Laughing at disaster

The cast of Laguna's No Square Theatre was rehearsing for Jerry Herman's 1966 Broadway musical, "Mame," when the town was suddenly engulfed in water and mud in the torrential December storms.

"We decided that the town doesn't need 'Mame' right now," said No Square founder Bree Burgess Rosen. "What we need is a rebuttal to wet, cold and alone."

And so "Mame" became "Maimed: A Benefit for the Wet and Muddy," a brilliant and hilarious musical variety show that will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Artists' Theatre, to entertain the community in exchange for donations for Laguna's flood victims.

"All ticket sales will go to an artists' relief fund at the Laguna Relief and Resource Coalition," Rosen said.

Rosen and her crew — including fellow No Square veterans Roxana Ward, Diva Bree and Rob Harryman — will perform "everything from country western to Broadway to synchronized swimming with the City Council" in a collection of 21 song parodies of old-time favorites as well as originals written by cast members.

Audiences will get a kick out of the cast tap dancing, shoveling and mopping to songs like "Get a Sandbag," a parody of Pat Ballards' "Mr. Sandman" and "Hard Hat, Wet Vac and Pails," which illustrates the dirty work of the flood clean-up.

Light-hearted as it may be, you'll still be moved by Harryman's untitled number about watching the tragedy of the flood unfold on national television early in the morning, only to realize that it was happening in his very own neighborhood, or a tribute song to those who had to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night in their pajamas.

"We know the solution to this problem is bigger than we can hope to find in a single show, but we also know we must do something. If we all do a little something, it adds up to a big something," Rosen said. "As a group of entertainers, our part is to put on a great show for the community. Want to laugh out loud and know you're part of the solution? See you at the theater this weekend."

If You Go

Who: No Square Theatre

What: "Maimed: A Benefit for the Wet and Muddy"

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: The Artists' Theatre, 625 Park Ave., Laguna Beach

Info: Tickets are $20 if purchased at; $25 at the door. All proceeds benefit Laguna's flood victims.

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