A horror-themed rock musical featuring 15 original songs that delve into the trials and tribulations of vampires, werewolves, aliens, zombies, monstrous doctors and serial killers will debut on the Macey Center stage the first weekend of November.
Horror Channel, penned by Socorro resident Colleen Gino and featuring a cast of local actors and musicians, will have its premiere performance Friday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m., and show again on Saturday, Nov. 5. The Nov. 4 Horror Show performance will be preceded by a free Dark Art Reception with spooky snacks from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
After a stressful week of work and unwinding with a glass of wine, Horror Channel’s main character dreams about the lives of vampires, werewolves, aliens, zombies, monstrous doctors and psycho killers, based on what she’s seen on TV.
The characters she creates in her dreams are humorous, silly, creepy and often irreverent, but always genuine and relatable, experiencing emotions we all have, even if we’re not monsters.
The musical styles range from pop and rock to folk and blues, with heart-wrenching ballads, up-tempo rockers, a waltz and even a little rap thrown in.
Gino, who works for the Interferometer project at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory as an IT/observing engineer, has been performing professionally since she was a toddler. She was featured on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, The Today Show, Wink Martindale’s P.O.P. (Pacific Ocean Park) Dance Party and other early 1960s variety TV shows singing with her two older sisters.
From primary school through college, Gino played the flute in school orchestras and bands and sang in the chorus. After college, she sang in rock bands in the U.S. and then traveled Italy, Germany and Japan to perform as a solo act.
After a long hiatus from music to concentrate on her technical career and earning a master’s degree in astronomy, Gino re-focused on her song-writing, singing and guitar playing and currently plays the drums in two local bands, the Flat Note Society and Fuzzy Logic. Gino said this is the first time she’s written a body of work on the same theme.
“I started writing again about two years ago, focusing on humorous songs,” Gino said. “I was writing several songs a month, and without a strong intention to do so, many of the songs were horror-themed. After I had about six horror-themed songs, I thought I should write a whole album’s worth, then I really focused on that for the next several months until I had 15 songs. It felt great to complete something I set out to do just to see if I could, and it was done mostly over the course of about six months.”
After performing several songs locally, she met with people experienced in the production of plays and musicals in the Socorro community who suggested she consider putting on the show. A small group performed five of the songs at WomenFest last March, then worked to turn the songs into a stage show.
“It is extremely gratifying and humbling to have so many of my peers in the Socorro music community believe in my work enough to spend many tens of hours, and hundreds of hours in the case of the production crew and band, to help me bring my music to life and to the stage,” Gino said. “I can’t begin to thank the whole cast, crew, band, and particularly Ronna Kalish and Dana Chavez of the NMT Performing Arts Series and Gloria Gutierrez-Anaya of Macey Center for their belief in my project and their unwavering support in getting Horror Channel on Macey’s stage.”
Horror Channel band members: Ben Thomas on the lead guitar, Kenny Aerts on the rhythm guitar, Dylan Etscorn on the bass guitar, Danny Moreno on the saxophone, Colleen Gino on drums, Terri Sunflower on percussion.
Horror Channel cast members: Francie Deters, Julie Ford, Neil Haverstick, Amy Kimball, John Leeper, Katie Norris, Ryan Norris, Enrique Rodriquez, Dave Thomas, Madison Thomas, Rory Thomas, and Val Thomas.
Tickets can be purchased online at: nmt.edu/pas/2022-2023/Horror%20Channel.php.