L to R: Claudia Billings and Tom Smith
L to R: Shane Cates, Claudia Billings, and Toby Minor
L to R: Shane Cates, Tom Smith, and Toby Minor
May 31-Jun 01, 2002
'Vampires' make their mark at Black Box
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Sun News [Friday, June 7 2002, C-3]
If you're looking for a comedy you can sink your teeth into, call the Black Box Theatre now and reserve tickets for "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom."
For those who remember and loved last summer's No Strings Theatre production of "Psycho Beach Party," this play, also written by Charles Busch, is a must-see show.
Outrageous, over-the-top characters, witty and wacky dialogue and top-notch performances by some of the area's finest comedians make for a laugh-filled evening.
"Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" follows two seductive vampires through the centuries after their initial encounter in ancient Sodom. The two, both actresses, compete on stage and off in Hollywood and today's Las Vegas.
Claudia Billings and Tom Smith, both New Mexico State University Theatre Arts faculty members, portray the dangerous duo with flair. Smith is also co-director of the show.
Billings plays La Condesa, the original seductress in Sodom who seeks virgin sacrifices from the town. Billings relishes this role and brings the lusty lady to life.
Smith, has to be seen to be believed -- first, as the virgin in Sodom, and then as Madeleine Astarte. He puts the "vamp" into vampire, especially in the Roaring Twenties scenes. Be prepared to laugh outloud -- often.
Smith plays these roles this weekend, but co-director Meghan Dickerson will take on the roles for the final week performance June 7-8. Dickerson is also choreographer for the show.
Many talented NMSU theater students and graduates round out the cast.
Toby Minor, veteran of numerous productions demonstrates his considerable comedic talent in various roles. He seems particularly at home in the 1920s costumes and scenes, but evokes lots of laughs in every era.
Recent NMSU graduate Darin Robert Cabot shows his versatility as Oatsie, a Hollywood reporter and later, a vampire hunter.
Kevin Coyle also takes on a variety of roles and handles them with ease. he's particularly funny as La Condesa's servant.
Morgan Aldrich who played Emma in American Southwest Theatre Company's production of "Pterodactyls," plays her virginal roles with a school-girl innocence.
Shane Cates makes a good impression for his first time on the Black Box stage, and this probably won't be his last sighting on the local theater scene.
The lighting design by Peter Herman offers some new special "hypnotic" effects.
"Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" contains some adult humor and language which is not suitable for young children. For the rest of us however, Busch's off-beat script is a fun way to spend an evening. Think Shakespeare spoofing an Anne Rice novel.
Performances continue at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall today and Saturday and June 7 and 8 at 8 p.m. with additional late-night shows on June 1 and June 7 at 10 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 adults, $6 seniors over 65 and students.
Reservations are recommended. Both performances last weekend were sold out. For reservations call (505) 523-1223
No seating plan has been posted.