Hopewell Theatre to stage psycho-drama ‘Baby Jane’

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Staff report


Horror returns to the Hopewell Theatre this Halloween season with the classic psycho-drama “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”

The Hopewell, formerly the Victorian Players Theatre, was once known for its adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe tales every October but programmed lighthearted Halloween fare in recent years.

It is teaming up with Centaur Stage Productions to bring back the ghastly “Baby Jane.” Centaur Stage has produced the popular “In the Spirit of Christmas” shows for the past decade at the theater.

“Baby Jane” tells the story of former child star Baby Jane Hudson and her sister, former teen heartthrob movie star Blanch Hudson, as they grew old together as spinsters in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane slowly loses her mind and becomes a more and more torturous threat to her sister and everyone else who crosses her path.

The creepy show features Maria Ceraolo as Jane and Barbara Malazia as Blanch. Jenna Cintavey is Blanch’s confidant, Elvira. Jane’s accompanist and would-be suitor, Edwin Flagg, is played by Robert Elway. Young Baby Jane is played by Hanna Bender, and young Blanch is played by Brylee Rutledge.

The cast also features Kevin Bender, Trudy Mason, Monica Martin, Rob Whiting, Charlene Rutledge, Christopher Rutledge, Erica Perna and John Dalbec. It is directed by Sam Luptak Jr., and stage managed by Lynne Peterson.

To complement the horror onstage, the theater building will take on a chilling atmosphere thanks to local haunted house artist Richard Hughes.

Tickets for “Baby Jane” are $13 ($10 for seniors and students); those who dress in a complete costume (masks alone do not qualify) will receive a $2 discount.

There will be five performances over two consecutive weekends, beginning Friday. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and again Oct. 27 and 28; and 2 p.m. Oct. 29. Call 330-746-5455 for reservations. The theater is located at 702 Mahoning Ave.