"Buried deep below the layers of knowing humor is an earnest appreciation.  It pays homage as much as it mocks.

... giddy, nicely larky...  Alternating broad camp with meta-commentary...  IT'S JUST ABOUT PERFECT!”

-- Jason Zinoman, New York Times review of Plan Nine From Outer Space!

 

When I tell people I'm a director and have a theater company, they ask what kind of work I do.  I tell them "Well, I direct Ed Wood, and I direct Shakespeare."

 

No one ever questions this.

 

Especially other folks in show business, they instantly get it, as though it were the most natural thing in the world.  Ed and Shakespeare have more in common that you might think.  Both had distinct, idiosyncratic voices, both were determined to try their hand at every genre they could, and both are so well known at this point that their names have become definitions in and of themselves.

 

Of course, there the similarities end, because one helped transform the English language from a mongrel gutter-speech into a literary norm, and the other thought it would be a good idea to cast Tor Johnson in a speaking role.

 

That said, I love Edward D. Wood, Jr.  Unapologetically, unironically, and unashamedly, I love, love, love the guy.  Even at his worst (and his worst is punishingly bad), his insane, childlike cult classics have a singular vision and indestructible joy that stands out in today's drab, tedious, collectivist pop culture of smug mediocrity.  (Our dear friend and sometime collaborator Trav S. D. put this far more eloquently than I ever could some time back -- you must read this, it's marvelous, and not just because he says nice things about yours truly.  In fact, just read his piece and ignore this.)

 

Also like Shakespeare, Wood's material is so distinctive, and so sturdily entertaining, that you can do nearly anything to it and it still works -- lampoon it, roast it, take it seriously, update it, retrofit it, go ahead, Ed don't care, it's still uniquely his, and it's still entertaining as hell.   It's been hard to get people to grasp this sometimes, thanks to his still-toxic reputation.  I'd argue that Ed is more outsider artist than inept basket case.  There are way, way, way worse filmmakers than Ed, even today (you looking forward to Batman V Superman by the way OH MAN SEE WHAT I DID THERE).

 

Mostly, his pungent reputation stems from work like Plan Nine being rediscovered during the heyday of the "Bad Movie" craze, part of that hazy 1970s/80s craze wherein previous generations' pop culture had to be torn down and taken apart lest we seem square or unhip.  This was not the more democratic, Friars Club roasting style of MST3K and its progeny, which is rooted more in affectionate smacktalk and "can-you-believe-this-shit" goofery (though several Ed movies showed up on the Satellite of Love for their fair share of abuse).  Between the Medved Brothers and the Canned Film Festival, most people's image of Wood was as The Worst Anything Ever, a ready-made target for scorn and eye-rolling mockery.

 

Tim Burton's loving biopic finally restored the goofy pleasure and wide-eyed wonder of Ed in the public perception, and the continuing popularity of Rudolph Gray's terrific oral history has also helped people see past the snark and smirk to discover the warm truth of Wood's gregarious, impossibly ambitious, lovably doomed oeuvre.

 

Our adaptations of Ed have run the gamut from Zucker-esque spoof to deadly serious rehabilitation, and everything in between.  We've twice staged mammoth festivals of his work, showcasing the man's amazing range and ambition, and, in so doing, hopefully our own.  He never really got a shot, and never got his due, and I often wonder if he'd have fared better with bigger budgets, more sympathetic producers, and of course less self-destructive tendencies.  But when you treat his work lovingly and with real affection, it's amazing just how good it can actually get, and how close it can be  taken to the heights he was clumsily trying to reach.  Of course, a lot of his output is just amiable rubbish, but it's still wildly entertaining and always worth spending time on, which is why we've returned to the well so often.

 

Perversely, some of his worst material has yielded some of our best shows.  If there is a heaven, and Ed is up there, I hope to God he's seen some of this, and that he's happy.  He's earned some respect for a change.

 

-- Frank Cwiklik, NYC 2015

 

Photos from top to bottom:  Orgy of the Dead! (2005), The Fugitive Girls! (2000), Plan Nine from Outer Space! (2010)

"Really funny and expertly staged...  very entertaining, heartfelt...  It literally takes the material to new places. Tom O’Connor gives a fine performance as the tragic villain ...  THIS ONE HAS IT ALL.”

-- John Spingola, NYTimes.com

 

The Red Room, June 2012

EdFest 2000 (2000)

Todo Con NADA, May, September 2000

  • ABOUT

    JAIL BAIT is a noir thriller about a good boy gone bad, the bad guy who makes him that way, and the terrible events that occur when one mistake leads to tragedy, mistaken identity, and murder.

