Sunday, October 2, 2011

'Something Wicked This Way Comes' to Meadow Brook Theatre

     It's almost Halloween, and so it's the perfect time of year for a Ray Bradbury play. Although he's probably best known for his science fiction books "Fahrenheit 451' and "The Martian Chronicles," more of his work falls into the supernatural, dark fantasy or simply "scary" category. Case in point: "Something Wicked This Way Comes," a 1962 Ray Bradbury novel about a sinister carnival that comes to small town that opens Oct. 8 at Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester Hills.
     As a plot device, it's not exactly original or unique. In the recent book "Johannes Cabal, Necromancer," a man makes a deal with the devil to gather souls for Satan by operating such a circus, with a half dozen possible literary or cinematic "franchises" considered, including one based on "Something Wicked." Still, I enjoyed Bradbury's book when I first read it back around 1974 and I'm looking forward to the play.
     The book opens with a lightning rod salesman telling two boys that one of their homes will be struck by lightning and then giving them a lightning rod for free. The two boys are the main protagonists, along with the father of one of the boys, a janitor at the library as I recall, who discovers a similar carnival has come to town periodically ever since it was founded, and he eventually figures out how to defeat it.
     There was a film version in 1983, but I didn't much care for it. The movie ignored Bradbury's elegant solution, eliminated one of the carnival's two owners, made the Dust Witch young and sexy and elevated the Lightning Rod salesman from a quirky character to ... hero.  I hope the play is better.
     I'm seeing it this weekend. Stay tuned.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home