Alien: The Stage Play

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Geoff Harris

Alien (1979) is the story of the crew of the Nostromo as they follow a weird signal to a remote planet and discover a horror that will systematically rip them apart. A dark and moody story of heroism against the literal unknown. Recently, a wonderful adaptation was done by the students of North Bergen High School turning this classic film into a brilliant stage play.

One wouldn’t instantly assume such a feat would be possible. Adapting film to the stage is a big adjustment. Stage to Screen has the benefit of special effects and editing. Going the other direction is a high wire act with no net. They totally nailed it. The sets look and feel like the actual originals; and the effects, albeit stagecraft, don’t distract at all from the performances. If anything, the combination is a masterful blending of sized down theatrical joy. They made costumes and props on the cheap and they look AMAZING in the shadows and fog.

At the risk of becoming “ranty”, I must say this…after watching this, I will no longer tolerate anyone pissing and moaning about not having the resources to make your dreams come true. These kids put together suits made from blankets and hemp rope held together with hot glue! They look so damn close to the movie, it’s frightening! The titular “Alien” has a real sense of menace too. You can make your vision happen if you work hard enough. It takes a united front to pull off something as ambitious as this. No, not everyone will have your sense of passion but if you all work as a team, anything can happen.

One of my favorite moments is when one of the crew is literally folded into an air vent by the alien. You know it’s coming, as was the egg in the face scene, but the way they did it was so damn cool and sudden I was floored. They did deviate a tad with some references to modern pop culture which were not in the film, plus a few added lines here and there, but nothing distracting. If anything, they added a comedic element which humanizes the crew.

It is a double thumbs up experience.

 

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