I’m not sure what my favorite part of “Beach Blanket Babylon” is. The costumes are cleverly put together, and of course the show is famous for its elaborate hats. The cast is talented at both song and comedy, and the political satire and cultural commentary are topical. But I’d have to say the music is what I liked the most. The songs are mostly from the sixties through the nineties, with a couple from way before and a few from after. It’s like the soundtrack of my life.
It’s hard to pick a favorite character. This year’s show is loosely based on Snow White, a San Francisco girl who is traveling the world, looking for her prince. Along the way she meets Glinda the Good Witch, King Louie in an outrageous pink wig that towers over his head, a band of French poodles who sing and dance, and various people from the worlds of entertainment and politics, such as Paris Hilton, Martha Stewart, Donald Trump, Bill and Hillary, Bush and Cheney, and (of course) Arnold. And they all sing!
Some of the transitions are a little forced, but that’s part of the fun. You never know what song you’re going to hear next, whether it’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time” or “Tears on My Pillow” (which for some reason was the one that kept playing in my head on the ride home). The songs are almost always inappropriate for the characters singing them, but somehow it all comes together into a very entertaining couple of hours.
This being the holiday season, yesterday’s show ended with a Christmas medley, sung by dancing Christmas trees along with the rest of the cast. The finale was the city’s favorite song, “San Francisco,” and featured the biggest hats of the evening. One was an animated Christmas tree, and the other was the San Francisco skyline, pyramid and all.