresses. Russell Blackwood's direction is fast and furious while musical director Birdie-Bob Watt leads a rocking good group of musicians who make this one hell of a musical.

Club Inferno runs through August 8th, 2015, at The Hypnodrome, 575 10th Street at Bryant, San Francisco. For tickets call 415-377-4202 or online at www.hypnodrome.org.


Photo: davidallenstudio.com

- Richard Connema


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