The only sour note in the production of Mean is the over-use of strobe lights in a couple of numbers. This show doesn't need lighting tricks to signal departures from reality. With Squeaky up on the bar doing a slow-mo frug and Tex and Charlie slitting people's throats as the band strums along, we get the impact of the hideous visuals just fine.
Posey's done his research for Mean, incorporating Manson's own words into the script. But the best line goes to Dale, who sums up the chemistry of the Manson family's founding trio: "Charlie did the thinking, Tex did the killing and Squeaky cheered them on."
Mitchell Parrack as Charlie Manson, fighting for stage time at open mike night in Ochre House's musical Mean.
All three are still serving time, by the way, their death sentences commuted to life in 1972. Charlie Manson is eligible to apply for parole again this year. (It will never be granted.) Some of his songs have been recorded by the Beach Boys, Guns N' Roses and Marilyn Manson. Squeaky Fromme, who did not participate in the Tate/LaBianca murders, got life for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975. She escaped from prison once, trying to get to her beloved Charlie after hearing he had testicular cancer. Tex Watson, who shot and stabbed the people Charlie wanted dead, is now 65. He was denied parole for the 14th time last November but will be up for it again in 2016. While in prison in California, he has fathered four children, earned a college degree and become an ordained minister. He was interviewed several years ago on Pat Robertson's 700 Club, talking about Jesus.