     

    Troubled young Don Gregor (Bryan Enk) finds himself trapped in a life of crime, a spiral of regret and grief that sucks him deeper when the perfect holdup results in the death of a night watchman and a desperate manhunt for both him and his cowardly mentor, Vic Brady, a man who will stop at nothing -- not even the loss of his own identity -- to stay clear of the cops.

     

    Jail Bait was the happy and startling surprise of the original Masterworks festival, a searing, straightforward thriller directed with sensitivity and surprising emotional heft by Michele Schlossberg. Originally appearing as the second of the Masterworks offerings in May of 2000, Jail Bait returned for the Summer 2000 EdFest.

     

  • GALLERY

    Welcome to mega-lo-budget indie theater circa 1999/2000.  Don't have access to the theater and don't have money for rehearsal space?  No problem!  Just rehearse in your 600-sq-foot Upper East Side one-bedroom apartment!  We took these shots the night we did our PR photos (most of which are, sadly, lost), and a few of these were taken as gag shots making fun of the standard theater promo photos.  Others were taken because we used to drink during rehearsal.  And chain smoke.

  • PROMO/EDFEST 2000 MATERIAL

  • CREDITS

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR and ALEX GORDON

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK, IAN W. HILL, and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    ADAPTED and DIRECTED BY MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    presented in association with Gemini CollisionWorks

     

    Your cast of characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    CHRISTIAAN KOOP as Marilyn * IAN W. HILL as Inspector Johns * DOUGLAS SCOTT SORENSON as Lt. Lawrence * BRYAN ENK as Don Gregor * BOB BRADER as Dr. Boris Gregor * FRANK CWIKLIK as Vic Brady * JOSEPH POLACIK as The Night Watchman/Coroner (roles played by YURI LOWENTHAL in revival) * STACIA FRENCH as Loretta * CARRIE JOHNSON as Miss Willis

  • ABOUT

    The smash hit of the initial EdFest 2000, The Fugitive Girls! became an instant cult classic, earning sellout business during its initial run and playing to standing room only houses during its 2002 revival.   Ed Wood’s obscure sexploitation cult favorite presents four deadly women and their desperate bid for freedom, as they rape, pillage, and plunder their way through late-60’s America, leaving a trail of death, destruction, and horror in their wake. Sex, violence, pop culture, and shocking ugliness are the hallmarks of this gruesome, brutally entertaining bad girl action comedy. With psychotic hippies, swinging bachelors, crazed veterans, toothless hicks, sex, guns, drugs, and rock and roll, and one the ugliest and most unsettling climaxes this side of a snuff movie, this one is definitely NOT for the squeamish.

     

    Dee Wood, a naive young waitress, is sentenced to a minimum security women's prison after being framed by her boyfriend for a botched liquor store holdup. In prison, she is seduced by Cat, tough as nails leader of the meanest girl gang on the cell block -- including Paula, a hard-drinking, bar-brawling lesbian; and Toni, a sultry, maneating Southern belle. Toni has a stash of green hidden in an abandoned factory over the state line, and Cat and Paula aim to break out of prison along with her to claim it. Like it or not, Dee is along for the ride as the girls tear a violent, bloody path through the American South, beating the hell out of cultish hippies, swinging bachelors, gas station attendants, and Hell's Angels... only to discover that power can lead to madness, and freedom comes with gruesome consequences.

     

    The first breakaway hit for DMT, with Michele Schlossberg in her signature role, this is one of the best-loved and most requested of the DMTheatrics repertory of B-Movies for the stage.

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2000 TODO CON NADA PRODUCTION:

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK, IAN W. HILL, AND MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    ADAPTED, DESIGNED, AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

    Presented in association with Gemini CollisionWorks

    Your Cast of Characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    BRYAN ENK * CHRISTIAAN KOOP * DOUGLAS SCOTT SORENSON * MATTHEW GRAY * SARAH JANE BUNKER * TANIA RADCLIFFE * DANIELLE DAGGERTY

     

    2002 UNDER ST. MARKS PRODUCTION

    starring

    DANIELLE DAGGERTY * CHRISTIAAN KOOP * JACKIE PAYNE * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    with SARAH JANE BUNKER * BOB LAINE * JOSH MERTZ

    and special appearance by IAN W. HILL as POPS

    Presented in association with HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    Based on the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR

    Adapted for the stage and with additional material by FRANK CWIKLIK

    Fight choreographer/director MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Publicity SCOTT MAKIN

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

Todo Con NADA, July-September 2000

Under St. Marks, April 2002

“Hilarious, maniacal, menacing, sizzling...

