High school play staging of ‘Alien’ gets thumbs-up from Hollywood
Photo: Perfecto Cuervo(NEW JERSEY) — Most parents of high schoolers have to grin and bear it through the same tired old musicals and janky recitals — but not the parents of New Jersey’s North Bergen High School.
On Friday night, they were treated to a seriously professional take on a sci-fi classic, with Alien: The Play — which created such a stir online that it got Hollywood’s attention.
An attendee posted footage of the production which, as its name suggests, was a live staging of the 1979 Ripley Scott classic that introduced the world to one of Hollywood’s strongest female characters: Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.
Like the movie, the play, which debuted on March 19, followed the doomed crew of the mining vessel Nostromo, which answers a mysterious distress call on a derelict planet, and ends up accidentally bringing a killer alien aboard.
The play boasted stunning props and costumes — designed by student Jaylin Duchesne — including spacesuits that were close-to-perfect replicas of those worn by the movie’s stars, including Tom Skerritt, and John Hurt.
Sets, designed by students Daniel Lanza and Leila Bettero, were evocative of the claustrophobic mining ship, and planet LV-426.
And speaking of Hurt’s character, Kain, the Bergen High players also staged the famous scene where an alien “facehugger” jumps onto his helmet, depositing a baby alien that later bursts out of his chest. In case you forgot, that baby quickly grows into an acid-bleeding adult, which picks off Ripley’s crew members one by one. The high school version of the suit, here worn by student Xavier Perez, would have made H.R. Giger proud.
After pictures and video of the play went viral, it got the thumbs-up from the official Alien Twitter account, which re-posted the footage. “We are impressed! 40 years and still going strong,” the post noted.
Sci-fi fans were thrilled as well. One user of the popular Replica Props Forum Facebook page, which is dedicated to beloved film and TV prop creation, enthused, “Mad respect to the drama teacher.”
Another added, “I would have joined drama class for THIS.”
The rest of the cast included Gabriella Delacruz as Ripley, Ibrahim Jaludi as Brett, David De Diego as Parker, Briney Gonzalez as Lambert, Jason Lopez as Dallas, and Dakota Rios as the murderous android Ash.
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