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Let the Right One In: With Feelings, Not Just Fangs

A previous cast of Let the Right One In
A previous cast of Let the Right One In
Photo by Michael Harlan
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A pale-skinned girl moves in next door to Oskar, a boy from a broken home who's bullied and lonely. Even though Eli is about his age, she doesn't go to school — in fact, she doesn't go out much at all.

And then come the unexplained killings in the neighborhood and amid all that fear and tension, the two are drawn together. Let the Right One In is about to be staged at the Alley Theatre courtesy of the National Theatre of Scotland under the direction of John Tiffany (he directed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), who has done this play to great acclaim elsewhere.

Described as part chiller-thriller, coming-of-age story, the play, adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, is based on a Swedish novel.

“At the heart it’s a love story and they seem to sit quite well on our stages. A love story between two alienated people,” says Tiffany. There is, of course, a blood-curdling reason for all the killings, so be prepared for screams to resonate throughout the Hubbard Theatre at the Alley.

Most people didn't think the story told in award-winning novel and movie form first could be transferred to stage because of some of the scenes in it. That didn't deter Tiffany.

“I love the challenge of putting vampires onstage and people biting each other’s necks,” Tiffany says. All of that is like mother’s milk to me.” The Alley promotion says it is “recommended for fearless 15 years olds, mature teens and up.”

As important as the friendship is between Oskar and Eli, there's also pain, Tiffany says. "Any relationship she has with a human, she's not going to grow old and they are.

"It's all about feeling and not just fangs."

Performances are scheduled for February 22-March 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For more information, call 713-220-5700 or visit alleytheatre.org. $30-$93.

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