A howling good time: Scream this summer with Mr. Moribund

MILFORD — Mr. Moribund hopes you won’t wait for Halloween to roll around for a scary good time, so he’s hosting a Summer Screamer Saturday, July 28 at Riverfront Theatre in Milford.

“The show is a live version of the classic horror host shows of the 50s through the 80s, where a host would show a movie and interrupt with sketches, comedy and other fun,” Mr. Moribund, known by day as W. J. Walton of Harrington, said.

This summer, Mr. Moribund and his band of creepy storytellers will feature “Carnival of Souls,” a 1962 thriller about a young church organist who was in a terrible car accident before experiencing strange visions and visitations after she moves to a new town.

Throughout the movie, the cast of live characters on stage will “make the audience feel like they’re in the TV studio, watching as we broadcast our program on the air,” he explained. “Our live talent segments feature musical performances and other acts by very talented young people. Local businesses provide us with prizes that we give away to the audience during the show. You get all of this, plus a classic monster movie, for one low price of $5 — an incredible entertainment value.”

The performances will include commercial breaks, live performances, audience participation and, “our own little sitcom of errors going on in between the movie segments.”

Mr. Moribund said his frightful cast includes children and adults.

“Moribund’s conniving landlady who is always threatening to evict us, his loyal monster who only speaks in grunts and groans, a demented clown who was a refugee from a cancelled children’s show, a dancing zombie, a talking brain in a jar, and a bunch of others, all of them just trying to put on a good show while all around them is falling apart,” he explained.

The show began in October 2015 after Second Street Players installed a projector and movie screen. Since he grew up watching Dr. Shock, a magician turned fictional character who hosted horror shows based out of Philadelphia, and Saturday Night Dead with Stella, Mr. Walton knew he had to submit the idea for a live horror host show of his own.

The lifelong Delawarian lives in Harrington with his wife, daughter and several felines. He describes himself as an artist, musician, writer, storyteller and performer, and his list of volunteering activities proves that to be true.

Mr. Walton has worked with Second Street Players out of Milford for 11 years now, including roles such as art director, set painter, director, pit musician and actor. He has worked with their children’s theatre program since it began in 2009. He has played with Milford’s Downtown Dixieland Band, painted sets for six different theatre groups and written and illustrated a children’s book about a curious horseshoe crab.

More children’s books are in his future, along with making custom instruments and, of course, Mr. Moribund’s events at Riverfront Theatre in Milford.

“Anything else is as much of a surprise to me as it is to anyone else. I’m truly making this all up as I go,” he said.

The live stage family-friendly summer screamer event will be Saturday, July 28 for $5 per person. Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 7:30 p.m.

Mr. Walton says he hopes to keep Mr. Moribund’s events around as long as he can. Attendance is important in fulfilling that mission.

“It’s a truly rewarding experience like no other. Not only do we get to bring enchantment and joy to the audience, but I’ve seen amazing changes in the lives of the people involved in the shows. I’ve seen people who could barely speak in public stand up and give incredible performances to their audience,” he said. “I’ve seen the theatre give people a confidence and a voice that they never had before. As for myself personally, I’m not satisfied with living only one life. In the theatre, I can live many of them, and I have.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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