“Coasterthon Catastrophe” A Bucketful of Musical Looniness

By Ernest Kearney  —  Coasterthon Catastrophe: An Amusement Park Musical is a rough, dopey, kinda silly, rather tuneful, utterly frantic, sorta fun, 45 minute songfest about a pair of pals left hanging, upside down, at a major amusement park when their roller coaster breaks down.

Performer, Spencer Frankeberger (“Coasterthon Catastrophe” Book/Music & Lyrics)

At the center of this lyrical tempest in search of a teapot is Spencer Frankeberger.  If you don’t think you’ve met Spencer at the Fringe – well you’re wrong, you have.   Spencer is a presence at the Fringe, oh yeah.

Now the show, featuring himself with Dave Penner and Benny Sully, as a cast of thousands, is a merry mess with catchy melodies.  It needs polishing, needs structuring and needs a director directing. Still, Spencer has some solid musical chops and he and his cohorts are engaging.

I’d give this show a Silver Medal if I were in a generous frame of mind – a “real” generous frame of mind.  Instead, I’m pinning it with a Gold Medal. And, I’ll tell you why.

Spencer is always putting himself out there.

At the office hours, he works the rooms like this Looney Tune character drawn by Jackson Pollack; conversing and connecting with one and all.

He sees a stack of shows in support of his fellow Fringers, and on top of that, whenever he can, he’ll offer himself up to work box office or clear stages between shows.   Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Spencer is getting this GOLD MEDAL, and deserves it, because he represents what is best in Hollywood Fringe; he embodies its essence and exemplifies its strength.

Spencer creates community.

If that’s not worthy of a GOLD MEDAL, then what is?


♦     ♦     ♦



Coasterthon Catastrophe:
An Amusement Park Musical


Chosen for a Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018 Extension


Final Performance

Sunday July 08 2018, 7:00 pm


Studio C

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.



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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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