Las Vegas artist develops “Tiger King” musical parody
Enoch Augustus Scott is the star of “Zombie” who is the forever life of the party. But the frontman of the city’s preeminent undead musical, “Zombie Burlesque,” is much more than that.
Scott is developing a parody of the Netflix series “The Tiger King”, taking on the delightful lead role of protagonist Joe Exotic. The sequel, “Tiger King 2” premiered this month, sending the saga “The Tiger King” back to the popular lexicon.
The Vegas musical, which does not yet have an official title, is bound for Theater V of the Miracle Mile stores at Planet Hollywood Resort, which is also home to “Zombie Burlesque.” The premiere should take place the first week of January.
The owner of the theater, David Saxe, supports the project and, with Scott, co-directs it.
The script has Exotic (real name Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage) escaping federal prison and rushing to Vegas. Did we say escape? “Self-published” is what Scott calls it. He says the awkward reality of Exotic’s battle with cancer while incarcerated shouldn’t restrict his creative idea.
More of our chat in Luxor sports betting, the site chosen simply because we were both in the neighborhood:
Johnny Kats: Tell me why you’re chasing a parody on “The Tiger King”. Why is this show compulsory?
Enoch Auguste Scott: When I first saw Joe Exotic something happened. I just figured it out. We are not that far apart in age. I can empathize with a gay man who grew up in Oklahoma, with a toxic, masculine dad and surrounded by all that toxic masculinity. Fortunately, I did not have exactly the same experience. But who knows what Joe Exotic would have been if someone had told him at some point “I love you” when he was younger? He might have turned out very differently, and not this guy who ultimately derailed.
Joe Exotic has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Is this a complication for the show?
I have full confidence in this guy’s resilience, his ability to survive.
Do you see him as a tragic character?
I do, now, yeah. I mean, my heart breaks for any gay man who comes from a culture where he couldn’t be accepted.
OK, I know how you portray and can portray a character on stage. How are you going to balance your true feelings for Joe Exotic with some comedic satire in Las Vegas?
I really try to understand him as a complete creature and then focus on the right things. I want to have fun. That’s why I go on stage, to have a good time, especially in Las Vegas. And trying to get him back and focus on his part of a folk hero, which people identified with in the first place.
An honest portrait, but satirically exaggerated?
Yes, we can all laugh and have a good time with an honest message. Every project, from “Zombie” to Pixar, must have emotional truth. In “Zombie,” we laugh, but we have a moment where it’s real, where there’s a truth to how we treat each other. There must be some emotion to any work of art. I don’t care if it’s “Zombie” or Carrot Top or David Copperfield, whatever, you come out of it feeling that you know what this series means.
You picked Penny Wiggins, who played Psychic Tanya on The Amazing Johnathan for years, as Carole Baskin. You must be feeling lucky enough.
The fact that Penny texted me was unexpected. I didn’t even think about her, really. She was just outside of my thought process. And she said “Hey, if you need a Carole,” then she sent me stuff. I was like, “Of course! Of course!” I was like, “(Expletive) yeah!” I told David about it and he agreed. He is such a fan of her.
You’re already on a hit show with “Zombie”, which just returned. How are you going to manage your schedule?
The plan is to do both. I mean, this is my plan. It has been my dream. This is what I sang to Buddha. You know, I work an hour and a half a day. It’s not enough work, okay? I need more!
John Katsilometes column is published daily in section A. His “PodKats! Podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at [email protected] To follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @ JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.