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Multiple personalities

'Bi-Polar' takes Steamboat by the funny bone

Jennie Lay
What: "Bi-Polar" When: Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 tonight and Saturday night. Where: Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom Cost: $20 tickets are available at All That Jazz, Mount Werner Sinclair and Off the Beaten Path Bookstore. Rating: PG-13

“Bi-Polar,” the witty new creation by local theater company Ski Town Productions, has nothing to do with any type of psychological disorder, creator Brian Harvey assures everyone.

But it does have a lot to do with zany characters, corny costumes and loads of new comedy.

And if anyone’s sense of humor is running short and they’re feeling anxious about being the target of any more ski town jokes — relax, because the new show has nothing to do with insider ski town humor.

“Bi-Polar” carries a more universal theme, be it always tongue in cheek, about relationships and what happens in the collision between people’s public and private lives when they stop running in a parallel universe, Harvey said.

Besides, Harvey isn’t scared to turn the joke on himself.

“Once you see the show, you’ll see I don’t take myself too seriously on stage,” Harvey said. In keeping with his past on-stage feats of costume humiliation, Harvey promised he would not be donning a diaper in this production but that one of his new costumes would be “darn close.”

“Bi-Polar” is the product of nearly a year’s worth of Tuesday night brainstorming sessions among several of Steamboat’s most notorious comic geniuses. When Seth Bograd, Kelly Anzalone, Toulon O’Connor and Harvey put their heads together each week, they taped their conversations and took notes.

“We wanted to incorporate all the characters in our heads,” Harvey said.

Once the group finished the script, they called in “one-liner specialist” Scott Parker to insert the finishing touches, Harvey said.

The end result was “Bi-Polar.”

In the spirit of “Greater Tuna,” there are more than 20 new characters dressed in just as many costumes, but only two actors — Harvey and O’Connor. The two character actors have done many shows together, but this is their first chance to act against each other, Harvey said.

But don’t be surprised if some familiar old folks slip in for a cameo performance here and there, Harvey hinted.

“Bi-Polar” is playing in a smaller, more intimate venue at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom than the group’s past larger productions such as “24 in 24” and “12 to 1.” This is also a more technical production with two rear-projection video screens that show footage interacting between each other and with the actors on stage. In one car scene, Harvey and O’Connor play the parents on stage; they portray the children in the back seat via the video behind them.

The whole show has been a collaborative effort, Harvey said. Anzalone is the mastermind behind the show’s video production, and Bograd is the director. For the music, Andy Pratt composed an original score that evokes the most dramatic movie sequences.

Expect “Bi-Polar” to be a bit raunchy but fun, Harvey said. It’s humor everyone can get.

“If you can stand ‘Sex & the City,’ you can stand this,” he said.


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