Son of Susi Q: Helpless Laughter


by Chris Quilter

           I’d been on deadline for the “best of, best ever” “Lagunatics” (opening this weekend!) and hadn’t a clue what I was going to write about here. Then I read Michele Hall’s smackdown of my last Indy column in her guest column (“Political Alliances,” Oct. 5.) (Andrea likes a big tent.)

I’d made some partisan cracks about Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, whose endorsement of Steve Dicterow was a factor in my decision to support Jane Egly and Bob Whalen for City Council. Ms. Hall, president of the Laguna Beach Republicans, was not amused.

Striking a high moral pose, I cranked out 700 words of spun gold rebuttal, beginning with a strategically modest but heartfelt confession of error: Dana Rohrabacher is not now, nor has he ever been, the Congressman for Laguna Beach. What I should have said is that he will be—a prediction with which Ms. Hall agrees, although she feels a lot better about it than I do.

I went on to bloviate about my Rohrabacher problem, and if anyone is interested, email me at [email protected]. (It’s the address I use when writing online comments or visiting porn sites.) Because when I woke up the next day, I realized I hadn’t written about what was actually on my mind.

Yes, it’s informative in a nonpartisan local race to see who’s for whom. A Republican member of Congress and the Laguna Beach Republicans have endorsed Steve, a Republican. The Democratic Club has endorsed Verna Rollinger, a Democrat, but not Jane or Bob, also Democrats. On the council, Democrat Toni Iseman has endorsed Verna and Bob; Republican Kelly Boyd has endorsed Jane and Bob. So has Elizabeth Pearson, who served with fellow Republican Steve on the council but is not endorsing him. Voters can draw their own conclusions.

What I’d really like this column to be about is a political statement, which Ms. Hall and I can both endorse. To quote a WHEREAS from the city proclamation recognizing the 20th anniversary of “Lagunatics” and naming it the official musical parody roast of the coast of Laguna Beach: “countless residents of Laguna Beach are in need of a good laugh.” So enough about whether Steve can bring us some common sense for a change. Can he still bench press his own weight?

I am happy to report that “Lagunatics: Schlock & Awe” overflows with my favorite kind of laughter: the helpless kind. With 25 numbers from 20 years of material, including tap-dancing goats, singing nuns, elected officials, guys in dresses and songs about tourists, traffic, sewer spills, the ravages of over-privilege and a Pageant of Disasters—well, as we like to say, how bad can it be?

Steve Dicterow will be there. By the by, as Susi Q liked to put it, or FWIW as my nieces prefer, I sincerely like the guy, as opposed to insincerely liking him. How could I not? Apart from the fact that he’s likable, I’ve seen him in “Lagunatics.” In heels.


Quilter is going to the Forum Theater on Oct. 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28. He hopes to see Ms. Hall there.

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