Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
Dracula, played by Daniel Walker of Hartselle, at right, is one of many monsters taking the stage in DreamWeavers' production of "I'm Sorry the Bridge is Out, You'll Have to Stay the Night" this weekend at Princess Theatre.
I'm sorry the bridge is out, you'll have to spend the night
Monster mash-up: Musical presents frightfully funny nights with Frankenstein, Igor, Dracula
By Patrice Stewart
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Halloween brings out the monsters, and you can find Dr. Frankenstein, Count Dracula, Igor, the Mummy and other favorites on stage this weekend.
These DreamWeavers performers will be more funny than scary while performing three shows of "I'm Sorry the Bridge is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night" at the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts.
You can catch this musical Friday at midnight or Saturday at 6 p.m., right after the Halloween Hoot screaming and costume contests. There's also space at the 9 a.m. Friday school performance at the Princess for home-schoolers, adults and others.
The play is set on a stormy night when a young couple's car breaks down in front of Dr. Frankenstein's Castle, said Mickey Johnson, who is directing a cast of mostly area teens for the Decatur theater group.
"The audience will hear a crash, which is the bridge falling," he said, giving the story its title.
"The couple find their way to the dark and dreary castle to get help, and Igor opens the door to loads of oddities and fun from all sorts of Halloween characters who were skillfully woven into this story by author Sheldon Allman," Johnson said.
The comedy showcases music written by Bobby Pickett, the artist who wrote the popular 1960s hit "The Monster Mash."
Is the show scary?
Many elementary and middle-school students will enjoy it, Johnson said, but parents should decide based on their children's reactions to costumed monsters.
"Many Halloween characters are scary," he said. "But the silliness, humor and fun music will soon make the characters lovable and not so scary after all."
Roy Chase of Decatur, who plays the unorthodox Dr. Frankenstein in a white lab coat, said he gets close to giving a brain to his monster, played by Kendall Nelson. Chase's favorite solo is "A Well-Trained Brain." His character welcomes the young couple into his castle and considers using them for his experiments.
"It's like playing chess. There are so many different characters, and they all have different motives — there's love, hate, victory and loss. And how they interact with each other makes for an awesome Halloween show," Chase said.
Andrew Sybert and Rachel Walker, both of Hartselle, play John David Wellgood and Mary Helen Merryman, the couple who visit the castle.
"I play a smart, analytical guy, and everybody wants my body parts. I have a good brain, and Frankenstein needs one," said Sybert. "It's very funny and a good family show."
Walker said she is "ditsy and naive and the one everybody wants. Dracula wants to marry me, and Igor wants me and so does Renfield."
Daniel Walker of Hartselle, as Dracula, said he likes "getting to wear the cape and use my Dracula accent." He has turned his henchman Renfield, played by Nicholas Mecikalski, into a vampire "but I don't actually let him do the vampire thing — he just eats bugs."
Chris Pressnell of Decatur, one of the few adults in the cast, said he likes playing Igor "because I'm a hunchback who's not very intelligent and can't sing, but Dr. Frankenstein is going to put my brain in John's body, and then I'll have a nice body to attract Mary."
Other cast members include Katie Gilhooly as Dracula's Countess, Natasha; Jade Wagner as the Mummy; Caroline Godwin as Montclair and Ryan Williams as Clairmont, the graverobbers; Taylor Martin; Caleb Morris; Leah Craft; Shane Sieweke; Jeff Johnson; and Alexa Mecikalski.
Singers and dancers called "The Draculettes" add color: Elise Robinson, Jade Wagner, Shannon Silvestri, Brooke Higdon, Mary Katherine White, Amanda Elliott, Emma Martin, Madison Johnson, Erin Johnson, Sarah Fleischauer and Rachel McDaniel.
The director said Dream-Weavers added a Friday midnight show "as safe, fun entertainment for teens to enjoy after the ball games. We hope this will be an attraction for church youth groups, too. Everyone can come in costume and feel right at home."
Halloween Hoot skit
You can catch a glimpse of the "monsters" in a skit at Halloween Hoot at 2:45 p.m. Saturday on a Second Avenue stage near G. Jones. They also will host screaming and costume contests for the public at the Princess beginning at 5 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for students and $11 for adults, available at the Princess in advance and at the door an hour before each show.
Johnson, a member of the DreamWeavers board, said this production is the kick-off for its 25th anniversary season.
Young actors ranging from age 5 to teen will present "The Enchanted Sleeping Beauty" in the spring, and teens and adults will stage "Grease" next summer.
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