Like most Octobers, a lot of horror-related events pop up around town; usually haunted houses, midnight showings of cult classic films, things like that. I’ve been hearing a LOT of interesting buzz about a new show here in central Florida that is gathering a sizable underground following, and after checking it out, it absolutely stands to become a huge hit, and I was very curious to learn more….
Halloween: The Musical is the brainchild of John B. deHaas, a long-time fan of horror and musical theatre. It only seemed natural to combine the two, so if you’re in the central Florida area, love horror, like to laugh, and want to experience something new and exciting, read on!
We were lucky enough to catch John for a few minutes, as he’s neck-deep in production and rehearsals, and have him give us a bit of background on HtM.
GoresTruly: What inspired you to undertake a venture such as Halloween the Musical?
JdH: I have always loved the movie growing up, and I really like finding the absurdity of certain situations. Since the film is so well known, I wanted to take it to the next level and have the characters sing and dance!
GoresTruly: What would you say your influences were? Do you scoff at comparisons to such fare as Evil Dead the Musical?
JdH:I have listened to a lot of different shows growing up and in my work. As far as influences go, I was really inspired by Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell which came out in 1977. Halloween the movie came out in 1978, so I was trying to write music that may have been heard around the same time.
GoresTruly: I hear you even have some of the original cast involved! How did that come about?
JdH: I’ve known John Graham for several years, and when I mentioned that I was writing a musical based of Halloween, he was all for it. In the 1st version we did last October, John played Bob Simms, the part he played in the movie and also Sam Loomis. This time around, he is just playing Loomis, the Donald Pleasance role.
GoresTruly: So what IS Halloween the Musical, and why will fans of the original film enjoy it?
JdH: It is a parody of the film and it’s a musical comedy. If you like the film, you will hopefully enjoy the humor and music of my show. I have kept the same characters but expanded on their roles and tried to make the show as funny as possible. It’s only scary if you get scared by musicals!
GoresTruly: Tell us a bit more about how the production progressed, and how it came to be the stage show that it is today.
JdH: I started working on it about 3 years ago. Last May I was doing a show at the Orlando Fringe, and I mentioned Halloween to Michael Wanzie. He suggested I present the show at the Parliament House in October. I then had to write the book, music, and lyrics in about 3 weeks and start rehearsing!
We did 6 shows last October, and I then submitted the show to United Arts of Central Florida. I was awarded a grant which I have used to cover some of the costs in re-mounting the show at the Shakespeare Center.
GoresTruly: How long has the show been running, and what has reception been like so far?
JdH: The reception to the show has been great. We have had some die hard fans of the film say how much they enjoyed the humor of the piece. I can only hope to keep reaching as many people as possible.
GoresTruly: So, when and where can we learn more about this fantastic show, and when/where can we buy tickets and check it out?
JdH: Want to hear more about the show? Support your local horror theatre? Keep up with what’s going on? click here
Tickets (for a suggested $15 donation): click here
Check out the promo trailer below…
*Note: This was for last years’ show… this year’s show will be:
-Friday October 22
-Sunday October 24
Both shows at 8pm at Lowndes Shakespeare Center Margeson Theater $15 at door