R.L. Stine's "Goosebumps" books are even scarier -- live! The phenomenally popular children's horror novels have been transformed into a stage show by writer/director Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Accomplice).
Goosebumps--Live on Stage aims to do exactly what the books do - produce scares and laughs. The plot is 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.
Add to that structure spectacular special effects including a gigantic snake, a fiendish fun house and "Goosebumps" favorite, Slappy the demon dummy, and a real life "Goosebumps" novel comes magically to life in the theatre.
Holmes, a Tony Award winner for Drood (and the singer-songwriter of "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)"), wrote the script. 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 stars 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. Also in the company are Elizabeth Bunch (The Water Children) and David McMahon. Holmes directs. Loren Sherman (Visiting Mr. Green) designed the set, Lindsay W. Davis the costumes, Phil Monat (Visiting Mr. Green) the lighting and Bruce Cameron the sound. Marcia Milgrom Dodge (Radio Gals, The Mystery of Edwin Drood) provides additional staging. Joseph A. Onorato is production supervisor with Richard C. Rauscher as production stage manager and Eileen F. Haggerty as stage manager.
Goosebumps' tour began September 1998 in Pensacola, FL, and will visit cities across the U.S. and Canada. Future dates include:
Dec. 3-6: Columbus, OH, Palace Theatre
Dec. 15-20: Dayton, OH, Memorial Hall
Dec. 22-27: Cleveland, OH, Music Hall at the Cleveland Convention Center
Dec. 30-Jan. 1, 1999: Grand Rapids, MI, De Vos Hall Jan. 6-10: Indianapolis, IN
Jan. 13-17: Pittsburgh, PA
Jan. 20-24: Louisville, KY
Jan. 27-30: Des Moines, IA
Feb. 2-7: Minneapolis, MN
Feb. 10-14: Denver, CO
Feb. 17-28: Chicago, IL
Mar. 3-14, 1999: Boston, MA
Plans for a New York debut are in the works, according to production spokesperson John Wimbs. At the moment, a proper space for the production has not been found, nor is Goosebumps specifically looking for a Broadway house.
For additional information, Goosebumps--Live on Stage has an official website at http://www.GoosebumpsLive.com
-- By Christine Ehren