Who were the poor wretches involved in the 1979 production? Apart from a few individuals, we know virtually nothing about them. We've isolated still photos from the rehearsal footage and assembled what information we have on them. If you know of anyone who was a member of the original cast or crew, we want to talk to you.
By cross-referencing the Press Release with the archival footage, we can confidently identify this actor as Mr. Joseph Edouard Bacon. Bacon was a Los Angeles actor with a varied television career. In addition to countless commercials, he appeared occasionally as Dirk Chamberlain, a young gastroenterologist, on the soap The Guiding Light 1961-63. He also appeared in numerous theatrical productions in the region. Mr. Bacon was unavailable for an interview, having passed away in 1991. Apparently he fell upon hard times and died of exposure in West Hollywood.
This little fellow appears to be six or seven years old, making him currently 46 or 47. His only involvement as far as we know is in the Dance of the Deep Ones. We think there's a chance that he is the son of one of the actresses. Footage shows him near both "Vinny" and "Feathered". We would love to find more information on this young man. It's possible that he was not actually a cast member, but simply allowed to join in rehearsal on the day the filming took place.
This woman appears to have a painful headache during the "Tentacles" number, or maybe she's just having trouble reading the sheet music. Despite any difficulties she may have experienced, it seems clear she was proud of her involvement in the production, judging from the great care she takes in taping styrofoam eyeballs onto a Hefty bag to make a Deep One costume.
We have Richard's name because it's prominently featured in the press release, which credits him with having won a "Drama Desk Award". Strangely, we have not been able to find a record of anyone with his name winning a Drama Desk Award in Los Angeles. Perhaps he won the award under another professional name, and used a psuedonym in this production. It's also possible he "padded" his resume. We have not been able to locate Mr. Omalamey or anyone who knows him. "DarkGoat" of Gainsville, FL sent us the following note: "There's a guy who teaches musical theatre here at the university. He looks like an old version of this guy but his name is Richard Brietenbach".
We refer to this woman as the "Head Cultist" because she leads the other cultists musically in the "Tentacles" number. She sticks out among the other cast members as she is obviously trained in musical theatre and sings and dances better than nearly everyone in the cast. Her bright, crisp steps are sadly out of place in the otherwise dismal shuffling exhibited in the Deep One Dance.
Distinctive for her perfectly feathered hair and her delicate hands, this young woman is among the better dancers in the cast. She is particularly snappy as a tree in the Dream Ballet sequence. She sings "Tentacles" with the victims, and it's possible she was cast as one of Armitage's daughters, although whether she played Prudence, Asenath, or Jill is impossible to say. She can be seen leading the little Boy in the dance of the Deep Ones, and it's possible that she's his mother.
This dashing and charismatic young man is among the better singers in the cast. He also displays a certain athleticism as he lifts Vinny Whately on his shoulders in the "Dream Ballet" sequence. It is hard to tell whether he causes her to lose her balance, or the other way around.
We know nothing about this young woman. She seems very inexperienced and clearly demonstrates that she has not been formally trained as a singer. One of the most horrifying moments in the rehearsal footage is her severely wrong note at the end of the Victims' verse in the "Tentacles" number.
We don't know what character this actor portrayed in the show, but we suspect he had a major role due to his participation in creative discussions with the director. He sings with the Victims in the "Tentacles" number, suggesting that perhaps he played Randolph Carter or Herbert West. It is unknown if he planned to shave his abundant sideburns for the performance or not. He seems to have had more familiarity with the works of Lovecraft than other members of the cast, and is seen in the unedited rehearsal footage giving Armitage advice on the correct pronunciation of the word "Shoggoth."
Unlike almost everyone else involved in this production, Mr. Sarandon has subsequently enjoyed a successful show business career. He is well known to Lovecraftian film fans for his wonderful dual portrayal of Charles Dexter Ward & Joseph Curwen in The Resurrected, and for his performance as vampire Jerry Dandridge in Fright Night. Perhaps most curiously, in the 1976 film Lipstick, Mr. Sarandon played a character named "Gordon Stuart." Is it just a coincidence that ASOTR was produced by someone called S. L. Gordon? Are there secret ties between Chris Sarandon and famed Lovecraftian producer/director Stuart Gordon (who denies having had anything to do with ASOTR)? Or does the mysterious S. L. Gordon somehow play a part in Chris Sarandon's career success?
Tan Shirt seems to be a friend of Yellow Stripes, and is seen with her badmouthing the production in the unedited rehearsal footage. He sings "Tentacles" with the cultists, and we suspect he may have been cast in the role of Wilbur Whateley. "LizbethNYC" writes to say: "I toured Canada with Up With People in the mid-'70s, and I worked with a guy who looked exactly like this. His name was Mitchell something."
Early-on in our analysis, we noted that this fellow looks somewhat like Ted Kaczynski in his pre-Unabomber years. Despite tremendous expenditure of time and effort in this area of research, we don't believe it's him. "Ted" does seem oddly quiet and sullen for a member of a musical theatre ensemble. This Dunwich-esque reclusiveness does add a certain Lovecraftian element to the production. We think he might some how be involved with Brown Coat as they are often seen together.
This actress fills an important niche in our understanding of the stage production. Lavinia Whately returns from the grave to haunt Armitage in the "Dream Ballet" sequence. We (again) don't know who she is. It's hard to tell if she's a professional actress, as she's fighting not to fall off someone's shoulders in her big scene. There's a chance she may be the Boy's mother. A viewer has noted she looks a little like Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie.
This young woman doesn't seem to have enjoyed her participation in ASOTR. She can be seen in the unedited rehearsal footage having a hushed conversation with Tan Shirt in which they complain about the weak writing of the show and the director's poor handling of the material. "This isn't Lovecraft," Yellow Stripes says vehemently. Her bright yellow polyester slacks and boldly striped top suggest that perhaps she had a day job in a Burger King or some similar fast-food parlor, so maybe she brought a certain amount of bitterness with her to the theater.
Fortunately this individual (like most of the Deep Ones) can carry a tune. His dancing skills leave something to be desired, however. Some of his comments to the camera man could be characterized as pretentious and psuedo-intellectual. He has the slightest hint of a southern drawl.
Named in the press release, Cromer was a visionary, if controversial, director with a string of avant garde and experimental off-off-Broadway shows to his credit. In addition to classics such as Ionesco's The Bald Soprano and Jarry's Ubu Roi, Cromer staged an all-nude Our Town in which actual meat was cooked on stage during the last act, and an acclaimed production of Tamburlaine performed entirely as if by Klingons.
The press release identifies the musical director of the show as noted Norwegian pianist Kristtorn Läng. She achieved some fame in Scandinavia in the 1970s as a singer/songwriter, with hits such as "La lyset være på" and "Panikkanfall". After one of her songs was included in the soundtrack for the Danish film Tandlæge på Sengekanten (Bedside Dentist) she moved to Hollywood in search of more movie work.
This unidentified figure can be seen mirthlessly watching the rehearsal from various semi-hidden positions. He may have been the writer, someone's agent or manager, or he may have had some less benign interest in the proceedings. He steps in to stop the filming of the rehearsal at one point.