Monday, March 31, 2014

DARK SHADOWS news bulletins

* Will McKinley explains how he was introduced to DARK SHADOWS: “Son, you should video this movie,” my father said, handing me a copy of TV Guide and pointing emphatically to the VCR he had just bought – for $1,000 – as a family Christmas gift. “It’s based on a soap opera about vampires. I think you’d like it.” LINK

* I've been dragging my ass this month, and have completed a total of zero reviews of Big Finish's latest DARK SHADOWS releases. THIRD EYE CINEMA has a review of THE HAPPIER DEAD for your reading pleasure, though. The review is available HERE, while the episode, which features Stephanie Ellyne, Lisa Richards, Murray Melvin, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Nancy Barrett, can be purchased directly from Big Finish HERE.

* David Selby will be reuniting with his FALCON CREST co-star Susan Sullivan in a production of Edward Albee's A DELICATE BALANCE at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. (Sullivan reportedly appeared uncredited as a ghost on DARK SHADOWS during the show's earlier years.) LINK

Donna McKechnie and Andrea McArdle.
* Broadway World has photos of Donna McKechnie ("Amanda Harris" on the original DARK SHADOWS) from her March 24 appearance in the "Broadway at Birdland" concert series. LINK

Friday, March 28, 2014

The cast of DARK SHADOWS by The Clay Guy

More than a year ago, I shared a few links to DARK SHADOWS-themed sculptures created by a Chicago-based artist calling himself The Clay Guy. Coincidentally, Mr. Guy was one of the vendors present last weekend at MAD MONSTER PARTY, and he brought his friends from Collinsport with him. I snapped some photos of the characters, which were tucked in alongside sculptures of Buffy Summers, Herbert West, Jack Torrence, etc.

If you like his work, you can find him online at Or jump straight to his DARK SHADOWS gallery by clicking HERE.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jonathan Frid makes THE CINEPLEX LEGENDS AWARD ballot

Jonathan Frid is one of nine nominees for this year's CINEPLEX LEGENDS AWARD from Canada's Walk of Fame.

"This is the first time his name has been included, and I can't tell you how excited I was when Cathy Robbins called me to tell me!" said Elena Nacanther, who has spent more than a year helping to organize a grassroots effort to have Frid's legacy recognized by Canada's Walk of Fame. "This is the best chance we have to get him in, because his name is out there and that means they have recognized his importance as Canadian Excellence. I am just bursting with joy."

Nacanther said the campaign is far from over, though, and that fans should continue to nominate Frid as often as possible, as well as taking part in CINEPLEX LEGENDS AWARD voting.

"We are working on getting more publicity and I have many irons in the fire!" she said.

The CINEPLEX LEGENDS AWARD is an annual award given posthumously to a Canadian pioneer in film and television, music, sports, arts or innovation.

Best known for his role as Barnabas Collins on DARK SHADOWS, Frid was a native of Hamilton, Ontario. After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II, Frid set his sites on higher education and a career in acting. He graduated from McMaster University in Hamilton in 1948, and was accepted into  the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He moved to the United States in 1954, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in directing from the Yale School of Drama in 1957.

After several years of well-received work in the theater, Frid planned to leave the New York City stage for a teaching career in California. As he was leaving, Frid was offered a short gig as a vampire on DARK SHADOWS. The "temporary" job would last until 1971, and would make him internationally famous.

The other nominees for this year's CINEPLEX LEGENDS AWARD are Rod Cameron,  Stompin’ Tom Connors, Barbara Frum, Corey Haim, Jeff Healey, Lorne Green, Rita MacNeil and Al Waxman.

Click HERE to vote today!

HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS added to Warner Archive Instant

Eagle-eyed correspondent Patrick McCray noticed that the ever-controversial HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS is now available from the Warner Archive Instant streaming service. Warner Bros has been doing some wonderful work when it comes to connecting audiences with films that don't necessarily fit the marketing strategies of vendors like Wal-Mart, Target and the like.

