Stark Turn Players put comedic spin on Alfred Hitchcock film
Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror film “PSYCHO” gets a twist this Halloween as Grand Valley State University students and alumni turn it into a horror musical parody. This years Stark Turn Players’ production of “PSYCHO: The Musical” runs from Oct. 25-27 at the Dog Story Theatre in Grand Rapids, and features several GVSU students.
Director Joel Schindlbeck graduated from GVSU in 2004 with a theater degree and then moved to Seattle to write musicals for a small theater group that performed adaptations of popular ‘80s movies.
Those parodies were just the thing West Michigan was missing, Schindlbeck said. Audiences can expect a bizarre version of the movie similar to that of the “Scary Movie” series, featuring all original songs.
“It’s a story of a woman who steals a large sum of money to run away and marry her boyfriend, a lonely man running a motel in the desert, and a mother who just won’t stay dead.” Schindlbeck said.
Matthew Fowler, president of the GVSU student organization STAGE, stars as Norman Bates alongside GVSU sophomore Angelina Mount, who plays Marion Crane.
Fowler said his character is an incredibly awkward mama’s boy, and in this show, the performers get to abandon all sense of reality and become a cartoon, which Fowler said many people already describe him as in real life.
“My favorite part by far about Norman is the cross-dressing,” Fowler said. “I play both Norman Bates and his mother, and it scares me sometimes how much I enjoy going psycho for ‘PSYCHO: The Musical.’”
The production puts a humorous spin on the adult natured plot, which includes a lot of stabbing, Fowler said. The famous shower-stabbing scene from the movie has even been turned into a ‘Death Tango’ between Fowler and Mount’s characters.
“I would describe it as the most wonderful farce I could ever be a part of,” Mount said. “It is drama to the point of ridiculous, and if you can’t laugh at it, you’re taking yourself too seriously. I’m so lucky to get to do a parody show like this. I can’t imagine it being done any better.”
The cast is no more than 3 feet away from the audience at all times, making it a very interactive and in your face type of performance, Schindlbeck said. This is the fourth year that Stark Turn Players has produced a Halloween horror musical parody like this.
“I think what makes us stand out most is that we’ve taken a serious classic horror film and flipped it upside down, making it a comedy, a musical and a theater production,” Mount said. “This is such a great tradition Stark Turn has started and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”
Performances for all three nights start at 8 p.m. There will be an additional midnight show Oct. 26, and a Halloween costume contest and party after the final show Oct. 27. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. For more information, go to www.starkturnplayers.org
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