This week’s theater roundup, with news from Lonesome Whistle, Coronado Playhouse and Vantage Theatre

By PAM KRAGEN OCT. 26, 2020 2:18 PM

Three years ago, Bodhi Tree Concerts caused a sensation at the San Diego International Fringe Festival with its wildly imaginative and immersive production of “8 Songs for a Mad King.” It beat out 80-plus other shows to win “Best of the Fest” honors that year and won a 2017 Craig Noel Award from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.


Originally written in 1969 by the late Peter Maxwell Davies as a tribute to the famously mad King George III, the avant-garde song cycle was adapted by Bodhi Tree co-founders Walter and Diana DuMelle as a commentary on President Donald Trump and the manic social media maelstrom that surrounds him.

Audience members seated around a long dinner table tweeted their reactions in a livestream during the performances where a Trumplike Walter sang, laughed maniacally, experienced visions and stomped in a rage down the center of the table.

This week, Bodhi Tree has rebooted “8 Songs” as a filmed production that’s even more Trumpian in style and content with several contemporary updates.


DuMelle is reprising his performance in a blonde wig and face tan. The purpose of the reboot is to encourage people to vote next week. Viewers are invited to share their reactions and thoughts in real time on social media, just as they did in 2017.

It will play for just one performance at 6 p.m. Friday on Bodhi Tree Concerts’ Youtube channel, Facebook page and on Instagram.


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