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In what appears to be her last show, a burned-out sketch comedy writer/director shares a behind-the-scenes look at the “mounting and sustaining” of “Orange is the New Orange”; a sketch comedy show that skates on the edge of disaster. It’s a look at what could go wrong—what did go wrong.
In this 90-minute mockumentary, Orange County Crazies founder, Cherie Kerr, finds herself in the middle of the most stressful production of her 40-year comedy career. The 90-minute feature starts with the first table read and takes the audience to the final curtain–the last night of the show’s run. And, through every calamity along the way.
The bulk of the show centers around five beefy sketches featuring the five women who are incarcerated (in the RHOC: Real Housewives of Orange County, Prison) for crimes of “Fashion.” One for wearing white after Labor Day; Another for wearing a “Volex” on the same wrist with her “Mapple Watch” (to the boat parade); another for wearing a knock-off Murbarry bag to a theater and for buying a pair of “Ten West shoes at the Goodthrift.” Another does time for wearing a red suit during her political concession speech; and finally, one for wearing plaid with stripes.
After being cast, the first group of “prisoner” cast members—those chosen to play the five “Rich Housewives of Orange County”—begin to run lines. None are very good actors. Even after three rehearsals the group never jells; they never get completely off-book; though they were instructed to. During what would be their final rehearsal that lasted 16 hours, the work-out builds in tension and culminates in an angry attack: one actor against the other. Director Kerr, who plays her own part, finally calls it a day. She instructs this contentious cast to get some rest and relaxation before returning for what is yet to be the next scheduled rehearsal.
Monica, Marilyn, Bonnie, Bridget and Greta, expect to hear from Kerr, but the only one Kerr decides to notify is Greta, the actor playing the part of Mimi, the prison’s cook.
Mounting rehearsals with a whole new cast of “Housewives,” Greta reports in for that group’s first rehearsal only to tell Kerr she is unable to do the show. Already behind the production’s timetable, Kerr assigns Greta’s part to one of the male actors in the show. Monica continues to call Kerr, hoping to return to OITNO cast
We see onstage faux pas and backstage chaos.
Six performances were scheduled—each of them the last weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) over three months. The entire run ran into nail-biting challenges one of which was the parade of tech directors, none of whom could nail the cues; some who didn’t last through rehearsals.
The story ends with Kerr’s commentary in a monologue announcing that she is quitting her four-decade sketch comedy career.
Really? Is she?
We've Got Balls is a quirky, family-friendly comedy that offers a good many laughs as it imparts a tender and important social message. The film's premise centers around the concept that what may mean nothing to one person may mean everything to somebody else. It keys in on the proverbial David and Goliath scenario when a filthy-rich land developer, Vivian Brechner, decides not to renew the land lease on a bowling alley in a small town, so that together with a local avaricious tribal Indian chief, she can tear it down to make way for a gambling casino.
But what happens when the 52 people in Fountain Springs learn that Fountain Bowl — the “only thing they've got” — is teetering on the brink of destruction? Their community lifestyle, as they have known it, is about to come to an abrupt and tragic end.
When the townsfolk get word of it in the Fountain Spray newspaper, suddenly all hell breaks loose!! Herman Pritzloff, who inherited the bowling alley from his late father (and runs the establishment with his inept twin sons, Irwin and Simon) is faced with having to raise nearly $500,000 to exercise his first right of refusal to buy the land on which the bowling alley sits once the 25-year lease expires. While he intends to save it, he can only secure a loan for half of the needed funds.
When Brechner's son, Alexander, is sent to face Fountain Springs’ Mayor Dawson Dinwitty, and city councilman George Pandick (who also serves as the alley’s bowling instructor), we learn that both the mayor and the city council will have to vote in favor of the demo for it to go forward. So, what happens when greed gets the better of the mayor? We see Dinwitty play both ends against the middle, outwardly supporting the town, while allowing Vivian Brechner to wine, dine and golf him to win his vote.
The situation takes a critical turn when Irwin and Simon Pritzloff soon befriend Vivian’s son, Alexander Brechner, who is sent to act as her intermediary with the “city government.” The twins get drunk with Alexander in the bowling alley's lounge, and before the night is out, the bet is on: They entice Alexander into a deal in which they agree to bowl against him and his well-to-do Newport Beach buddies in Fountain Bowl's annual “Over the Shoulder, Under the Arm,” tournament for a sum of $250,000. If Brechner loses he has to pony up the money which will allow the Pritzloffs to buy the land on which Fountain Bowl sits. If the twins lose...well they have nothing to lose.
