Shag with a Twist
In 2005, artistic director and choreographer Cynthia Bradley teamed up with contemporary artist Josh Agle to create a musical mystery Broadway show, high on style and filled with dance. The show was a collaboration between Jetsetter Productions, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and the San Pedro City Ballet. Chris Lang and Cesar Benitez composed and arranged the songs and lounge music for the stage. The Shag with a Twist play ran from March 18th to June 11th in 2005 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center in Los Angeles, California. The show was restaged during 2006 in the Krave Theatre at the Alladin in Las Vegas from the 13th to the 17th July.
The show is set at a 1960’s Tupperware party hosted by former-stewardess Othal (Katie Russell) and conservative Eldon (Jamie Benson) served by flirty maid 7 (Brianna Walker). Their guests are seductress Kitty (Katie Malia), Latin lothario Dodge (Jordi Ribera), debonair Foot (Ryan Jones), bespeckled Mercurochrome Head (Tina Graves), Siamese twins Shimmy and Shake (Jeneane and Shannon Grant) and bird-loving Slinky (Ashia Myers).
Slinky (Ashia Myers) is found murdered with a giant corkscrew protruding from her back. Bumbling Inspector Sergay (Shell Bauman) assisted by monkey Mr. Cuddles (Raul Machorro) attends to solve the crime. Particular highlights included a Tiki séance, and when coroner (Jesse Schoem) performs Slinky’s autopsy on stage as a full-size Operation game with pieces stored in Tupperware boxes.
Seven production illustration were released as 8-color color pigment prints in limited editions of only five copies:
The now-closed official website for the Shag with a Twist show called www.shagwithatwist.com included a wealth of information including these descriptions of the cast:
A high flying ex-stewardess who does everything first class. She’s a walking fashion statement who lives to entertain and entertains to live. Her passions are hosting elegant soireés, her husband Eldon, and a world-class set of plastic burping bowls.
“I know my friendly smile will brighten everyone’s day. Don’t forget to fasten”
Othal’s adoring husband. Her every wish is his command. His flair for making martinis is matched only by Othal’s flair for throwing parties. Socially, they make beautiful music together.
“Honey, tell me you’ve ever had a better martini”
Othal and Eldon’s maid, who’s bored to tears by their upper-crust lifestyle. The only thing that brings her to life is go-go music and surfing. Then she’s a lucky 7 with rhythm to burn.
“Gee, I wish Othal would get over those burping bowls”
Othal’s loyal friend. She lives for the theater but underneath her proper exterior lurks a women with an appetite for life. When she’s good, she’s very, very good. But when she’s bad, she’s even better.
“Oh Foot, you’re so, I don’t know, wild”
He’s rich and cultured, and like his name implies, always puts his best foot forward. An elegant jetsetter, he’s equally at home at elegant soireés and Broadway openings. He loves the footlights, candlelight, and moonlight, and is, in every way, a class act.
“Darling just let loose. Shake it like this”
Shimmy and Shake
This duo is the life of any party, the soul of vivaciousness. They go together like champagne and bubbles and are equally intoxicating. They’re poetry in motion, and a movable feast for the eyes. Inseparable and irresistable, bubbly fun is the name of their game.
“We’re just hunky dory”
A classic Latin lover who adores all women, and the feeling is mutual. He’s never met a female he couldn’t charm or wasn’t charmed by. He could give lessons to Casanova and when the music starts, he keeps time with the beating of his heart.
A lively man who’s deadly serious about his job. He’s in love with death and his collection of plastic ware, and has creative uses for both it and the dearly departed.
“No task is too large to dissect and store”
As playful and devious as a cat and as alluring as a sex kitten. If she had nine lives they would all be devoted to being the center of attention. Selfish as a Siamese, she’s purr-fectly irresistable and cunning as any feline worth her furs.
“Too bad for Slinky’s life. I’ve got nine”
The rarest of all birds and the most glamorous. Don’t ruffle her feathers because this mysterious creature will spread her wings and take to flight. Any man who sees her wants to capture her, but this is one bird who won’t stay caged for long.
“You unearth me you tiger”
Crime doesn’t pay, especially around Inspector Sergay. He’s dedicated his life to the cause of justice and his ability to solve crimes would impress even Sherlock Holmes.
“We must catch them Mr. Cuddles and restore peace amongst our citizens”
The Inspector’s mischievous assistant. His playful pranks keep the venerable Sergay both on his toes and at his wit’s end. With an assistant like this, who needs adversaries?
Finally, the following t-shirts were created for the show:
And a final few pictures: