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So You Want to be a Vampire

ensemble theatre · offending shadows theatre company · Ages 13+ · United States of America

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Review by MICHAEL FONTAINE

June 06, 2017 my haunt life original article
tagged as: vampire · goth · BLOOD · splatter zone

What I liked

The story, the charm, the goofiness of a subculture brought to light.

What I didn't like

I wish the splatter zone had more…splatter. There’s a scene that’s awkwardly placed that, depending on where you’re sitting, you might not be able to see.

My overall impression

This brought me back to the days when vampires, and dressing like vampires, were cool (no really, there was a time like that!). This production really worked with me because I’ve seen those people. I’ve seen the “Vampire groupies” and I’ve seen the “Vampires” due to working at a certain store in the mall while growing up as well as going to the same clubs as them. As soon as I walked in, I heard Joy Division, Siouxsie, Bauhaus, etc. The soundtrack is perfect for this show. I was having such fun watching this. Seeing Brenda (played by Carrie Bell-Hoerth) want something so badly that she’s willing to give everything up, including her family and best friend, was funny, but also heartbreaking. Watching those scenes and hearing that dialog made me reminiscent of what people do when they join a cult. The only sense brought to the table was from Brenda’s best friend, Georgette (played by Emily Donn), who was ultimately cast aside for the pursuit of Brenda’s ultimate goal. The metaphor of this show and what people will do to get what they want really sinks in at this point.

The writing for SYWTBAV is horror comedy at its best. It’s a perfect mix of humor, mocking, sarcasm, and even legitimately meaningful words. The last third of show I did not see coming at all and I applaud writer Marni Troop for not taking us to the “typical” ending you would expect in something like this. You will be surprised, shocked, and horrified with what you end up witnessing.

One of the main reasons I was excited for this was the announcement of a “Splatter Zone”. I haven’t been in a good Splatter Zone since Re-Animator the Musical or Evil Dead the Musical, both of which left me drenched and stained red. This however did not leave me drenched. Actually I don’t think I got any splatter even though I sat in the front row. I’m not sure if this is because it was a preview night or because that’s just how much the show had budgeted. I think this is something that, over time, will grow into something more. Soaking your audience can be risky, especially at something like Fringe, but I think the feedback will let them know to go bigger and wetter!

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