Audience members expecting an all–out campy

catfight may come away surprised, satisfied

and unsettlingly enlightened... ”

--   Elias Stimac, Off Off Brpadway Review

 

Surf Reality, Feb-May 2001

The Red Room, June/July 2005

“Superbly choreographed, smooth and sexy...

top-notch effects and meticulous direction...

delivers all that is promised!”

--  Fred McKinnon, theatreonline.com

 

"The best time I've had in the theatre in quite some time... brilliantly designed, riotous... A MASTERPIECE OF FUN!”

-- Andrew Rothkin, NYTheatre.com

 

The Brick, Sept/Oct 2010

  • ABOUT

    It is said, on clear nights, beneath the cold light of the moon, howl the dog and the wolf, and creeping things crawl out of the slime... it is then that the ghouls feast in all their radiance! It is on nights like this most people prefer to steer clear of burial grounds. It is on nights like this that the creatures are said to appear... and walk... and DANCE! MONSTERS TO BE PITIED! MONSTERS TO BE DESPISED! A night with the GHOULS!!   A young couple out for a moonlight drive are held captive by the nefarious rulers of the undead, who demand absolute fealty to their reign of cluelessness! SEE! The slave girl and her torturers! SEE! The Matador's Mistress! SEE! The Wolfman and the Mummy in hilarious comedy routines! (No, really.)  SEE the midnight dance of the undead sexy hordes!

     

    Lower East Side Theater legend Trav S.D. joined forces with DMTheatrics in 2001 to present the continuation of the notorious Masterworks of Edward D. Wood, Jr. festival... ORGY OF THE DEAD! The gripping and baffling non-epic saga of the Emperor and Empress of the Dead came to life on the stage of Surf Reality, home of the turn of the century avant garde burlesque movement, including the legendary Grindhouse-A-Go-Go. Featuring six -- count 'em -- six beautiful babes, bumping and grinding their way through the harrowing stories of lost souls trying to gain their entrance into the underworld by shaking everything they've got for the amusement of the denizens of a very cardboard cemetery, it was a smash cult hit, playing to packed houses for months, and featured a number of future stars of neo-burlesque, including the World Famous Bob, future Miss Coney Island!

     

    In 2005, the dead arose once more, as the show was completely overhauled and overheated for a sparkling new engagement at the Red Room, now updated to a swinging 70s Playboy-meets-Jess Franco setting, with six new dances and an eyepopping visual motif.  The return of DMT director Frank Cwiklik to the NYC stage after a brief hiatus, and the unveiling of a new, tech-and-video driven look and style for his work, this production garnered rave reviews and sellout business.  It was also was the genesis of the soon-to-be-legendary burlesque troupe the Peach Tartes, as the show's ghoulish girlies later christened themselves, who embarked on a world-conquering reign as one of the most popular and successful group acts in neo-burlesque, and another future Miss Coney Island, Rita Menweep (aka Jessica Silver).  Likely the biggest mainstream success in DMT's Ed Wood series, the show is still spoken of in reverent tones, and has inspired and influenced comedy and burlesque shows throughout the NYC area.

     

     

  • GALLERY/CLIP

    "Wolfman and Mummy Show" sequence from 2005 Red Room production

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2001 SURF REALITY PRODUCTION:

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    PRODUCED BY TRAV S.D.

    ADAPTED, DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

    IN ASSOCIATION WITH MOUNTEBANKS

    Your Cast of Characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    TRAV S.D. as Himself * CHRISTIAAN KOOP as Linda * MICHAEL LESTER as Bob * IAN W. HILL as the Wolfman

    ADAM SWIDERSKI as the Mummy (understudy: MATTHEW GRAY) * ROBERT PINNOCK as the Emperor of the Dead

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG as the Empress of the Dead

    and THE DELICIOUS DAMSELS OF THE DEAD

    featuring... SARAH JANE BUNKER * AMY CAITLIN CARR * MISS LORA MARIE * MICHELLE CARLO * LYNN THE SIN * THE WORLD FAMOUS BOB * MISS KELLY WEBB * SIR REAL

    and EXTRA SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS!

     

    2005 RED ROOM PRODUCTION:

    starring

    BRANDON BEILIS * CAROLYN DEMISCH * MATTHEW GRAY * SHOSHANA HOFFERT * MADAME ROSEBUD * SARAH MARCK JOSH MERTZ * SCARLET O’GASM * JESSICA SAVAGE * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG * JESSICA SILVER

    ADAM SWIDERSKI * GWEN WARKULWIZ

    Adapted from and inspired by the movie by Edward D. Wood, Jnr.

