Dead Of Night

February 10th, 2015 by admin


Bare Bones theater has been chosen for a WORLD PREMIERE of two plays by Frederick Stroppel – Performances Feb 1-3, 8-10, 14-17 (FINAL PERFORMANCE)

Stroppel to Appear in Person to sign his book “Lucky Me”, a biography of Shirley MacLaine’s daughter, Sachi Parker.

Dead Of Night is an evening of two suspense dramas by acclaimed playwright Frederick Stroppel, whose works have been favorites with Bare Bones audiences for over a decade. The first, “The Family Crypt” – with a cast of four women and one man – is set in a mausoleum where recently deceased members of the same family demonstrate that they are every bit as petty and mean-spirited after death as they were in life. The second, “The Hunter’s Moon” – with a cast of four men and one woman – takes place in a neighborhood bar, where a typical assortment of locals gather  for a night of fun and games on Halloween eve.  Typical, that is, until the night takes a horrific spin into the netherworld on the appearance of a darkly brooding and suspicious STRANGER.


Reviewed by

Glen Cove, N.Y. resident Frederick Stroppel, author of nine collections of full-length plays and one-acts, many of which have been performed in New York and internationally, has chosen Long Island’s Bare Bones Theater Company for the world premiere of Dead of Night, an evening of two one-act plays of macabre humor and suspense. There will be eight performances, beginning on Friday, February 1, and continuing through February 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15 and 16, 2013, at 57 Main Street in Northport, NY.

Mr. Stroppel will appear at the theater on Friday, Saturday and Sunday February 8, 9 and 10 to sign his new book, Lucky Me, which he co-authored with Sachi Parker, daughter of actress Shirley MacLaine. The book, a revealing memoir, is scheduled for release on February 7. Mr. Stroppel is also at work transforming the piece into a one-woman show to star Ms. Parker.

“To be accorded the honor of premiering two plays by Frederick Stroppel immediately catapults Bare Bones into the ranks of the big leagues,” said Mr. Bennett. “Not a single showcase at Bare Bones goes by without a Stroppel title on the program. Our actors love these scripts, and our audiences have always received them with generous laughter and applause.”

Mr. Stroppel and his work have enjoyed a very special relationship with Bare Bones over the past decade. Nearly eight years ago, the Long Island native became the first (and only) playwright in the history of the 13-year-old company to have an entire program dedicated solely to his material. “We are thrilled to be chosen from the scores of community and repertory theaters in the region,” Mr. Bennett added. Fred Stroppel’s long list of artistic achievements encompasses the musical stage, TV and film industries. His independent film “Glacier Bay” won ten festival awards, including Best Screenplay, at the 2006 Lake Forest Film Festival.

Directed by Bennett and Lee Meyer, Dead of Night comprises two suspense dramas. The first, “The Family Crypt,” takes place in a mausoleum where recently deceased family members display the same petty, mean spirited behavior in death as they did in life. The second, “The Hunter’s Moon,” brings theatergoers to a neighborhood bar, where a typical assortment of locals gather for a night of fun and games on Halloween eve. Typical, that is, until the night takes a horrific spin into the netherworld upon the appearance of a darkly brooding and suspicious “stranger.”

While they are works of suspense, audiences can expect the plays to contain the same wit, comic flair and sensitivity to the human condition found in Mr. Stroppel’s other works. Such qualities have made Stroppel’s plays appeal to a broad spectrum of theatergoers.

A look at Mr. Stroppel’s travel itinerary at the beginning of 2013 quickly reveals how much he loves to tackle varied subject matter with his writing. In addition to the book Lucky Me, projects include the premiere of his play “Small World: A Fantasia” (about Walt Disney‘s efforts to make the animated classic) at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, Connecticut.

Dead Of Night – Deb’s Web Review


Never let me hear you complain that there’s nothing new to see on The Island. Not only is there something new, but it’s written by LI playwright Fred Stroppel, who is on hand for the post-performance talk back and for signing his new book, Lucky Me, which he co-authored with Sachi Parker, about growing up as the daughter of Shirley MacLaine. Two one-acts, The Family Crypt and The Hunter’s Moon, comprise this evening of the dark and macabre aptly named Dead of Night: Two Comedy-Suspense Dramas. Many of the actors were familiar to me from previous Bare Bones’ productions, yet there were some new faces, too. (As it is a repertory company, Jeff Bennett, co-director/founder, draws many of his cast members from the classes given at the BB.) I’m told that the company uses many of Mr. Stroppel’s plays for their popular acting showcases, but these one-acts were written for this particular Bare Bones’ production. AND original they are! It’s very difficult to review suspense plays without giving away the plot, but I will tell you that the The Family Crypt, which takes place inside one, is hilarious, in no small part due to the excellent direction and performances. The Hunter’s Moon, while it has its humorous moments, is more in the vein of a traditional suspense thriller. What I can tell you is to get over to “one of the other theaters in Northport” and see something new and well executed. The shows tend to sell out early, so don’t wait. Oh, and don’t leave during intermission. Even the set change is entertaining. It’s a lot of fun to watch what can be done in a black box theater (in this case it’s really an ecru dance studio). Go!!


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