The Orange Coast College Repertory Theatere’s presentation of “Something Wickeder Comes Again” was just what I needed to ring in the Halloween season.
Performed in the Drama Lab Theatre on Saturday, the play takes the audience to a 1960s dinner party where polite neighbors gather to celebrate Halloween night.
The light conversation quickly takes a turn and the party guests introduce the first of five scary stories of the “Twilight Zone” variety. From zombies to ghosts, each one covered all my favorite aspects of horror.
One of my favorite scenes was about Jenny, a girl who wore a dark green ribbon around her neck every day.
Lively narrators guided us through different points in her life where her partner would inquire about the ribbon that she never took off — not even during consummation.
She denied him until her very last breath and even though I had a feeling of what was going to happen, I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation.
While I won’t spoil the ending, I got chills as the lights went off at the climax and the party guests erupted into screams.
Other scenes introduced us to the world’s deadliest babysitter and Tim, your not-so-friendly neighborhood zombie. Adhering to the title of the play, each scene’s finale had a wicked ending.
The last scene stuck with me the most.
The scene is narrated by a doting housewife who goes full “Chicago” and kills her husband without a care in the world.
While she thinks she’s immune to guilt, she’s quickly mistaken. As she gets questioned by the police and sits over her husband’s rotting body in the floorboards, she’s haunted by the sound of a beating heart.
She goes insane and goes off on a blood curdling monologue, admitting her dirty deed and ending in screams of chaos on the floor that left me with a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.
There’s no doubt the women held the power in “Something Wickeder Comes Again” and I was so impressed by their haunting performances.
There were also many great moments of comic relief that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The funny bits were a welcomed break in the horror.
My favorite was a recurring bit where a trick-or-treater would knock on the door and give a cute “Ah!” at the party guests who would erupt in laughter.
Jill Johnson did an incredible job writing and directing this fun little play. She gave me the perfect amount of horror and humor to balance the show and give it some flair.
I’ll be checking under my bed for the boogeyman for at least a week after this spooky show.
For those wanting to get a fright of their own, “Something Wickeder Comes Again” is still running at the Drama Lab Theatre. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and admission is free.