Vivian Vance Alive And Well Running Chinese Take-Out – Galatians 5:12

By Ernest Kearney – There’s nothing like “Adventures in John Wuchte’s brain” to guarantee a toe-tapping good time in the theater.  Wuchte has staked out the Hollywood Fringe as his musical bailiwick with shows like Housewife ’52 and Scarlett Fever. This year he’s offering up two shows, 1972 and Vivian Vance Alive and Well Running Chinese Take-out

Now generally, with Wuchte and his Kick Boom Theater, you can count on slick productions with sharp, audience-pleasing show numbers.  Haven’t seen 1972 yet, but Vivian, etc….  “Slick?”  Check.  “Sharp?”  Double check.  “Audience pleasing…?”  Well, that’s gonna depend on the audience.       

Wuchte’s shows have tackled very specific aspects of the American Mythos: social roles and sexual bias, the lure and enigma of stardom.  With Vivian, he has definitely raised the stakes. 

Now, when the masses were ignorant (let’s say “ignoranter,”) religion provided them simple explanations and rules.  “You’re bad because great-grandmother ate fruit, God wants you to obey kings and priests, when you die you go to Cloud-Disneyland and play the harp for eternity.”   

This story worked until Diderot, Gutenberg and Freud screwed the pooch.  Fortunately, for the rich and powerful, mankind is happiest in a herd and being told what to do.  So, television arrives with the new trinity of prime-time gods, Nielsen’s pulpit and Paley’s moneychangers.

They say the “revolution won’t be televised,” but will the Second Coming?  While it seems Wuchte is pondering this in Vivian; I don’t think he’s decided if it’ll be fake news or a rating’s blockbuster.  

Maybe audiences won’t either, and I’m certainly not claiming to.  There are only two things you can be sure of in this world, taxes and that Vivian Vance Alive and Well Running Chinese Take-out is canonical Fringe.  


Vivian Vance Alive And Well Running Chinese Take-Out

Playing During The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024


The Broadwater (Main Stage)

1076 Lillian Way


Thursday June 13 2024, 9:00 PM | 90 mins
Sunday June 16 2024, 12:30 PM | 90 mins
Wednesday June 19 2024, 6:00 PM | 90 mins


Ernest Kearney - author

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 and Follow him on Facebook.

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