Southern Gothic Novel Provides Some Southern Cooking at the Underground

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Frank Blocker in “Southern Gothic Novel.”

Frank Blocker in “Southern Gothic Novel.”

Conceived, written, and performed by New York stage veteran Frank Blocker, The Visceral Company offers a unique and storied look at a small Mississippi town in Southern Gothic Novel: The Aberdeen Mississippi Sex-Slave Incident currently playing at the Underground in Hollywood.

A mysterious and handsome new stranger in town. Women carted off to who-knows-where. A local FBI office is in place for some odd reason in this dusty town of just 5,000 population. Drinks at Big Otis’ Saloon … and then what happens?

Frank Blocker brings sharp physicality to the numerous and colorful characters in this one-man show as he weaves the tale of 17 of the townspeople and chapter-by-chapter shares just what happened down there in those parts. A tilt of the head here, and movement of a shoulder and a change of inflection and Blocker glides through the entertaining and intriguing story with just enough Southern-style flair to keep you wanting just one more helping.

There is a mix of romance, mystery, humor as Blocker, who is an adept storyteller, works his magic onstage under the direction of Cheryl King for about one hour. Blocker uses every trick in the book — pantomime, physicality, facial adjustments, a wide range of accents and vocals, and more, delivering a piece that features rapid-fire dialogue and even a knock-down-drag-out fight with several characters.

Southern Gothic Novel is after-dinner fare as it stages at 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through March 30 at the Underground Theater located at 1312 N. Wilton Pl. in Hollywood. Admission is $12. Preview performances Jan. 25 and 26 are $5. Tickets are available thevisceralcompany.com.

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