“They’re coming to get you, Barbara.”
This famous line comes from the classic George A. Romero horror film “Night of the Living Dead” and it is no surprise that Brian Newell’s stage production of the film has remained so popular more than 40 years after the movie’s release.
The Maverick Theater in Fullerton brought back the stage production of “Night of the Living Dead” for the 8th year in a row.
The atmosphere for a play was just right as the windy night gave off the eerie vibe of the unknown in the downtown streets.
Guests were asked to gather around the cabaret as Newell took the stage and interacted with them. As Newell spoke a bit about the production, shouts could be heard from the next room.
The theater and stage were small, making it much more intimate for the guests. Audience members felt anxious as they were thrown immediately into the story. The actors interacted with the audience encouraging them to feel as if they were a part of this apocalyptic world.
“It was awesome. I really liked that it was interactive,” said first time audience member Sean Chavez.
“Night of the Living Dead,” set in 1968 Pennsylvania, told the story of seven survivors who need to work together to survive and escape from hordes of living dead that are relentlessly hunting them down.
The performances by the actors was superb as David P. Lewis (Ben) and Hannah Noshirvan (Barbara) carried the theatrical production extremely well. None of it would have mattered without the strong supporting cast; Brian Kojac (Harry), Jeremy Krasovic (Tom), Katie Del Vecchio (Judy), Cassandra Cade (Helen), Amanda Zukle (Karen), and Rob Downs (Johnny).
As the main character Ben said, “This ain’t no Sunday-school picnic.”
Like a rollercoaster that only builds and forgets to drop, the action and intensity of the performance caused chills. The production was well-balanced with frights, scares and gasps as well as comedic relief that kept guests entertained throughout the night.
Thrills and surprises are no stranger to the story as the lighting and sound set the mood perfectly. Costumes and makeup were not cheap, but done so well that it felt like the dead really were walking around.
If you’re looking for heart-pumping thrills and just a good source of entertainment, Night of the Living Dead is a quality production that will satisfy your hunger and is a must for the Halloween season. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or on the theater’s website: www.mavericktheater.com. Tickets should be purchased soon as the production sells out every night.
Night of the Living Dead performances run from now through Nov. 16th. The Maverick Theater is located at 110 E. Walnut Ave.
Martin Becerra contributed to this story.