It's a two-out-of-three day contest. Anyone can win. The townspeople are all in: Craig Cramer, the lounge's Karaoke singer (and alley maintenance man); standup comic, Chris Haig; attorney, Saul Sandowitz; notary public, Charlie Pratt; bartender, Fred Kincaid; Tinker Belle (the youngest of all who Pandick says is too small to bowl in the tourney); and also “Big Bowling Paul,” whose girth nearly spreads across an entire bowling lane.
Fate begins to move in a new direction when Tyrone, one of the demolition workers slated to destroy the bowling alley, shows up to check out the building. Inside, he catches Karaoke wanna-be Craig Cramer in the act of taking on his first rap song. A friendship is forged which changes the game on night three of the tourney when Tyrone and his pals step in on the town’s side.
And then of course there is a twist with Craig Cramer's dog, Leonard: Was he the last to see the contract between Alexander the twins?
And let's not forget Grandma Jean, Tink's caregiver, who home-schools Tink and a few other local children: Her secret 'garden' changes the game entirely.
And to complicate matters even further there is the beautiful young gal at the front desk, Melanie. Alexander is smitten with her, but then...so is George Pandick and the Pritzloff twins.
How could the fate of something as simple and innocent as a bowling alley get so complicated? Well, it just does. The story gets messy, tense, suspenseful and, at the same time, funny. And, the finale? It won't surprise you, it will shock you! In the end, we learn who will win, who will loose, and who's got balls!!
What happens when an over-burdened sketch comedy director and two of her key actors learn the show they were doing, “Orange is the New Orange,” was being taped by a disgruntled sound booth technician during the show’s disastrous run? Just because he walked out 90-minutes before opening night curtain doesn’t mean he took all his gear with him. When the burned-out sketch comedy director begins another tortious production, “Orange Little Lies,” a show equally ill-fated as that of “Orange is the New Orange,” and she calls it off—she fires her three main actresses—she learns that the taping was for surveillance purposes. The obstinate tech, Bernie, makes a deal with Cassie, one of the director’s actresses, to secure the tape in exchange for eventually making a “reel” of her acting work on stage—a package she can present to those in the entertainment industry that she assumes will make her a star. Bernie wants the raw footage—the surveillance tape back. Why? He plans to sue the director, the theater, and everyone else involved in the production for what he claims was abuse.
When the fed-up director releases three of the female actors from “Orange Little Lies,” Cassie, one of them, tells the director she needs to go backstage for “something” before she leaves. The director points to the exit. It is in the opposite direction. Cassie won’t say what she is “getting.” Soon, the other two female leads spill the beans. “Tell her, Cassie,” they say. “Just tell her.” The Director’s male leads in “Orange Little Lies,” also want to know. Finally, Cassie confesses, “I did something for Bernie in the costume closet andthe director’s good buddies and the three just-released actresses head for the backstage area in a near stampede, they soon discover the costume closet is locked. No one has access except Ralph, the theater manager and he isn’t about let any of the quarreling dozen into the room. Afterall, it’s two minutes beyond his daily routine of locking up.
They return the next morning. Soon, Ralph opens the costume closet door for the dozen. They scramble to grab the equipment. They literally engage in a tug ‘o war. The director and her team of two suddenly have possession of a computer and hard drive; what Bernie left behind. They think they’ve solved the problem only to learn that Cassie has a password and without it, the director and her cohorts can’t access the footage. She and the guys excuse themselves to confer. A brainstorm: They decide to offer to negotiate with Cassie and her cohorts, Estella and Greta, because they realize they can make good use of the footage. Mitch, Maynard and Cherie are all in for making a documentary about the faulty production, “Orange is the New Orange.”
Once they finish their documentary what will they do with it? Another brainstorm: Take it to as many independent film festivals as they can get accepted into and segue from their pathetic stage work in a black-box theater to a fledgling and profitable film career—all three of them.
Cassie demands a meeting, saying she must first speak to her “talent manager” prior to their “negotiation” session.
