Sunday, November 1, 2015

Bullshot Crummond

A splendid, but short lived show, Bullshot Crummond opened on Saturday November 1st 1975 in the auditorium of Loew's State. The cast, Patty Johnson, Mark Passerell, Claudia Conrad, Chris Ritchey and Ralph Gunderman, under the direction of Fran Soeder were quite good. I remember the weeks of rehearsals leading up to the big day. This show was a spoof of the Bulldog Drummond films of the 1930’s, and had a few special effects. One was a plane flying down a line from the balcony and crashing on stage. I recall Todd Reeves working on this for weeks, he had it working like a Swiss watch, but for some reason it never quite worked during the show. We never quite figured out why it worked perfectly, except when it was supposed to. Crummond previewed starting Wednesday, October 29 prior to its official opening on Saturday. The reviews were quite negative, aside from the one in the Sun papers, and the show closed on Sunday, November 2. I seem to recall one of the flats collapsing during the final performance, which seemed to add to the humor. Part of the plan was to run Coca-Cola on Saturdays before Crummond, which would have started on the 22nd, but that didn’t happen. Coming less than a month after the Berlin to Broadway fiasco the abrupt closing led to quite a few bad vibes at the time, which were quite palpable. They were a talented bunch and we were sad to see them go.
Crummond cast, clockwise from top left, Ralph Gunderman, Mark Passerell, Claudia Conrad, Chris Ritchey and Patty Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Fran Soeder).
From The Plain Dealer, October 21, 1975.
From The Plain Dealer, October 26, 1975.
From The Plain Dealer, November 6, 1975.
The infamous Ralph Gunderman letter to the editor, from The Plain Dealer, November 16, 1975.

Fortunately the restaurant (a spaghetti warehouse) in the Loew's State auditorium failed to materialize, many of us were quite unhappy with this plan. 

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