By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Summer Wildcat

A night at Tucson's Gaslight Theatre is a lot more than just attending a play.

The atmosphere alone makes Gaslight a must-see experience (and of course the plays aren't bad either). So last Thursday, this reporter ventured out to the 7000 block of East Broadway to enjoy the Gaslight experience.

Before the play even began, the audience members, who were seated at tables right up to the edge of the small stage, were entertained by singing, piano and banjo playing and were encouraged to sing along.

Waitresses took orders for pizza, ice cream and other treats and served them just in time for the show.

The main event, "Sebastian Reel, Super Sleuth! or Waiter, There's a Spy in My Soup!", a parody of TV's "Get Smart!" series, is yet another of Gaslight's famous melodramas.

Agent 8 1/2, Sebastian Reel, (Dave Sullivan) receives a message on his shoe phone that he and agent 98.6, Cricket Normile, (Nancy LaViola Moore) must stop Dr. X (David Orly) and the other evil members of M.A.Y.H.E.M. from stealing the secrets of the lost city of Atlantis, which would allow them to rule the world.

Their mission takes them first to Dr. X's casino in Monte Carlo, where they barely escape with their lives in time to follow the evil Dr. X and his crew to the lost city.

As usual, there are one-liners written into the script and plenty of opportunities for the talented cast to sing, dance and make the crazy faces many Tucsonans have learned to love.

In the end, good once again triumphs over evil, and the secrets to the cure of the common cold, the end to world hunger and Lute Olson's hair are in the safe hands of the "do-gooders."

The actors, most of whom I recognized from previous shows, are what truly make Gaslight a Tucson landmark. One of the highlights of the show was when the bad guys, dressed as the Village People, sang "M-A-Y-H-E-M" to the tune of "Y.M.C.A."

Later, F.R.A.N.C., M.A.Y.H.E.M.'s Female Robotic Anatomically Correct Spy (Donna Davis), asks, "What's This Thing Called Love?" and breaks into a song and dance called "Robot Love," with C.H.U.C., the "do-gooder" robot (Cameron Martin).

I couldn't help but think that these people have what it takes to make it big, but for my own selfish reasons I'm glad they haven't yet and hope they all stay and make Tucson laugh for a long time.

Following the show and a few "Happy Birthday" announcements, celebrated by free ice cream cones, the cast performed the "Flower Power Oleo." Although most of the songs were from before my time, the tye-dyed costumes were great and the singing was fabulous.

The cast ended the two-hour evening with a venture into the audience to the tune of "The Age of Aquarius."

If you've never been to a Gaslight play, now is a great time to start and if you have, I'm sure you already know not to miss this one. Get your tickets soon because this one is sure to sell out.

"Sebastian Reel, Super Sleuth!" is showing through Aug. 27 at the Gaslight Theatre, 7010 E. Broadway. Tickets are $10 for students and $12 for adults. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, with additional shows at 9:30 on Fridays and Saturdays. Read Next Article