Warner Instant Archive allows you to purchase films for viewing on your home computer, smart phone, tablet or Roku. While I haven't had the chance to browse WB's entire online collection, at appears most (if not all) of their films are in high definition, including HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS.

At the moment, NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS is not available from Warner Instant Archive ... though actor David Selby's cult classic THE SUPER COPS is part of the collection. (As is his 1981 film RICH AND FAMOUS.)

Click HERE to visit the site's page for HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS.

Collinwood Cocktails: THE HAND OF COUNT PETOFI

WARNING: Despite the relatively small amount of alcohol in this cocktail, this is NOT a beginner's drink.

Iced coffee is kind of a pain in the ass to make. Not because it's especially difficult, but because most people brew it so infrequently that every pot feels like you're making it for the first time. And, while there's only one way to properly make iced tea (my apologies to our U.K. readers) there are a lot of different ways to make iced coffee, depending on your taste. Here's a feature at Esquire about the drink  ... but it will probably just cloud the waters for novices.

Novices like myself, I should say. Without my Keurig automatic brewer, you wouldn't be reading this post. Even so, this cocktail, dubbed THE HAND OF COUNT PETOFI, is a heady brew. Bastardly, even.

First step, get yourself a bag of Absinthe flavored ground coffee from World Market. The idea of licorice-flavored coffee might sound repellant (I certainly had reservations) but it's actually pretty tasty, as long as it's not abused. Throwing caution to the wind, I added creamer to it ... which made it taste pretty much like ordinary coffee. Cream dilutes the flavor, so this is a drink you're going to have to enjoy black, with sugar.

Next: Brew the coffee in your preferred manner. I needed a Solo Fill V1 Gold Cup, an off-brand accessory that lets Keurig V-Cup owners make any ground coffee they choose. I'm lost around a regular coffee pot.

Sweeten the coffee to taste. Depending on how you make iced coffee, this might be something you want to do while it's still hot. I preferred to extend my absinthe fetishism to this drink, and used an absinthe spoon to melt sugar over the glass after it had been chilled. I then added a dash of real absinthe for flavor, and viola! I had a drink that would rival the Pan Galactic Gargle-Blaster for flavor, if not strength. (But that can be remedied by adding more absinthe.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Grayson Hall in WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS, 1975

In 1975, Grayson Hall appeared in a revival of J. M. Barrie's 1908 four-act play, WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS. There's not much about the play circulating online, save for the essential nuts and bolts: According to the Internet Off-Broadway Database, the show ran for 71 performances, opening May 28 and closing the following month on July 27 in 1975. The show was staged at the Roundabout Stage I in New York City.

Grayson Hall and Fran Brill in WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS.
R.J. Jamison's biography of Hall, A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW, includes a number of reviews of the play (most of them positive) but history suggests the production did little to distinguish itself. Above is a June 1, 1975, item promoting the event from a New York newspaper, showing cast members Hall, Fran Bill and Susan Tabor in costume.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Jonathan Frid was subjected to so many interviews during the run of DARK SHADOWS that he was forced to fall back on sharing many of the same anecdotes, which is a pitfall of getting asked the same questions repeatedly. The unidentified writer of this story actually gets some good material from him, and the story features some of Frid's best commentary from those days.

Unfortunately, the story is undated. Not only do I not know neither the date nor the author's name, I don't even know where it first appeared. A reader in the comments section below believes it was published in INGENUE, but I've been unable to verify that. (The photos were taken from outside sources.)


"I'm like a teen-ager about Barnabas Collins. Maybe that's the whole secret. They know that I'm as much infatuated with him as they are."

Jonathan Frid looked startled at what he had just said. The tall, hazel-eyed actor had just finished a day's shooting for Dark Shadows, the ABC daytime television drama series in which he plays. -175-year-old vampire. Relaxed now, in a handsome tweed sport jacket and smart turtle-neck jersey, the Canadian-born Jonathan may have put aside the flowing black cape, massive carved cane, onyx ring and fangs that are synonymous with the gentleman-vampire, but he had not quite erased Barnabas' appealing look of weary melancholy.

