BWW Reviews: PSYCHO BEACH PARTY a Camp Challenge for Blank Canvas

Of course, as has to happen in this kind of vintage hepcat slang, comic book, after school special, smut-light epic, all comes out well as our studly hero and cute nerdy heroine, go surfing off into the sunset for at least a fifteen-minute happily ever after life.

Camp acting takes a special set of skills. This is not farce, nor comedy, nor melodrama. For camp to work, there needs to be a high level of sincerity, with the ability to make the real look surreal while being over-the-top serious. The young kids on stage try hard, they just don't have the acting chops to pull off all the levels needed to make the show totally work. It takes a Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman or Tim Conway to make this style succeed. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of those folks around. (Now, to be fair, I saw a dress rehearsal, and things could get much better as they respond to the audiences.)

CAPSULE JUDGMENT: PSYCHO BEACH PARTY will make for fun viewing for those inclined to like theatre of the ridiculous and don't want to gain anything from the thespian experience other than absurd silliness and get a lesson in the difficulty of bringing the camp style of performance to the stage.

Blank Canvas's PSYCHO BEACH PARTY runs though March 9, 2013 in its west side theatre, 1305 West 78th Street, Suite 211, Cleveland. Get directions to the theatre on the website. (My GPS was of little help). Once you arrive at the site, go around the first building to find the entrance and then follow the signs to the second floor acting space. It's an adventurous battle. For tickets and directions go to

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Roy Berko Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.

He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.

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