Mountain Community Theater goes to the outer limits
Miguel Reyna started watching The Twilight Zone when he was just 8 years old. His ‘assignment’ was to record the shows for his mom who worked an evening shift. For the next four years, the young Reyna became addicted. “Your mind is blown away,” he says of the popular 1960s television show. “Watching those Twilight Zones gave me the chills at a young age and really put a different lens on life for me. Up until this day, the suburbs [anywhere] look like The Twilight Zone. The show is dated in the acting and dialogue, but they it’s relevant and timeless through the stories.”
And that’s why the now adult Reyna, a theater director, is debuting two episodes of The Twilight Zone in a theatrical venue at Park Hall in Ben Lomond, home to Mountain Community Theater.
The Twilight Zone is yet another production which is setting Mountain Community Theater apart from its past. While still a family-friendly venue, in recent years the company has been producing edgier theater like the 2006 production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” “We’re doing more punk rock,” Reyna says. “We’re not going to do ‘Oklahoma.’”
Reyna, who flip flops between being an actor and director, says this show, which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 15, will be vaudevillian in its scope. Not only will there be two full-length acted out episodes of The Twilight Zone, but in addition, there will be a commercial of some sort for local businesses a la Garrison Keillor style with “The Prairie Home Companion.” In addition, other acts will include a band, an aerial dancer and a saxophone group.
The two episodes that will be acted out include “The New Exhibit,” and “Person or Persons Unknown.” “The New Exhibit” follows the story of what happens in a wax museum when a curator is closely attached to three wax figures that are murderers. Mayhem, of course, ensues. “Person or Persons Unknown” is the ultimate case of a confused identity, where a man knows who he is, but no one else recognizes him.
As for the ultimate question—why should people come to the show, Reyna says, “You know, it’s crazy; I feel that people really need to reassess their idea of entertainment. Television is wonderful but there’s gold out in their backyard. As far as acting and stories, there’s nothing like seeing a live play. If people come see a live play, they will find fulfillment as much as watching any movie. Plus, it’s Halloween. If people like M. Night Shyamalan, The Twilight Zone influenced that man more than anything.”
It sounds like Reyna has a Sixth Sense.
“The Twilight Zone Vaudeville Extravaganza” runs from Friday, Oct. 31 to Saturday, Nov. 15 at Park Hall, 9370 Mill St., Ben Lomond. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9. Tickets are $13/advance; $16/door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit mctshows.org .