Kelly Hughes and Seattle’s Heart Attack Theatre

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In the early ’90s when grunge was taking hold of American teens and Twin Peaks was airing on TV, Kelly Hughes was creating his own piece of lo-fi strangeness with  Seattle’s Heart Attack Theatre, a home-made, no-holds-barred trash soap opera which aired on Public Access TV. This was a show where addiction, betrayal, death and sordid love affairs all came together in an over-the-top, over-acted, charity shop-costumed melodrama. In these episodes, anything could happen and it usually did, often with a supernatural twist. Characters became possessed by demons, addicted to drugs, driven by a desire for revenge, and even cursed. Emotions were expressed by manic screaming, shouting or laughter, if possible all three at the same time.
Heart Attack Theatre debuted in May of 1991. The whole Seattle grunge rock scene was starting to explode. But I was working a shitty day job. And in the previous two years I had written and directed two musicals for the Playwright’s Festival at Seattle’s New City Theater. That was my main creative outlet at the time. The first piece was called Lucky Charm: A Musical. And that later became the name that I produced Heart Attack Theatre under–Lucky Charm Studio.”
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