Mucklejean Magglepot is back, and Bedlam fans could not ask for a more fearless leader for a holiday celebration. Returning to the Motel 8 Airport Lounge (located in the Bryant-Lake Bowl's theater), Magglepot will give the performance of a lifetime while her friends convince her to "end it all" in a kind of anti- It's a Wonderful Life/Christmas Carol cabaret.
Mucklejean was actually once Mucklejohn, one of the characters in The Turducken, Bedlam's 2008 parody/satire of Chekov's The Seagull recontextualized for holiday dinner theater. Magglepot is "obsessed with finding success in various types of performing," says Maren Ward, who plays the character, and is "relentlessly enthusiastic, but is terrible." Mucklejohn fails and gets fired and booed off the stage at every turn, and eventually undergoes a gender re-assignment, becoming Mucklejean.
Basically, Hot Corn is a "re-imagining and condensation of Turducken," says Ward. The character is in an airport lounge, but nobody's there. "She gets haunted by memories of her former life being a performer, and her old friend come back to tell her to give up on her life," she says.
Intertwined with the show's narrative are special guests, such as Soozin Hirschmugl, Hijack, and Molly Van Avery. And after tonight's performance, there will also be a special solstice extravaganza with bands -- including International Novelty Gamelan and Transitional Species -- and two rented bowling lanes where Bedlam fans can socialize. "We're encouraging people to get reservations to the 7 p.m. show," Ward says, "but people can still come later for bowling and to the party."
Photo Courtesy Bedlam Theatre
Ward says she didn't know what the evening was going to entail until after she booked BLB, and started asking folks to participate. "It's hard to explain to people," she says. "It's the kind of thing that would have worked perfect [at the old Bedlam space]. In this context it's a little strange, but I think with the bowling lanes and everything it will be really fun."
Bedlam is currently still on the hunt for a new space. According to Ward, they're currently being wooed by the City of St. Paul to make their new home in the Lowertown neighborhood, modeled after what they were doing on the West Bank.
"The idea is to open it as a satellite location while we continue to find the right space in Minneapolis," Ward says. They hope to eventually open a multi-stage venue. "We have a location in Minneapolis we are trying to make work, but it's a bigger effort."
"We don't want to abandon south Minneapolis," Ward says. "It's where we live and where our core audience is."
IF YOU GO:
Hot Corn 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 21 and 28th Bryant-Lake Bowl Following tonight's show, there will be the solstice starting at 9 p.m.