If you stage it, Quaids will come. That’s what Daniel Krolik and Amanda Barker learned from their Fringe Festival hit Release the Stars: The Ballad of Randy and Evi Quaid, which closed on Saturday night to a sold-out audience that included the elusive Quaids themselves.
“My first thought was that Randy Quaid was going to come down and punch me,” said Krolik, who played Randy in the show which detailed the famously paranoid couple’s bizarre and much-publicized escape to Canada from Hollywood several years ago. The Quaids claimed their lives were in danger from a group called “Star Whackers,” whom they allege murdered actors Heath Ledger and David Carradine.
The real Quaids loved the show enough to join the cast for drinks at the Fringe tent, where they jokingly advised Barker and Krolik to “tell the press we hated the show—you’ll get more attention that way.”
During the performance, Randy Quaid sat right next to the show’s director, Jack Grinhaus. “It was a surreal experience, watching a guy watching our version of him,” said Grinhaus—especially since Quaid wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion. When Krolik, on stage as Quaid, made a reference to the straight-to-DVD film Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure and said, “Do not IMDb this film,” Quaid was heard to murmur, “Thank you.”