It has been approximately four years since the teen phenomenon “Twilight” was released in theaters, and Shadowbox Live has now jumped on the vampire craze, with its new Stage 2 production, “Vampires,” which opened Aug. 23.
However, “Vampires” is anything but an adolescent romance story with “sparkling” heartthrobs such as Edward Cullen, as in “Twilight.” In fact, Shadowbox Live’s brilliant team takes this vogue and turns it into a dark, sexy, spine-chilling, rock and roll dance show that is completely original.
The production begins with “Ambush” from Stev Guyer’s “Dawn of Infinite Dreams,” and the stage, and some of the audience as well, is taken over with an abundance of vampires, all dressed in provocative, gothic-like costumes.
While most scenes have very little storyline, each stands out in a ghostly way as to really sell the theme of vampirism.
One of the first high points of the show was Stacie Boord’s rendition of The Deftones’ “Change in the House of Flies,” in which, while nailing the vocals, Boord plays a vampire who has just watched Amy Lay transform. Lay steals the shows with an extremely elegant, yet uncanny and otherworldly performance into an immortal that suggests she was born to play this role.
Another stand out moment was during the closing of Act I with “Perplexity” by Light from “7 Deadly Sins.” This performance featured new vampire, can you see a theme here, Renee Horton, dancing and looking spectacular as the rest of the group dances around her.
One scene in which I was not as impressed with, was when Katy Psenicka plays a vampire who seems to be having a slight identity crisis, while twirling around her bed and a large mirror repeatedly. The choreography was simply not as compelling as the rest of the show, even if it was put together with Stacie Boord singing Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”
Act II came to an end with the most breathtaking and hair-raising presentation of Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky” I’ve ever hear, featuring Boord and Stephanie Shull. The number then leads in to “Cry Little Sister” by Gerad McMann with Stev Guyer on vocals, playing the head vampire.
It’s no surprise that the music in “Vampires” make the show, with the incredibly talented house band, Bill Who playing other classics such as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult, “Pardon Me” by Incubus, “Bullet with the Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins, and “Helter Skelter” by The Beatles. However, the authenticity and blood-curdling feeling of the performance will have you joining the vampire obsession.
In spite of the fact that “Vampires” is an unfamiliar concept from Shadowbox Live’s usual sketch comedy and rock and roll shows, this show is two hours of seductive, eerie and supernatural song and dance worth seeing. The troupe and its gifted minds just keep the creative juices flowing, presenting show after show that blows me away each time.
“Vampires” runs at The Shadowbox Live theater at 503 S. Front Street Columbus, Ohio 43215 on Wednesdays and Thursdays through Oct. 11. No shows on Sept. 19 and 20. Tickets $30 for general admission or $20 for students of seniors.
More information can be found online at www.shadowboxlive.org.
Photos provided by Studio 66.