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

Todo Con NADA, Summer 2000

The Red Room, June 2012

  • ABOUT

    For years, the old Willows Estate has lain dormant, long abandoned since the horrible events chronicled in Bride of the Monster... but now there are new sightings of strange creatures, new reports of mangled bodies turning up, and a story told by a couple of rednecks about a pale white spirit lurking about the marsh looking for fresh blood. Enter Lt. Matt Carson, ghost-chaser, who reluctantly but doggedly investigates the strange goings-on at the old Willows Marsh, only to find a mysterious and suspicious mystic named Dr. Ackula, who is using the evil psychic residue of the old estate to contact the dead on behalf of their very lonely and very wealthy living relatives. Could Dr. Ackula actually be in contact with the dead? Is the old Willows house still working its nefarious magic on a new generation of victims? And will Kelton actually get through a case in the field without getting himself or Carson killed?

     

    A tribute to the classic camp/gore "video nasties" of the late 80s and early 90s, Night of the Ghouls was staged as a rediscovered "lost sequel" to the previous series entry, Bride of the Monster.  Using the premise that this lost script was updated and presented in the era of the Evil Dead, the Re-Animator, and Frankenhooker, replete with cheap thrills, ghoulish delights, nasty surprises, and a triple-twist, face-melting ending, audiences were delighted by this retro instaclassic tailor-made for special edition laserdisc (letterboxed, of course).

     

     

     

  • GALLERY

  • CLIP

    The multimedia setup we used for Final Curtain was built mostly to accommodate Night of the Ghouls.  Ghouls was meant to resemble those classic late 80s/early 90s gorefest camp horrors that Stuart Gordon and Brian Yuzna and Frank Henenlotter and others were known for, and we were aiming for a "widescreen" feel in a black box space, trying to replicate the letterbox look of 90s laser-discs.  The cheap and easy fix was re-purposing the audio/video setup I'd concocted for Leboswki, with monitors hung at the sides of the space above the first row, and the main projection unit re-framed to hit the entire playing area.  This presented two technical challenges:  first, both video feeds had to be created and run independently of one another, but with the content premixed to run in sync when needed (remember, we had, like, no money and couldn't afford any high tech syncing equipment, this all had to be done manually from two battered laptops and standard living-room-friendly monitors and projectors).  Second, in order for the projection to cover the entire playing area, which in no way conformed to either 1:33 or 1:69 ratios, we had to first grid the playing space, then take notes and carefully mix, edit, and occasionally hard-matte all mainscreen projections to fit into the unusual dimensions of the visible area, PLUS have no important visual information in sectors that would be cut off by either the front row's heads or the lighting equipment hanging from the Red Room's very low ceiling.  The videos for each show, then, looked really weird and poorly composed on a standard screen but dead-on perfect in the space.  It did save some hassle, as slop, artifacts, and discarded bits could be left hanging on the sides of frames or above and below the central image,since they would never be seen in performance conditions, saving time having to "garbage matte" out any mistakes or artifacting.

     

    To try to replicate the look this gave us in the opening sequence of Ghouls, which was mixed to blend seamlessly from video to live performance with audio underscoring, back to video again, I mixed together this sloppy but still effective little replica of the opening titles.  The two side boxes are the feed going into the side monitors hanging over the first row, and the central image has been slightly soft-matted to show only the imagery the audience would have seen (though there are little artifacts here and there that I was just too lazy to clean up).  Not quite like being there, but close.  The dialogue was mostly mixed in live from night to night to ensure audibility, so the scratch mix presented here is rough, but you'll get the idea.  There are subtitles noting when the live action would take over, though I've cut down the length of time the scene took and eliminated several transitional audio cues that ran under that sequence to save time.  This is one of the coolest A/V stunts we've yet pulled off, pretty simple yet really effective.

     

    --Frank Cwiklik NYC 2015

     

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    PRESENTS

    NIGHT OF THE GHOULS

    starring JASON STANLEY * CRAIG KELTON PETERSON * LINDSEY CARTER * IVY HONG

    featuring BRIANNA TYSON * JOSH POTTER * JOSHUA B. SCHWARTZ

    EMILY EDWARDS * CEDRIC JONES * JULIA YARWOOD

    with ADAM FILES as Kelton * and SHILOH KLEIN as the Black Ghost

    Special Appearances by TOM O'CONNOR as Vornoff and ZACH MIKO as Lobo

    Production Stylist and special makeup ANN BREITBACH

    Special Effects Consultant JOSH POTTER

    Fight Director ADAM SWIDERSKI * Choreography SHILOH KLEIN

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted from the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD JR

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

The Red Room, June 2012

Todo Con NADA, Summer 2000

The Red Room, June 2012

The Red Room, June 2012

  • ABOUT

    Four girls on a crime spree, slowly working their way up the crime food chain, from robbery to armed assault to rape and finally murder, all captured real-time online, on video, on screen, by them and by others. Underestimated, overwhelmed, overprotected, overscheduled, overburdened, under attack, over it, over you, over everything. The Violent Years! are here.

