A part before parting – 'It's A Scream' features Marco Island mother-son duo

The two are appearing in the Island Theater Company production of 'It's A Scream!' at the Rose History Auditorium. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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The two are appearing in the Island Theater Company production of "It's A Scream!" at the Rose History Auditorium. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Not all the drama will be on the stage.

When the cast of "It's A Scream!" opens their run tonight at the Rose History Auditorium, the Island Theater Company production has a couple of extra wrinkles. The show, which is family-friendly, features a mother and son acting in two pivotal roles and the script calls for the mother, playing an aspiring actress, to "come on to" her son's character, a studio head.

"I play a 20-something wannabe New Jersey actress, and he's 30-something. I have to flirt with him a bit," said Angella Anderson.

And in their real family life, behind the comedy on stage is a real-world drama. The son, 19-year-old Barry Anderson, is getting a last chance to spend some time with his mother before joining the Navy and "shipping out," which could happen in a matter of weeks. The 2010 St. John Neumann High School graduate wanted to enlist two years ago, but then, he said, his mother talked him out of it.

"He wanted to go into the Army. I begged him not to, with the state of the world then. He gave in to mummy's tears," said Angella.

After living on his own, attending Ave Maria University for one semester on a football scholarship, and working at the Marriott, Barry decided this time, he was ready to enlist. The young man is in the middle of a host of new experiences, from boot camp and the armed forces waiting for him, to opening night of his first acting experience.

Having his mom attempting to pick him up on stage in front of dozens of spectators, night after night, has to be one of the more awkward experiences for a young man, but Barry seemed to take it all in stride, running through a scene from "It's A Scream!" three days before the show's debut.

The show features Barry, playing Spencer Pierce, who has inherited his father's film studio, showing up at the Charles Addams-esque mansion of a faded horror movie star, intent on firing him. There he encounters "Lizzie Borden," the stage name picked by Angella's character, who is determined to get herself cast in showbiz, no matter what it takes.

Speaking in a breathless baby-doll voice, Lizzie uses her God-given attributes to ingratiate herself with Spencer, thoroughly alarming him.

"Miss Borden – please! I have any number of producers who handle actresses," he tells her.

"I bet they do," comes in the comment, spoken during this run-through by director Pat Berry.

Angella is a relative veteran of the theater, having appeared in Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" and "The Queen of Bingo." Barry is the oldest of her seven children, and giving new depth to the concept of a stage mother, every one of them, along with her, is currently appearing in or rehearsing a show. Along with Barry, that includes Brandon, 18, Brett, 14, Andria, 10, Alonna, 8, Ben, 5, and Analisa, 4.

Brandon is in "Plaza Suite" with the Marco Players, and the younger kids are rehearsing "The Bethlehem Project" with the Island Theater Company.

"It gets a little crazy. It's time-consuming, but absolutely worth it," said Angella. To get a chance to rehearse together, without the rest of the cast of thousands at home, the two have gone to director Berry's house.

"We've had a lot of fun – a lot of laughing," Berry said of the show's rehearsals, which have been going on for two months. "These two crack themselves up."

"I can read him so well. We have to try not to look at each other," said Angella. While this show marks Barry's first formal acting experience, Angella remembered the home videos he would make, enlisting his siblings as cast members, and screening them for their parents, classics such as "Searching for the Skunk Ape."

Barry said he does not know what his assignment will be in the military, once he finishes basic training, but he hopes to work on heavy machinery – and the Navy has some of the heaviest.

With three additional cast members, "It's A Scream!" will continue through October 13, with ticket prices from $10 to $12 for children and $20 or $22 for adults. The group's website is www.TheaterOnMarco.com.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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