BWW Review: Only You Can Prevent SPACE VAMPIRE(s) at Gamut
Remember those "create your own adventure" books? The ones where you were given a basic story opening and every time the main character - YOU - had to make a choice, you picked an option in the story? They were great. Sometimes you'd stumble across the hidden treasure of the ancient temple, sometimes the snakes would eat you, and sometimes you'd wind up on a pirate ship and dumped on a deserted island with all the rum drinks and cabana boys you can... sorry, that wasn't the kids' version. But you remember the kids' version. At least I hope you do.
Because then it's even MORE fun to watch SPACE VAMPIRE: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE at Gamut's Stage Door Series production. It's in the lobby theatre space, the bar is open (which makes the adventure even more fun), and David Ramon Zayas has adapted and directed it as a live-action version of the story. "You," played by Alex Winnick, are a real live space cadet sent off on your first assignment upon graduation from space school. But will you survive to tell others about the space vampire you encountered? That depends whether you - the audience, voting on your cell phones - make the right choices whenever a decision has to be made. In the manner of video games, the audience has three lives to work your way to one of ten different endings ranging from heroic return to being turned into vampire dinner drinks.
Winnick's "You" is engaging and deadly serious in his efforts to be the first space cadet to take on a vampire, and Charles Hooker's Space Vampire is cheerfully malevolent and extremely hungry. A rotating cast of narrators, a game ensemble taking multiple parts, and Zayas himself leading the voting sessions, bring on the adventure, the children's book level horror, and the humor. It's riotous for adults, but there was a healthy preteen contingent when I saw the show, and it's suitable for them as well (even without the adult beverages, they were having a fine time).
As part of the Stage Door Series, there's no muss or fuss: minimal sets, high audience engagement, and fun entertainment for everyone, as well as zero concern about the formalities of what to wear or to do. Don't worry about etiquette - when an audience is fleeing a space vampire, there are no rules. And as it's pay what you will/can, the price is right for bringing the whole family to enlist in the space cadet corps and fight vampires. It's suitable for anyone old enough to follow the basic plot. And unlike most shows, bring your cell phone and keep it on. You'll need it to fight the Space Vampire.
The corps of space cadets is waiting for you through the 22nd. Don't say no - enlist and fight the vampire menace. Remember, only YOU can prevent space vampires. Fun for all ages, at Gamut in Harrisburg; visit gamuttheatre.org for tickets and information.