Kelly McGillis to Appear in Key West in ‘Popcorn’ (Paradise)

Kelly McGillis to Appear in Key West in ‘Popcorn’ (Paradise)

Posted Thu, Jan 20, 2000 in Articles

Fans and detractors of movies like Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers share common ground this month at the Key West Players’ regional premiere production of Popcorn. Ben Elton’s award-winning black comedy takes a sardonic stab at Hollywood’s glamorized violence. Staged at the historic Waterfront Playhouse on Mallory Square, this seductive yet analytical satire of Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone movies is directed by Phil Setren. The play opens Jan. 27, and seat reservations are being accepted now. Popcorn brings the audience face-to-face with the infamous Mail Killers, an impressionable but clever white-trash couple at the tail-end of a gory murder spree. With their ruthless mugs splashed across every national newspaper and news program, Wayne (Scott Gilmore) and Scout (Kelly McGillis) have modeled their destructive lifestyle after director Bruce Delamitri’s (Mike Mulligan) fashionably violent flicks. Looking to avoid the electric chair, the America’s-Most-Wanted poster couple have turned to Delamitri for assistance. They stake themselves out in the director’s posh living room, where their hero-who has just won an Oscar for his artistic endeavors-soon stumbles in for a wee-hours romp with a desperate would-be starlet (Jennifer Naugler). As Delamitri’s demanding producer (Lawrence Cohen) and spoiled daughter (Christina Lolos) and silicon-injected wife (Mira Negron) arrive on the scene, the murderers begin writing their own script-one that doesn’t end with a death sentence. Eventually they invite news reporters (Natalie Taylor and Ellis von Cannon) into the fray. The result is thrilling, thought-provoking theater. Guest director Phil Setren, who directed last season’s Small Craft Warnings, is artistic director of the London New Play Festival. He says Popcorn is contemporary theatre at its best. “There’s an immediacy to the themes in Popcorn that brings a journalistic quality to the play. It’s wildly entertaining and extremely sexy, but it has something important to say about society and violence.” Kelly McGillis has just finished shooting the movie Monkey’s Mask in Australia. She read Popcorn and liked it. “I need to be working creatively,” she said this week. “Even between films I crave a creative outlet.” “Only in America can you be both guilty and innocent,” says one of the characters in Popcorn about the 0.J. Simpson trial, the police who beat Rodney King, and Lorena Bobbitt. Skillfully weaving themes of mass media, fashionable violence, and the power of suggestion, Ben Elton ultimately asks, Who’s responsible here? The play opens next Thursday. For tickets call 294-5015.

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