They meet the following afternoon. Her demands are simple requests she says, but challenging to Mitch, Maynard and Cherie. They listen. Cassie wants: Close up of herself on camera talking to the viewer of the documentary—stating what she thought and felt at the time; she wants to attend all film festivals they get the documentary into; she demands to be in the editing bay and have a say in the “cuts”; and she also wants a spiritual advisor. Most of all, she wants a promise that the three will hook her up with a celebrity at a film festival. An older, distinguished, and well-to-do celeb fellow—one with a moustache, Cassie demands.
The three balk at what they deem to be her unreasonable demands. Mid-meeting, Cassie insists on getting her talent manager on a video conference call. Mitch, Maynard and Cherie acquiesce. The hotshot turns out to be Kyle Jennings, a subsequent sound booth technician whom Cherie fired after he messed up the sketch show, “Orange is the New Orange.” He’s as snarky as Bernie. In no uncertain terms, he demands that the desperate trio meet her demands or no access to the tape. In other words: no password.
The frantic team excuse themselves to huddle in the hallway. Maynard, adept at impersonations of celebrities, tries out a few on Mitch and Cherie. Most of his impressions are those of dead people. They must hurry. They decide that Maynard will work up someone they can pretend to hook her up with and they bolt back into the meeting. Kyle is waiting online; Cassie is feeling powerful, but impatient. Cherie, Mitch and Maynard are desperate and agree to the requests from Kyle and Cassie.
There are several editing sessions with Fletcher who is hen-pecked and harassed by the three ladies and the two guys and Cherie. Fletcher falls for Cassie. Cassie will do “Fletcher” a favor just like she did Bernie, to get Fletcher to crop in on her with some penetrating closeups—ones that she hopes a Hollywood mogul will notice and sign her.
The cut is done.
Mitch, Maynard and Cherie sit in the theater seats with Fletcher to make some decisions about the completed documentary.
An unsuspecting Ralph, the theater manager, interrupts to scoot them out. He drops a line about a production scheduled to come into the theater “in ten” and tells the meeting attendees to vacate the theater area so he can usher in the production group. “If you don’t leave,” Ralph states, “the show can’t go on.” Without knowing it, Ralph just solved a problem being addressed in the meeting between Maynard, Mitch, Cherie and Fletcher: What to name their documentary. Boom! “That’s it,” Cherie says, “Let’s call it, ‘The Show Can’t Go On!’”
Mitch, Maynard, and Cherie begin to study the film festival circuit. They take a suggestion from Fletcher and that is to post the “SCGO” film on Movie Drive-bywhere they can track film festivals and enter the ones they think apply. The problem is that Mitch wants the threesome to enter them all; hedge their bets. They soon learn there are more than 9000 indie film festivals and the cost to enter all of them would rack up a minimum of $320, 000 in fees.
They find a dozen or so and enter. They check the status, regularly. They get rejected.
Then suddenly, the Matricher Falls 3rd Annual Internationel Film Festival welcomes them with a warm “Official Selection” notice.
The three are ecstatic! Cassie too, as are Estella and Greta, who ultimately tag along with Fletcher to travel to Matricher Falls, a town where according to the mayor, “The people come for the festival, but stay for the gravy.” It’s a town steeped in a variety of gravies and a tradition dating back to the Mayflower, the ship that made its way to Plymouth Rock in 1620.
Their entry fee was only $40, but the “options” they add on, wrack up another $3000.
The arrive. They encounter one problem after another. All six of the “actors” are nominated for “best this” and “best that.”
No one wins. Everyone’s dejected. Estella throws a profane fit after learning of her loss for best actress.
The group is further frustrated when they also run into Ralph, who unbeknown to the others is nominated for his work as side gig animal trainer for films. The MDIFF has partnered with the ATM, the “Animal Trainers for Movies International Film Festival. He’s trained a fish named Rosco. He trains this blowfish. It whistles along to a Venetian waltz while swimming elegantly in a tank of water.
Ralph doesn’t win either but does his best to network.
The Rap group, Mumble Gang, Wins though. Big. They take the MF Ladle Award for Best Original Song: “Envy you, Envy me” from that great film, “How Green is my Envy.”
The coveted Grand Jury Ladle Prize goes to a budding filmmaker, Matthew Derby for “What?”
So, what happens to the SCGO contingent when the festival is over?
Does Cherie give up on her entire comedy career…again? Does Cassie hook up with her older, sugar daddy celeb? What happens to Mitch and Maynard? The others? Is the documentary a complete bust?
Well, the ending is as twisted as the festival experience.