When the romantic and brooding non-hero first appeared on the Gothic mystery series less than two years ago, his appeal was instantaneous. Initially, the show's writers had intended the character's appearance to be a brief, two-or-three-week spot. And then the fan mail started. Mountains of it. Today, Barnabas Collins receives some 2000 letters each week. In a visit to Fort Wayne, Indiana, he drew bigger crowds than President Nixon. Penn State University issued a stern warning to students who were cutting classes to watch his television show (which has now been shifted to 4 p.m. E.T., in order to accommodate Barnabas' thousands of teen-aged fans).

"Some parents keep their kids from watching the show," Jonathan said. "Not because Of the violence, but because their children are liking a villain. And yet, Barnabas has been 'cured' Of his morbid habits for many months, now. Although there's always the threat . that he could become a vampire again." Through two plot maneuvers — a massive blood transfusion following an auto accident, and the surrendering of part of his life-force to create a new human being named Adam—Barnabas is now a normal man. But with the horror of his past constantly lingering over him, and with the unspoken threat of that past to his future, Barnabas has become a contemporary  equivalent Of the traditional Byronic hero—like Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte's romantic, nineteenth-century novel, Wuthering Heights.

"What's interesting to me about the transformation of Barnabas is that people have not lost their involvement; they're really interested in the character I've created," explained Jonathan. The point is an important distinction for the actor, who says "one of my great philosophies is the difference between personality and character."

For Jonathan, Barnabas is a real character with dignified human characteristics. Remembering an early show in which another actor had adopted a condescending attitude toward Barnabas, Jonathan said, "I can recall thinking: you modern day Americans think you're so natural, but you're not. You're just as phony as those people who lived during the eighteenth century. I am going to play Barnabas as a civilized, sensible human being. I'm also going to play a certain quality, a hidden pride within me.

"One of the troubles with our civilization is that we're all looking around for fun-people. There's too much fun going on, just as there was at the end of the Roman Empire. It's a very dangerous life we're going through now in America.”

Which partly explains the fascination that Barnabas Collins, the serious-minded vampire, has for the actor who creates each" day. "Barnabas hasn't got time to be fun. Yet he has to cope with åll these fun-people, and he resents them."

Although Jonathan obviously admired such strength of character, it was equally obvious that he felt dissatisfied with his own life-style. "I'm rather a paradox this way because my style is rather superficial and grand, and I know this. That's probably one of my guilts — that I'm a fairly superficial person looking for fun-people. I don't make friends with good, solid characters—people you'd trust your life with. My conscience tells me that this is not going to save me in the end. But the older I get the more everything becomes crystallized.

“I’m very much oriented toward these people who write to me—especially the teen-agers. Probably because I was a very emotional kid myself. I had yearnings to know, even though I never had the nerve to write letters. A lot of people joke about the more hopeless pleas I receive; despise them, even. But something else is operating here. Their very inarticulateness—this eagerness to know me or to know Barnabas — touches me. I know exactly how they feel. There's this soft part of me that bleeds for them.”

The actor's easy identification with his young fans was an honest; if rather painful, admission. I was a lonely teen-ager. I'd go to the movies and, in my emotional way, I would see the stars as gods of sorts. I would emote with them, identify with them, and I urged to suffer terribly.

“I guess I was kind of a movie freak then," Jonathan said, remembering "that when a new film was announced as "Coming Friday" on the  screen he would raise his hand over his face and cover the "ay" in "Friday" so that the big bold letters read: "Coming Frid." In a sense, his entire youthful life way a preparation in fantasy for the day he actually became an actor. After church services (his family brought him up in a very religious atmosphere), the young Jonathan used to dress up to resemble the preacher and then recreate his sermon to the delight of the Frid family. And, with a boyhood friend, he concocted elaborate fantasy-voyages whenever they rowed out in a small boat. "We were rotten sailors, but we thought we were a couple of Errol Flynns. I used to bicycle around my teacher's house, too. Miss Paisley, her name
was. She had a funny little old house, but it seemed like a palace. Later, I adored Katharine Hepburn so much that I was all up tight when I actually worked with her on the stage."

