After three months of self-imposed restraint, “Lagunatics” will let loose their skewed sense of ethnocentric humor on the local stage once again.
The 29 volunteer cast members of the annual spoof on la vida de la Laguna were sequestered from using the stage at the Forum Theater on the Festival of Arts’ grounds since October due to mold detection.
A strong odor on a Monday morning lead to the discovery of black mold inside the walls of the Festival of Arts’ offices below the back of the theater. The cause was water slowly leaking from a pipe, according to Bree Burgess Rosen, “Lagunatics” director, which caused black mold to proliferate.
“Everybody volunteers and the show was only four days from opening,” said Rosen. The new show, called “Gagtime,” was in full-dress rehearsal. “We didn’t know at the time whether the mold was toxic or not so, to error on the side of caution, I decided to pull the plug on the show. The test results were not going to come back for two weeks so we couldn’t put our cast or our audience at risk.”
The black mold turned out to be nontoxic and was eradicated from the premises, said Festival of Arts President Fred Sattler. The mold-infested material was removed within a contained work space to prevent contamination, the offices were cleaned with a mold-suppressing chemical solution and new carpet was installed. The curtain, seats and carpeting in the theater were also thoroughly scoured. “It’s all cleaned up and we’re putting it back together,” said Sattler. “The whole thing was industrial-cleaned. We took care of it the way it had to be taken care of.”
The show was never officially canceled, just postponed until further notice about the state of the mold. The cast wouldn’t rest, however, and continued rehearsing once a month at the American Legion Hall. A more regularly hectic schedule of rehearsing starts Jan. 4 for 10 consecutive nights before the show opens. Splotches of moldy looking black spots were added to the show’s new flyer.
Audiences can be sure of a spoof, possibly sparing spores, or at least a pithy song expunging the black blight.
Tickets go on sale today, Friday, Dec. 13, of course. “Gagtime” opens on Friday, Jan. 17, with additional performances on the following Saturday and Sunday and again on Jan. 23, 24, 25 and 26. For tickets, go to NoSquare.org.