     

    Originally mounted by indie theater legend Ian W. Hill during the original 2000 EdFest as a wry spoof of 1950s juvenile delinquency programmers, The Violent Years! was radically reinvisioned for the 2012 festival as a pop culture assault in the tradition of DMT's classic Ed adaptation, The Fugitive Girls!.  The result was a rattling, painful onslaught of sight and sound that acted as a bracing tonic against the other, lighter shows in the fest.  A short, sharp jab to the gut, this startling girl gang classic was a pitiless poisoned bon bon that polarized and startled audiences.

     

     

  • GALLERY

  • 2000 EDFEST PRODUCTION ARTIFACTS

    The Violent Years was one of the last shows put together for the original 2000 EdFest, and was directed by Ian W. Hill under his Gemini CollisionWorks company.  Due to the mad scramble of finishing production, getting the fest set up, and the budgetary restrictions of the time, I don't believe we ever actually shot any PR photos for the show, or at least I have nothing in the archives.  I think a performance may have been recorded, but if it has, it's in the Gemini archives, not ours, so I don't have access to any images.  Instead, we've dug out some of the relevant PR shots taken for the full festival, which show Carrie Johnson in her Paula get-up, to give you a sense of how Ian's show looked and felt.  If anything pops up in the future -- video, photos, etc -- we'll update this section.  We at least have more info on this show than on our production of Salome, for which no video was taken, and all but one postcard image and the prompt book are permanently lost, so I'm happy we at least have these, and hopefully more floating about somewhere (cue mystery theme).  -- Frank Cwiklik NYC 2015

     

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    PRESENTS

    THE VIOLENT YEARS

    starring SHILOH KLEIN * IVY HONG * EMILY EDWARDS * JULIA YARWOOD

    featuring ANN BREITBACH * TOM O'CONNOR * JOSHUA B. SCHWARTZ * JASON STANLEY

    with CRAIG KELTON PETERSON * LINDSEY CARTER * ZACH MIKO * ADAM FILES

    and CEDRIC JONES as Judge Clara

    Production Stylist ANN BREITBACH

    Fight Director ADAM SWIDERSKI

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted from the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD JR

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

     

  • ABOUT

    Welcome to the Matterhorn Ski Lodge, the finest little getaway in the valley! Meet Victor Fleming, the beleaguered and bewildered owner, plagued by the arrival of the newer and fancier Roosevelt Ski Lodge just a few miles away, and by the constant schemes of Chad Roosevelt III, the rich preppy whose dad owns the new place. Enter Winford and Charlotte Farthington III (or that's the name they're using this week), a stylish and cunning con artist couple who have arrived at the slopes for a little R&R and a chance to escape the cops chasing them across four continents. Their peaceful vacation, and Victor's fragile world, are shaken up when glam rock star Diamond Jim arrives wearing $250K worth of diamonds, the perfect haul for a slick pair of criminals, and the perfect catalyst for a weekend of theft, mayhem, sexcapades, and snowmobiling.  Got all that?  Well, good luck.

     

    Adapted loosely from one of the most obscure works in the Ed canon, Hot Ice is a loving and ribald tribute to the golden age of the American sex comedy, the kind of movie that used to plugthe holes in the Cinemax schedule at 3 AM, the kind of movie you used to watch with the volume down and the lights out hoping not to get caught watching it. Sexy ski bunnies, horny ski instructors, impossibly wacky situations, cheating wives and cokehead rock managers, plus of course a training montage, an inspirational speech, and a final showdown between the snobs and the slobs, plus not one, not two, but three musical numbers.   Yeah, we went there.  Hands down the breakout hit of the final DMT EdFest, Hot Ice played to packed, appreciative audiences and became the most party-ingest show we've ever done.  CANNONBALL!

