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Emperor Xan



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
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Location: A boat.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:33 am    Post subject: Why you should be following me on Facebook Reply with quote

Stage Adaptation of "The Twilight Zone" Episodes

When a friend asked me if I would like to see stage-adapted performances of episodes of The Twilight Zone about a month ago, I was excited. Not only was I going to see one of my favorite shows done live, but I was asked to select the date, which meant the episodes performed. If you know me or are like me, you can pretty much imagine how much I geeked out over this. So, my choices were “The Man in the Bottle” and “Number 12 Looks Just Like You,” “Four O’Clock” and “What You Need,” or “A Stop at Willoughby” and “The Trade-Ins.” Every one of these episodes is awesome in their own right. That said, I wanted to see “Willoughby” done live. The ending alone makes this one of the best episodes ever done. Next to “To Serve Man,” of course. So, last night my friend and I went to the theater.



Located in a Fullerton, CA strip mall, STAGEStheater would be easy to miss if you did not know it was there. It has little to no foyer to speak of. The result is that one would easily mistake the place if it wasn’t for some of the obvious paraphernalia that mark a theater (e.g. stills of scenes of production, flyers, programs, and the like). We spent a bit of time hanging around outside before the play, which was nice since it is summer. I felt almost like I was loitering since a few doors down was a liquor store and across the street was a tattoo parlor and an apartment complex. When we were admitted into the theater, it was a bit surprising to see that we had stadium seating and that the entrance was also one of the side doors for the stage, which was not raised.



Currently, the main production for the theater is Little Shop of Horrors. So, I was intrigued in how they were going to pull off a train and a slice of 1880 Americana. The play started at 11pm, which I think is perfect given that it’s The Twilight Zone in all of its creepy glory. It also meant they could only put on an hour’s worth of production if people were going to get home at a reasonable time.



The house lights went down and the familiar sound of the theme song began. But, that wasn’t all. The actors followed the original scripts as closely as possible, to include Rod Serling’s voice introducing the episode’s plot. Scene changes took place at the same point where the commercial breaks did. Part of the set was rolled out for domestic interior spaces in both plays. When “The Trade-Ins” began, I was thrilled because it, like “A Stop at Willoughby,” used the theme song for the season in which the episode originally appeared. That’s how closely the crew adhered to the originals. The audience, in appreciation of the work, applauded between scene breaks rather than waiting for the end. It was a tremendous experience and I could only have wished to see the other four episodes and that their showings were more than three apiece.
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