Central’s Popular ‘Popcorn Show’ Back for Another Run


Courtesy of Pixabay

Audiences attending ‘The Perils of Truly Sweet’ will engage with the performance by talking back to the actors and throwing popcorn.

The San Jacinto College Central Campus Department of Theatre and Film is presenting “The Perils of Truly Sweet” March 25-29, an interactive melodrama meant for audiences of all ages.

The show, a story that pits good against evil, features villain Larson E. Blacklash attempting to take over a town by opening a bar instead of a schoolhouse. The hero, Jack Steel, tries to save the town with the help of the audience.

Theater Professor Richard Turner, the director, said the show is fast-paced, and the audience can engage with the performers by talking back to the actors and throwing popcorn. During previous seasons, he noted the format was an audience favorite.

“They [the college community] have been asking me,” he said, ‘When are you going to do that popcorn show?’ When are you going to do that funny melodrama show again?’”

Moreover, the performance features an exaggerated, slapstick type of acting, Turner said, that is entertaining to broad audiences.

“Melodrama is a very distinct style. It’s not like a straight play,” he noted. “It has very precise gestures.”

Although the show is a light-hearted comedy, Turner explained the production is not without its challenges. First, the cast and crew will lose rehearsal time due to the College’s spring break schedule. Also, the semi-improvisational nature of the show means the actors must think quickly to respond to the audience. Although he expressed concern the hyperbolic style may not appeal to every theatergoer, he pointed to familiar comedic elements most audiences recognize and appreciate.

“It’s in the spirit of Tom and Jerry,” Turner said. “It’s in the spirit of very old silent film-era actors.”

Performances of The Perils of Truly Sweet take place at 7:30 p.m., except for the Sunday matinee that begins at 2 p.m., on March 25-29 in the Powell Arena Theater (C13) on the Central Campus. Further box office information is available at (281) 476-1828. 

***Update: San Jacinto College has suspended all on-campus events and activities until further notice.***