‘Off the Wall & Over the Edge: Movies, Music, Memories and Madness’ with Richard Evans and Friends in Langley

Twenty-two years ago, filmmaker, director, actor and artist Richard Evans left a life as an actor in Tinseltown and settled on Whidbey Island.

Twenty-two years ago, filmmaker, director, actor and artist Richard Evans left a life as an actor in Tinseltown and settled on Whidbey Island. Evans came with 30 years under his belt working in films and television.


“I quickly threw away the belt, but kept my pants on,” Evans said.

“Nothing too remarkable about that,” he added. “I’m an actor. I wear suspenders of disbelief.”

But what was remarkable, he said, is the fact that the best production teams he would ever put together would be those gathered from the fertile field of island artists.

Evans celebrates his fruitful artistic gleaning on Whidbey Island with “Off the Wall and Over the Edge: Movies, Music, Memories and Madness,” an evening with Evans and friends to benefit the Whidbey Children’s Theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25 in Langley.

The evening will include performances by musicians James Hinkley, Keith Allen Bowers, Tommy Heoflich and Jack Knauer, as well as clips from Evans canon of films.

He will also engage the audience in the stories of what it was like to work with such movie-star luminaries as Corey Allen (“Rebel Without a Cause”), James Arness (“Gunsmoke”), Lew Ayres (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), Dan Blocker (“Bonanza”), Claire Bloom (“City Lights”), Lee J. Cobb (“On the Waterfront”), Jackie Cooper (“Hennessey”), James Drury (“The Virginian”), Mia Farrow (“Peyton Place”), David Hemmings (“Blowup”), Gary Lockwood (“2001: A Space Odyssey”), Strother Martin (“Cool Hand Luke”), Jack Nicholson (“Easy Rider”),  Ryan O’Neal (“Barry Lyndon”), Michael J. Pollard (“Bonnie and Clyde”), George C. Scott (“Patton”), William Shatner (“Star Trek,”) and Elisha Cook Jr. (“The Maltese Falcon”).

Evans said he will encourage those in attendance to ask him about the famous and the not-so-famous with whom he has worked.

Martha Murphy co-produces the evening, which she has been encouraging Evans to do for some time.

“Richard Evans has been on the advisory board of Whidbey Children’s Theater since we moved into the Porter Building in 2004,” Murphy said.

“Early on, he advised us on how best to design a performance space, and he has been an avid supporter of Whidbey Children’s Theater over the years.”

Murphy said it’s been fun planning the event for a man whose reputation precedes him. She said anyone who knows him, knows that Evans can be “off the wall” about his work and that sometimes he takes his audience “over the edge”

with his often zany, but always memorable characters and plots.

“He has a devoted following of locals, some of whom will perform on stage with Richard,” Murphy said.

“What most people don’t know is that he has some impressive credits from his 30 years in movies, and audience members can be certain they will be surprised at what surfaces during the evening when he shares film clips, photos, memories and more,” she added.

Evans said he just wants to share some fun memories with his talented friends.

“I’d like to think of this evening as a celebration for all who share the creative spirit that is thriving on South Whidbey,” Evans said.

“By way of celebration, I’d like to acknowledge the actors, writers, musicians, cameramen, audio wizards, backstage tech and film crews with whom I’ve had the good fortune to work for the past 20 years,” he said.

Indeed, Evans has been busy in the past two decades writing, producing directing and acting in more than

20 theatrical productions and creating three independent feature films including “Harry Monument,” “Shadow of Rain” and “Shuffle & Cut (A Question for Godard).”

His latest project is a musical titled “Munch of Evil” inspired by the Orson Welles noir classic “Touch of Evil,” with music by Bowers.

“Munch is on the menu for 2012,” said Evans, not able to resist the pun.

Evans said he considers himself more than lucky that his involvement with artists has remained unbroken since 1957, a fact he attributes not only to dumb luck, but also to his “moving van full of persistence.”

But finally, it’s not his work with the famous and infamous that he has found most rewarding, but more the work he has produced in Langley, especially the films he said, which would have been difficult to make in today’s mega-budget mainstream industry.

“I could not have made them without the support of this unique community,” Evans said. “I’ve often said that all theater is community theater, and that all movies are ultimately a team effort, even when I’ve tried to prove otherwise.”

“Off the Wall & Over the Edge, Movies, Music, Memories and Madness” is a one-night-only event. Whidbey Children’s Theater is at 222 Anthes Ave. in Langley.

Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling Martha Murphy at 360-914-0912 or 221-7880.