Two of the legendary Firesign Theatre's most celebrated surreal comedies
will be presented live on stage in their premiere performance for two shows
only on Saturday March 26th at 3:00 and 7:30 PM. A full cast of 16 players
will create the first fully-staged productions of the audio originals,
specially adapted and directed for these performances by Firesign's David
Ossman, long-time Whidbey Island resident and produced by Judith Walcutt for
(crescent wrench substituted for pliers in sectors R and N)
The curtain-raiser is one of Firesign Theatre's best-known pieces,
WAITING FOR THE ELECTRICIAN, or Someone Like Him,
the cosmically comic adventure of a young Traveler whose chance
border-crossing plunges him, Kafka-meets-Marx Brothers-like into a
thrill-ride from Hostage to Revolutionary to Death Row prisoner, and finally
to a game-show where he must "Beat The Reaper!" or die trying.
One of Firesign's most famous albums, DON'T CRUSH THAT DWARF, Hand Me The
Pliers provides the basis for the second play. Elderly Hollywood actor
George Tirebiter, awake at 4 AM and hungry for a pizza place that delivers,
watches himself in two different movies on all-night TV. "High School
Madness" features the teen-age George as "Porgie" who, with his buddy
"Mudhead," is trying to locate his missing High School so he can graduate.
"Parallel Hell" finds " Lt. Tirebiter" trying to escape the killing in a
gritty war drama. The two films, with commercial interruptions,
channel-surf through George's memory, as his multiple movie personalities
are simultaneously put on trial for being un-American in a time of Declared
An exceptional cast, led by Orson Ossman in the roles created by his father,
includes Michael McInerny, Halim Dunsky, Deana Duncan, George Henny, Bif
Dangerfield, Jim Scullen, Roy Feiring, Sandy O'Brien, Damien Cortez, Mark
Therien, Kate Hodges, Marissa Wilhelm, Ahna Dunn-Wilder, and Christina
Atkinson. David Ossman plays the elderly former Hollywood celebrity,
The Firesign Theatre wrote and produced the LP album Don't Crush That
Dwarf, Hand Me The Pliers in 1970 and it immediately became a favorite of High School and
College kids facing the Viet Nam draft. Waiting For the Electrician, or Someone Like Him was
written in 1967 at the height of L.A.'s Love-In Summer and released early
the next year when Firesign was playing on stage at folk-clubs. Firesign
performed scenes from "Electrician" and "Dwarf" in 1974 at Carnegie Hall,
and the group has frequently featured selections from both texts on stage
and, in 2001, in front of cameras for the DVD Weirdly Cool, made for
Public TV and released by Rhino. "Dwarf" was presented in a concert reading
at UCLA on April 1, 2004 with John Goodman as "George Tirebiter."
David Ossman is a founding member of the four-man Firesign. His work as
actor has been showcased at WICA, most recently as "Sir Peter Teazle" in
"School for Scandal." He played poet e. e. cummings in a cabaret-style
autobiography with music, "love is a place," and Mark Twain in "A Winter
Orson Ossman has been performing in Whidbey Community and Children's theater
for ten years and for two years at SWHS, where he is now a Junior. He has
apprenticed on stage with the Firesign and was most recently seen here in
"The Music Man," "School For Scandal," "Pride and Prejudice" and "Bye Bye
Judith Walcutt is executive producer of Otherworld Media. She and her
husband David were most recently heard covering November's Slack Key Guitar
Festival on Kauai, last year's Seattle Folklife Festival, Langley's
Choochokam Festivals and hosting "Live From The Islands" at the Edgecliff.
Judith has produced a number of dramatic and musical evenings at WICA, the
Grammy-nominated The War of the Worlds 50th Anniversary, and a host of
top-award-winning audio productions.
George Tirebiter is a long-retired Hollywood celebrity, best known for his
radio programs, including "Young Tom Edison, Railroad Detective," "The
Adventures of Mark Time, Star Detective of the Circum-Solar Federation,"
"Maxwell Morgan, Crime Cabby," and his long-running part as himself in
"Hollywood Madhouse." George has guest-starred at WICA several times and
most recently had a regular commentary on KSER's "Live From The Islands."
Events in Mr. Tirebiter's life were co-opted by The Firesign Theatre when
writing "Don't Crush That Dwarf."