Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Musical Odyssey, Part Three by Greg Dziawer

Peter Gooch as Ed Wood in Hubcaps Afire Over Hollywood.

In the lightning-in-a-bottle moment surrounding the release of director Tim Burton's biopic Ed Wood in 1994, a veritable cottage industry of Wood-related works emerged. Though receiving universal critical praise, the film tanked at the box office and its namesake faded back into the cult infamy from which he had briefly emerged into mainstream pop culture.

A forgotten footnote today, leaving behind little in the public record, was the stage musical Hubcaps Afire Over Hollywood. Its initial run in Fort Worth, TX ran concurrently to the release of Burton's film in October 1994. After a brief second run in early 1995, the play all but disappeared. Here's Perry Stewart's review of that staging from the October 11, 1994 edition of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Some kind words about Hubcaps Afire.

Playwright Peter Gooch and composer Little Jack Melody collaborated on a clutch of plays that were staged at the Hip Pocket Theater during that time frame. Stewart's review supplies what is perhaps the most detailed publicly extant account of Hubcaps. You can glean a few additional details about Gooch, Melody and the Hip Pocket Theater here.

As for the Hollywood biopic Ed Wood, it would take on a new life on video after its failed theatrical run, ironically becoming something of a cult film itself. It continues to age like proverbial fine wine, firmly ensconced these days near the top or at the very top of internet ranking lists of films directed by Tim Burton.

What the future holds for the legacy of Ed Wood the man remains unknown, in the future.

Will lightning strike twice?