Had he finally given up "heroes," now that he was himself a hero of sorts for so many other people? "I don't think I've ever quite grown up that way. I think it has to do with the fact that I was the youngest of three boys. Grownups always had more fun. I hated being the youngest because they were all older and out doing things, going places. I was always kept home. And I felt this very strongly when I was young, so I can still identify with the yearnings of young people."

Jonathan believes that Barnabas Collins' struggle after goodness is part of his appeal, and he realizes that he shares this yearning. "I'm not ashamed to Want goodness because I'm not good," he said, vehemently. "I'm really selfish to people and I know it. I'm a Good-Time-Charlie myself. And I do so little for people, really. But I know it, and have strong guilt. I'm not perfect; I have problems in my life and sure, I bear on them. I use my anger, my frustrations—anything that I'm unhappy about or feel guilty about— when I play Barnabas. I’ve always played a man of conscience. I was never a villain—I mean, Barnabas was never really evil. He's very much like Macbeth. I've borrowed from Richard III, too. Richard holds back his conscience, he isn't even aware he has one until the very end when it confronts him like a geyser and he's left there with emptiness. He is nothing in a vacuum."

Of all the intricacies in Barnabas' character—from his compassion for others to his agonized feelings of guilt —Jonathan believes that it is Barnabas' determined strength that makes him most attractive to his fans—and to Jonathan, too. It is also the facet of Barnabas from which Jonathan feels most detached. And envious.

"Barnabas has decision and authority. He's always making declarations: 'This must be done! I must this! I must that!" I think the word 'must' is probably half the reason for his success. Well, Jonathan Frid never says 'must.' I'm some kind of eccchh. I'm sort of this way and that way and all over the place. I'm always running off at the end of a sentence into a dot-dot-dot. People don't dislike my indecision — they're just indifferent.

"Women, especially, like strong men who make pronouncements. I suppose it's what they call a 'father image.' I've never been a lady killer. I've been stood up I don't know how many times. Actually, I have no social life at all. I go home at night and work two or three hours on the script, get up at 6:30 and work for an hour over breakfast before going to the studio. Girls may have fun with me for ten minutes or so, but something deep within them loses interest. I guess they really want someone who waves a cane and says, 'I must!'"

(NOTE: Many of the images used for TGIF: Thank God It's Frid-Day, are courtesy of Elena Nacanther, who is part of an effort to get Jonathan Frid nominated to Canada's Walk of Fame, a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that recognizes Canadians who have excelled in music, sports, film, television, and other artistic endeavors. You can find the NOMINATE JONATHAN FRID TO CANADA'S WALK OF FAME Facebook page by clicking here. Please pay them a visit.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First look at Kathryn Leigh Scott in OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS

Kathryn Leigh Scott and Jeffrey Patrick Olson in an upcoming episode of OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS.

Kathryn Leigh Scott recently completed filming an episode for the third season of the web TV series OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS. Leon Acord, the writer/executive producer/star of the series, sent us a pair of photos from the episode, which will serve as the season's finale. 

Scott plays the mother of character "Al 'Muscles' Carter," played by Jeffrey Patrick Olson.

"Ms. Scott was lovely and gracious, from our first email interaction to her saying goodbye when she was finished shooting," Acord said. "I never know what to expect with guest stars, and she couldn't have been more hospitable. I offered to carry her costumes both arriving and leaving, but she wouldn't have it. She was quiet, professional and totally delivered in her scenes. I think the few folks in our audience who don't know her work will fall in love with her!"

Here's the elevator pitch for OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS, taken from the series website:
"Does (sex) life end for gay men as they approach 50? That’s the question explored by the comedic, fast-paced & serialized web series Old Dogs & New Tricks, through the friendship and tribulations of four diverse and otherwise successful West Hollywood men – each one located squarely within middle age."

