‘Spit Tunes,’ a local musical comedy, opens at Alice’s Tuesday

Sally Oberstein and Michael McKinney’s “Spit Tunes” musical comedy opens July 9 at 8 p.m. at Alice’s Champagne Palace.

The performances will run each Tuesday in July and are a preview event for Homer’s Alaska World Arts Festival, which will take place with a large variety of events in September.

The show was composed in 2019 and originally went into production in 2020 at the Homer Mariner Theatre with a cast of more than 40. The production coincided with the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. One evening during rehearsal, producer and current Homer mayor, Ken Castner, informed the cast that the school was closing and that they were going to have to change the date of performance, according to Oberstein.

Oberstein and McKinney spent last winter rewriting the script for a cast of nine, and four years later the local history comedy show is finally being performed.

The show tracks the general history of Homer and the characters who have made stories here — from Athabascan elders to Captain Cook to more locally well-known “heroes” such as Tom Bodette and the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” crew members.

The show is fast-paced, only lasts about an hour, and includes at least 80 costume changes for the performers. Alice’s will be providing a “Spit Tunes” special meal to accompany the show.

“It’s a fun show and the performers span in age from 12 to 72, so it’s family friendly,” Oberstein said.

Performers in the show include Ireland Styvar, Mike Selle, Corey Geysbeek, Jenni Medley, Rainey Sundheim, Michael McKinney, Freya Bartlett, Dayus Geysbeek and Sally Oberstein.

Oberstein and McKinney have provided several other of their self-composed productions to the community over the years, including “The Wizard of Odds”, “Brouhaha”, “Old Songs and Duct Tape”, “Reruns”, “Circus Auditions”, “Old Songs and Chapstick”, and “The 60’s Show.”

Oberstein said because the duo has been composing together for quite some time, they follow a bit of a formula for how they write the script.

“We have to figure out a problem and solution, just like in any other style of writing, but together we throw ideas back and forth. If one of us says, ‘No, I don’t like it’, we just we drop it. We both have to like everything we put in there,” Oberstein said.

Bobby Copeland-McKinney was responsible for costumes for the show and Judy Wynn provided the set design. Programs for Alaska World Arts Festival are now available at the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Land’s End.