Top 10 Scariest Songs

31. October 2012 14:16 by Julie Merar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Posting Graphic Spanning the globe, All Saints' Day (aka Halloween, Dia de los Muertos, Dziady or All Souls' Day) is found in multiple cultures. In the west Halloween has taken the form of little children dressed up in polyester costumes ringing doorbells and holding out their empty pillowcases in anticipation of sugar-laden treats. Teenagers and young adults get together to play the Ouija board, Bloody Mary and, well, scare the hell out of one another.

While we think of this day as the day to hunker down and watch films that will keep us quivering under the covers with fear long after we've retired for the evening, there is more out there. If you like a little fear in your daily diet, dine on one of these top 10 scariest songs of all time.

Megadeth "Mary Jane"
With lyrics that crawl out in a growl, the song begins "Forgive me father for I have sinned, I'm a child of the air, I'm a witch of the wind. And I'm still wide awake." Followed by Dave Mustaine's unmistakable guitar riffs, this Megadeth classic tops the lists. With a simply frightening storyline about a girl who begins practicing witchcraft and is then buried alive as punishment when she seeks forgiveness from her father, it's easy to see why this tune is number one.

Alice Cooper "Welcome To My Nightmare"
When it comes to scary, Alice Cooper, the streaked makeup and his creepy persona are up there. Crooning about becoming part of someone's mental breakdown, it's difficult to tell if the lyrics or the video is what makes this song so, well, creepy. See for yourself.

Iron Maiden "Bring Your Daughter"
Originally penned for the 1989 film "Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child," one could only imagine the horror of the movie paired with this song. While the original version is a little less powerful, Iron Maiden puts their brand of terror on it with all the right riffs.

Dangerous Toys "Scared"
While it may be another case of scary song versus scary video, 1980's hair metal band Dangerous Toys hit all the right notes with this single, landing them squarely on the charts and on this list.

Metallica "Enter Sandman"
It goes without saying that Metallica would find their way onto this list in one form or another. Lyrics written by frontman James Hetfield, the song chronicles the destruction of an ideal family by a sinister secret. Maybe the scariest thing about this song is that it happens every day.

King Diamond "Sleepless Nights"
Opera star turned heavy metal performer, King Diamond is famous for his ear-piercing falsetto and the horrific storylines that run through his albums. This tune, and its accompanying video, is sure to give you many sleepless nights as you ponder the true menace in King Diamond's lyrics.

Slayer "South of Heaven"
Slayer is often referred to as one of the top four big heavy metal bands. Dropping albums that are swathed in skulls and pentagrams, it's easy to see why the band made the list. Take into account Tom Araya's voice screeching out "The root of all evil is the heart of a black soul" followed by more droning of "On and on south of heaven," and there's no need to question the song's presence here.

Ozzy "Bark at the Moon"
"Bark at the Moon" … a song about a mythical beast that formerly terrorized a town, was killed and then resurrected itself to wreak havoc on the town again … any questions?

Marilyn Manson "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
Marilyn Manson's persona is the epitome of creepy. Toss in a pop song originally by the Eurythmics, slowed down and whispered and groaned by Manson, it's a recipe with disturbing written all over it. Oh, and the super creepy video boosts the version's disturb factor.

Motley Crüe "Shout at the Devil"
This one is a no-brainer … Halloween, devil, Motley Crüe … welcome to the number 10 of the top scariest Halloween tunes.

Now go out there and get some candy!

From pages to plays: Books that became stage shows

29. October 2012 13:28 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments ()

Posting Graphic Posting Graphic Posting Graphic Many people think novels and plays exist on two entirely different levels. However, while they may be two different kinds of art, much of what makes the two mediums so appealing - captivating characters and compelling storylines - are the same. So it should come as no surprise that some of the best plays over the years have been adapted from novels and other works of fiction, many of which are still running today.

Everyone is familiar with the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz, and before that the stage show of the same name, which debuted around the turn of the 20th century. However, both of those were based on the 1900 novel by Frank L. Baum, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

By now, the characters of Baum's classic work hold a place in pop culture lore. Nearly everyone knows who Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man are, and can recite their story by heart. Even though the play is more than 100 years old and iconic movie is almost 80, both are still as popular as ever. In fact, it has even spawned a number of spin-off plays including Wicked and The Wiz, which offer a unique look at the beloved story.

But Dorothy Gale is not the only literary icon that has made his or her way to the stage. Mark Twain's famous mischievous character Tom Sawyer has also made the transition. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has been a popular musical since the 1970s, when a film version (starring a young Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher), turned a new generation on to the famous story of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

It's not just classic novels that have been turned into stage shows either. More recently, the Nick Hornby novel High Fidelity was adapted into a musical. It seems like a logical fit given that the book uses music as a backdrop for its main character Rob's troubled relationship. The novel was first made into a 2000 movie starring John Cusack and Jack Black before heading to the stage. Since debuting in 2006, the musical has been just as well received.

High Fidelity, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Wizard of Oz are just scratching the surface of books-turned-plays, with classics like Don Quixote and A Christmas Carol still earning rave reviews.

Ice, Ice Baby

26. October 2012 12:45 by Julie Merar in Theater  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

thumbnail thumbnail thumbnail You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't impressed by the skill and dedication of the world's best figure skaters, and when their talent is combined with timeless stories and popular music, what's not to like? It should come as no surprise that ice shows have become popular over the years - after all, where else can you find such a unique combination of theatrics and athletic skills?

Over the years, many shows have come and gone, but one constant has been the productions put on by Disney. While it originally started out as just a few varieties, Disney on Ice has grown considerably over the last couple decades, and today there is a show for fans of virtually any of the studio's most famous movies.

There are Disney on Ice shows dedicated to certain movies - from Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc to High School Musical and Beauty and the Best, but one of the newest ones - Treasure Trove - brings fans face to face with some of Disney's most well-known characters. The classics are all there, including Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, as are some of the more recent characters such as Simba, Ariel and everyone's favorite superheroes from The Incredibles.

Treasure Trove may offer all the characters you know and love, but Disney's Rockin' Ever After is perfect for families who are drawn to the latest characters in Disney's long-list of heroes. In fact, Rockin' Ever After is unique in that it's the first Disney production to feature Merida from the 2012 hit film Brave.

Naturally, Disney shows aren't the only ice spectaculars that have drawn crowds over the years, and one of the first to do so, Champions on Ice, is still going strong. It may not have the costumes and storylines of the Disney shows, but Champions on Ice performances are certainly not lacking when it comes to theatrics.

Not only are the Champions on Ice show captivating, but they feature some of the best-known names in the figure skating world. Among the familiar names, even to casual fans of the sport, include Irina Slutskaya, who captured a two Olympic medals (silver in 2002 and bronze in 2006) and Johnny Weir, who despite finishing sixth at the 2010 Olympics, is still a recognizable figure outside the sport.