Tahoe play about Tahoe opens
It only took months and numerous belly laughs for two Lake Tahoe Community College teachers to write a satirical musical tailored to the characteristics of Lake Tahoe.
Dave Hamilton and Mark Williams are presenting “Guilty Pleasures,” a performance poking good-humored fun at Lake Tahoe characters and issues. The show will be performed for the first time this weekend.
“It was designed to be fun for local audiences as well as people visiting Tahoe,” Williams, 45, said. “It has no major message.”
The two hope the show receives support and plan to change it slightly each year to focus on different issues.
Susie Sheridan, an accountant at LTCC, plays the character of strict environmentalist Pamela Striker.
“She is very upset at people who don’t use native plants or who waste water or don’t recycle,” Sheridan said. “She’s very concerned about taking care of the environment, that’s why she’s in Tahoe. She thinks the government rules and regulations about the environment are important but also believes they move too slow.”
The musical revolves around Lake Tahoe characters that committed minor law infractions and, for punishment, must put on a show for community members.
Call it a show within a show, Hamilton said.
“We know the kind of show people like and people think is funny,” said Hamilton, the LTCC theater professor.
The musical provides Sharon Kerrigan, 31, her first acting opportunity outside of performance dancing and being in the chorus for “Beauty,” a musical last year created by Hamilton and Williams.
Her voice expressed excitement mixed with nervousness about her stage appearance.
The most challenging part for the first-time actress, she said, is providing life and realism to her character, and in turn, the audience.
Sheridan and Kerrigan each have backgrounds in music. Sheridan is the lead singer for a blues band called “Sue Z and the Receders” and Kerrigan studied voice at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Those backgrounds, as well as other cast members who can sing, allowed Williams to let loose with the musical score.
“It’s a hodgepodge of styles,” he said. “What we tried to do was musically fit what the character was trying to convey at the moment.”
Examples of music in the play include jazz, blues, rock and hip hop.
Chris Taylor has done around seven performances at Lake Tahoe Community College. His voice is a tenor, he sings the opening song and his character is a tourist-wary United Postal Service driver caught speeding on Highway 50.
“It has many puns on Lake Tahoe,” he said. “It talks about Lake Tahoe so much that you can’t help but learn something even if you’ve never been up here.”
The LTCC production will run July 26-27, and Aug. 2-3 in the Boathouse Theatre at Tallac Historic Site, Camp Richardson. Tickets can be obtained for $7 at the door or by calling Tahoe Tallac Association at (530) 542-4166.