Preview: The Midnight Shift

  • Photo by Joe Maiorana
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From the February 16, 2012 edition

More than 25 cast and crew members act out movies on a stage in front of the screen as the film rolls.

Cult movie fans may recognize The Midnight Shift. They perform “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at Studio 35, but began applying their craft to other movies last August.

Selections have included “Destroy All Monsters,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical.” Up this weekend is “The Princess Bride.”

“We love doing ‘Rocky,’” said Midnight Shift cast director Chris Stephenson, “but almost every movie could be enhanced by doing this. Shadowcasting mixes live theater with the movie so you can watch the movie and watch us.”

Sometimes the performers are silent. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes things are thrown at the audience. Sometimes not. Silly string always makes an appearance.

“It’s challenging. The movies were never intended to be done this way,” Stephenson said. “Like in ‘Princess Bride,’ there are big sword fights with all those flips.”

And a giant.

Part of the cast’s comedic solution is gender-swapping the roles. For example, Stephenson is playing Princess Buttercup.

“It’s an excuse for us to pretend we’re doing a movie,” Stephenson said. “We do it to entertain people, but it’s fulfilling a dream for us to get to do these ridiculous things.”

The Midnight Shift shadowcasts a new movie on the third Saturday of each month at Grandview Theatre. Tickets are $5 each.

Not have fun? Inconceivable.