With ghosts and goblins ready to step out for Halloween, Vicksburg’s comedy community will be offering a bit of magic all their own.
The Vicksburg Theater Guild presents “Young Frankenstein” at the Parkside Playhouse Theater, 101 Iowa Ave. and the Westside Theater Foundation presents “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Strand Theater, 717 Clay St.
Both shows opened Friday night with additional productions planned.
This isn’t the first time either theater troupe has put on shows during the haunting time of year.
In 2017, the VTG performed âThe Addams Family,â a musical by Marshall Brickman.
“It was a blast,” said program director Sarah Goss. âSince then, I wanted to do another Halloween inspired show. Young Frankenstein was perfect.
Jack Burns, who is the director of “The Rocky Horror Show,” said their band performed the musical eight times, with the inaugural show featured in The Coral Room at the Vicksburg Hotel in 2010.
Burns said the additional shows they put on during the Halloween season for the indulgent audience were an original adaptation of “Dracula: Sins of the Flesh”, “Sweeny Todd” and “Jekyll & Hyde” .
But it’s âThe Rocky Horror Showâ that’s a fan favorite. Burns said that every year he receives feedback from the community asking him to do the show.
âA perfect example was 2020,â he said. Even during the COVID lockdown, Burns said, he had people contacting him about “The Rocky Horror Show.”
âWe were getting requests from the community saying ‘You will surely do Rocky even with the pandemic,’â he said.
Obviously, the VTG did not offer a performance that year.
In addition to being popular with audiences, “The Rocky Horror Show” is also popular with actors.
âWe have a lot of repeat offenders,â Burns said, referring to the actors returning for production.
With its cast exclusively for adults, “The Rocky Horror Show” is aimed at a mature audience.
The performers of “Young Frankenstein” are of all ages.
Goss said the musical, written by Mel Brooks, was “hilarious.”
âIt’s Mel Brooks. You can’t go wrong with Mel Brooks, âshe said.
The story of the show revolves around Dr Frederick von Frankenstein, who worked hard to distance himself from his infamous grandfather (Dr Victor von Frankenstein), Goss said. “But, when he learns of his grandfather’s death, he must return to Transylvania to settle his estate.”
There, he meets a multitude of characters who worked with his grandfather and – well, let’s just say you have to buy a ticket to the show to know the ending.
Goss was reluctant to name a favorite scene in the play, but said that “any scene with the monster in it” was entertaining.
Praising his cast and crew of over 20 people, Goss said, âThey were a great group to work with. I couldn’t have done it without them. Not only do I ask them to learn songs, lines, blocks and dances, but I also ask them to help build the set, collect props, and manage the costumes. It was so much fun to see it all come together. And the children. Their hard work has certainly paid off. They all acted like such professionals.
The cast and crew were also dedicated to producing âThe Rocky Horror Show.â Burns said he and Jai Dobson, who is his co-director, were excited about the performances.
For members of the public and those who are cult fans of the musical, they too will be delighted to know that this production, like all the others, will include them.
âWhat makes Rocky so different from any other show is the heckling from the audience,â Burns said, adding, âSome of the most memorable dialogue comes from the hecklers,â he said.
Members of the VTG performance audience are also welcome to bring props.
The remaining performances of “The Rocky Horror Show” are scheduled for 7:30 pm on October 23, October 29, October 30 and a midnight performance, which will begin at 11:59 pm on October 31. Tickets are $ 20 and are available at Highway 61 Coffeehouse, 1101 Washington St., brownpapertickets.com and at the door. For more information, visit facebook.com/WestsideTheatreFoundation.
The other performances of “Young Frankenstein” are scheduled for 7:30 pm on October 23, 29 and 30 and at 2 pm on October 24 and 31. Tickets cost $ 20, $ 15 for ages 65 and over and 13-18 and $ 10 for ages 12 and under and are available at the box office. For more information, call 601-636-0471 or visit e-vtg.com. “Young Frankenstein” is a special production of the VTG and is not part of the regular season.
About Terri Cowart Frazier
Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Soon after, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter for the Vicksburg Post and editor-in-chief of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which was awarded first place by the Mississippi Press Association. She was also the recipient of a first place award in the editorial division of the MPA’s Better Newspaper competition for “Best Report.”
Terri is a graduate of Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a focus on public relations.
Before coming to work for The Post a little over 10 years ago, she worked as a freelance writer for the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay-at-home mom.
Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a life member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and the Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr Walter Frazier.
âWhether it’s staying informed about local government issues or hearing the stories of its residents, a local newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and I hope that with theirs and local support I can continue to grow and hone my skills while helping to share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I love most about my job, my answer is always âpeopleâ.
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