By Bonnie Priever
With True Blood and Twilight all the rage (and before that, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), vampires now take over the stage at Hollywood’s Next Stage’s production of “The Vampire Masquerade.”
Chris Berube, writer, director and lead actor (Vamp, the Clan Master), has cleverly construed and executed a bunch of sketches involving vampires and humans, juxtaposed, in situations involving love, lust, romance and terror.
Berube comments on society’s whole fascination with vampire culture, “It’s the mystique, the flamboyance, the gothic look, the living forever… people are obsessed with it all!” If vampires owned a theater, this masquerade and its cast, lurking in deep dark shadows and macabre twists and turns, would be it.
Vamp, the revered master tellingly declares in one monologue, “Humans have become too smart for us… humans have their alcohol but vampires have human blood!!”
In battles of wit, blood-sucking, undying love and passion, “The Vampire Masquerade” keeps the viewer on the edge of one’s seat, enthralled and engaged. The cast is fresh, convincing, alarmingly-natural and spontaneous. In particular, Jennifer Josy, as Witch/Mother, with her creepy persona, bitter tenderness and tortured cry is mesmerizing and noteworthy.
With reminisces of the theatrical great, Marat Sade, “The Vampire Masquerade” promises to be a dark, horrific “treat” this pre-Halloween season.
“The Vampire Masquerade” plays at The Next Stage Theatre (1523 N. La Brea Ave. 2nd floor, Hollywood, CA) Friday nights (9-18, 9-25, 10-02) at 8pm. For more information, call (323) 317-8488.