High School Production of Alien Is Getting an Encore, Thanks to Ridley Scott

Gabriella Delacruz, who plays the lead role of Ripley in Alien: The Play
Gabriella Delacruz, who plays the lead role of Ripley in Alien: The Play
Courtesy of Perfecto Cuervo and Steven Defendini

The New Jersey students who got Ridley Scott’s attention with their high school drama club production of Alien: The Play will be resurrecting their performance one more time. The students at North Bergen High School will reprise their roles as Ripley, the Nostromo crew, and the titular alien at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 26 to mark the fourth annual Alien Day—an international celebration of all things related to the sci-fi movie franchise.

Scott, who directed the original 1979 film, pledged funding for an encore performance after news of the play’s debut on March 19 went viral. Sigourney Weaver also took notice, praising the students’ hard work in a video.

“I saw a bit of your production of Alien and I just want to say it looked incredible,” Weaver said. “You put so much heart and soul into that—and the alien, I must say, looked very real to me.”

In addition to building a lifelike Xenomorph shell, students also recreated the famous facehugger scene, which a parent managed to capture on film.

Perhaps most impressively, it’s a low-budget (and eco-friendly) production: Under the guidance of their art teacher, Steven Defendini, students used recycled materials to create many of the costumes and props. As for the alien costume, it was constructed from a hodgepodge of goods as well.

"In addition to foam and cardboard, we used rope, glue, and an old Power Rangers costume as the base—also some old pool noodles that were spray painted," English teacher and play director Perfecto Cuervo tells Mental Floss.

“It felt great being able to recreate something that happened 40 years ago and became such a big part of culture,” Xavier Perez, a sophomore who plays the alien, told NJ.com. “But it was hot [in the costume] as well."

Gabriella Delacruz, the 17-year-old who plays the lead role of Ripley, told News 12 New Jersey, “This year we made something out of little-to-nothing and it really showed that all you need is inspiration and hard work to get something done.”

The bulk of tickets will be sold to residents of North Bergen, which is located about 40 minutes from New York City. However, 104 general admission tickets will be available online via Eventbrite beginning tomorrow (April 16) at 10 a.m.

Space Force: The Office's Greg Daniels and Steve Carell Aren't in Scranton Anymore

Steve Carell stars in Greg Daniels's Space Force.
Steve Carell stars in Greg Daniels's Space Force.
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Greg Daniels and Steve Carell helped to make TV history when they collaborated on NBC's The Office. Now they've teamed up again for a brand-new show—and they're clearly not in Scranton anymore.

Daniels, who developed the American adaptation of The Office and co-created Parks and Recreation, is back with another workplace comedy—this time for Netflix and taking place in space. Space Force will follow Carell as the protagonist, and also stars big-name actors such as Ben Schwartz, Lisa Kudrow, and John Malkovich. As the title indicates, it's believed to be a spoof on Donald Trump's military branch of the same name.

This week, the first official images for Space Force were released, showing Carell and his co-stars in action—and it appears the beloved actor will have his hands full as the head of the Space Force.

In addition to starring in the series, Carell is also its co-creator (alongside Daniels) and one of its executive producers. Space Force will arrive on Netflix on May 29, 2020. In the meantime, you can check out some of the early images from the series below.

John Malkovich stars in Space Force
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Steve Carell and Lisa Kudrow in 'Space Force'
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Jimmy O. Yang in Space Force
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

Steve Carell and Ben Schwartz in 'Space Force'
Aaron Epstein/Netflix

YouTube Will Air a Different Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical for Free Each Friday

Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018.
Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2018.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Broadway may have temporarily shut down all productions to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, but Andrew Lloyd Webber is here to make sure that musical theater aficionados still get their fill of top-notch content for the foreseeable future.

According to Broadway Direct, Webber’s production company, The Really Useful Group, has partnered with Universal on a new YouTube channel called “The Shows Must Go On!,” which will air a different Webber musical each Friday at 2 p.m. EST on YouTube. If you can’t tune in right at that time, don’t worry—the show will stay posted for 48 hours after it airs.

The series debuted last Friday, April 3, with 1999’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which stars Donny Osmond in the titular role and an ultra-talented supporting cast with Richard Attenborough, Maria Friedman, Joan Collins, and more. This week’s offering, tying in nicely with Easter, will be the 2012 Live Arena Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring Tim Minchin, Melanie C—a.k.a. the Spice Girls’ Sporty Spice—and Ben Forster. (If you’re interested in comparing it with 2018’s live concert version with John Legend and Sara Bareilles, you can catch that on NBC this Sunday.)

The schedule for future Fridays hasn’t been released yet, but Webber did mention in the announcement that it’ll include what he calls “the most important one, my disaster musical, By Jeeves,” a 1975 production based on P.G. Wodehouse’s classic stories. Other potential productions that could be part of the series include The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, School of Rock, and, of course, Cats.

In addition to full-length Broadway musicals, the channel will also post individual songs and behind-the-scenes content about how musicals go from stage to screen. You can subscribe to the channel here so you don’t miss any opportunity for a living room singalong.

[h/t Broadway Direct]

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