     

  • CLIP

    Below are the "opening titles" for Hot Ice.  The hidden conceit of Final Curtain was that each show was meant to be an unearthed, long-lost movie from a specific time period -- Bride was a 1940s Universal horror programmer, Sinister Urge! was a pre-code screwball comedy, etc.  Hot Ice was meant to be a sleazy, cheap sex comedy circa 1979 running on pay cable at night.  The show opened with the classic late 70s HBO Feature Presentation logo, and all of the footage used in projection gags and on the side monitors was treated to have a very grainy, cheap, diffused look.  The tone was set with the opening titles, which projected across the entirety of the stage area between the prologue and the opening number.  Hot Ice was far and away the audience favorite of the fest, and I'm very sad it wasn't seen by more people, and extremely sad it couldn't get an extended run of its own.  It's nice to see these credits again.  Note the oddball framing necessitated by the requirements of the space and the projection unit -- the square area at center is all that was visible to the audience when projected, so you can see some sloppy artifacts and clutter at the sides that were cropped out or not visible during performance conditions.  Also note that the word "featuring" between the movie title and the character bullets was shown on the two monitors over the audience's head, to establish that the remaining written titles would run on the sides during the opening number.  And, yes, the last two minutes are black screen meant to run out under the actual staged scene -- it was easier and more efficient to run the cue for the dance number via video rather than trying to sync up the music as another audio cue.  This should give you a sense of the tone and style of the show, which was enormously fun, and the technical challenges involved in running a multimedia show of this type on an insanely tight budget.  Enjoy -- Frank Cwiklik, NYC 2014

     

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    PRESENTS

    HOT ICE

    starring JOSH POTTER * JUSTIN PLOWMAN * BRIANNA TYSON

    featuring JASON STANLEY * LINDSEY CARTER * JOSHUA B. SCHWARTZ * CRAIG KELTON PETERSON

    EMILY EDWARDS * ZACH MIKO * IVY HONG * JULIA YARWOOD

    with ADAM FILES as Kelton

    and a very special appearance by MR. CEDRIC JONES as DIAMOND JIM

    Production Stylist ANN BREITBACH

    Choreographer SHILOH KLEIN

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Loosely adapted from the screenplay by A.C. STEPHENS and EDWARD D. WOOD JR

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     

Todo Con NADA, March thru August 2000

The Red Room, December 2006

The Red Room, June 2012

  • ABOUT

    A knife-wielding maniac on the loose!  A town held tightly in the grip of terror!  Beautiful young girls held hostage by nefarious smut peddlers!  A multi-million dollar porn racket!  And three hard-bitten, hard-luck cops trying to save us from it all -- and largely failing, to be brutally honest.  It's all true!  It's all real!  It's THE SINISTER URGE, and it's heading for you!

     

    First staged as part of the original EdFest at Todo Con Nada in 2000, this audience favorite came roaring back in 2006 before packed houses at the Red Room, bigger, crazier, nuttier, and more insane than ever.  The tired old workhorse then lurched back to life for one last sad, pathetic grasp at glory in the Summer 2012 Final Curtain: The Last of Ed Wood, after which its remains were burned and buried, and the whole cemetery carpet bombed just to be really, really certain.  One of the signature pieces in DMT's comedy repertory, with Michele Schlossberg's gravel voiced grande dame Gloria Henderson acting as a de facto mascot for the Ed series on the whole, this is the biggest crowd-pleaser of our long an illustrious history, and is truly beloved by ye humble director, and all three of DMT's fans (okay, two).  God help us, everyone.

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2000 Nada productions:

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK, IAN W. HILL, AND MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    ADAPTED, DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY FRANK CWIKLIK

     

    Your Cast of Characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    BRYAN ENK as Dirk Williams/Lackey/Hasidic Henchman

    CARRIE JOHNSON as Dead Meat

    BOB BRADER as Lt. Matt Carson

    MARK G. CISNEROS as Sgt. Randy Stone

    J. KEVIN TALLENT as Jaffe/Thug/Cunning Decoy (roles played by FRANK CWIKLIK in revivals)

    CHRISTIAAN KOOP as Pinup Girl/Janet/Department Store Clerk

    AMY CAITLIN CARR as Pinup Girl/Mary Smith Who Was So Good in the School Play

    DOUGLAS SCOTT SORENSON as Paul/Commissioner/Soda Jerk/Kelton/Jeweler/Casting Agent

    IAN W. HILL as Mr. Taxpayer/Jaffe/Danny/Hasidic Mob Boss

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG as Gloria Henderson, Porn Queen

    YURI LOWENTHAL as Johnny Ride (role played by JOSEPH POLACIK in first revival)

     

     

    2006 Red Room production:

    starring

    BOB BRADER * BRYAN ENK * MATTHEW GRAY * SHOSHANA HOFFERT * JENNIFER LEIGH JOSH MERTZ * MATEO MORENO * MELISSA NEARMAN * KEVIN ORZECHOWSKI * JESSICA SAVAGE * MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG * JESSICA SILVER

