We waited all year for this, all year to answer the question: How far will playwrights go to create unique and jaw-dropping titles for their works?
Of course, we expect titles like Geek On Smack and B.J.: The Trail of a Transgendered Country-Rock Singing Star to be spawned by fringe festivals. But the real joy of this year's list comes from so many titles emerging from seemingly staid sources, such as San Francisco's Magic Theatre (Hillary And Soon-Yi Shop for Ties) and Musical Theatre Works (Urinetown!). When the New York Times gives a rave review to something called Poona the Fuck Dog, you know it's been a helluva year for this stuff.
Oh, and readers who make it to the end of this list of goofy names will be rewarded a special bonus: the goofiest synopses of the year. Let the madness begin.
GOOFY TITLES OF 1999 Oedipussy -- (P.S. 122, NYC)
The Kinsey Sicks: Greatestits -- (New Conservatory Theater Center, San Francisco, CA, Jan. 1999). "America's Favorite Dragapella Beauty Shop Quartet."
The Kinsey Sicks: Motel Sicks -- A Dragapella Summer Vacation - (New Conservatory Theater Center, San Francisco, CA, June 1999)
Freshman Year Sucks! -- (Solo at Stages Repertory, Houston, TX)
Transformations of Lucius -- (Theatre Labyrinth, Cleveland, OH, May 1999).
Quick Insanity -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Gatherrrrr...Together -- (Rrrrr troupe at NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Gretty Good Time -- (Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC, Jan. 1999). Synopsis: "Paralyzed and living in a nursing home, Gretty is visited in her dreams by a young Japanese woman disfigured in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and by Ralph Edwards, host of `This Is Your Life.'"
Geek On Smack -- (deadmecca productions at NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Miss Issippi Mud -- (Loblolly Theatre Co. at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Tag Team Lovefest 2000 -- (Actor's Gang, Los Angeles, May 1999)
Love Songs, Candy Hearts And Form Letters -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Love Songs and Other Crap -- (Don't Tell Mama, NYC, Dec. 1999)
All Male Lives of Y2-Gay -- (Wild at Last Company at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Legendys Of Hooly Wummen -- (Eat My Art troupe at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
The Nuclear Warrior Show -- (by Scott LiFShine [sic] at Producer's Club, NYC, June 1999)
Box Office of the Damned -- (1812 Productions at Arden, Philadelphia, PA, April 1999)
Chancing at Lunacy: The Completely Improvised Irish Country Play -- (Free Associates, Chicago, IL) March 1999
Chang & Eng -- (Broadway USA at St. Luke's Church, NYC, Feb. 1999). The Synopsis: "Musical story of Siamese twins who settle down with two sisters from Wilkesboro, North Carolina."
Epstein & Hassan: The Black and The Jew - (Theatre for the New City, NYC, Feb. 1999)
The Enduring Legend of Marinka Pinka and Tommy Atomic --SummerNITE Ensemble & Thirteenth Tribe, Chicago, IL, June 1999)
Mump & Smoot in "Something Else With Zug" -- (Yale Rep, New Haven, CT, April 1999) Synopsis: "By the same team that created Mump & Smoot in `Caged' with Wog.
Aleph Bet Bop! -- (family musical at Theatre Ariel, Philadelphia, PA, summer 1999). Synopsis: What's a pre-teen to do when her Bat Mitzvah's coming up and the letters from the Aleph Bet appear before her very eyes? ... While Aleph, Bet, Gimmel and Daled help Mina to read...Gimel, a punk rocker, raps about Moses while accompanied by Ayin on sax; the fabulous Mem gets Mina to belt out a rousing tune about the Biblical Miriam, featured guest star of Mina's Torah portion; and mighty Yud defies them all and struts to Mina's rescue."
Clowning The Bible -- (Six Figures company at NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
How The Bitch Stole Christmas -- (Fez, NYC, December 1999). Synopsis: "This multi-denominational show incorporates new material, such as "Dead Beat Dad Is Coming to Town," "Sleigh Ride in Leather With You," "Jew Christmas," "Violent Night" and "Go to Hell."
Seat Belts And Big Fat Buddhas -- (Intar, NYC, March 1999)
Cog in the Freak Plan -- (Teen Street Theater, Chicago, IL May 1999)
Tales of the Fairy Queen -- An original children's play. (Magnet Theatre, Trenton, NJ) Feb.-March 1999
B.J.: The Trail of a Transgendered Country-Rock Singing Star -- (NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Daddy Kathryn -- (HERE, NYC, April 1999). Synopsis: "Autobiographical comedy of a millionaire construction contractor turned transvestite socialite who runs for City Council in Houston, TX."
Backstage Bitches -- (78th Street Theater Lab, NYC, May 1999)
Morphadike: The Personal Show -- (Performance by "bearded lady" Jennifer Miller at Dixon Place, NYC, March 1999)
Dickie Due: The Gherkin King -- (Pulse Theatre, NYC, Feb. 1999). Synopsis: "Loosely based on Shakespeare's Richard II." Note: The play was later re-titled "Dickie!"
