John Driscoll’s new play pokes fun at TV |

John Driscoll’s new play pokes fun at TV

When John Driscoll recently finished “Tumbleweed TV,” a musical comedy that debuts Friday at Nevada City’s Off Broadstreet Theatre, he had no idea that there was a movie, “The Day After Tomorrow,” which would soon be in movie theaters across the country.

Like the smash movie, “Tumbleweed TV” has a plot which relies on extreme bad weather – in this case, the worst rain storm in a 100 years that descends on a high desert town in Southern California.

All Driscoll wanted to do was write a spoof on TV.

“I wanted to explore the whole craziness of TV, and I wanted to spoof popular TV shows,” the Nevada City playwright explained.

A sequel to Driscoll’s 1998’s “Heartland Radio,” “Tumbleweed TV” pokes fun at television talk shows, cooking shows, doctor’s shows, soap operas, small-town news and advertising.

“It’s the same characters from before but a different story that takes place five years later,” Driscoll said. “You don’t have to have seen ‘Heartland Radio’ to see this one. What’s always difficult about a sequel is avoiding a rehash. You always want fresh material and to have it stand on its own.”

Set in Boron, the “heartland” of the high desert, “Tumbleweed TV” chronicles the latest misadventures of the “pirate” KBOR-radio station operators as they launch a new “pirate” community access TV station. Broadcasting from a converted travel trailer and operating on a shoestring budget, KBOR-TV conducts a fund-raising campaign that features faked “live” appearances by such improbable guests as The Eagles, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Gloria Estefan.

What makes this station different is “the news is always good, the weather is always agreeable and every day is a holiday; it’s a beacon of hope and humor in a cynical world.”

TV staff must question their station’s principles, however, when they experience the natural disaster’s consequences such as flash floods and evacuations.

Off Broadstreet veterans Chris Crockett, Nancy Keith, Richard Joplin, Darryl Stines, Janis Jablecki and Andrew Kerr are in “Tumbleweed TV.” All but Kerr’s character were in “Heartland Radio.” Crockett, Stines and Kerr play rhythm guitar, bass and electric guitar, and bass respectively.

The new play has an eight-week run.


WHAT: “Tumbleweed TV”

WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 7 at 8:15 p.m., July 15 at 7:15 p.m. and July 25 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Off Broadstreet Theatre, 305 Commercial St. in Nevada City

ADMISSION: $18 Thursdays and Sundays, $20 Fridays and $22 Saturdays. Due to limited seating, advance reservations are strongly recommended.

INFORMATION: 265-8686 or visit the Web at

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