     

    Adapted from the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted, Designed and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

     2012 Red Room production:

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    PRESENTS

    THE SINISTER URGE!

    starring JASON STANLEY * JOSH POTTER * ADAM FILES

    featuring JOSHUA B. SCHWARTZ * BRIANNA TYSON

     EMILY EDWARDS * IVY HONG * JULIA YARWOOD

    with CRAIG KELTON PETERSON as Dirk "Dirk" Williams * ZACH MIKO as Mr. Romain

    introducing SHILOH KLEIN as Mary-Smith-Who-Was-So-Good-in-the-School-Play

    featuring CEDRIC JONES as Johnny Ride * and starring MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG as Gloria Henderson

    Production Stylist ANN BREITBACH

    Fight Director ADAM SWIDERSKI * Choreographer SHILOH KLEIN

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted from the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD JR

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

  • ABOUT

    The culmination of DMT's relentless ransacking of the Ed Wood repertory came in the Summer of 2012, when the second of DMTheatrics' festival tributes to Wood, FINAL CURTAIN: THE LAST OF ED WOOD, played as the company's bittersweet swan song to its longtime home, the Red Room.  Consisting of five startlingly different productions of Wood classics and obscurities (see below), this month-long extravaganza was both the most ambitious and most audacious project yet attempted by director Frank Cwiklik, its unique and daunting scope attracting press attention from the New York Times, Time Out New York, and others.  Seemingly the final word on the glory of Ed from his most unlikely postmortem collaborator, this extraordinary festival was among the last of its kind, a heartfelt farewell to a misunderstood artist and a vanishing era.  SEE BELOW FOR INDIVIDUAL SHOW LISTINGS (Bride of the Monster, Night of the Ghouls, The Violent Years, Hot Ice, and The Sinister Urge!)

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO/TRAILER

    Original trailer for FINAL CURTAIN (May/June 2012)

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP PRESENTS

    FINAL CURTAIN: THE LAST OF ED WOOD

    Production Stylist ANN BREITBACH * Fight Director ADAM SWIDERSKI

    Choreographer SHILOH KLEIN

    Based on works by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR, ALEX GORDON, and A.C. STEPHENS

    Co-Producer MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Produced, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

    June 20th thru July 1st 2012

    The Red Room, 85 E 4th St, third floor

     

“100% terrific all the way...Frank Cwiklik is one of the great theatre creators of the moment.”--  Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

 

  • ABOUT

    Flying saucers over London! Flying saucers over Hollywood! Flying saucers over Washington, DC! It's a panic! It's a riot! It's the end of the world! It's PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE!

     

    On a windswept Autumn night, a trio of flying saucers descends on a sleepy suburban outpost of Los Angeles, its nefarious power rays dragging the lifeless husks of the recently dead up from their graves, desecrating their undead bodies by transforming them into shambling zombie thugs ready to do the bidding of their extraterrestrial masters! Only Lt. Matt Carson and his faithful assistant Randy Stone can prevent the armies of the beyond from overtaking Hollywood... and then the world! SEE Zombies on the loose! SEE a beautiful young newlywed wrenched from her inner sanctum by the mouldering arms of evil! SEE fried chicken and Dr. Pepper! SEE bumbling aliens and rockribbed military men! SEE the secret Pentagon base where UFOs are discussed and secretly examined! SEE about one hour and fifty minutes of random crap!

     

    Playing to rollicking, sold-out houses during the Fall 2010 season and straight through to Halloween (nice), DMT finally presented the most beloved and best-known of Wood's clumsy opuses, the movie often called the Worst Ever Made, Plan Nine From Outer Space.  In the tradition of DMT's Sinister Urge! and Orgy of the Dead, Plan Nine was given the full Mel Brooks/Zucker Brothers treatment, with wild  digressions, lunatic set pieces, a zombie dance number, a chorus of Belas, armies attacking flying saucers live on stage, and more more more!  The biggest audience hit of DMT's comedies, receiving rave reviews in the New York Times, NYTheatre, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and others, it cemented director Frank Cwiklik's reputation as a creator of bugnut crazy pop theater par excellence and remains a cult classic in irs own right.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO/EXTRY SPATIAL SECRET CLIP

    This video was originally created as a thank you to backers of our Indiegogo campaign, which means it was sent to only about a dozen people.  Probably none of whom even watched it.  So, you're probably the first to see this, is what we're saying.  So.  Yeah.

  • CREDITS

    DMTHEATRICS PRESENTS IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BRICK

    PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE!