The new season of OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS is set to debut later in 2014. Previous seasons are available on Hulu, Netflix, GayDirect and streaming at the show's official website. Both seasons are also available on DVD from Amazon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The inevitable DARK SHADOWS/DARK SHADOWS crossover

Do you remember the time Lara Parker made an appearance on the 1991 DARK SHADOWS "revival" series? No? Well, it sorta happened.

As producer Dan Curtis was making the promotional rounds for the series, he occasionally mentioned the possibility of cast members from the original television series making guest appearances on the new program. In his memoirs IN AND OUT OF THE SHADOWS, actor David Selby says he was invited by Curtis to reprise his role of Quentin Collins on the revival. "I told Dan that I was too old to play Quentin, who never ages thanks to the Dorian Grey portrait," he recounts. While Selby would visit the set of the series to speak with actress Jean Simmons, he admits he refused the role out of respect for his experiences on the original series.

Lara Parker/Lara Hoffman.
The new DARK SHADOWS lasted only twelve episodes, which was hardly enough time to accommodate any kind of appearance by members of the original cast. (Now that I think about it, Jonathan Frid would have made an awesome Professor Stokes.) But the opportunities for cameos didn't end with the television series.

As with the show's previous incarnation, the "revival" was accompanied by a comicbook series. Unlike the Gold Key comics published in the 1960s and '70s, though, Innovation's tie-in to the 1991 series was lush, imaginative and created by people with a clear understanding of the property.

And, in the November 1992, issue of the Innovation series, Lara Parker loaned her likeness to "Lara Hoffman," the aunt of Barbara Steele's "Dr. Julia Hoffman." (Parker is only two months older than Steele, but whatever.)

Innovation made a splash a few years earlier with an adaption of Anne Rice's THE VAMPIRE LESTAT. A 12-part mini-series, the comic was a hit and placed Innovation on the industry map. Unfortunately, publishers misinterpreted the success of that book, turning its lushly painted style into a company wide aesthetic. Almost every book by Innovation was made to look like the Anne Rice adaption, whether if worked with the story or not. When it came to books like THE MASTER OF RAMPLING GATE (another Rice adaption) and DARK SHADOWS, the style was a perfect fit. With adaptions of properties such as QUANTUM LEAP and LOST IN SPACE? Not so much. Within a few years, the novelty of THE VAMPIRE LESTAT had turned into a cliché, and few of Innovation's titles came close to matching the success of its first hit. (I've also heard stories that editors had a passion for cleavage that would have made Hammer Studios blush, routinely kicking back pages to artists with instructions to "SHOW MOAR BOOBZ!" Although the memos were probably phrased a bit more professionally.)

With DARK SHADOWS, Innovation lucked into series that was a good match for its company aesthetic. It helped that the book's writers were willing to take stories in strange new directions, rarely relying on any incarnation of the TV series for guidance. It introduced new villains, explored existing relationships and filled in a few of the gaps created by the television show's rush to introduce Barnabas Collins into the mix. For fans of the show, Innovation's book was required reading at the time.

Unfortunately for all involved, DARK SHADOWS was cancelled in early 1991. A few of the show's actors have made appearances on Big Finish's terrific line of audio dramas, but the TV series' final episode remains one of televisions great unresolved cliffhangers. As with Gold Key, Innovation's DARK SHADOWS lived longer than its inspiration. The company completed a pair of four-part series before going out of business in 1993. Sadly, Innovation folded after the ninth issue of DARK SHADOWS, leaving yet another storyline unfinished to this day.

If you're interested in tracking down this series, all nine issues are inexpensive and easy to find through outlets like Ebay and Amazon. Visit the DARK SHADOWS WIKIA for details about the individual issues.



In the flurry of activity, I forgot to mention the revised edition of MONSTER SERIAL is now available in print and Kindle from AMAZON. Oh, I climbed every other mountain on the Internet and shouted about the book to the heavens ... I just, you know, forgot to mention it on my own website. Accidents happen.

