It is such a treat to be able to say "I saw it first". In the world premier of Frederick Stroppel's two new wonderfully intense plays, collectively called Dead Of Night, we find alot of suspense with a little comedy mixed in ala' Alfred Hitchcock.
The Jeff Bennett and Lee Meyer directed plays are unrelated and are presented by Northport's BareBones Theatre Company at the Posey School. They are shown in repertory with The Family Crypt as the "first act" and The Hunter's Moon as the "second act". It is unfortunate it has such a short run as it closes on February 16th.
The Family Crypt had a little more humor in it. Taking place in the family mausoleum, Emily and Carol, portrayed by Judy McCormick and Vicki Milach, are already deceased and greet Helen, portrayed by Christine Jordan, who just passed. I use the term "greet" loosely" Ms. McCormick's bluntness, a typical Long Islander, had the sold out audience laughing throughout the performance. For example, Emily grew irritable during a game of Chess with Carol practically throwing the game pieces at her. Interestingly, the exact relationship of the women isn't known. In addition to Carol, Emily, and Helen, there was also Mallory, Helen's niece portrayed by Tania Mucci, and Justin, Mallory's boyfriend portrayed by Brian Elliot. These two are alive and well and meet in the mausoleum after Helen's funeral. Theirs is the most intense part of The Family Crypt.
After a brief intermission, the cast of The Hunter's Moon took the stage. This was the more suspenseful of the two presentations. This story takes place in a local bar with Jimmy, portrayed by Seam King, as the bartender. Two friends, Shep and Cooney (portrayed by John Dorcic and William Mercado) meet at the bar as they're about to venture to a late night poker game. As the guys and Katie, Cooney's girlfriend du jour portrayed by Lisa Rozza Haft, are talking, a strange acting man enters the bar. From this point, their Halloween Eve night takes a terrifying turn.
For the small space, I was impressed with what they did for the sets of each show. The Family Crypt, for example, had columns on each side that became tall bar tables for The Hunter's Moon. There was also a very large box-like structure. This was used as part of the mausoleum for The Family Crypt but then turned into the bar for The Hunters Moon. Set designer Philip was very inventive for each show.
It will be interesting to see what the next step will be for these two shows after they close. With hopefully a long life ahead of it, the development of the story and the characters will be fascinating to see.
The Family Crypt and The Hunter's Moon are presented by the BareBones Theatre Company at the Posey School located on Main Street in Northport. By Frederick Stroppel, Directed by Jeff Bennett and Lee Meyer, Lighting Design by Michael Visco and Stephen Shelowitz, Graphics Design by Roni Murillo. Fight Choreography by Tom Evans, Set Design by Philip Jordan, Sound Design by Larry Chorowski, Stage Manager is Tracey Pine. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.barebonestheater.com.