They say you can’t go home again, but the Slayer Players Theatre Company begs to differ. To transport audience members back to a simpler place and time, the local community theater group will be performing two holiday TV classics from the Golden Age of Television in December at the View Grill in Glen Cove.
Titled “Classic TV Live! Home for the Holidays,” the four-show run includes dinner theater performances at 7:00 p.m. on Dec. 14, 20 and 21 and a brunch theater performance at 1:00 pm on Dec. 15.
On Dec. 24, 1955, one of 39 episodes of Jackie Gleason’s The Honeymooners TV series aired on CBS. Written by Marvin Max and Walter Stone, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” is a show that is still a staple of Christmas Eve TV viewing to this day.
However, only a select few were able to experience the performance live when it was filmed at the DuMont Television Network’s Adelphi Theater in Manhattan.
The Slayer Players’ will try to recreate this experience when they perform this classic as part of their two-show presentation at the View Grill. “Our goal is to emulate every move of the talented actors and actresses that made up the cast of this show,” explains Fred DiMenna, the group’s business manager who created the home-for-the-holidays concept and is co-directing the two shows along with Kevin Horton. “We are also building an authentic set which includes icebox, stove and sink. And since this was filmed live, we’re making sure that we recognize all of the bloopers and improvisation that are now renowned in TV lore.”
Local comedian Pat Marrone will star as Ralph with DiMenna playing Ed Norton and Dr. Eve Lupenko-Ferrante playing Alice.
Five years after “Twas the Night Before Christmas aired, another holiday classic was presented on CBS as part of Rod Serling’s anthology series “The Twilight Zone.” This episode is also shown perennially on Christmas Eve.
“Kevin and I are big fans of The Twilight Zone,” DiMenna reveals. “So when we were trying to figure out a second show to perform with the Honeymooners and he suggested “The Night of the Meek,’ I didn’t have to think twice. Unfortunately, The Twilight Zone per se is often considered scary or spooky and some episodes were, but ‘The Night of the Meek’ is anything but.
However, it is thought-provoking because it concerns a serious social topic – the disparity between the affluent and the impoverished – that is every bit and perhaps even more relevant today.
And it has an ending that will warm the heart. It really is the perfect complement to “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” because the poignant message the former delivers will bring a tear to the eyes every bit as much as laughter does when witnessing the latter.”
“The Night of the Meek” stars DiMenna as Henry Corwin with Dr. Jim Bilello as Mr. Dundee and Doug Spadaro as Officer Flaherty.
Tickets for Classic TV Live! Home for the Holidays can be purchased at
www. SlayerPlayers.com. The website also has promotional videos for this event. More more information, email [email protected] or call 516-595-2233. The View Grill is located at the Glen Cove Golf Course at 111 Lattingtown Road in Glen Cove. For more
information about the restaurant, visit www.theviewgrill.info, email [email protected] or call 516-200-9603.