My Penis -- (Solo show by Antonio Sacre; NYC Int'l Fringe Fest, NYC, August 1999)
Legs Wide Shut -- (Sketches by Bethel & Neil, Big Stone Gap company at Bank Street Theatre, NYC, Sept-Oct. 1999)
Sabina's Splendid Brain -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Poona The Fuck Dog, and Other Plays For Children -- (Trap Door Theatre, Chicago, IL, Jan. 1999 & adobe company [sic] at Ohio Theatre, NYC, November 1999)
Lobster Boy! -- (a musical at Chernin Center, Chicago, September 1999)
Lobster Alice -- (Playwrights Horizons, NYC, December 1999)
The True Confessions of a Dogeater -- (John Houseman Studio Theatre Too, NYC, August 1999)
Attack of the 50 Foot Fantoccini -- (Mum Puppettheatre, Philadelphia, PA, September 1999)
Fugumetunachai (Blowfish, Gift of Live) -- (reading at West Coast Jewish Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, December 1999)
Sodom, or the Quintessence of Debauchery -- (Dysfunctional Theatre Co. at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Barnyard Madness with the Three Little Pigs -- (Santa Monica Playhouse, CA, July 1999) Synopsis: "Zany 1940s country and western romp with the McPig family and their wolverine admirers."
What the Rabbi Saw -- (Stella Adler Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, July 1999) Synopsis: A lavishly-planned Jewish wedding in New York... The officiating rabbi stumbles onto some of the appalling goings-on, and the guilty parties try to convince him he's hallucinating due to food poisoning."
Radiant Pig -- (Larval Trading Company at Performing Garage, NYC, July 1999)
Pigoletto -- (Present Company Theatorium, NYC, June 1999). Synopsis: "The jester Rigoletto, now transformed into a werepig-like creature...embarks on a sea voyage...a terrifying end is in store."
The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis of Adam R. Tzaddik -- (Moriah Productions at NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Poe: Edgar vs. Allan -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Hillary And Soon-Yi Shop For Ties -- (Magic Theatre, San Francisco, CA, November 1999)
Aunt Jemina: A Menstrual Show -- (Ensemble Studio Theatre reading, NYC, Feb. 1999)
Black Comedy: The Wacky Side of Racism -- (Ensemble Studio Theatre reading, NYC, Feb. 1999)
Brown & Blue -- (Red Room Theatre, NYC, Jan. 1999). Synopsis: "Meet Mr. Shit, Princess Poopsy Raisinette, Evil/Satan Shit, The Mad-Toilet Seat, Bad Hello-Kitty and Others... Puppets, costumes and humor."
Urinetown! -- (Musical Theatre Works, NYC, Feb. 1999) Synopsis: "Urinetown! tells the musical story of young Bobby Strong, assistant custodian at the poorest, filthiest urinal in town, and follows his efforts to free the people of his land from oppressive urinal chain owner Caldwell B. Cladwell... The musical is campy and silly with big stock characters and snappy numbers. The musical is also angry and political with an over arching Brechtian quality."
The Flatulist -- (one-act by Murray Schisgal incorporated into "Suitcase Tales" at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, L.A., CA, March 1999)
Angry Jellow Bubbles -- (Some Goddamn Special Projects troupe at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Oh Shit, I'm Turning Into My Mother -- (musical revue at Duplex Cabaret, NYC, March 1999)
My Rama Is My All -- (play by Sri Chinmoy; Victory Banner Productions, NYC)
The Nektonic Facteur -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Shut Your Eyes And Think Of England -- (Knightsbridge Theatre, Pasadena, CA, June 1999)
Dr. Constance Cumming Wants To Help You Get Laid -- (Theatre Crisp at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
gas/house bang/gang -- (NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
The Pimp Clause -- (Mark Theatre Co. at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
The Whore from Harlem -- (Desperate Acts company at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Somewhere Between Heaven and Newark... -- (Producers Club, NYC, August 1999)
Life Is a Pizza -- ("Slices of Life From a Sicilian American Family"; Emelin Theater, Mamaroneck, NY, July 1999)
Aspirin & Elephants -- (romantic comedy, Buzz Radio Theatre at Sherwood Theatre, La Jolla, CA, July 1999)
Fat! -- (Big Queen Productions at Celebration Theater, Los Angeles, CA May 1999). (Promo: "A big fat-ass multi-gender drag queen feminist musical love story about food...Starring Tim Bennett and Divinity Fudge."
