Ashland theater company Puppeteers for Fears will kick off its 2019 season with CATTLE MUTILATION: THE MUSICAL!, which will open on April 24 as part of the Oregon Fringe Festival in Ashland, before touring the West Coast through August.
The show is a much-requested restaging of the company’s debut feature, an irreverent take on Sasquatch and UFOs performed with elaborate, custom hand-and-rod puppets and a live surf-rock band that sold out the entirety of its world premiere run in 2016. It tells the story of two dueling parent-child relationships, one from Earth, and another from the Crab Nebula, and what happens when they all get mixed up on a late-night search for Bigfoot. It is an expected combination of belly-laughs, heart, and catchy pop hooks that combine as both a loving homage to campy pulp sci-fi and something wholly original.
“Puppeteers for Fears has grown so much creatively since we debuted this show,” says PFF Artistic Director, and the show’s writer/composer, Josh Gross. “We’ve toured the west coast twice, really leaned into our use of multimedia, and become much better at every element of the craft. But Cattle Mutilation: the Musical! always had an undeniable spark and energy to it that helped propel the company to where we are now, even when we performed it in a rawer form as newbs. So it’s time to bring the show back—which we have been getting requests to do since the moment it closed—and really throw everything we have at it.”
To direct the show, PFF has tapped Katy Curtis, one of the company’s senior puppeteers and a graduate of the SOU theater program.
”I’m incredibly excited to direct this show because seeing it several years ago at its debut was my first experience with Puppeteers for Fears and it continues to be my favorite production still,” says Curtis.
Curtis feels that her experience as a puppeteer in performances throughout the 2018 season will provide crucial directorial insight to help the cast get the most out of their roles.
Also joining the team for this production are Medford indie-rock darlings, Derek Deon and the Vaughns, who will provide the show’s surf-rock and space-jazz influenced score.
“Playing with Puppeteers for Fears has been one of the most fantastically unique and varied gigging experiences I’ve ever had,” says Deon. ”If you haven’t been to a PFF show, you definitely haven’t ever seen anything like it.”
CATTLE MUTILATION: THE MUSICAL! will be performed three times for the Oregon Fringe Festival.
“We love Oregon Fringe,” says Gross. “They’ve been great to us as performers, and it’s just the kind of out-of-the-box creative spirit that we want to see more of.”
After the opening at Oregon Fringe, the show will be performed at regional venues throughout May, and then embark on a full west-coast tour during the summer. Run time is about ninety minutes with intermission. Complete performance dates and locations are below.
CATTLE MUTILATION: THE MUSICAL! was written and composed by Josh Gross, and directed by Katy Curtis. It stars Reece Bredl, Hunter Prutch, Lauren Taylor, Alex Giorgi, and Forrest Gilpin. Music will be performed by up-and-coming indie-rock darlings, Derek Deon and the Vaugns, who will also perform a brief opening set of their original material in place of recorded house music before the show. The cast soundtrack will be available for purchase at all performances.
Oregon Fringe Festival – 4/23-28.
House Show in Medford – Fri., May 3
The Haul in Grants Pass, Sat., May 4
iPub, Ashland, Friday, Fri., May 10
The Empire Music Hall, Yreka, Sat., May 11
Sam Bond’s Garage, Eugene, Sun., May 12
Randall Theater, Medford, May 17-18
Schoolhaus, Jacksonville, Sun., May 19
Brookings – Chetco Pelican Playhouse. Thu., July 11
Coos Bay – Dolphin Theater Fri., July 12
The Majestic Theater, Corvallis, Sat., July 13
Holocene, Portland, Sun., July 14
Columbia City Theater, Seattle, July 17-18
Le Voyeur, Olympia, Fri., July 19
The Capitol Club, Bend, Sat., July 20
Visual Arts Collective, Boise, Tue., July 23
Reno Little Theater, Reno, Wed., July 24
Blacktop Comedy, Rocklin Fri., July 26
The Blue Lagoon, Santa Cruz, Sat., July 27
Hotel Utah, San Francisco, Sun., July 28
North Coast Repertory Theater, Eureka, Wed., July 31
Blue Lamp, Sacramento, Thu., August 1
The El Rey Theater, Chico Fri., August 2
The Dip, Redding, Sat.., August 3
NOTE: Attendees should be aware that though this is a puppet show, it is NOT a children’s show. The material is R-rated, and children should be brought to matinees only at parent’s discretion.
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