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Robot vs. Dinosaur Comedy Group Stages its First Musical in Wicker Park

By Emily Morris | April 25, 2014 8:14am
 Actors Hailey Fyfe (l.), Adam Ston, Ben Cook, Taylor Barton, Mo McKibbin, and Blake Mikolget, star in "Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2."
Actors Hailey Fyfe (l.), Adam Ston, Ben Cook, Taylor Barton, Mo McKibbin, and Blake Mikolget, star in "Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2."
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Provided by Robot vs. Dinosaur

WICKER PARK — Local funny group Robot vs. Dinosaur is embarking on something new with its first comedic and highly campy musical, "Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2," which starts a nearly month-long run at The Den Theatre this May.

"We said, 'We like this title, let's write a show around it,'" said Chris Othic, 44, a Second City grad who has been hosting the ensemble's writing sessions out of his Wrigleyville apartment since 2007.

The eight-member group generally sticks to 45-55 minute sketch shows, such as "Are You There God? It’s Me, Satan," at Gorilla Tango Theatre along with "Wait, Wait… Don’t Kill Me!" at Donny’s Skybox, among others.

But with "Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2" (there isn't actually a part one), the comedians took on a full-length production complete with original songs and a story that melds '60s beach party movies with cult horror flicks.

Director Nat Topping, a fellow Second City grad who also came equipped with a background in songwriting, said the show is both an homage and a parody of its source material.

"It’s been different, but it’s been a great challenge for everybody," Topping, 31, said.

The idea hit them while they were writing a web ad for another local production company, Topping said. What started as a one-off joke quickly snowballed.

"Werewolf beach party just seemed so funny and dumb and great at the same time, and we really had a lot of fun just spitballing ideas," Topping said.

The musical, which is about an hour and a half long, follows lead character Sandy and her friends as they try to survive werewolf attacks and keep their friendship and youth alive at the same time.

Because not everyone in the group can sing, Othic said they brought on Chicago actors who could belt out the tunes in all their camp glory. One song, for example, sports the title "Beach Beach (Yeah, Go to the Beach.)"

But for all its kitchy jokes, Topping said the show's themes are ones audiences can connect to.

"There's something universal about growing up and trying to have fun when the reality of life starts to creep in," Topping said. "I think it will appeal to a lot of people."

"Attack at Bikini Werewolf Beach: Part 2" runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. from Friday, May 2 until Sunday, May 25 at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets are $15 and available online or by calling the box office at 773-360-7330.