Homecoming at Transylvania High: Eat, Drink and Be Scary! started out as a senior project for Ridgewood High School senior Steven Nichols.
"Steven has been involved with Standing Ovation (Dinner Theatre)'s most popular show, The Godfather's Meshuggener Wedding, for about six months now in the role of Sal Monella," said Susan Nichols, his mom, who is also in Meshuggener Wedding and winner of four Tommy Awards in acting at Richey Suncoast Theatre.
Steven got together with another Wedding performer, Alex Rudy (Father Neil Scallopine), and the two took the young man's idea from concept to script and then to Standing Ovation's founder, Debbie Ortiz, who agreed to produce it. As with Meshuggener, Homecoming at Transylvania High is an audience interactive show.
It will be presented Oct. 30 at Spartan Manor in New Port Richey and includes dinner, show, dancing and a costume contest with prizes for those in the audience with the scariest, funniest and most creative outfits.
"It's a party, and it's a show," Ms. Nichols said. The evening starts with an explanation of the evening's events and introduction of the cast, followed by table service of salad, then more show, entree, and winding up with dessert and Act 3.
"The music and dancing are going on all the time," Ms. Nichols said. "Some just by the cast (Monster Mash, Time Warp and Thriller, among others), some with the audience." The cast members stay in character throughout the evening.
The story is that everyone in the room (audience and cast) has come back for the big homecoming dance at Transylvania High. The audience will vote to see who wins homecoming king and queen, and the "classmates" pull out all their tricks to win those votes.
The class includes familiar movie, TV and storybook monsters, played by a cast of 11.
There's Dr. Frankenstein (Jim Poe, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof); Frankenstein's monster (Keith Surplus, Cornelius in Hello, Dolly); and, of course, the Bride of Frankenstein (Star Verosic, Appasionata von Climax in Li'L Abner).
The vice principal is Witch Hazel (Anne Lakey, title role in Dolly), with principal Dracula (Alex Rudy).
The voluptuous Elvira is played by Susan Nichols (four Tommy Awards), while Bloody Mary is done by Kristin Bram Broughton (title role in Gypsy).
Others in the cast are Ygor (Glen Sharack), the Mummy (Drew Call), "Thursday" (not Wednesday) Addams (Angela Gluchowski), Wolfman Jack (Steven Nichols, Tommy for Rain), and his sidekick Rufus (Jeffrey Oles, Ren in Footloose), who is an Elvis wanna-be.
Ridgewood High drama teacher Randi Morrell has acted as adviser to Nichols for the show.