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BWW Review: A Basket Full of Thrills and Chills with Theatre Crude's BASKET CASE

BASKET CASE: THE MUSICAL headlines this year's digital Theatre Crude Fringe Festival. Jared Blount and Kara Chapman wrote and star in the horror flick.

BWW Review: A Basket Full of Thrills and Chills with Theatre Crude's BASKET CASE

Theatre Crude Fringe Festival is the best opportunity in OKC to experience new theatrical works. Now in its second season, Theatre Crude gives audiences a chance to expose themselves to a hefty lineup of new shows each year. It also gives artists, actors, and writers a chance to stretch their skills and bring new ideas and shows to fruition. Since COVID is moving everything online, Theatre Crude decided to go digital this year. It's still chock-full of new shows, and chief amongst them is the new musical Basket Case.

Written by local directors and performers Jared Blount and Kara Chapman, Basket Case has been translated from the stage to the digital platform and is now essentially a movie. Filmed in OKC and Guthrie, the sepia-toned horror flick rivals that of larger scale versions of the genre. Basket Case: The Musical is based on the 1982 cult classic of the same name (minus the musical part). Blount and Chapman have infused catchy, bouncy original tunes and fitted them deftly into the script, making this journey into the freaky and weird also a melodic one.

Basket Case is an hour of raunchy, hilarious, profanity-laden shock and gore. It's got everything a horror movie should - camp, blood, rock and roll, sex. And power ballads.

Chapman and Blount, jacks of all trades, star in the production as well. Chapman is the sexy showstopper Sharon. Donning a curly, voluminous black wig and hoop earrings, Chapman is expressive and over-the-top hilarious. Always a crowd pleaser and known for her singing voice, Chapman is a versatile artist and establishes herself as a bona fide Scream Queen.

Blount is genuine as Duane. He's got a dark past and he's out for vengeance, but that doesn't stop him from finding love and singing tunes. Blount gets away with murder, in more ways than one, and does it all with the most charming smile on his face.

It's truly thrilling to see Jon Haque in the role of Tony, the sleeziest hotel owner in existence. Haque as Tony is slimy yet jovial, a creep and an opportunist, and he plays the role with absolute glee.

Jordan Blount plays his role, name held to prevent spoilers, with a level of creepy and sleezy that is spine-chilling. Playing alongside his real-life brother, this Blount is also a delight to watch, even if he's not so pleasant to look at. Appearances aside, the inner workings of his mind prove to be the most horrifying of all.

Cameos and brief appearances are made by several actors known and loved in the Oklahoma City arts scene. Tyler Clark, Tiffany Tuggle, Erin Heatly, Maurice Quintel Simmons, and Dakota Muckelrath all show aptitude for this stylized horror-comedy, creating exhilarating and rip-roaring scenes, sometimes without even a line of dialogue. Clark and Tuggle simply provide unintelligible screaming, while Quintel Simmons and Heatly give looks for days. Muckelrath is galvanizing in his scene as a local police officer.

The hallmarks of the artists involved with this project are obviously on display here. This production is high quality, with all the look, sound, and feel of a full-scale movie. On a personal note, I'm no horror flick expert, or even a movie critic, but in the age of COVID, anyone can be anything, really. Basket Case appeals to both the niche markets and the broad spectrum of art appreciators. It's perfectly engineered masterwork from some of the most talented folks the live theatre world has to offer in any community, not just in ours.

If you enjoy campy weirdness, some heart-stopping moments, and a sexy, creepy thrill-ride, then congratulations. You're officially a Basket Case.

Basket Case: The Musical closed in October as a part of the digital 2020 season of Theatre Crude Fringe Festival. It's getting a whole new life and will be included in the lineup of the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival in 2021.

For information on OKC's Theatre Crude Fringe Festival, visit theatrecrude.org.

For information on the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, visit ashevillefringe.org.

For info on Basket Case: The Musical, follow Aversion Media on Instagram: @aversionmedia.


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