The movie we all love, Hocus Pocus, is brought to you live on the Alibi stage on Saturday, October 31st at 10 p.m. and stars Nicole Halliwell, Calypso Monroe, NikKay Waters, Glory Summers, Kirk Hoosac, Allison Groll, and introducing Kayla Salzberg. Nicole Halliwell thought up and produced the concept, and this is the second year in a row Alibi is featuring this production. I sat down with Nicole to ask her about the process.
What inspired you to produce Hocus Pocus?
For the last five years I’ve had the opportunity to exclusively produce and emcee the Halloween events for Bill’s Filling Station and Georgie’s Alibi, and each year I’ve made it my business to top the previous with an outrageous stage show. I wanted to do something new and big! Appearing weekly at Lips Fort Lauderdale as Bette Midler, I remember standing in the dressing room in full “Bette” drag last year, quoting lines from the movie into the mirror, and it hit me that I need to do Hocus Pocus! I had seen a lot of attempts to do Hocus Pocus and the characters at shows in the past, and it was always lacking something. So I was determined to do it right, and create a show in a way that no one had tried or seen before. I wanted to make this more than a performance.
Why did you pick NikKay and Calypso?
I’m very fortunate to be close friends with some extremely skilled entertainers who are passionate about their craft like I am. I knew exactly who I was going to approach before I even started planning! Calypso Monroe and NikKay Waters were my first and only choices to complete the trio of sisters — they both have amazing talents in makeup and acting. They love the film as much as I do and were on board before I could finish saying “Hocus Pocus.”
How was the performance last year?
More successful than we could have ever imagined! We never expected such a massive turnout! We knew people loved Hocus Pocus, but we were shocked to see so many who came from as far as Orlando and Miami to see the show. Hundreds of people piled into the venue, filling it wall to wall beyond max capacity. We began turning people away at the doors! The crowd roared as we took our final bows — it was truly amazing.
What should we look forward to this year?
Bigger and better! We’ve had 12 months of people begging us to bring the show back this Halloween, so we’ve made improvements to the entire thing, from costuming to production! If you loved it last year, you’re gonna be blown away this year.
At this point NikKay and Calypso joined us for the very last question, which was…
How do you get into character?
Nicole: I start the night before by watching the movie in the dark with a big bowl of popcorn, which gets me in the Halloween spirit. Then it’s about focusing on the character’s life and persona. Winnie is so strung out and short-fused (#crazy) which is what I love about her. She’s very dramatic. I spend the day of the show wearing those long pointy claws of hers and practicing her expressions and mannerisms out of costume everywhere I go. People think I’m nuts. By the time we’re in costume, all three of us are in character and causing havoc — that’s when it all clicks into place and we become them! The Sanderson Sisters are alive!
Calypso: I completely let go of who I am when it comes to “Calypso”. I let myself become consumed by the character of Sarah…all of her movements, her dumb-blonde mentality, and her way of being submissive and childlike as well as being excited and on edge at the same time. She’s so funny and I have to make sure I do my best to embody her…I love this character!
NikKay: What inspires me to become Mary goes back to being a child and watching Hocus Pocus for the first time. I was immediately drawn to Mary; her facial expressions, her wheezy laugh, and her awkwardness are what sold me. When I’m getting ready and transforming into Mary, I think back on every funny face or saying she says and it just gets me in the mood. I’ve been a huge theater buff even before I could remember, so when I become Mary, it takes me back to when I performed on stage in plays and musicals. When I’m done putting her crooked red lip on and I look in the mirror the only thing I see is her and I scream out “Winnie…I smell children!”
Catch the 20-minute live version of Hocus Pocus on Saturday, October 31st at 10 p.m. at the Georgie’s Alibi outdoor event stage.