Our first encounter with the Fright Gallery was back in 2003, when they presented a professional haunted house attraction titled “Experiment in Terror.” This turns out to have been an anomaly in their Halloween career, which consists mostly of an amateur haunt in a quiet Burbank neighborhood. Billing itself as a “Terrifyingly Hilarious Experience in Suburban Lawn Art,” Fright Gallery is unique among Halloween Home Haunts: in a front yard decorated with tombstones, they stage campy musical spoofs of popular cultural artifacts and twist them to fit the Halloween season. In 2005 their play was “Twisted” (which conflated THE WIZARD OF OZ with Beach Party movies of the ’60s). After that, Fright Gallery took two years off before returning in 2008 with “Dead of the Class,” a take-off on HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.
We did not enjoy “Dead of the Class” as much as “Twisted,” perhaps because we are not as familiar with the source material being spoofed; nevertheless it was an impress production, as this video shows.
Unfortunately, Fright Gallery did not stage another show for Halloween 2009, despite planning for one. We can only hope that they return in 2010. Until then, memories – and this video – will have to tide us over.