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Theatre Review (LA): Courting Vampires by Laura Schellhardt at The Theatre @ Boston Court

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The latest offering at the Theatre @ Boston Court is a strange piece called Courting Vampires about the relationships of two very-different sisters and a vampire. Rill Archer (Carey Peters) is the uptight spinster who thinks her free-wheeling sister Nina (Maya Lawson) has contracted a fatal blood disease because she had a date with a guy in a cemetery (Bo Foxworth) who maybe, just maybe, was a vampire.

Most likely the piece was originally a screenplay; it lacks discernible meaning such as we usually expect in a stage play. Rather it’s purely about story set against a colorful backdrop (the inventive sets by Kurt Boetcher). Unfortunately that story wouldn’t pass muster as a screenplay either. The characters are one-dimensional, the plot is turgid, and it’s not really scary or frightening enough to be a vampire flick.

The production does have several plusses. Chief amongst them is Boetcher’s remarkable set, which is all graveyard; the floor are graves which open to reveal plots, and the backdrop is a moving picture of various gravestones. The whole is interesting and theatrical.

The cast is very good. The sisters tend to be one-note, though that is more the fault of the writing than of the women in question; within the boundaries of their characters they are excellent. The real acting assignment of the evening goes to Bo Foxworth, who must play the various men who inhabit the play. Whether playing the girls’ paranoid shut-in father (we never do know why he is so weird), the highly sexed office mate of the stern sister, or the callous doctor who diagnoses the illness, Mr. Foxworth shows great flexibility and a wonderful sense of humor.

The third plus is that treasure of a director, Jessica Kubzansky. I have always admired her work, and she seems at home in most any style. She manages to get from the piece the most excitement and tension possible. Her comic direction of the seduction in the office is a total delight. My only question for her would be: why this play? It seems the playwright is getting produced elsewhere with some success, so producing one of his other pieces might have been a better choice, despite the temptation to put on a “world premiere.”

Courting Vampires is playing at The Theatre @ Boston Court until June 7th.

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About Robert Machray

  • Timothy Sarmon

    “It seems the playwright is getting produced elsewhere with some success, so producing one of his other pieces might have been a better choice.”

    I don’t know who “HE” is, but the person who wrote this play is a woman… named “Laura”… it’s in the title of your article.