Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Costumer's Workshop: A Monster to Costume

COSTUMER'S WORKSHOP: A Monster to Costume
April 26, 2011

Imagine you walk into a room and see the following the items: A victorian wedding dress, a heap of rags, bolts of sequins, a lab coat, a formal dinner gown, platform gogo boots with 5 inch heels, a tattered mens suit, a 1980's jumpsuit, Egyptian-inspired accessories, Greco-Roman trim, and a vampire cape. You're either at the world's weirdest garage sale or you in the costume shop for the upcoming film MONSTER MANIA!  

This film is a monster to costume.  It's not as simple as going out to Goodwill or some clothing shop and picking up a few pieces.  Many of the costumes come from another country, time, or possibly world.  We have elaborate costumes ranging in times from Ancient world to the Victorian era to the intersecting styles of the Steampunk trend.  

Seeing as the film contains several horror icons we have certain expectations to live up to but we also don't want to rehash something that the audience has seen a hundred times before.  It is also important that we maintain a certain level of historical accuracy to represent the time from which each character came from.  Also, we have to make the costumes serve their purpose of being comedic and over-the-top without looking hokey.  Therefore, we are treading a fine line between traditional and fresh, accurate and whimsical, fantastical and believable.  

In many aspects, we are going back to the original stage designs, which in turn are taken from the classics.  Kharis will be just as elaborate as he always has been.  The Phantom Bride will again don her Victoriana.  Dracula will follow suit as the traditional Bela Lugosi-inspired vampire.  On the other hand, some characters will stray from their previous stage incarnations.  Frankie, for example, wore gothic attire previously; however, for the film we are going back to the basics of "The Bride of Frankenstein."  Other characters will differ still as all previous designs will be scrapped.  Jacqueline Hyde will sport an all new Steampunk design in the movie.  

Presenting an array of costumes that some costumers may never touch in their lives let alone one film, MONSTER MANIA! is a nightmare and a dream all in one.  It will be a long journey of hard work, but it will all payoff in the end, as the costumes will help the actors and filmmakers present the characters.  The old saying goes, "Clothing makes the man," but in our case the costumes make the monster.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Casting Announcement: Haley Dillon

CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT: Haley Dillon as Mrs. Daria Sargento
April 24, 2011

Haley Dillon
Haley Dillon joins the cast of MONSTER MANIA as the snobby (and very, very wealthy) landlady, Daria Sargento.  Daria is a character of mystery and, as Ms. Dillon insists, indeterminate age.  She will be the third actress to play this particular role.  It was originated by Savannah Shackleford in 2003 and followed by Meagan (Bagley) Hayley in the revival.  Brassy and sassy, Haley brings just the right amount of menace and humor to the character.

"I remember being asked, 'would you like to play a creepy, snobbish old woman who is scarier than all the monsters?  I think you'd be great!"  Now I must admit that I am very pleased to be cast in this role and promise to do my very best to scare the living crap out of every normal person who watches it.  That's all I got."

Ms. Dillon is no amateur in the world of creepy characters having played Columbia in ROCKY HORROR (alongside MANIA co-stars, Allen and Kramer) and Fruma-Sarah in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.  On the lighter side of theatre, she has also played Glinda the Good Witch of the North and played in the ensemble of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

215365_209425249081466_188051591218832_721661_2254158_a.jpgMs. Dillon as Columbia in ROCKY HORROR (2010).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Casting Announcement: Kathryn Kramer

CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT: Kathryn Kramer as Baroness Amelia Frankenstein
February 6, 2011

Kathryn Kramer
 Kathryn Kramer will be playing the Baroness Amelia Frankenstein in the film adaptation of MONSTER MANIA!  The role as originated by Ryan Nees (as Baron A. Frankenstein) in 2003 and played Marianne Westrick in the 2007 production.  Kathryn is very happy to make her onscreen debut in the upcoming film.  However, she is no stranger to craft as she has an extensive resume of stage work including such roles as Magenta (THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW), Rusty (FOOTLOOSE), Demeter (CATS), and Patty Simcox (GREASE).  

When asked about being cast in the role she had the following to say: "Finally a role where I get to be angry...really angry!"

Kramer landed the role after a single reading of the script.  She was able to project the bossiness, authority, and intimidation that the role calls for. 
Kramer as Demeter.

Casting Announcement: Zachary Ryan Allen

CASTING ANNOUNCEMENT: Zachary Ryan Allen as Kharis the Mummy
February 4, 2011,

Zachary Ryan Allen
Zachary Ryan Allen will return to Castle Frankenstein to reprise the role of Kharis in MONSTER MANIA, which he originated in the 2003.  He also played the role in the 2007 "resurrection" of the production.  Zachary is excited to be returning to the role: "I've grown somewhat attached to this role.  After all, I was the first one to ever play him; however, I will admit I was a bit intimidated by Kharis at first.  I mean, he's kind of crazy and wild.  I grew to become more comfortable letting him take over my body for the duration of the production.  Now he's back and crazier than ever...I've just come to accept that he is a part me...just the part that I never let show in public!"

Zachary's many stage credits include The Scarecrow (THE WIZARD OF OZ), Dreyfus (THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN), Dr. Frank N. Furter (THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW), Charlie Brown (YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN), Marcellus (THE MUSIC MAN in concert), and he appeared in the company of the workshop production of THE CIRCUS IN WINTER (based on the novel by Cathy Day).  He has also appeared in the films Love (Jim) and Face (Karl Brandon).  He is currently filming for the new movie Little Unexpected Surprises in which he plays the role of The Grad Student.

Zachary Ryan Allen as Kharis in the 2007 stage production with Kristen M. Tepe as The Phantom Bride.

Welcome to Monster Mania!

Welcome to the Official Blog of Monster Mania!: The Movie.  Monster Mania! is based on the stage play of the same name, which premiered in the fall of 2003 (and later revived fall of 2007).

Here we will be bringing you the latest news and updates on casting, filming, and other aspects of production.  We hope you enjoy the blog and continue to follow us.  Most of all, we hope you enjoy the finished product: Monster Mania!