The first edition went on sale not long before Christmas last year. The new revision, subtitled the SATURDAY MORNING SUGAR RUSH EDITION, was released in January and corrects a few errors, adds a few small items and polishes the book's overall design. The is the "real" version of the book, as it was originally envisioned.

MONSTER SERIAL is the product of a month-long blogging effort by the writers of The Collinsport Historical Society. Ordinarily dedicated to the cult-TV drama DARK SHADOWS, the website’s writers stepped away from Collinsport for a month to write about their favorite horror films. MONSTER SERIAL contains the bulk of those essays, as well as some new features. The collection of writings touches on everything from the classic Bela Lugosi DRACULA, Vincent Price’s works with William Castle and Roger Corman, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, the movies of Val Lewton, Stephen King and dozens of others. For a full list of film's covered, see the book's table of contents, which is available for viewing at Amazon.

Here’s what people are saying about 

2012 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

“Wallace McBride must haunt the cobwebby lower stacks of old newspapers and magazines by the hour to unearth the flabbergasting array of long forgotten articles based on anything and anyone Dark  Shadows. Furthermore, colorful and exhaustive coverage of everything new and happening (including fan art) ensures that The Collinsport Historical Society is the most comprehensive (and then some) Dark Shadows web site imaginable. McBride’s ‘fang in cheek’ glorification of the show makes this site more than mere information — it is exalted entertainment.”

 — LARA PARKER, author of

“I’m a big fan of Wallace’s blog, The Collinsport Historical Society, because he is clearly passionate about Dark Shadows and the horror genre in general. What I love, though, is that there’s a sense of irreverence in his writing. Reading his writing is like being in a pub with an old mate. He knows what he’s talking about, he cares about it but he’s not afraid to have a laugh about his passion.” 

JOSEPH LIDSTER, writer for Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures; 
producer of Big Finish’s dark shadows audiodramas

“MONSTER SERIAL offers engaging appreciations of some fine fright films. Chaffin and McBride lend pungent, personal, well-wrought observations and McCray’s essays are of particularly focused passion. These pieces will inspire you to review favorites with a refreshed perspective as well as to embrace other movies for the first time, lead by these authors’ enthusiasm.” 

High Priest of the Church of Satan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The CHS gets a Rondo nomination for BEST BLOG

The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards posted the ballots earlier this week for its 2013 nominees, and The Collinsport Historical Society was among the sites under consideration for BEST BLOG.

As usual, it's a pretty interesting list of nominees. Curiously, The Collinsport Historical Society is the only DARK SHADOWS item nominated this year. Granted, there was a flurry of news coming out of Collinwood in 2012 thanks to interest spurred by the Tim Burton film, so it's not unusual that fewer items were available for consideration a year later. Even so, I'm surprised that BIG FINISH isn't represented somewhere on the list. They did great work in 2013.

Peripherally related to DARK SHADOWS, though, is Ansel Faraj's feature DOCTOR MABUSE. The movie stars DARK SHADOWS alumni Jerry Lacy, Kathryn Leigh Scott and Lara Parker. It's been nominated for BEST INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM.

In my opinion, we did a lot of good work on this site during the last year. Not only did the podcast evolve into a more polished product, we even added a second series to our roster with DAY DRINKING. The Collinsport Historical Society even published it's first book, which appears to have been enjoyed by all eight of you who've purchased it.

In all, there are 35 different categories in which to vote. BEST BLOG is #19 on the ballot, while BEST INDEPENDENT FILM is #9.

19. BEST BLOG OF 2013: Collinsport Historical Society  
All the comings and goings in Barnabas' home town. 


You DO NOT have to vote for each one in order for your vote to count. Visit the Rondo Hatton Awards site for the full list of candidates, or copy and paste the two entries above and e-mail it to David Colton at by SUNDAY NIGHT at midnight, May 5, 2014.

One vote is allowed per person. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted. All votes are kept strictly confidential. No e-mail addresses or any personal information will be shared.


