"It's hard-rock music, it's black comedy, it's death and dismemberment, it's attractive young men and women in very little clothing—it's a show that speaks to the inner freak in everyone."
That's Enrique Acosta, describing his "musical for people who hate musicals," Spider Baby the Musical, which opens Sunday, July 8, at 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Ave., Downtown) and runs through July 15.
The show is an adaptation of the 1964 cult horror-comedy Spider Baby, starring Lon Chaney Jr., about three inbred siblings afflicted with Merrye Syndrome, which causes sufferers to regress mentally, emotionally and physically as soon as they reach puberty (one of them, Virginia, is obsessed with spiders). At once innocent, demented and brutally violent, they live in an old mansion and are cared for by a guardian named Bruno, who maintains a semblance of control over the household—that is, until distant relatives Emily and Peter arrive, seeking to sell the mansion, and all bloody hell breaks loose.
Acosta secured permission from filmmaker Jack Hill to adapt the story, wrote songs for it and has been touring it since it opened in Acosta's hometown of Bakersfield in 2004, an inaugural performance that Acosta calls "utterly awful, just tragically bad." But it's gotten better and better as it's toured, he assures.
The San Diego performance, part of the gaming convention Gam3rCon (a $20 ticket includes a day pass to the convention), will feature an all-local cast, including Eliza Jane Schneider, a voice-over artist who voiced many of the female characters on TV's South Park between 1999 and 2003 and plays Emily in Spider Baby.
Acosta says his musical is for you if you're among "the party that misses the cheap, second-run theater, the party that misses the 99-cent section at your lo- cal video store, the party that enjoys staying up late at night with a bunch of friends watching this incredibly strange film. It's an out-there, different ex- perience; it's not your typical boy-meets-girl story." In fact, at times, it's girl-eats-boy.
2 Prelude to the Con
Smell that? It's the scent of movie-theater popcorn, Lycra and zombie makeup.
Ah, Comic-Con. The annual extravaganza hits town next week, and pre-events are well underway. Opening with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at ArtLab Studios (3536 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights), Unmasked: Comic Art in San Diego Revealed, brings together more than a dozen quirky creatives. Participants include underground comic artist Mary Fleener, Jorge Pacheco, Rebecca Hicks, Neko Press owner Billy Martinez and Batton Lash, the controversial artist who created Supernatural Law and also the Obama Nation comic that appeared on the conservative website Breitbart.com. The artists will be on hand to chat and offer a peak at some of the work they'll display at the 'Con.
3 Barrio arts bash
The Roots Factory (1878 Main St. in Barrio Logan) wants you to dance at Sabrosura Sundays, the creative collective's ongoing music-and-art series, from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 8. For these events, the artist hub highlights musicians that fuse world music with Latin flavor, resulting in sounds that would make a corpse boogie. Next up, they welcome Radio La Chusma, a six-piece band from El Paso, Texas, whose style is a twist on reggae and cumbia. They'll be joined by local hip shakers Todo Mundo and Agua Dulce. The music provides the soundtrack for an art show featuring Americana- and Chicano-inspired pieces from Flying Panther Tattoo artists, including Rob Benavides, Jackie Dunn Smith and Dominic Vasquez. Bring some cash for food and vendors.