|Not this Slappy White...|
It's been some time since the illustrious Reverend Slappy White (not Red Foxx's old pal), the brazenly Fascist impresario behind Slappy White & his Calvacade of Comic All-Stars, has graced the county with his presence.
The driving force behind the sort-of-annual A Dolt's Only Xma$ Pageant, a no-holds-barred, wildly irreverent take on Christmas in downtown Fullerton that began some 15 years ago, White and his motley crew haven't re-assembled in at least three years.
Sunday night, the not-so-good Rev is teaming up with some of his past theatrical and musical collaborators--as well as some new ones--for Love or a Lack Thereof at the Monkey Wrench Collective in downtown Fullerton.
We caught up with the Rev and picked his admittedly booze-besotted brain in hopes of getting at least one semi-straight answer out of him. Oh, and in the interest of full disclosure, Slappy White is me--at least in this instance. No one can truly own such a primordial presence. He can merely be borrowed from time to time. . . .
OC Weekly (Joel Beers): So what up, Rev? Been a while since you were involved in anything local.
Slappy White: Yeah, you know, jail, rehab, restraining orders, jail again, and a regrettably tragic tryst with a Tibetan Yak kind of put theater on the back burner for a while.
So why now?
Well, as you may slightly be aware of, we've done an anti-Christmas show for years and years, first at the old Tribune Theatre in downtown Fullerton, and then at STAGES. Steven Lamprinos, an old crony of mine from my time with Revolving Door Productions, a Fullerton company that was once described in the LA Times as "Newt Gingrich's worst nightmare," hit me up about doing something to help out the Monkey Wrench Collective, which yanked its first show of the season and has been dark for two months. Since the date was around Valentine's Day, Steven wanted to do something about love. But since I maintain that love is a concept by which we measure our pain, and because Valentine's Day is the most shamelessly commercial day on the calendar, I wanted to do something about anti-love. So we met in the middle: Love or the Lack Thereof. I'm ecstatic to say that the lack thereof portion won out.
So there's nothing sweet and rosy in this show?
Oh, I'm sure one of our three musicians--Pat Gallagher, Kirk Hofstetter and Slim Raiford--might perform a tune that is kinda lovey-dovey, but the bulk of the show is wonderfully offensive, blindly irreverent and filled with the kind of bile and jaundice that I eat for breakfast.
What kind of material?
Monologues and sketches, most of them written by the performers. There's a great bit by Bob Tully in which Cupid commits suicide, another funny piece by Shaun McNamara about a woman in love with a less-than-manly vampire, and other stuff that rips on everything from Sarah Palin and North Korea to Brad Pitt and victims of Tourette's syndrome. My old lover, E. Jacque Mugwump, has even revised a couple of our Christmas staples, one of them based on characters in Good Fellas, and the other something we borrowed--or should I say liberated?--from Chris Trela called the Fuck Family. Mr. Mugwump has placed each in a Valentine's Day setting.
Is it suitable for children?
Sure, if they're already pulling wings from flies and stuffing puppies in dryer vents.
Looking at the list of actors, you've got a pretty killer cast.
Absolutely. Some of these jokers I've been working with since Revolving Door, like Nick Boicourt, Darri Kristin, K.C. Mercer and Bradley A. Whitfield. My favorite director, Patrick Gwaltney, is on board and everyone else has done a ton of work at other theater companies like the Hunger Artists and the Maverick, such as Kalinda Gray, Jamie McCoy, Terry Mowery and Frank Tryon.
Is there an overall theme to the show?
Absolutely not. It's really just an excuse to get a bunch of really talented people together and spread cynicism and bitterness. Pretty much the entire reason I'm still sucking air on this God-forsaken rock.
It's being staged the night before Valentine's Day. Would you recommend it to couples?
Definitely. Whether they're in the early stages of mad infatuation or have settled into a long-term relationship, they'll get something out of it. The truth. Because, at some point, one of them will fuck around on the other, or pound the other with a tire iron, or wake up one day and realize they hate the person they're sleeping with. And they'll break up, divorce or kill each other. And, if all that fails, there's always the great equalizer: the sweet caress of eternity's unfathomable abyss.
Nice talking to you, Rev. You always fill me with cheer and goodwill.
Life is a sad; life is a bust. All you can do is do what you must. You do what you must do, and you do it well. I'll do it for you, honey baby, can't you tell? A Jew wrote that.
Monkey Wrench Collective, 204 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton; http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=125997537470611. Sun., 7 p.m. $10.