When I met Bobby Pickett back in 1966, Halloween was not the occasion for revelry, costume parties, and celebration that it has since become. I knew of him as the writer and performer of a number-one hit song, "The Monster Mash," and he knew of me as the writer and performer of an album entitled "Sing Along With Drac," which featured such songs as "Don't Maim Me," "A Coffin for Sale," and "These Ghoulish Things Behind Me Were You." With these credentials, we were pioneers in the field
of spoofing the monster genre.
When we were introduced, almost the first words I said to him were, "I've got an idea for a musical using all the monsters and all the cliches from the monster movies, and I've got a great title for it. I want to call it, I'm Sorry the Bridge Is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night. Would you like to collaborate on it?"
Bobby liked the idea, and for the next six months we met daily, work schedules permitting, and wrote a musical. Fortunately we found we worked well together. We both found the same things funny, and we laughed a lot during our writing sessions.
The show was first produced at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles in April 1970 to mixed reviews. A favorable one wound up in Donald Glut's book The Frankenstein Legend. In 1976, Linda Macdonaugh, director of the Art Center Bad Actors at U.C. Davis, read the review, tracked me down, and asked for a script, which I sent her. The show opened in Davis to rave reviews, and I dubbed it, appropriately, "The Show That Would Not Die." In 1984 it was produced at Pasadena City College, the first of three productions in subsequent years, and in 1988 it was discovered
by Dramatic Publishing via an interview of Bobby Pickett by Dr. Demento. Since then it has been produced all over the United States, Canada, and in Scotland and Australia.
In 1995 a movie was made based on the play called "Monster Mash: The Movie." This was released directly to videocassette by Turner Motion Pictures on Oct. 8, 1996, just in time for Halloween. The movie stars Bobby Pickett as Dr. Frankenstein, and since it was shot in Los Angeles, it afforded us the opportunity to write a sequel.
The sequel is called Frankenstein Unbound, a rather obscure reference to the subtitle of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, that is The Modern Prometheus and Prometheus Unbound. it's also published by Dramatic Publishing. The show begins where the first one ends. Dr. Frankenstein finally gets to perform his medical round robin, transferring the boy's brain to the monster's body, the monster's brain to Igor's body, and Igor's brain to the boy's body, with totally unexpected and hilarious results. If you have staged the first one, the second will be twice as much fun.