Classic nighttime soaps, Dynasty and Melrose Place to name just two, get a hilarious gay spoofing in the Celebration Theater’s latest late night hit, WeHo, named after “the most dramatic city never to hit prime time. Some call it West Hollywood. We call it WeHo!”

No nighttime soap could begin without a “Previously on _____” (fill in the blank), and WeHo is no exception, in a series of very funny blackouts which set the over-the-top tone for the hour to come.  

Next up, the opening titles, accompanied by WeHo’s theme song, and featuring the entire cast (all of whom give pitch perfect performances) in their signature poses.

Characters include hottie boyfriends Brandon and Dylan (James Brandon and Adrian Quinones), whose plans to open a restaurant are playing second fiddle to adopted Dylan’s hunt for his real parents.  There’s also club owner Trent, a very gay and “posey” Steve Hasley, who doubles as mulleted lesbian Tammy, girlfriend of afro-wigged Beth (Anthony Cherry), the couple planning their upcoming wedding, and honeymoon hike through the Grand Canyon. Gunther (Steve Callahan) is a muscular physical trainer who never loses an opportunity to remove his shirt, as for example to dry Caren’s tears.  Ruth (Clay Storseth) is the homespun coffee shop owner who doles out pearls of wisdom such as “If you look close enough in anyone’s eyes, you just end up seeing yourself,” and “We all make horrible mistakes that end up costing other people their lives. That doesn’t make us bad people, does it?”

Giving Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington (aka Joan Collins) a run for her money is a sensational Scott Presley as the beautiful but evil Mira, Stanton’s sister and the ruthless publisher of WeHo magazine.

What would a soap opera be without a cast change, and beginning in this episode, “The role of Caren will now be played by Molly O’Leary.”  Caren’s twin sister (pregnant by Caren’s boyfriend) is portrayed by Marc “Colby” Colbert, and the two engage in the requisite catfight, with stunt doubles stepping in when things get rough.

In tonight’s episode, Dylan discovers (gasp!) that Stanton is his brother, and Gunther learns that nude photos of himself have been published in WeHo Magazine.

There are also flashbacks galore, as when Dylan recalls being pushed off the Hollywood sign by evil brother Stanton (Matthew Montgomery).

WeHo could not be aired (or in this case staged) without commercials to pay the bills, including one for Cleardrin, a prescription allergy medicine which comes with the inevitable string of warnings, including of course death. In a spot for TLC laundry detergent, a mother reveals that now that her little boy has grown up to be a man, “his loads are even bigger,” and proceeds to strip the strapping lad (Brandon) down to his tight black undies.  O’Leary appears “as herself” mid-filming in a commercial for Angel Hair shampoo.

In an preview of the upcoming 11:00 news broadcast, TV anchorman John McGill (Storseth) reveals that “Tonight’s top story will be an exposé of the adult video industry,” and even more shockingly, that “the person next to you could be a porn star!” After McGill interrupts tonight’s episode of WeHo for a breaking news bulletin, we return to WeHo just after Caren has told Brandon her deepest darkest secret, which she promises never to speak of again.  (Damn those news bulletins!)

WeHo is the fiendishly clever brainchild of writer/director Nic Arnzen, who reveals in his bio that “WeHo is currently being developed into a television comedy series.”  We hope so! In the meantime, audiences in search of outrageously fabulous late night entertainment can find it live and on stage at the Celebration in WeHo.

Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.  

–Steven Stanley
September 19, 2008

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