This may be a bit of sacrilege, since I consider myself something of an actress, but I've always have mixed feelings about live theater. On one hand, I think it's a lot of fun to do - when you're acting in front of a live audience, you get a certain immediate gratification (laughter, gasps, applause) that acting in films just can't offer. On the other hand, however, plays are sometimes not as much fun to watch as they are to be in. Let's be honest here! How many times have you been dragged to a play and found yourself wondering, a la The Simpsons, "This is better than a movie why?!"
Rest assured, the Maverick Theater's stage adaptation of the George A. Romero zombie classic Night of the Living Dead is NOT that kind of play.
An absolute joy for horror fans - or anyone looking for a good seasonal scare - from start to finish, the Maverick does a fantastic job of making the living dead come to life (pun intended) on stage. The less said about the details, the better; you'll want to go into this one sans spoilers. Even if you've seen the original NOTLD a million times, the Maverick will still manage to find ways to surprise and thrill you.
The cast, led by Scott Johnson as Ben, handle their roles capably, and Hannah Butcher (as Judy) certainly has an ear-piercing scream queen shriek that must be heard to be believed, but the real stars here are the zombies - a whole slew of them, in fantastic makeup and unafraid to get their hands dirty, so to speak. A word of advice: Make sure you show up early so you can...erm...relax and have a drink beforehand. Heh heh heh. Oh, and if you happen to be seated at the end of an aisle, watch out!
But whatever you do, make sure you get yourself down to Fullerton to check out this play. Maverick's Night of the Living Dead is likely to be the best time you'll have at the theater all month - and, quite possibly, all year.
The Maverick Theater is located at 110 E. Walnut Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832. Night of the Living Dead runs Fridays and Saturdays through November 1st, except for Halloween week, when it runs Tuesday (10/27) through Sunday (11/1). Shows start at 8:30 PM. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Maverick's online box office.