Off the Record
Broken Clock Cabaret's Inside a Broken Clock: A Tom Waits Peepshow, which brings to life the beautiful and bizarre maladies of Waits and wife Kathleen Brennan's grave-diggers and showgirls through vaudevillian numbers and puppetry to the tune of the No Salvation Army Band, recently returned from a 16-member, five-date tour of the Bay Area. "It was off the charts in terms of ticket sales and response," says producer Rick McNulty. "It made me realize that this could actually be viable entertainment." The Peepshow was so successful, in fact, its storied subject, who is only mentioned once by name in the production, was inundated with phone calls from local press seeking comment. "He's an especially private man," says McNulty, who was forced to cancel part of the tour due to the press frenzy. "I don't think he was too amused with the idea." While the local production company has been granted permission from Waits' publishers to perform the songs, in order to continue doing so, they must send a copy of the production to both the publishers and the owners (Waits and Brennan) for approval. The Broken Clock Cabaret has since changed a few lines that could possibly be misconstrued and has been practicing around the clock for a private performance at the Off Center (2211 Hidalgo) Thursday, Aug. 23, which will be filmed by a professional sound and camera crew. "It's going to cost an arm and a leg, and we've never broken even on one of these productions before," cries McNulty, who would rather retire the piece than hire an entertainment lawyer to look into the matter. "My biggest fear is spurring the wrath of Tom. It's horrifying to think of upsetting him."