MURRAY â€” When writer Ben Millet and Desert Star Playhouse owner Mike Todd heard a new RoboCop movie was in the works, they decided it was time for a parody version for their stage.
Hence, "ProvoCop: Mission Field Tested. Eagle Scout Approved," a parody of "RoboCop" with a very local connection, was created.
"As always, our central goal is to make people laugh," said director Scott Holman. "Every doctor will tell you that laughter is, in fact, a great medicine, and we aim to be your pharmacy."
Holman said he and assistant director Mary Parker-Williams also make sure they include relevant ideas, trends, comic takes and events into every script and commentary.
The result is often a rollicking, slightly outrageous event.
"We try very hard to do it in a way that is not offensive, or at least that shows both sides of an issue," he added.
In their new story of crime in Provo, Rick Miller and Ed Farnsworth alternate playing Officer Steve Awesome/ProvoCop.
Daniel Larrinage and Matt O'Malley play the devious villian, Big Luau. (O'Malley also plays the role of Commissioner Gorton, alternating with Danny Eggers.)
Joseph Branca and Jason West play Professor Brainiac. Tyrus Williams and Todd Thompson play the role of Wrench, the villain's henchman.
Marissa Poole and Sara McDonald play Thelma, with Aubrey Vance and Pamela Beheshti as Officer Danielle Muggs.
Ashley Haslem, Samantha Isom and Cheyenne Sheldon share the role of the beautiful librarian, Sheri Lynn Wilkinson-Marriott.
The story revolves around Officer Awesome and Officer Muggs, who are fighting the sale of caffeinated drinks, which have been banned in Provo.
Big Luau is addicted and sees an opportunity to make money off others who have become addicted or who can be persuaded to drink caffeine.
An unfortunate accident with hot coffee leaves Officer Awesome scalded and puts him into the hands of BYU's Professor Brainiac. Brainiac then creates an officer with greater abilities than before.
Awesome and his fellow officer then proceed to discover the Tiki Club nightclub/dry cleaner operation, and everyone is arrested.Comment on this story
"There's running and chasing and singing and dancing, kidnapping and rescuing," Parker-Williams said. "It's right versus wrong, good versus evil, and we might as well throw a dash of love in the air."
Parker-Williams said it's grand fun to create something silly around what seems to be a public interest.
If you go ...
What: "ProvoCop: Mission Field Tested. Eagle Scout Approved"
Where: Desert Star Playhouse, 4861 S. State, Murray
When: March 27-June 7 (Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m., Friday at 6 and 8:30 p.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.)
Tickets: $18.95 adults, $10.95 children (11 and under), 801-266-2600
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.