By TOM LAVIS
The theater company of St. Francis University has selected the week of Halloween to unmask the dark side of a literary genius.
Star Productions will present five performances, which include dinner-theaters, of “Something Wicked: Shakes-Feare Grotesque” at the JFK Center on the Loretto campus.
“It’s a dramatic and theatrical collage made up of lines, monologues, soliloquies and scenes from the brilliant darkness of William Shakespeare’s plays,” said director Kenny Resinski.
“There are witches, ghouls and spirits; some good and some evil.”
Performances are 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and a late-night performance at 10 p.m. Friday.
Meals will be served at 6 p.m. prior to the 7:30 shows and after the late-night performance.
The cost of the dinner-theater is $20 and includes food and the show.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 472-3930.
The dinner menu features cheese-spinach Florentine strata on ziti, red meat sauce or vegetarian alfredo sauce, green beans, beverages and carrot cake for dessert.
The breakfast menu includes juice, a breakfast wrap, yogurt, beverage and dessert.
Show-only tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door.
The performance is approximately 75 minutes in duration.
Because Halloween falls on a Friday, the theater company thought it was appropriate to feature the late-night breakfast, Resinski said.
After the 10 p.m. performance on Friday, patrons can have breakfast with the cast at 11:30.
Resinski said the morning performances are well-attended by students, senior citizens and women’s groups.
“It’s something we do for those who may have difficulty driving at night,” he said.
“We have a capacity of about 300 people, and if we have to open the balcony, that gives us a total of about 500 seats.”
A large cast takes on the spell-binding task of weaving a tapestry composed of every thread of darkness that Shakespeare spun.
Nineteen actors play about 60 different characters from a variety of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, histories, problem plays and romances.
“These characters inhabit all the realms of myth and imagination,” Resinski said.
In his opinion, no dramatic writer ever succeeded better in raising terror in the minds of an audience than Shakespeare.
“I have wanted to do this for years,” Resinski said.
“With Halloween on Friday, this seemed like the year to do it.
“This idea has been simmering in the back of my mind, and this year I decided to bring it to the front burner.”
Included in the cast are St. Francis students and local area residents.
Comprising the cast are Randy Jeffreys and Lori Howsare of Johnstown, Bronwyn Stevens of Cresson, Nancy Jo and Brady Saksa of Cresson, Anita Baumann of Flinton, Brian Davis of Lilly and Tony DeRubis of Ebensburg.
Other area students are Penelope Doll of Hastings, Ethan Leydig of Portage and Brent Matthew of Patton.
Rounding out the cast are Addison and Tatyanna Fox, Weldon Lovely, Claire McCall, Edward J. Victoria, Marissa Cortese, Elisha Fleig and Lisa Moser.
What: “Something Wicked: A Shakes-Feare Grotesque.”
Where: JFK Center, St. Francis University, Loretto.
When: 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 10 p.m. Friday.
Cost: $8 show only; $20 for dinner/theater or late-night breakfast.
By TOM LAVIS
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