Adrienne Barbeau

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Horror Hotel: Valentine’s Day Edition

Published February 15, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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Love is slicing through the air today. Of course, romance was always in style for such classic Aaron Spelling shows as Fantasy Island and The Love Boat. These productions featured television names of the era and many faded silver screen legends making their way through a variety of romantic trials and tribulations. Hotel, another of the legendary producer’s creations, took these elements to a more dramatic height, focusing on such issues as rape, mental imbalance, racism, child abuse and (even) homosexuality.

Nhotel 4aturally, many performers known for their work in horror films, made their way down the glitzy corridors of Hotel, offering many sensory delights for true fans of terror. Significantly, the amazing Adrienne Barbeau tears through Tomorrows, the 14th episode of the show’s first season. In full on Billie-mode, she rips up the scenery as a well-to-do mother caught in the thrall of her drug dealer. There is nothing quite like the sight of Barbeau slamming cocaine in her arm or watching the snarly way she takes down her man once she realizes her son is in danger. Sadly, her son is played by the handsome and talented Timothy Patrick Murphy. Murphy, best known for his roles on soaps like Search for Tomorrow and Dallas, who died at the age of 29 due to complications from AIDS.hotel 5

Interestingly, the premiere season also featured an episode entitled Faith, Hope and Charity that concentrated on a lesbian playwright with the astonishingly hip name of Zane Elliott, sensitively played by Carol Lynley (Bunny Lake is Missing, The Night Stalker, Dark Tower). Coming out to her college friend, portrayed by the crisp and classy Barbara Parkins (The Mephisto Waltz, A Taste of Evil, Circle of Fear) proves to almost be disastrous for their relationship. Horrified by the revelation and even questioning her own sexuality, Parkins’ Eileen Weston enters into a loveless one night stand.  Of course, the two friends eventually reclaim their compassionate equilibrium, but not before Lynley gets a little (femme) action herself. (Her character, unapologetically, winds up sleeping with one of the establishment’s pert fitness instructors). Thankfully, these issues of prejudice and misunderstanding are actually addressed with an even handedness unusual for the early ‘80s (when the show was filmed) here. Nicely, the same episode features a jaunty turn from soap actress DeAnna Robbins. Robbins, best known to slasher fans for playing the seductive  Lisa in 1981’s Final Exam, nicely puts the screws here to co-star Scott Baio – a fate the notorious, scandal plagued Republican probably deserves in real life – as a rich kleptomaniac with daddy issues.   

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Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!




Adrienne Barbeau in Pippin

Published July 31, 2015 by biggayhorrorfan

Life as a circus act can have various connotations – for the better or worse.

Lately, though, no one is celebrating the joys of an unconventional existence better than the glorious Adrienne Barbeau. Barbeau, known to upscale terror connoisseurs as the eclectic face of such horror efforts as The Fog, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Two Evil Eyes and so many others, is currently touring the country in the colorfully effective revival tour of Pippin.

The Tony Award winning show follows the adventures of Pippin, a recently graduated scholar, who longs to have a life of importance and meaning. Seemingly performed by a Middle Ages style burlesque troupe, this traveling production features a bevy of professional circus performers in its cast, who all add breathtaking flair to the proceedings and who help make Barbeau’s main musical number a truly memorable one.

After his first disheartening attempt at transcendence, via his participation as a soldier in one of his king father’s wars, Pippin (a sweetly bumbling Sam Lips) goes to visit his grandmother, Berthe (Barbeau), for encouragement. As played by Barbeau, Berthe is saucy, but tender and she, fully and lovingly, connects with Lips’ bedraggled wanderer. With vibrant voice, Barbeau, also, brings playful and subtle force to Berthe’s creed and grand advice to Pippin, No Time at All.

Skillfully engaging with the audience throughout the song, which encourages everyone to live as though there were no tomorrow (because, indeed, there may be no tomorrow), Barbeau eventually truly amazes with some daring, high wire feats.

Ascending on a swing, center stage, Berthe/Barbeau flips around and under the floating apparatus with the aid of a flexible, bare chested fellow performer. It is simply a wonder to behold and proof positive that anything is possible if one puts a mind to it.

Most importantly, though, Barbeau, who began her career on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof and the original production of Grease, seems to be having an amazing time reconnecting with her roots. Pippin, which radiates with a darkly magical flair, also, seems to be a return of sorts to her work as Ruthie in Carnivale, one of her favored roles. These circumstances add up to make her the delicious heart of the production.

The Pippin touring schedule is available at

Barbeau, meanwhile, is reachable at and

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!