longtime casting director Steven DeAngelis can hardly believe the frighteningly terrific talent he will work with Oct. 16-17 at the Brown County Music Center.
It just so happens that those Broadway and television stars he will guide will offer audiences what he aims to be a chilling night and afternoon of Halloween fun — all via musical selections from scary characters in shows such as “Wicked,” “The Addams Family,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and others.
Therein lies the cool ghoul theme of sorts for “Broadway Fright Night,” with five top-tier performers.
“It’s going to be a lot of beautifully sung material — and an awful lot of fun stuff, too,” DeAngelis said, speaking by phone from his New York City home. “We have all the big, dramatic musical numbers from shows like ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ but also the great opportunity to use the humor from shows such as ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ and ‘Young Frankenstein.’
“So I think of it as a really great mix.”
DeAngelis, a friend of local professional actress Jill Tasker, began conversing online with Tasker three years ago about people with dementia. They hit upon the idea of such a show to benefit a dementia-related program called Music & Memory — all because DeAngelis connected with his mother, an Alzheimer’s patient, through old, classic tunes eight years ago. That first local show in 2018 and the second in 2019, all with different lineups and themes, benefitted the Music & Memory program for Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.
These shows this time around will benefit Columbus-based nonprofit Thrive Alliance’s Music & Memory program that is part of the agency’s in-home care management for clients with dementia. The venue staff requires that attendees show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
The concert, which will include a brief question-and-answer session with the audience, will include five performers:
Richard Todd Adams (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” Jekyll and Hyde,” and “Cats”)
Alyssa Fox (“Wicked” and “Frozen”)
Mason Alexander Park (Netflix’s “The Sandman” and “Cowboy Bishop”)
Jenny Lee Stern (“Forbidden Broadway,” “Jersey Boys,” “Spamilton”)
Kaley Ann Vorhees (“The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Prince of Broadway”)
“They’ve agreed to come because the cause speaks to them,” DeAngelis said. “And they’ve agreed to come because they know it’ll be a fun time.”
He classifies the fun simply.
“Audience members should think about this like going to a Halloween party with a Broadway theme,” he said.
Which explains why organizers are encouraging attendees to dress up in accordance with the holiday and maybe even in the likeness of a favorite Broadway character.
Sue Lamborn, Thrive Alliance’s outreach and community relations manager, ideally would like to see each of the two shows three-fourths full.
She loves the idea that the show is at the Brown County Music Center, considered a state-of-the-art, 2,000-seat structure that opened in the summer of 2019.
“This whole thing, from the venue on, has been very exciting,” she said.
Sports fan DeAngelis recalls that, in his boyhood, before today’s organized fantasy baseball, he would mentally map out his own league with his collector’s cards, figuring what trades and talent he could orchestrate to make teams better. He figures he’s doing much the same today creating nights of unique entertainment — no two shows he has done here have been remotely alike — with stage stalwarts.
“In childhood, I was doing a form of fantasy baseball,” DeAngelis said. “Now, I’m doing fantasy Broadway.”