2 Joes, 2 Jamies & a Melissa: Ringwald’s Actors Revisit Their First “Fatal” Show
(Crystal A. Proxmire, 2/21/2011)
The walls of the Ringwald’s Green Room are plastered with posters of four seasons worth of off-Broadway shows. From the campy and psychotic to deep dramatic works, the Ringwald has entertained Ferndale in ways that only the creative minds of 2 Joes, 2 Jamies and a Melissa could conjure up.
This week The Ringwald Theatre (22742 Woodward) returns to its roots with a second running of their very first show – Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy. This bloody and hilarious spoof of the classic 1980s flick has Joe Bailey playing the blond, um, bombshell, business woman who goes crazy after a one-night-stand with a married businessman. His real-life husband and co-owner of Ringwald, Joe Plambeck, directs and sings in the Greek chorus.
“This one is special for us because it’s the first production we did here and we were only able to run two weeks,” Bailey said. “The process for getting the occupancy permit was really complicated and of course the opening date kept getting pushed back. Finally we said we’re going to print the posters and do all we can to make sure we open on time. We finally got the permit approved the afternoon of May 11 , the day of the first show.”
The run was popular, but short. “A lot of people didn’t get to see it the first time, and there are a lot of people who know of us now, but didn’t back then. So this gives them all a chance to see it,” Plambeck said.
The Ringwald is managed by a board of five, that ultimately hopes the theatre can become a nonprofit organization. “We’ve got two Joes, two Jamies, and a Melissa,” Plambeck said. Jamie Richards, Jamie Warrow, and Melissa Beckwith take turns acting and directing the various shows.
Bailey and Plambeck have been together for eight years. On Sept. 4, 2010 they exchanged vows in a wedding ceremony on their stage. They met while touring the country in a series of gay-themed performances. Plambeck is an import from Wyoming. He studied theatre at the University of Northern Colorado before meeting Bailey who convinced him to move to Michigan. Bailey grew up in Sterling Heights and studied at Oakland University. He is scheduled to receive the University’s Matilda Award for outstanding achievement by theatre department alumni. He’s lived in New York and Los Angeles and traveled the country before settling down in Ferndale with both home and business.
“We don’t want to be pigeon-holed,” Bailey said. “But if there is a gay theatre in Metro Detroit, the Ringwald is it.”
“We try to do a variety of shows, so we’re not always doing the campy gay stuff. Throwing in more serious work helps keep us in good form and lets us grow as actors,” he said.
Some of their most popular shows have been Evil Dead the Musical, Southern Baptist Sissies and Debbie Does Dallas The Musical. “Not the most artistically satisfying,” Plambeck said. “But people love them!”
Bailey likes the fun stuff, and Plambeck teased that “anything that has Joe [Bailey] in a dress is usually a hit.” While Bailey said Plambeck is into the more “twisted” stuff.
Plemback said his favorite play has been “Bug,” where a former soldier, turned crack addict, thinks the army has planted tracking devices below his skin. “Bug was really creepy…pure chaos. It takes people places they don’t normally go, and gives them a real visceral experience. It’s not like watching things on TV. The characters are real because they are right there.”
Mercury Fur is an upcoming play that Bailey finds “really disturbing.”
“I put it down because I couldn’t handle reading it. It was too much. But all day long I kept thinking about it. I just could not shake it. I gave it to Joe [Plambeck], and it was right up his alley. …It’s really messed up.”
Bailey’s favorite was the more light-hearted Die Mommy Die!
Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy had good turnouts over the weekend, thanks in part to Plembeck’s increased use of online networking to spread the word about shows, and a viral video he produced about the show for You Tube.
Fatal Attraction: A Greek Tragedy runs from February 18th through March 14th at 8pm on Friday, Saturday, and Monday nights with 3pm Sunday matinees. Ticket prices are $20.00 for Friday and Saturday performances, Sunday performances are $15, and Monday nights are HALF OFF normal ticket price at only $10 a ticket. Please note that the first Sunday performance at 3pm on February 20th is PAY WHAT YOU CAN! Reservations may be made by phone at 248-545-5545 or online at www.WhoWantsCakeTheatre.com.
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