spotlight: Vampires! Horror!

Dennis Curley as Jefferson, dancing with the vampires.
Wendy Short-Hays
Dennis Curley as Jefferson, dancing with the vampires.

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Vampires! Horror!
Table Salt Productions at Old Arizona Studio

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Vampires! Horror! is a case of too much of a good thing. Taken by themselves, the characters, scenes, and songs in this horror spoof from Table Salt Productions are a delight, but spread over two and a half hours, the show as a whole starts to drag. The new musical, crafted by Beau Hays and Dennis Curley, focuses on an impending vampire apocalypse in a small town populated by the types of characters you would expect in a horror movie—dumb young 'uns, semi-mad scientists, inquisitive reporters, clueless law enforcement agents, power-mad military officers, and Someone Hiding a Secret. Arrayed against them are the forces of darkness, a singing, dancing troupe of vampires led by the enigmatic, ancient Jefferson. So far, so good. And as I mentioned, the songs are a lot of fun, whether they are spoofing young love in the library (which comes off as a sort of True Blood take on "Marian the Librarian"), Rent, or Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The actors are also having fun throughout and turn in some truly nutty performances, from Joseph Botten's dim-witted Deke to Justine Carroll's mother-of-the-potential-vampire-queen Teri Lyn to Jeffery Goodson's absolutely goofy General. Still, around the hour mark, the energy started to dissipate, and by the second act the show began to give off a sense of trying to get all this done rather than driving to a thrilling, funny conclusion. In many ways, Vampires! Horror! feels like a supersized Fringe show, where the concept—or certainly the plot—can't carry the weight of the show. Then again, there are plenty of diamonds in the rough here, and any show that rhymes "queen" with "spleen" has a chance to be a real winner. $15. 7:30 pm. Thu.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. 821 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.871.0050. Through Oct. 30

 
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