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'SCREAM!' Creates A Satire Of The Satire That Changed Slash Horror Forever

Sidne Phillips |
October 29, 2014 | 4:56 p.m. PDT


Christine Lakin and Jonathon Grant. (Elliot Dal Pra London)
Christine Lakin and Jonathon Grant. (Elliot Dal Pra London)
Everyone loves the 1996 cult classic film "Scream,” but it’s never been performed like this before. To quote the writers (who double as gospel-esque preachers that dictate the story) Michael Gans and Richard Register, “It’s a mother fucking MUUUUUSICAL!” The world premiere of the unauthorized parody musical "Scream!" at the Rockwell Table and Stage in Los Feliz includes a star studded cast and hilarious satirical humor, all to the background of the ultimate sing-a-long 90s playlist sung by a cast full of powerhouse vocalists.

The musical opens with writers Gans and Register (complete in preacher attire and books that read “Holy Shit” on the cover) introducing the classic opening of the film – a young girl named Casey (Gwen Hollander) receiving a mysterious phone call from an eerily flirtatious anonymous caller. The scene is almost entirely word for word from the movie, with the gospel narrators filling in actions that cannot be completed in the tight space of Rockwell.  The masked murderer is soon revealed, killing both Casey and her boyfriend in an ironic, over-the-top kill sequence (put into song, of course).

The town is shaken by the brutal murder of the teens, but none more so than the heroine Sidney (Molly McCook), whose mother was killed almost exactly a year before (as everyone loves to bring up in every conversation). The unrelenting journalist Gale Weathers (Marla Mindelle) will do anything to get a story out of Sidney, but Sidney with the help of her bubbly bestie Tatum (Gwen Hollander) makes sure Weathers keeps her distance. However, Sidney is left home alone this particular weekend and receives a foreboding phone call from the same threatening voice; she must now avoid the serial killer at any cost, with help from her boyfriend Billy (Benjamin Schrader), the lovable cop Dewey (John Flynn), the movie fanatic Randy (Jimmy Ray Bennett), and the eccentric Stu (James Byous).

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The aforementioned classic 90s songs were performed exceptionally well. McCook and Schrader’s duet to No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” was incredibly powerful, and the two harmonized beautifully together. Hollander’s rendition of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” was not only perfectly timed, but perfectly executed in the both the vocal and acting aspect. However, the song that brought down the house was performed by Carly Jibson (playing a Screamette) to the classic Boyz II Men song, “I’ll Make Love to You.” As she casually leans against a pillar, the audience was completely floored by her amazing stylistic choices and rough, gutsy belt; an obviously professional performer. 

Although the constant narration by the writers can be clever for many moments, it becomes slightly awkward near the end when they skip over multiple iconic scenes for the sake of the intimate space – in fact, they skip the ending altogether. Instead of revealing the killer, they call out people in the audience who have not seen the movie and insist on not ruining it for them. Luckily, Byous saves the show by doing an incredible imitation of the original Stu from the movie, earning him much applause as they segue into the final song “Live and Let Die” (originally by Paul McCartney). 

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The live music was one aspect that stood out by a long shot – the band (made up of Brian P. Kennedy, Emily Rosenfield, Justin Smith, Mike Abramson, and Mike Deutsch) sounded perfect together and were great at recreating the nineties favorites.

With such an incredibly talented cast and band, no one leaves the theatre disappointed. This satirical adaptation is entertaining and great for any fan of the film or of Halloween – and for the ones who have not seen the movie, don’t worry, it won’t be spoiled for you.

"SCREAM!" is playing at the Rockwell Table and Stage (1714 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles) through December 6. Tickets are $20-$50. For more information visit Rockwell-LA.com

Contact Contributor Sidne Phillips here.

For more Theater & Dance coverage click here.



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