NJ high school stage version of ‘Alien’ gets Hollywood notice
NORTH BERGEN — It's spring play season for schools around New Jersey, and one production has gone viral for its creativity and innovation.
Art teacher and art director Steven Defendini came up with the concept and collaborated with drama teacher Perfecto Cuervo.
The two performances on Tuesday, March 19 and Friday, March 22, were met with rave reviews from those who attended in-person, and amazement from social media users who saw clips and still images.
Comic and actor Paul Scheer, actor Elijah Wood (who's reaction was "Holy S****!") and former MythBusters co-host Adam Savage were among those reacting on on social media, along with two approving tweets from the movie franchise's official account.
On Instagram, Defendini wrote ahead of the Friday night finale, "The Xenomorph in all his glory. We soaked our Lambert in so much blood it rained on the screen. Come by North Bergen High School this Friday at 7p.m. It’s our last performance and we are pulling out all the stops:) Engineers, facebuggers, nostromsuits, chestbursters, decapitated robots, etc. The cast and crew did an amazing job Tuesday so the nerves are gone and we are ready to roll."
A Reddit feed about the production has been flooded with questions about the production and whether longer scenes from the live performances would be posted. The student who started the feed said the play was "professionally recorded and the teacher is editing all the footage together."
It's also not the drama club's first unconventional choice for a high school production. In May 2018, North Bergen students did a live version of “Night of the Living Dead.”
Back in 2014, Defendini and his students created a tribute of sorts to Batman, with a replica portion of the Bat-cave that included the suit, weapons and batpod.
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