While the recent big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s seminal IT is inspiring thousands of Halloween costumes this season, LA’s famed Rockwell Table & Stage is kicking it up a notch with a musical parody of the blockbuster horror franchise.

Running every Friday and Saturday night until November 10, the latest in the Rockwell Musical Parodies series is written by John Flynn and directed by Nathan Moore. The creepy yet comedic spin on the frightening classic winks at the original 1990 TV-movie, which scared and scarred a generation kids like yours truly, and blends bits from the 2017 remake (the highest-grossing horror film of all-time) and its 2019 follow-up about seven young outcasts who confront a shapeshifting evil that emerges from the sewers of a small town to prey on children, disguised as a clown named Pennywise. 

Photo by Bryan Carpender

Each member of the ensemble cast delightfully plays both prepubescent and adult versions of “The Losers Club.” Act One finds our fearless “kids” belting out nostalgic pop numbers like Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” Michael Jackson’s “Bad” (say hello to the vocals of Janaya Mahealani Jones) and New Kids on the Block’s “Please Don’t Go Girl,” courtesy of Trevin Goin, nailing “new/fat kid” Ben. Meanwhile, actor-singer Garrett Clayton (Teen Beach Movie, King Cobra) seems to be having the most fun, inhabiting the role of the murderous, innocence-ingesting Pennywise with deliciously campy glee. He steals a climactic rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” with a falsetto that pivots into a hilariously tweaked lyric directed at poor redheaded Beverly (Gwen Hollander).

Clayton also opens Act Two — in heels, no less — with a strutting take on Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” As a result, one can’t help but notice a resemblance of Rocky Horror‘s Dr. Frank-N-Furter in his crazy clown. This is then followed by a surprisingly touching performance of (yes) a One Direction song. Naturally, this being a Rockwell Musical Parody, there is also the requisite mash-up; Gaga’s “Bad Romance” gets paired with Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” but some of the effect gets lost in the execution. And finally, in a fun twist on the final battle sequence, our adult Losers go up against Pennywise in a dance-off accompanied by (what else?) an over-the-top medley of Britney Spears hits.

“Rockwell Table and Stage is excited for Stephen King’s ‘IT’ A Musical Parody,” say co-producers E.K. Dagenfield (who plays wisecracking nerd Ritchie) and Pablo Rossil. “The cast and production team, matched with the timely frights of Stephen King’s iconic narrative and recent release of IT: Chapter Two, make for the perfect show to scare your way into the Halloween season.”

Photo: Bryan Carpender

Known as LA’s premier musical parody venue, Rockwell continues in producing the utmost professional entertainment with electrifying vocals, side-splitting comedy, and notable cast members, from Broadway to on-screen and beyond.  Stephen King’s IT: A Musical Parody is no exception to the high-level shows many have come to adore and anticipate. 

Rockwell Table & Stage is located in Los Feliz at 1714 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles. Tickets are on sale now for this must-see, seasonal musical parody at https://rockwell-la.com/shows/.

@TheFirstEcho