BWW Reviews: VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM at The City Theatre is a Campy Treat
As I am writing this review, I am still laughing my butt off. The City Theatre's production of VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM is just as hysterical, quirky, and off-kilter as its title. This is one gut-busting piece of camp.
The play, written by famous writer and female impersonator, Charles Busch, tells the story of a dangerous Succubus aka La Condesa (Kirk Kelso) and her two-thousand year rivalry with Madeleine (Joe Hartman) a virgin sacrifice who, when bitten by the Succubus, bites back, turning her undead as well.
A ridiculous premise like this requires some crazy, over the top acting, and this cast does not disappoint in that department. Through them, VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM is more campy than a RuPaul Drag Race contestant doing a Norma Desmond impersonation while wearing a Lady Gaga meat dress. Kirk Kelso plays La Condesa as a somewhat upper-crust sexpot and delivers most lines with a delicious wink and smirk. Joe Hartman is equally zany and over-the-top as Madeleine. His pleas in the opening scene for his two executioners to "pop his hymen" so he can't be the succubus's virgin sacrifice are downright hysterical. And the supporting cast camp up their performances as well. John Lopez is amusing as busty reporter Oatsie Carewe and ditzy stage performer Tracy. Austen Simien is adorable as movie star King Carlisle and Vegas back-up dancer P.J. Scott Poppaw is sidesplitting as La Condesa's sneering butler, Etienne, and Ronnie Williams is uproarious as film actress Renee Vain and ghettofabulous dancer, Zack.
It's clear that Director Marco Bazan is at the top of his game as well. This is a director that clearly loves comedy, drag, and the campy film acting styles of the golden age of Hollywood. Like Busch's text, Bazan respects and sends up those who have come before, and his work is akin to a John Waters romp.
There are some life-changing pieces of theater that make you think and revisit the way you view the world. And then there are pieces of theater that pile on pounds of makeup, throw on some fake eyelashes, and ham it up to entertain. Thankfully, VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM is the later. This is one hilarious bit of good un-clean fun.
Run time: Approximately 70 minutes with no intermission. Recommended for adult audiences only.
VAMPIRE LESBIANS OF SODOM plays the City Theatre at 3823 Airport Blvd Ste D, 78722 now thru November 17th. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30pm and Sundays at 8pm. Tickets are $10.00. For tickets and information, visit www.citytheatreaustin.org.