Have you ever been to the Mojave Desert? Have you ever heard of the HiDesert Playhouse? Do the titles Bullshot Crummond or El Grande de Coca Cola mean anything to you over 35ers?
If the answer is “hmm”¦ oh, yes, they were really funny plays,” you might remember the Bullshot Crummond film produced by late Beatle George Harrison’s company HandMade Films, which enjoyed lengthy runsÂ of five years in San Francisco and one in Los Angeles. So far this year, there have been 60 productions of Bullshot Crummond in the United States. Perhaps after that introduction, then my name might ring a bell.
So then, the inevitable question is why haven’t we seen a sequel? Low Moan Spectacular, the London comedy group that created Bullshot Crummond and El Grande de Coca Cola, dissolved in the early ’90s. The members went their own ways. House was a founding member as was Alan Shearman who went on to work in films and TV. Diz White, another founding member, wrote several successful novels; one, in particular, was a fictional book based loosely on Low Moan Spectacular entitled The Diz White Comedy Group.
El Grande de Coca Cola launched the careers of Jeff Goldblum and Ron Silver. It ran in New York for four years and was an HBO special. Both were produced by Gil Adler (Superman, Tales of the Crypt and recently Valkirie starring Tom Cruise).
My interest in theatre never stopped. I became director of the HiDesert Playhouse in Joshua Tree, California, garnering yearly awards for acting, writing and directing. I had a string of hits and original plays produced there, working with some returning Iraq/Afghanistan marine vets, retired professional actors and desert citizens wanting to learn about theatre. This November I was awarded best director by the Desert Theatre League for my first drama, Swift Fox: The Conflicting Stories of Willie Boy.
The idea of doing another Bullshot had been floating around in my head for several years. But floating was about as far as it got. Then one night, after watching H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, an idea struck me: “The evil Otto Von Bruno discovers invisibility and Bullshot must save the world.” Now here is the best part. Bullshot is back, after a two years creative process, in a new play entitled Bullshot Crummond and the Invisible Bride of Death.
This new work has a cast of 5,000 but 4,995 are invisible. Five are visible including Bullshot, Rosemary, Otto and Lenya Von Bruno. The actors include, among others, Rodger Bumpass, who is the voice of Squidward (Sponge Bob Square Pants), and Oliver Muirhead, who appears in the highly successful Social Network. I direct. So, why not another Bullshot?
Production photos by Ty Donaldson
Bullshot Crummond and the Invisible Bride of Death, produced by Ron House and Edmund Gaynes, opens Dec. 10; plays Fri.-Sat., 8 pm; Sun., 3 pm; through Jan. 16. Tickets: $25. Whitmore- Lindley Theatre, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; 800.595.4849 or bullshotisback.com.