Upon arrival you'll find dozens of zombie minions prowling the premises, haunting the show go-ers. Straight out of Michael Jackson's video, the living dead creep up on the unsuspecting and tease and torment the easily frightened. One spook even stole our ticket and passed it along to another attendee in the lobby, which turns into a zombie playground on performance evenings.
Once seated, the lights flash and dim, setting the scene for a haunted evening. The zombies continue to prowl, crawl the seats and more or less invade any personal space you intended to keep.
The show begins with a scene straight out of the 1984 MTV airwaves with the living, (heavy) breathing dead taking the stage to re-enact Jackson's iconic steps. Down to every last bug eye-ed scream, Odyssey revives the song from the dead. The fog machines, tombstones and grotesque (albeit, extremely realistic and slightly frightening) un-dead get-ups are just additional pieces to a spell-binding start.
The show follows its opening number with various spook-inspired choreography, many of which have a cult following by repeat audience members. Without revealing too much, a number inspired by mummies, which fit appropriately with the Egyptian Theater's Pharaoh-esque interior, showcased the dance company's talents and the creativity of the choreographers. The audience is exposed to the softer side of monsters in a defunct 'Young Frankstein' style ballet, featuring stunning point foot work with a humorous, deprecating twist. Frankstein morphs from a scary beast to a naive, love-struck character through the flawless movements mimicking that of gentle Herman Muenster.
The first act ends with the audience favorite, Jason Jams, a variation on the Stomp! model, using objects to create rhythm, although the three hockey-masked Friday the 13th villains prefer to create noise and beats with the help of bats, machetes and the token chain saw. Inspiring both laughs and frights, the audience remains silently engaged in the energetic number...or maybe remains quiet out of fear they'll be taken on stage as the killer's next victim.
The second act begins with a lost sugar plum fairy, meeting her untimely fate courtesy of a repeat appearance of one of the Jason killers, setting the tone for the rest of the show. 'Children of the Corn' steals the show with a spooky take on the flick. The dancers, dressed as mischievous high-schoolers, take to a corn field to perform a seance and end up having a hip-hop throw-down with a bunch of malicious scarecrows.
The second act includes appearance from iconic Halloween figures: The witches of Salem, Chucky dolls, and blood-hungry creatures of the night. The numbers transition with the help of short, spooky films. An informercial for "Scare-zite" a natural scare enhancement spoof plays on other natural enhancements product commercials, whilst featuring characters right off the stage, are cleverly produced and draw laughs from the audience.
The show ends 2 hours later with an an encore or the title performance, leaving the often sold out audience begging for more show-stopping dance, humor and fright.
Thriller plays across the state during the month of October and is not to be missed. Even those who don't enjoy the ballet, dance or even Halloween will delight in the energy and excitement of such a novel production. Little ones might find it a bit too scary, but the production they should be fine if you remind them that it's all just a little hocus-pocus.