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SF Sketchfest adds ‘The Giant’ from ‘Twin Peaks’ to its Angelo Badalamenti musical tribute

Film and television director David Lynch (left), composer Angelo Badalamenti and singer-songwriter Julee Cruise pose for a photo in New York City in 1989. | Michel Delsol/Getty Images

SF Sketchfest added another character from the extended David Lynch cinematic universe to the 2023 festival lineup on Tuesday. 

The 7-foot-tall Dutch actor Carel Struycken, who had a minor but crucial role on the groundbreaking show Twin Peaks, will join a veritable Lynchian supergroup to perform Angelo Badalamenti’s music from the 1990s surrealist serial drama and other films with the Red Room Orchestra. 

The announcement comes two days after the death of Badalamenti, who composed the score for Lynch’s cult television show and dozens of other series and films. Countless fans and several Twin Peaks alumni, including actor Kyle MacLachlan, took to social media to celebrate Badalamenti’s prolific career this week.

The Sketchfest concert was originally planned as a tribute to Julee Cruise, a singer and actress known for her collaborations with Badalamenti and Lynch on the 1986 neo-noir thriller Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and several other subsequent projects. Cruise died by suicide on June 9.

Struycken is instantly recognizable to David Lynch fans as the actor who played the Giant, a spirit who who repeatedly manifests in protagonist FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper’s visions. In the 2017 Twin Peaks revival, Struycken played the Fireman, though it remained unclear whether the two characters represented the same person. The Twin Peaks tribute show will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, at the Great American Music Hall.

The Red Room Orchestra is the brainchild of SF-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Marc Capelle. The jazz, classical and electronic group has shared the stage with the likes of Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, the Plastic Ono Band and the Bad Seeds.

Capelle’s ensemble will also accompany Repo Man writer and director Alex Cox and other talents from the 1984 sci-fi black comedy on Wednesday, Feb. 3, to perform the soundtrack to the film. Zander Schloss of Circle Jerks and Toby Dammit from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds will also join the group onstage. 

In addition, Sketchfest announced that Beverly D'Angelo, the actress who played Ellen Griswold in the National Lampoon’s Vacation films, will appear at “Celebrity Autobiography,” a comedy show in which actors act out scandalous celebrity memoirs. "Celebrity Autobiography" just came off a September 2022 Broadway run. It’s scheduled for Friday, Jan. 27, at Cobb’s Comedy Club in North Beach.

Earlier this month, Sketchfest added Portlandia co-creator and Saturday Night Live alum Fred Armisen to the bill. Armisen hosts a three-night residency called "Comedy for Bass Players but Everyone Is Welcome," from Jan. 27 to 29. 

In November, the festival announced appearances by Schitt’s Creek’s Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara and Glee’s Jane Lynch for a 20th anniversary celebration of the mockumentary A Mighty Wind on Jan. 28. 

As part of a “12 Days of SF Sketchfest” promotion, the event producers are offering discounted tickets to selected shows through Dec. 23.

Now in its 20th year, SFSketchfest 2022 encompasses more than 200 comedy shows, film screenings, reunions and live podcasts across the city.  

SF Sketchfest

📍 Various locations
🗓 Jan. 20-Feb. 5, 2023