Release The Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid

A touching look at the bizarre world of Hollywood outcasts Randy and Evi Quaid

Presented by God is in the Dairy
Written by Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik
Directed by Jack Grinhaus

Daniel Krolik, Amanda Barker – Co-Writers & Performers, Release the Stars. Photo by Tanja Tiziana.

After a hit run at the 2012 Toronto Fringe Festival, co-writers and performers Amanda Barker and Daniel Krolik are back on stage as notorious Hollywood "crazies" Randy and Evi Quaid in a remount of Release The Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid now playing at the 2014 Next Stage Theatre Festival.

We first meet the troubled couple on the run from the alleged "Hollywood Star Whackers" who they claimed were tracking them when they sought refugee status in Canada in 2010. Everyone, it seems. was out to get Quaid and his controversial artist wife: the media, accountants, estate planners and lawyers. What were they thinking? No one really knows, but their strange behaviour certainly attracted press. 

Directed by Jack Grinhaus, Release The Stars tells the story of the couple before they made headlines. Randy, the "other" Quaid, is actually a talented character actor who was nominated for an Oscar for The Last Detail (1973), and won a Golden Globe for his performance as Lyndon Johnson in LBJ: The Early Years (1987). Unfortunately he is best-known for his role as Chevy Chase's sleazy Cousin Eddie in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Evi, always the rebel, grew up in New England, and moved to Hollywood after being kicked out of five different boarding schools. She is best known for the nude spreads she did for Helmut Newton. Randy and Evi met on the set of Bloodhounds of Broadway, where they instantly bonded, and the rest is crazy Quaid history.

Featuring effective projection and set design by Matt Campagna, and lighting by Siobhan Sleath, Release The Stars is an entertaining 60-minute ride that explores the darker side of fame, and the inextinguishable connection that can bind two people in love.

Barker is wonderfully kooky as the outrageous seductress Evi, and Krolik does a fine impersonation of the Texas-born Quaid. This version of the play includes self-reflective moments, in which Barker calls "time out" to reminisce about the day the Quaids showed up at the Fringe. These annecdoes are funny but ultimately interrupt the flow of the storyline. Meanwhile, a parallel narrative about a sister and her dying brother adds a moving, if a bit confusing, layer to the piece.

Release The Stars runs until January 19 at Factory Theatre Studio as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Wed, 2014-01-08 - Sun, 2014-01-19
Our rating:


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