From Cannibal! the Musical! to Evil Dead, Avenue 10 gives Amarillo something to scream about
By Nikki Larkan
In the summer of 2008, four bold individuals teamed up to open the doors of something a little off the wall and completely new to Amarillo.
Avenue 10, a theater prepared to stage shows never before seen in the Texas Panhandle, was started by Chris and Lorie Palkow and David and Jessica Burton.
“We do the shows people are afraid to do,” said Brendan Ambers, an actor and director with the company. “Avenue 10 is not for everybody.”
The theater is located at 616 S. Harrison St.
“We do plays, we have raves and we are open to anybody that wants to perform,” said Dani Oberbrockling, an actor and district director.
All actors are volunteers and have opportunities to learn all the production roles. Anyone can audition.
Ambers said Avenue 10 offers resume building for would-be performers. “We have people that aspire to do bigger things,” he said.
The production season is planned with the college-age crowd in mind, Ambers said.
Past productions include Medea, Spike Heels, RENT and Reefer Madness: the Musical.
Seeking a larger fan base, directors are working with distributors to bring in more mainstream plays.
“We’re trying to get The Human Centipede brought to Amarillo,” Oberbrockling said.
The current production, Cannibal! the Musical, opened Friday and will run through Oct. 1.
The musical, written by South Park co-creator Trey Parker, is set in the 1870s and based on the life of Alferd Packer, the first American convicted of cannibalism.
“It’s pure comedy that happens to be a musical,” said cast member Lars Maurseth.
“It’s very campy,” Ambers said. “Not necessarily gory, but it’s definitely an 18-and-up show.”
Avenue 10’s next production, Evil Dead: the Musical, is scheduled to be on stage Oct. 14 through Nov. 5.
Performances normally are on Fridays and Saturdays only, but on Sunday, Oct. 30, the theater will feature a costume contest and special premier of Evil Dead.
“It should be lots and lots of fun,” Oberbrockling said. “We have theater people who are going to be doing crazy stuff.
“Don’t complain that Amarillo is boring and there’s nothing to do. Check our theater out.”
With room for only 50 to 75 audience members, seating is limited, and ticket reservations are highly recommended.
Originally published: Thursday, September 15, 2011