EDITOR’S NOTE: This show has been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic.
REGION — This is your wake-up call North County.
After a four-year hiatus, Johnny Utah and the Ex-Presidents reunite for the iconic parody “Point Break Live!” at 8 p.m. on March 29 at the Belly Up in Solana Beach.
The show ran for 10 years before the cast shelved the show and turned to perform “Top Gun Live!” and “Terminator Too: Judgement Play,” according to Thomas Blake, who directs “Point Break Live!” and plays Roach, one of the notorious Ex-Presidents.
“I wanted to take a break,” Blake said of the hiatus. “We did it a long time, but eventually people wanted so I decided to bring it back.”
The show is a re-creation of the 1991 movie starring Keanu Reeves, the late Patrick Swayze and directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Reeves plays Utah, an FBI agent who is paired with Gary Busey, who plays Angelo Pappas, to hunt down the Ex-Presidents, a band of bank-robbing surfers led by Swayze’s character Bohdi. The gang wears masks of former U.S. presidents to hide their identities in the commission of their various crimes.
The live show, though, has a unique catch where one audience member is selected for the role of Utah. Blake said this point was critical to the success of the show, which has created a cult following after its first show in 2006 in Los Angeles.
Additionally, the first several rows are draped in ponchos as the cast interacts with the audience through dosing them with water and squirt guns to re-create the surfing and shoot-out scenes, respectively.
But due to a swell of fans clamoring for a return, he said the show is returning for a six-month or year run.
“We started it and it immediately blew up in L.A.,” Blake said. “Then we took over the West Coast and doing shows all over.”
The show was written by Jamie Keeling in 2003 in Seattle but Blake took the reins in 2006 for the L.A. premier. He said he and the cast were nervous and unsure of the reaction despite the movie’s cult status.
But it was a success, a massive one, which led Bigelow to make an appearance at their second show. In fact, a number of the movie’s original cast have appeared at shows including Busey, Swayze and Lori Petty, who plays Tyler, Utah’s love interest.
But only Reeves has yet to make an appearance, but Blake said Reeves is always welcome to play Utah one more time.
As for kicking off the limited tour, Blake said the Belly Up is the perfect destination. He said the vibe and surf culture in North County is the perfect fit, and the fans truly connect with the show.
“The Belly Up is one of our favorites because you get the real surfer,” Blake added. “They really get that movie.”
Tickets are $22 for general admission in advance or $25 on the day of the show. Loft seating is $39.