WESTFIELD, NJ — Paying tribute to the old black-and-white horror films, Hedgehog and Feather Theatre Company will present a kid-friendly Halloween production, “Creature Double Feature II: The Mummy – The Wolfman” just in time for the spooky holiday.
This production is the second in a Creature Double Feature throwback series, as last year Hedgehog and Feather presented “Dracula and Frankenstein.”
According to Director Ty Jacobs, they are showing the features in chronological order according to when the original movies were first shown. But the twist is that Jacobs adapted all the scripts.
“Based on everything out there,” he said. “Based on books, films …”
Each play is 45 minutes long, with one intermission in between. Producer Sara Hedgepeth said the theatre will be decorated with pumpkins and costumed characters will entertain the audience as they await the show. She added that there’s “wonderful classical music … wonderful soundtracks … great music!”
Excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” will be used during “The Mummy” and excerpts from Prokofiev’s “Romeo & Juliet” will provide the soundtrack for “The Wolfman.”
Twenty eight children will take part in the production, 90 percent of whom are Westfield residents, according to Hedgepeth.
“Kids are double-cast,” said Hedgepeth. “Everybody gets to do a lot. It’s a big fun night leading up to Halloween.”
“The Mummy” takes place in ancient Egypt. Jacobs explained that the high priest fell for a princess. When she died, he tried to bring her back to life using powers. As punishment for his wrong doings he gets wrapped up like a mummy – while he’s still alive! When an archeologist finds the tombs thousands of years later, mysterious things happen in the theater.
“It’s creepy,” said Hedgepeth.
“The Wolfman” is a story about Clay, a wealthy man from New Hampshire who travels to Europe and encounters a gypsy caravan. Characters include acrobats, a bearded lady, Siamese twins and a gypsy king. (Costumes are designed by Alisa Korunow.) Clay encounters a beast in the woods and survives, only to find he is now cursed with the mark of the werewolf.
Joe Ensslin, 13, of Westfield, plays Clay.
“It’s a lot of fun. I get to do different emotions,” he said. “Extremely sad to going crazy.” Joe was in last year’s Halloween performance and said he is definitely interested in acting as a future career. Although he missed soccer practices to be in the play he said, “It’s definitely worth it.”
Matt Ryan, 14, of Berkeley Heights, plays Professor Davies, an archeologist, in “The Mummy.” Matt felt that playing Professor Davies was “difficult” because, he said, “I’m hyper, he’s poised.” Although later on, when Davies realizes the mummy is real, Matt feels “shaky and nervous” is better to play.
Though rehearsals were time-consuming, Matt felt they were worth it.
“The final product is going to be a lot of fun,” he said. He plans to go to all the auditions for future Hedgehog and Feather plays.
Sarah Kudron, 11, of Cranford, said her role as the housekeeper in the mansion is “hard” because she has to scream her lines.
“When I talk, I don’t scream. Memorizing lines is fun and kinda hard,” said Sarah. But when it came to making sacrifices, she said there weren’t any because her only interest is acting.
“Ever since I was little I did puppet shows and made up plays with my little brother … performed dance recitals … it’s fun,” she said.
The best thing about the productions, according to Jacobs, is that “everyone is cast really well.”
Hedgepeth added, “We’re really proud of them. They take it very seriously.”
“Creature Double Feature II” will be performed Friday, Oct. 18; Saturday, Oct. 19; Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 414 E. Broad St., Westfield. Entrance is on St. Paul Street.
Tickets are $15. Doors open at 7 p.m. for some pre-show spooky fun entertainment. Tickets can be purchased at: http://creaturedoublefeatureii.brownpapertickets.com/
For more information, visit: hedgehogandfeather.org