The Hardy Boys, those squeaky clean young detectives, are a little...different in Timothy Cope's campy musical parody, The Secret of the Old Queen, opening June 10 at San Francisco's New Conservatory Theatre. Performances began June 1 for a run through July 16.
In Old Queen, Frank and Joe Hardy find themselves hired by eccentric millionaire Cornelius Digby to guard a priceless "art object" from someone who is preying on Bayport's "Bachelor Elite." When it mysteriously disappears, the boys join forces with their friend Chet (mysterious himself in his nocturnal roamings) and their girlfriends, Iola and Callie, both frustrated that their relationship with the Hardys has not progressed much beyond friendship. Together they solve the mystery of the old queen and discover a little bit about themselves.
Minneapolis playwright Timothy Cope has seen his Old Queen performed twice in Chicago in 1997 and 1999. Other plays include the verse piece, The First Noble Truth and Peasantworld.
Composer-lyricist Paul Boesing (Tell Me the Truth About Love, Jack Jack) created the score. Songs in Old Queen include "The Skies Are Always Blue in Bayport," "Boys Are Made for Danger," "You Need to Tell a Woman From a Man," "My Old Queen," "Patriarchal View," "The Brownie Song" and "Just the Way You Are."
Three time Drama-Logue winner John Sowle directs. In 1986, He co founded the Los Angeles-based Kaliyuga Arts, co-producers of The Secret of the Old Queen. Tickets are $20-$15. The New Conservatory Theatre is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue near Market. For reservations, call (415) 861-8972.
-- By Christine Ehren