Spooge -- The Sex & Love Monologues -- (Riant Theatre, NYC, November 1999)
Preaching to the Perverted -- (Holly Hughes piece at NCTC, San Francisco, May 1999)
References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot -- (in workshop at Public Theater's New Works Now series, NYC, April 1999)
All-Male Tales of Y2K -- (NY Int'l Fringe Fest, NYC, August 1999)
Brain Cancer Causes Cell Phones -- (Gene Frankel Theatre, NYC, December 1999)
Control + Alt + Delete -- (Bank Street Theatre, NYC, October 1999)
Cathead's Big Bag of Meat -- (RZI & AppleArts at Zephyr Theater, Chicago, IL, March 1999)
Salad of the Bad Cafe -- (Split Britches at Dixon Place, NYC, May 1999)
Dumplings and Death -- (Instant Karma Productions at NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Let's Eat Cookie Dough -- (Producer's Club, NYC, November 1999)
Eat the Baby -- Vox Theatre Co. at Space 24, NYC, October 1999)
Worm Day -- (Lumbricus Productions, NYC, April 1999). Synopsis: "An eccentric writer with an affinity for worms finds her way to love through these uncomplicated creatures."
Jinkies! The Totally Unauthorized, Partially Improvised, Scooby Doo Mysteries Live On Stage -- (Fun & Games Stage Company at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Eye Sling Shot Lions -- (Performing Garage, NYC, July 1999)
Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery -- (return engagement at Lifeline Theatre, IL, Jan. 1999)
Beanie Baby Addictions -- (Theater for the New City, NYC, Feb. 1999)
Boomer Rocks!: Tales of a Heavy-Metal Trombone Player -- (Nada, NYC, Feb. 1999)
Nirvanov -- "A new rock musical about a suicidal singer and a lobotomized legend." (Ant Farm productions at Chekhov Now Festival, NYC, October 1999)
The Flaming Idiots -- (juggling troupe at Helen Hayes PAC, NYS, March 1999)
Guys on Ice -- (Milwaukee Rep, WI, March 1999). Synopsis: Musical about ice fishing. Songs include: "Ode to a Snowmobile Suit" and "Fish is de Miracle Food."
Dead Lawyers -- (Sacred Fools Company, Hollywood, CA, April 1999) "A comedy."
Coming in Dead -- (play with music by Michael Lawrence Whitton, NYC)
Die! Mommy! Die! -- (Charles Busch play at The Coast Playhouse, West Hollywood, CA, August 1999)
Running With Scissors -- (Court Theatre, L.A., CA, June 1999)
Cathleen's Carnage -- (Fools Company at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Knives in Hens -- (NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Spring Beans for Aunt Flossie -- (Produced by Mr. JumpyPants at KGB, NYC, March 1999)
The Bitch At Buchenwald -- (German troupe at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC 1999)
When Zucchinis Fly -- (Make*A*Circus, San Francisco, CA, Touring June-Aug. 1999)
Flying Nectarines: Zip Code Pending -- (Broad Shoulders at Highways Performance Space, Santa Monica, CA, July 1999)
Twisted Tweed, Poison Olives -- (The Other Space, Santa Monica, CA, July 1999)
Belgians in Heaven -- (American Folkslore Theatre, Wisconsin, June 1999) Synopsis: The world's only metaphysical cheese curd musical...featuring Carolynne Warren providing the voice of Mildred the invisible chicken."
Shut Up and Love Me! -- (Karen Finley piece at NCTC, San Francisco, May 1999)
Did Anyone Ever Tell You You Look Like Huey P. Newton? -- (NYC International Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
This Is A Size 6...And This Is Your Head -- (Cliff Osmond Theater, San Francisco, CA June 1999)
Killer Kondom -- (TransCulture Entertainment Ltd. at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Hitler's Head -- (Road Theatre Company, North Hollywood, CA, March-April 1999)
Hardware...A Miracle Play -- (Smokin' Egg Productions at Stella Adler Theatre, Hollywood, CA, October 1999)
The Last Supper: A Scratch & Sniff Photo -- (Dr. Southern's Therapy Hour at NYC Int'l Fringe Festival, NYC, August 1999)
Bringin' Back Jesus -- (Apollo Theatre, NYC, July 1999). Synopsis: "In the year 2020, a scientist and a priest attempt to clone Jesus Christ using blood from the Shroud of Turin."
SPECIAL BONUS: Goofiest Synopses of 1999:
Cymbeline: (SKT Productions at Looking Glass Theatre, NYC, May 1999) Synopsis: "A transvestite princess seeks her lovelorn husband in Wales while Prince Clueless loses his head. Included: girl-on-girl action, basketball and hi-tech violence."
Do You Come Here Often? (right size productions [sic] on UK tour, June 1999) Synopsis: "Do You Come Here Often? revolves around two men who are stuck in a bathroom for 25 years. To make matters worse, they can't stand each other."
The History of Bowling - (Victory Gardens, Chicago, IL, April 1999) Synopsis: "Chuck, a thirty-something quadriplegic, after 15 years of procrastination gathers the courage to attend college where he finds love in, of all places, P.E. class... with Lou, a 22-year old woman who has always tried to hide her epilepsy. Thus, the hard-headed lovers clash, comically spurred on by Chuck's roommate Cornelius, who is deaf, blind, and a major Casanova; and Barnes, the demonic college gym teacher."
-- by David Lefkowitz and the staff of Playbill On-Line