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<  Announcements  ~  Thrillpeddlers? Welcome to the Hypnodrome - HELD OVER!

Russell Blackwood
Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2004 1:31 am Reply with quote
Moderator Joined: 18 Sep 2003 Posts: 125
I'm proud to announce the return engagement of THRILLPEDDLERS WELCOME TO THE HYPNODROME! After taking a short break over Thanksgiving weekend, we'll be back for more from December 2 thru 18.
I've copied the press release and some media quotes below ...

Welcome...Back to the Hypnodrome!

Proving San Francisco's affection for all things macabre flows well beyond Halloween, "Welcome to the Hypnodrome" returns by popular demand to ring in the Yuletide season with an ever evocative holiday shade --blood red.

After a spectacular, nearly sold-out seven-week stint in Oct and Nov, Thrillpeddlers' sensational 1920s classic Grand Guignol theatre event returns better than ever, for an extended run at The Hypnodrome, their exclusively designed horror show headquarters in San Francisco?s SOMA district.

?The response has been tremendous,? remarks Thrillpeddlers co-founder and creative director Russell Blackwood. ?We?ve literally had to turn so many people away that we just had to extend the run. We?ve had an quite an amazing audience too- Spook Show historians, descendants from the Grand Guignol, well-known writers and circus folks. You just never know what to expect, which is part of the fun.?

?Welcome to the Hypnodrome? is a collection of three classic plays performed between 1908-1928 at the infamous Paris shockstage, never before seen by American audiences. The Hypnodrome itself is an elaborately rigged venue, even boasting appropriately named ?Shock Box? seats, private booths for couples ala William Castle, which offer added attractions and devices for those who dare. There is even a ?lights-out? Spook Show, where the entire Hypnodrome is transformed into a glowing chasm of spirits and sounds.

?Experiencing this show is akin to opening a time capsule,? explains Thrillpeddlers? leading lady Jill Tracy. The sultry Bay Area music and performance artist not only acts in two of the terror plays, but also composed and performs an original score to the show on an ornate nineteenth-century pedal reed organ, as the beautiful, tortured Countess Edwige, a character in Charles Mere?s 1928 shocker L?homme nu (The Beast).

The Thrillpeddlers cast includes Eliote Durham, Delfina Hasiwar, Jeffrey Hoffman, Eric O?Brien, Brian Raffi, Jeff Taub, Bob Taxin, Tristan Thunderbolt and Jill Tracy. For more information about the creation of Welcome to the Hypnodrome, please read the full press release and bios at:

Thrillpeddlers? Welcome to the Hypnodrome
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.
(extra Saturday Midnight shows just added!)
December 2- December 18, 2004
575 10th Street (at Bryant) San Francisco
General admission- $20, "Shock Box? booth for two- $50
Ticket info: or call (415) 248-1900

From SF Bay Guardian

Welcome to the Hypnodrome Tucked away under a dark overpass in the nether regions of SoMa, the theater at 575 10th St. is the perfect setting for Welcome to the Hypnodrome, a gleefully unhinged evening of early 20th-century French kitsch. In The Beast, an adaptation of L'homme nu (1928), by Charles M?r?, ketchup flies when an injured traveler finds himself caught between an austere Austrian count, his crazy wife, and their frightening secret. The burlesque Bearded Assets, adapted from Madame Aurelie (1909), by Yves Mirande, provides light relief with the discovery of a circus performer's amazing new talent on Victor Hugo's funeral day. Meanwhile, in the claustrophobic melodrama Murder of the Will, based on Maurice Renard's L'amant de la morte (1925), a lovesick hypnotist (intensely personified by Brian Raffi) attempts to exert his will on the wife of his best friend, with tragic results. Featuring the luminous Jill Tracy, and Bob Taxin in multi-dexterous form, Thrillpeddlers brings ghoulish aplomb to Grand Guignol. (Veltman)

From AOL City Guide San Francisco

There's just not enough blood-spattering, eye-gouging and throat-slashing in today's theater, apparently, and Thrillpeddlers theater company is here to change that. In 1920s Paris, gore was all the rage at the Theatre du Grand Guignol. The short plays were packed with illicit affairs, sleazy villains and bloodcurdling special effects. As tourists flocked to cringe and stare at staged tales of horror, shock theater was born. Now, thanks to Director Russell Blackwood and his penchant for the macabre, French shock theater is scaring up a storm in SOMA.

The show's three plays revive 1920s Grand Guignol classics for American audiences and feature Jill Tracy, a Bay Area performance artist and singer. Blackwood has been adapting and directing shock-theater plays for more than a decade and hopes to rekindle interest in this lost art form. When you go, expect everything from retro-glam heroines to ugly brutes, spattering blood to freaky circus stunts, and screams to uproarious laughter. Think of it this way: Imagine what would happen if the Blue Man Group, Jack the Ripper and Mae West got together for afternoon tea. (Lorraine Sanders)


Bay Area theatergoers have a chance to enjoy some glorious shocking entertainment this fall as local troupe Thrillpeddlers expands its annual Shocktoberfest extravaganza by reviving the suspenseful, sensational and blood-spattered Grand Guignol tradition of 1920s Paris with their production Welcome to the Hypnodrome.

Making its debut in a grandiose new SOMA performance space that shares the name of the show, Thrillpeddlers recreate three classic tales of terror never before performed for American audiences. Fans of dark theater can expect a pageant of terror and titillation as the group presents L'homme Nu (The Beast) featuring like-minded performance artist and musician Jill Tracy at the helm of an ornate nineteenth-century reed organ in the lead role of the tortured Countess Edwige. Prize-winning local crime novelist and curator of the Castro Theater's annual film noir festival Eddie Muller helped adapt Maurice Renard's L'Amant de la Morte (Murder of the Will)' for its first U.S. performance

Though the tales are steeped in the deep human fears and desires that sit at the center of Grand Guignol theater in the '20s, the Hypnodrome will transport the audience to dark corners of the soul with help from intricate lighting, special effects and bold interactive staging without sacrificing the intimacy that has given the troupe a reputation for "in your face" spectacle.
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