Archive for Thursday, January 16, 2014

Frank’s hosting night of ‘90s TV nostalgia

January 16, 2014


The cast from Under the Table Productions is putting together their own live-stage rendition of a well-known episode of early ‘90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell” for a night of nostalgia.

It will resonate for anyone in the range of their 30s, says co-producer Will Averill, who has spoken to many friends since the announcement that they will be reenacting “Jessie’s Song.” In this episode, Jessie turns to caffeine pills to keep up with her demanding schedule of school and her new singing group by the name of Hot Sundaes.

Of course, those who are familiar with “Saved by the Bell” know this episode by the scene with Jessie’s “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so...scared!” bout of hysteria.

Under the Table includes community members with a variety of backgrounds, and they are always looking for new faces and fresh ideas.

The cast of eight includes the six main students, plus Principal Belding and math teacher who oversees detention, Mr. Dewey. The actor playing Screech was recruited from EMU Theatre because of his resemblance, Averill says.

“We play it as seriously as possible and let the comedy come from the fact that it’s just such a goofy script,” Averill says. “It’s so hard to find clothes that are that ridiculous now.”

Along with a live music video by Hot Sundaes from the episode, the cast will pay homage to several commercials and PSAs from that time, as well as a 10-minute “Die Hard” trailer. The “this is your brain on drugs” egg-smashing commercial series is the only thing Averill felt comfortable giving away as a teaser and it comes with an admonition.

“Wear clothing that you might not be worried about getting egg on, but we’ll try to contain the splash as much as possible,” he says.

The stage set for four different scenes is in the basement of Frank’s North Star Tavern, 508 Locust St., lighting and sound equipment funded by a grant through the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission. The show starts at 10 p.m. Saturday, with a $5 entry fee, or $4 with a canned food donation.


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