Friday, March 14, 2014

TGIF: Jonathan Frid in THE CRUCIBLE, 1955

During the summer of 1955, John Frid appeared in a production of Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE at the Williamstown Summer Festival. Since then, some of those names were changed. The event is known today as the Williamstown Theatre Festival, while John Herbert Frid later adopted the stage name of "Jonathan Frid." The event's first season was performed at the Adams Memorial Theatre at Williams College that year, and reportedly played nightly to packed houses.

Frid portrayed John Proctor in the Arthur Miller play, which was directed by festival co-founder Nikos Psacharopoulos. The Williamstown Theatre Festival's website has a number of archival images in their online archives, most of which show Frid in character.

THE CRUCIBLE struck a nerve with the community before the curtains even rose on the first show. "Although 'The Crucible' is the 'heaviest' play the Williamstown group will present this season, it has received a greater advance sale of tickets than any of the other planned productions," reported The North Adams that year.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This has been a long-time coming. I tinkered with the idea of promoting upcoming events for a while on Facebook, but that particular social media network seems intent on putting up as many barriers as possible between creators and readers. With more than 5,000 followers at that network, alone, I was lucky to get eight or nine people to view my events.

Fortunately, I've got great readers. Roy Isbell sent me a message suggesting I add a special section or feature devoted to scheduled public appearances by DARK SHADOWS cast members. He even sent me a fairly complete list of events and links to get me started.

So, if you click on the tab at the top right corner of the screen marked EVENTS, you'll find a page with the available information about upcoming appearances. If you know of any others, feel free to send me an e-mail with the details.

Monday, March 10, 2014

DARK SHADOWS cast members reunite at Monster Mania

DARK SHADOWS cast members joined the likes of Robert Englund, Drea DeMatteo and Gunnar Hansen (the original "Leatherface" in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) at the Monster Mania Con in Cherry Hill, N.J. over the weekend. The delegation from Collinsport included Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Sharon Smyth Lentz, Marie Wallace and Jerry Lacy. Photos from the event were circulating social media networks over the weekend, and I've swiped for your enjoyment.

But the parties are just getting started! Cast members from DARK SHADOWS will continue to make personal appearances throughout the summer. Sharon will appear at MonsterCon in Greenville, S.C., the weekend of July 18-20. Lara and Kathryn will be a ConCarolinas in Charlotte, N.C., the weekend of May 30-June 1. The Collinsport Historical Society will also be present at both conventions ... stop by our tables and say hello!
On June 28-29, Lara, Kathryn and Marie will be joined by David Selby, James Storm, John Karlen and Nancy Barrett at the annual Dark Shadows Festival in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Stay tuned for announcements about future public appearances!

Friday, March 7, 2014

TGIF: "Surprising facts about Jonathan Frid!"

This is one of the weirder stories to be featured on THANK GOD IT'S FRID-DAY. It's a curiosity, to be sure, but not a story I wanted to spend any time typesetting. "Surprising facts about Jonathan Frid!" appeared in the August, 1969, issue of TIGER BEAT and focuses on ... numerology. Sigh.

In the 1960s, the media seemed to be intentionally encouraging unhealthy relationships between celebrities and their fans, much of which is downright creepy. It's one thing to offer up a "Dream Date" with a celebrity (which might not be such a great thing if that celebrity is Gary Glitter) as a contest prize. It's something else entirely to suggest people have some spiritual/voodoo connection with a complete stranger because, you know, MATH.

Anyhoo, these scans are really big files and should be easy to read on the screen. They should also print legibly, if you'd prefer to read them that way. Enjoy. And BEWARE THE NUMBER 7!

(NOTE: Many of the images used for TGIF: Thank God It's Frid-Day, are courtesy of Elena Nacanther, who is part of an effort to get Jonathan Frid nominated to Canada's Walk of Fame, a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that recognizes Canadians who have excelled in music, sports, film, television, and other artistic endeavors. You can find the NOMINATE JONATHAN FRID TO CANADA'S WALK OF FAME Facebook page by clicking here. Please pay them a visit. You can see more selections from Elena's scrapbook each Friday here at the Collinsport Historical Society.)
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