Goosebumps -- Live on Stage, the theatrical version of the popular R.L. Stine children's horror novel series written and director by Rupert Holmes, has canceled its entire road schedule a mere three month into its North American tour. A spokeperson for the company said the show played its last performance on Dec. 6 in Columbus. The Goosebumps tour began September 1998 in Pensacola, FL. Canceled were future dates in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston.
"We wanted to review the show to improve it financial success," said Catherine Ort-Mabry, director of corporate communications for Feld Entertainment, which is producing the tour. Ort-Mabry declined to say whether the tour had been losing money, but sources say Goosebumps lost a lot of money in development and had experienced weak ticket sales. Asked if the tour would resume at a later date, Ort-Mabry said, "We're looking at a lot of options."
Goosebumps aimed to do produce scares and laughs through elaborate special effects including a gigantic snake, a fiendish fun house and "Goosebumps" favorite, Slappy the demon dummy. The plot of the show was simple -- four kids find themselves in the mysterious Doomsday Bookstore, where the proprietor introduces them to three separate scary stories, all of which they become personally involved in.
Holmes, a Tony Award winner for The Mystery of Edwin Drood (and the singer-songwriter of "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)"), wrote the script. R. L. Stine then novelized it into a special edition "Goosebumps- Live On Stage," available only at the show and given away for free in most cities.
Goosebumps starred Paul Benedict (Hughie, Bad Habits) as Mr. Gander, Jamie Bennett as Josh Barton, Anne Marie Nest as Jessie Barton, Jason Griffith as Skate Palmer, Michael Sean McGuiness as Dad Barton, Tif Luckenbill (Blood Brothers national tour) as Barca/Knight/Hank/Slappy, Stephanie Thompson as Princess/"Monster Blood" Slappy and Brittany Leigh Keiffer and Jaime Lyn Keller who share the role of Jamie Barton. -- By Robert Simonson and Christine Ehren