Hip Pocket Theatre, the "professional illegitimate theater" that performs its works outdoors, is tentatively announcing its 44th season. Originally planned to begin at the start of June, the season has currently shifted to (hopefully) July.
"This is the season of performances we were hoping to produce before the coronavirus pandemic," says Hip Pocket director and co-founder Johnny Simons. "These dates are subject to change depending on the circumstances posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Whether we get to do any of these plays is, like the weather, out of our hands."
Hip Pocket's shows run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening starting at 9 pm, with an 8:15 pm start time in October.
Written and directed by Johnny Simons, The Curmudgeon Boogie is first on the docket with 12 performances, running July 10-August 2, 2020. As defined in Webster's Dictionary, a "curmudgeon" is a crusty, ill-tempered old man. What happens when the crustiest, most ill-tempered, most hateful and un-empathetic curmudgeon of them all meets up with the jubilant Boogie Boys and their Woogie Women? Will the power of music and dance melt such a hardened heart? Can unrestrained joy crack the old man's shell and allow him to experience unbridled happiness for the first time in his entire existence?
I Go Pogo is next with nine performances, August 14-30, 2020. An adaptation by JoAnn Gracey of Walt Kelly's beloved characters, this show follows Pogo Possum's unwilling run for President.
Written and directed by Grainger Esch, The Slam Bang Story of Icky Twerp is a DFW blast from the past. To those who grew up here in the 1960s and early '70s, the mere mention of the name "Icky Twerp" brings a smile of fond remembrance. As the host of Slam Bang Theater on Fort Worth's independent, local, non-network-affiliated channel 11, he delighted youngsters with his slapstick shenanigans in live broadcasts five days a week.
But Bill Camfield, the man who created and portrayed Icky Twerp (along with many other memorable characters), was much more than a TV kiddie show host. He was a man of many talents, tremendous character, and extraordinary creativity. The Slam Bang Story is the tale of a man who rose from hardscrabble beginnings and endured great personal tragedies to achieve a fondly remembered legacy of joy and laughter. Nine performances run September 11-26, 2020.
The final show is Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, adapted and directed by Johnny Simons from the screenplay by Naomi Selfman. It's a battle of the beasts when two titanic terrors face off with '80s pop icons Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. This mammoth spectacle of teen queens and man-eating monsters in a gargantuan dual to the death has 11 performances, October 9-31, 2020.
One show was originally included in this lineup, but has been postponed to next season. Pixie Posy, written by Lake Simons and John Dyer, with music by Dyer and puppetry and choreography by Simons, is an abstract gathering of fairies, pixies, and angels in image, sound, and movement that's inspired by the true story of what may well have been staged photos as well as a selection of paintings and drawings from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The theater also notes that: "this season, should we have one, we'd like to recognize all of those heroes that are putting themselves at risk every day to keep us all safe from the virus, or take care of us should we become ill. To all doctors, nurses, paramedics, police and firefighters, military and reservists, please be our guest this season at no charge to you.
"We'd also like to acknowledge all of those who now struggle to get by due to loss of their jobs as a result of the measures that have left many businesses closed. To all of you, we ask that you be our guest this season. To everyone else, the ticket price for any performance will be whatever you can afford to donate; there will be no set ticket prices."
To reserve tickets and for more information, visit HipPocket.org.