    Starring PETER SCHUYLER * STEWART URIST * JERARD-JAMES CRAVEN * ALEXANDRA COHEN-SPIEGLER * CRAIG KELTON PETERSON * ANN BREITBACH * TOM REID * BOB LAINE * KRISTIN WOODBURN * JUSTIN PLOWMAN * BRYAN A. MARSHALL * VICTORIA MILLER * LINDSEY CARTER * ADAM FILES * with CEDRIC JONES as Space Commander Bunny * and featuring MR. DOUGLAS MACKRELL as the Narrator

    Props/special effects/cool stuff ELAINE JONES

    Based on and inspired by the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted, designed, manhandled, and directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

  • ABOUT

    Something strange has been happening around the old Willows Estate on the marsh -- weird noises, sightings of monsters, and bodies turning up horribly mangled in ways no human could or should commit. It seems the old marsh is doomed to play home to newer and odder horrors, and it's up to intrepid girl reporter Janet Lawton and her indefatigable fiancée, police Lieutenant Dick Craig, to find out just what is happening at Willows Marsh.  Could it possibly involve the new owner, the mysterious Dr. Erik Vornoff? Rumors of atomic experiments, villagers disappearing into the night fog, and now this new foreign visitor with questions about the old estate and stories of monsters... facts and only the facts, says Captain Robbins. But what if the facts are stranger than fiction...?

     

    First staged in 2000 as part of the initial DMT/Gemini CollisionWorks Ed Fest, Bride of the Monster was directed by filmmaker Bryan Enk (The Big Bad) as a frothy, goofy spoof of Ed's wooden plot and creaky contrivances.  Featuring the shortest, blondest, female-est Lobo you've ever seen, and DMT stalwart Bob Brader as the scenery-chwewing, wild-eyed Vornoff, the show was a roaring success with midnight audiences and enjoyed two sellout runs during the festival.

     

    Lovingly staged as a lost Universal Horror entry, Bride reappeared in radically different form in 2012's Final Curtain festival, taking Ed Wood's original screenplay back to its gothic, moody roots  Using striking imagery and ingenious special effects, director Frank Cwiklik skillfully recaptured the look and feel of those beloved 1940s monster sequels that pitted Universal's menagerie of monsters against one another with abandon. Skillfully creating an entire history and world for the script to inhabit, DMT posited this creature feature as the latest in a series of "...of the Monster" movies, with recurring characters and themes popping up throughout, and casting the central character of Vornoff as a tragic, tortured reluctant villain in the classic Karloff/Lugosi/Chaney Jr mold.

     

  • GALLERY

  • PROMO

  • CREDITS

    2000 TODO CON NADA PRODUCTION:

    WRITTEN BY EDWARD D. WOOD, JR.

    PRODUCED BY FRANK CWIKLIK, BRYAN ENK, IAN W. HILL, AND MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    ADAPTED AND DIRECTED BY BRYAN ENK

    Your Cast of Characters in order of their appearance on our stage...

    IAN W. HILL as Monster Meat/Town Drunk/Martin

    DOUGLAS SCOTT SORENSON as Scientist Meat/Kelton (understudy: YURI LOWENTHAL)

    BOB BRADER as -- ahem -- Dr. Erik Vornoff

    CARRIE JOHNSON as Lobo/Tillie

    MATTHEW GRAY as Desk Cop/Prof. Strowski

    MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG as Captain Robbins

    FRANK CWIKLIK as Lt. Dick Craig

    CHRISTIAAN KOOP as Janet Lawton

    and THE MONSTER as Himself

    Presented in association with Gemini CollisionWorks

     

    2012 RED ROOM PRODUCTION:

    DMTHEATRICS IN ASSOCIATION WITH HORSE TRADE THEATER GROUP

    PRESENTS

    BRIDE OF THE MONSTER

    starring TOM O'CONNOR * LINDSEY CARTER * JOSHUA B. SCHWARTZ * BRIANNA TYSON

    featuring CRAIG KELTON PETERSON * JASON STANLEY * JOSH POTTER

    JULIA YARWOOD * IVY HONG * EMILY EDWARDS * LARA JEAN MUMMERT

    with ADAM FILES as Kelton * and ZACH MIKO as Lobo

    Production Stylist ANN BREITBACH * Special Effects Consultant JOSH POTTER

    Fight Choreographer ADAM SWIDERSKI

    Produced by FRANK CWIKLIK and MICHELE SCHLOSSBERG

    Adapted from the screenplay by EDWARD D. WOOD JR and ALEX GORDON

    Adapted, Designed, and Directed by FRANK CWIKLIK

     

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