Clarion University’s ‘Scary Musical the Musical’ pokes fun at classic horror films

November 2, 2017

scary musical“There’s a killer in the house” at Clarion University Theatre’s production of “Scary Musical the Musical” which opens at 8 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Little Theatre of Marwick-Boyd. The show will run at 8 p.m. Nov. 15-18 with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

The show is a new musical send-up of the classic horror movies about high school students being terrorized by an unknown killer. Elements from such iconic films as "Psycho," "Halloween," "Scream" and others are given an affectionate nod as the cast sings and dances its way, trying to figure why a killer is targeting the drama club students at Vera Miles High School in Hidden Secrets, USA, where high school "can be murder!"

Written by Richard Hochberg and Michael Paternostro, the production lampoons well-known films and musical genres from Burt Bacharach to NSYNC. The composer, Michael Paternostro is a friend and former student of director/choreographer Professor Marilouise "Mel" Michel of Clarion's theatre program. Paternostro's career includes performing in many Broadway shows, including the original casts of "Fosse" and the revival of "A Chorus Line." The students were able to meet and work with Paternostro during the first week of rehearsal.

The cast includes senior BFA musical theatre major Victoria Heckert of Red Lion as Jamie Leigh Lee; junior BFA students Nathan Bunyon of Collegeville, Justin Baumgarten of Philipsburg, and Betsy Novotony of Homestead as Jason Cravin, Norman Hates and Leeza Courtney Fox, respectively; sophomore BFA students Daniel LaMond of North Beach, Md., and Lindsay Smelcer of Bensalem as Freddy Loussier and Carrie Beige, with theatre minors Niki Bedford of Harrisburg and freshman Ally Gillen of Haverford rounding out the cast. Understudies are freshman theatre majors Kylie Judy of Franklin, Kevin Bradley of Shippenville and Dante Engelmann of Munson. Judy and Bradley are also serving as dramaturgs, who help make sure the historical elements are true to the films that inspired them.

The spooky lights are being created by senior BFA tech theatre major Thomas Feather of Windber, and eerie props will be designed by senior BFA tech theatre major Courtney Chaplin of McMurray. The creepy sound effects are being handled by freshman BFA tech theatre major Ben Fye of Woodland. The set and costumes designers are Clarion faculty members Ed Powers and Myra Bullington.

Guest musical director Garrett Smelcer is handing the musical direction and conducting the pit band, which includes Robert Bullington on guitar, Andrew Stanish of Pittsburgh on bass and Jordan Weeter of Cranberry on the drums.

This show is intended for adult audiences. Tickets are $12 and available at

Last Updated 4/9/18