While its facilities are humble and its performers but modestly amateur, North Star Theater has come up with an original little musical, "The Watergate Melodrama," that often amuses with its zany inventions. North Star is an activity of the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
Author Robert Clymire imagines the recent unpleasantness as happening in a small, contemporary Western town, Watergate Hole. The setting is the sheriff's office and that man is into everything. He has a hatchet man named Coleslaw, a secretary named Rose Maria, two doll-like daughters occasionally allowed out of their closet and a marionette-like wife.
The "Laugh-In" or "Hellzapoppin'" style allows for haphazard inventions, far the best of the overextended yarn. In Jules Abrams' staging the large cast is fittingly hyperactive. Bruce Alan Rauscher is a tireless Nick Dixon and Ruth-Ann McLean has style as the balladeer, as does Brenda Hood as doll-like Thelma.
As Coleslaw, Greenfair Moses III is a dazzling comic, and I also admired the participatory zeal of Billy Moore as Juan Chisel. The best of the songs is "The Watergate Shuffle," a chorus line variation by composer McLean and writer Clymire.
There will be further performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on Dec. 15 and 16. Details at 323-4242.