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By Dana Casadei
ROYAL OAK –
Intermission is usually a time to get up and move around, but on June 7 at Stagecrafters leaving is the last thing audience members will want to do.
Strutting across the stage during the extended intermission of “The Bad Seed,” 20 pre-registered men and woman will be dressed as the psychotic Rhoda, an iconic character in the campy comedy. “We’re really looking forward to this and seeing many precocious blonde-wigged adults in the audience that night,” said Lesley Braden, development director at Stagecrafters.
Not only will participants have to dress to impress, but they will also have to give their best 15-second Rhoda temper tantrum to see if they have what it takes to win the grand prize, the role of “Prize Girl” during Act Two of the show. “It was Kathleen (Lietz) that added the idea of making them actually perform a temper tantrum on stage,” Braden said.
“I thought that would be a lot of fun, not only for the contestants but for the audience as well to watch,” said director Kathleen Lietz.
The only rules for contestants are that they have no weapons or realistic appearing firearms, and tantrums should be PG-13. “They should avoid the king daddy language. You can be the bad seed without all the bad language. Keep it clean, kids,” Braden said.
With those being the only exceptions, participants should be ready to bring out their best, or worst, and impress the panel of judges, all of which bring something unique to the table. “I think being really familiar with the original movie, which is very iconic and a camp classic among the gay culture, will make contestants stand out,” said judge Joe Plambeck, media director for The Ringwald Theatre, who played Rhoda in their 2009 production.
Other judges include Stagecrafters costumer Doris Boris and Five15 owner Gary Baglio. “We have some very, very tough judges,” Braden said. “They’re going to be really put to the test.”
According to Braden, Boris knows the costumes of the show and the era, Baglio knows what to look for “when you’re looking for a man trying to dress like a woman” and Plambeck’s experience as Rhoda will make him a great resource – and the judge to really try to win over.
Plambeck will be easy to spot since he will be wearing his 2009 Rhoda costume. “Ever since I knew they were doing it, I had said that I am going to go dressed as Rhoda,” Plambeck said with a laugh. “I wanted pictures of me at the box office getting my ticket.”
Plambeck, much like Braden and Lietz, suggests the eviler the Rhoda, the better, and adding a lot of sass won’t hurt. “We really expect people to really bring the heat for their Rhoda style,” Braden said. “We’re looking for great costumes that really sort of pay homage to Rhoda, but at the same time they have to know how to give a good – no, a great – tantrum.”
The Bad Seed Best Costume & Temper Tantrum Contest
Check in is 7-8 p.m. Thursday, June 7, Baldwin Theatre Lobby, 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak. You must be present to register for the contest. No exceptions. All entrants must purchase a ticket to that evening’s performance of “The Bad Seed” to be eligible.
For complete contest rules, visit http://www.stagecrafters.org.