Okay this review is late. No excuses. As I write this, only one performance of Vampire from the Fuzzybottoms Theater Company remains--I am told it is nearly sold out and so please hurry to get your ticket!
Vampire takes place in the closing days of the first world war, then known simply as The Great War, or (more commonly) simply "The War." It centers around the struggle of House Dracul to break free of the power of the Council into a modern age, as embodied in Boris Dracul (Kurt Merril) the current leader of the House. His blood brother Dmitri (Nathan Douglas Shoop) longs for a more primal existence for vampires.
But unknown to pretty much everyone, a refugee from the countryside named Adriene (Amanda Vidal) is in fact the love child of Dracula (Josh Noori) himself. She is the stuff of legends, the Dhampir Stone whose power will reshape the age-old war between Witches and Vampires. Even she does not know the truth about herself, only knowing she must take a certain medicine every single day. But she has very few doses left, and no money with which to buy more ingredients...
Now that sounds like a cool set-up, right? It is! But the full extravagance of this show pretty much must been seen--no, EXPERIENCED--to be fully appreciated. On the one hand, there's a relatively simple explanation of the show. It is a very feminist, very gothic, very life action Anime. I mentioned this description to some cast members and they all laughed and/or nodded, agreeing. On another level, though, is is more visceral than that, but in a lighthearted way belying the often grim, unsettling subject matter. Fuzzybottoms had developed the skills to have the most extreme, cartoon-ish (almost) violence on stage complete with splashing of blood spraying into the audience! Now, this is simply colored water that will wash out with a good rinse. But it is does make for a startling and goofy way to be part of the fight, to feel the impact of the battles on stage on many, many levels!
At the same time, lots of folks might find this more than unsettling, but actually triggering. The depictions of sexual assault, casual murder and cruelty, savage acts of revenge (a few of which had the audience cheering)--these are Adult Fare.
But that is not a criticism. Simply a recognition of what many would like to know going in--to see a huge cast of characters brought to live by a very talented cast (April Littlejohn, Alec Frasier, Stephanie Mayer, Karlee Currin, Christine Celozzi, Nathan Bock, Philip Wheeler, Heather Boothby, Amanda Kaye, Meagan Cavasar, Victoria Gluchoski, Christian Thomas, Lex, Valima May, Monaye Moyes, Sean Alan Mazur, Elisa N. Ellis, and Samantha De Galicia) who do what theatre people do best--pretend with all the power of a child, and all the discipline and awareness of an adult. Then, invite you to join in.
I really enjoyed their last show. Really enjoyed this one. Can hardly wait for the next!
Vampire plays one more show, at 5pm October 30 at The Sherry Theater ,11052 W Magnolia Blvd in North Hollywood