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THEATER REVIEW : 'Werewolf' a True Treat for Halloween Season : It's an amalgam of 1950 horror films, 'Grease' and 'The Nutty Professor.' Stay for the post-show 'vaudeville' revue.


The title of the Moorpark Melodrama's current "You Ain't Nothin' But a Werewolf" says it all: an amalgam of '50s horror films, "Grease," and a nod to "The Nutty Professor." With a couple of standout performances, the show--written by frequent Melodrama contributor Tim Kelly--is a good bet for those intrigued by the premise and in the mood for some Halloween-season fun.

Rupert Lydecker (Kevin McDonald) is tired of being a misfit at Riverdale High School, but probably didn't bargain on stumbling into the laboratory of a mad scientist (Will Shupe II) and being transformed into a werewolf. Which is exactly what happens. He returns to school where--instead of terrifying his fellow students--the newly hirsute Rupert becomes very popular, especially with the ladies. Which causes no end of consternation to school tough-guy and aspiring rock 'n' roll star Chet Lumpcrass (Joseph Pisani).

There is also a subplot in which an android, aided and abetted by the scientist, infiltrates Riverdale High (not the same school that Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead attended, evidently). That piece of the story goes nowhere in particular, but gives Deborah Webster an opportunity to change costumes, so what the hey?

The performers are, as usual for the Melodrama, bright and attractive throughout, with especially good work here by Shupe as Dr. Murdock Dangerfield and Hiram Johnson as the Werewolf (no, Rupert doesn't change costumes and makeup). Director Kevin Karn and choreographer Jeanette Stark keep things moving, and the music is a hummable selection of rock 'n' roll oldies.

The post-show "vaudeville," incidentally, this time is a revue of Halloween-oriented songs, many of them from Broadway or environs--the dentist number from "Little Shop of Horrors," the wolf's song from "Into the Woods," and so on. It's worth sticking around the extra half an hour.


* WHAT: "You Ain't Nothin' but a Werewolf"

* WHEN: Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Matinees Saturdays and Sundays at 3, through Nov. 12

* WHERE: Magnificent Moorpark Melodrama & Vaudeville Company Theater, 45 E. High St., in Moorpark.

* HOW MUCH: Thursday, all seats $8; Friday, all seats $10; and Saturday evening, all seats $12; Saturday and Sunday matinees, $12 adults; $9.50 seniors and children. Group rates are available for some performances. Visa and MasterCard accepted.

* FYI: For reservations or further information, call 529-1212

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