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Seriously funny Twilight Zone
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Seriously funny Twilight Zone

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

Twilight Zone Live!
Theater Schmeater
Through August 9


The '60s come to life, for real, at Theater Schmeater this summer! This is a finger-lickin' good treat. Three actual episodes of the long-running science fiction television series, Twilight Zone, are given a seriously funny treatment on stage. Tim Moore, director and dead ringer for Rod Serling, at least vocally, helps his cast walk the fine line between parody and homage.

The episodes are "Nothing in the Dark," which features Melanie Calderwood as a woman who hasn't left her house in years and hears someone get shot outside her door (a police officer played by Larry Leggett). A contractor who is supposed to evict her, played by Phillip L. Mitchell, also shows up. "The Lonely" features Chris Macdonald as a prisoner who is stranded on a faraway desolate planet, with only two delivery astronauts, James Weidman and Rob Jones, to visit him every three months. Heather Gautschi plays a robot. "Third from the Sun" features James Weidman, Katherine Woolverton and Heather Gautschi as a family who, along with Rob Jones and Ann Riden, need to escape before their world ends. Phillip L. Mitchell plays a shadowy figure trying to stop their escape.

Modular set pieces - a nondescript door frame, corrugated metal walls, a window frame - create the vestiges of locations needed. The crucial technical needs are sound and lights. Robertson Witmer inserts delicate moments of Twilight Zone music, reminiscent of the 1960s, at key moments, leading to a desire to laugh out loud at the soap opera-inspired indications of mystery or danger. Dave Hastings creates pools of light and dark, and includes a star-lit sky motif. They are all you need to take you to another dimension - a dimension known as the Twilight Zone!

All the actors, whether in big parts or small, give good performances. There are even commercials. But they're not any commercials you would see on television in 1965. Except for the commercials, the tone of the evening is almost reverential. Twilight Zone episodes were moral-laden tales we were supposed to learn from. It is for you to decide if these episodes have any meaning for today's audience. In the meantime, share the delight of time travel to a time that never really was. For more information, go to www.scheater.org or call 206-324-5801.

Comments on reviews go to sgncritic@gmail.com.

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