Actors Theatre and Desert Foothills Theater to Present WALLACE & LADMO SHOW, 6/1-17
Actors Theatre and Desert Foothills Theater present 14 performances of "The Wallace & Ladmo Show" at the Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe, from June 1-17. The show is part of Actors Theatre's new Summer Stage lineup.
For the uninitiated, The Wallace & Ladmo Show ran for 35 years on what was then the Valley's independent TV station, KPHO-TV (today a CBS affiliate).
Hub Kapp and the Wheels was a mock-rock-and-roll band created for the show. The band, featuring Pat McMahon as Hub Kapp (when he wasn't playing Gerald and other assorted characters on the show like Marshall Good, Aunt Maud and Captain Super), became an overnight sensation. In 1964, its debut single, "Work, Work," outsold The Beatles in Phoenix, landed the group a Capitol Records contract and resulted in appearances at Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip and on The Steve Allen Show and The Joey Bishop Show.
It's all part of the iconic television show's remarkable history and influence on people like Steven Spielberg and Alice Cooper through a comedic and timely format that engaged and attracted audiences through topical, but appropriate, humor wrapped in characters that appealed to both children and adults.
Over the course of its run, the show attracted celebrity appearances from Don Rickles, the Monkees and Willie Mays to Muhammad Ali (who appeared on the show three times) and Soupy Sales, among others.
"In the same breath you talk about The Wallace & Ladmo Show, you can talk about Bozo the Clown and Romper Room, two nationally syndicated iconic children's shows in the early years of television that were no less influential in their reach," said Matthew Wiener, producing artistic director for Actors Theatre. "And if you talk to people like Steven Spielberg and Alice Cooper, they will tell you of the show's influence on them."
Written and directed by Ben Tyler, executive director of the Centennial Theatre Foundation, The Wallace & Ladmo Show features Michael Kary as Pat McMahon, Kirby Soderberg as Ladmo and Wallace's grandson, Billy Lowry, as Wallace. The rest of the Wheels are portrayed by Christian Miller (Rip Kord), Eric Zaklukiewicz (Terry Kloth), Steve Scally (Rye Krisp) and AaRon Jacobson (Tie Klip). Cathy Dresbach appears in several roles including as Rita Davenport, an icon in her own right as a KPHO-TV television host.
The real members of the band, Mike Condello (Rip Kord), Bob Dearborn (Rye Krisp), Rich Post (Ty Klip) and Ted Harpchak (Terry Kloth), are all deceased. Condello also was the musical director for The Wallace and Ladmo Show.
Adult single ticket prices are $24 to $40. Tickets for children 12 and under are $20. Family 4-packs are available for $100 for performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets are available online at www.actorstheatrephx.org or at the Herberger Theater Center Box Office.