Laissez-Faire | In Love & Free Trade

Vampirism, Straight Up

Despite the hurricane this past weekend, I finally had a chance to see Straight Up Vampire, a play about the history of vampirism in colonial Pennsylvania, set to the music of – who else – Paula Abdul. The storyline reads:

It’s 1763 and there are vampires in Philadelphia.
Paula Abdul Blackwood is a beautiful young quaker girl being forced into marriage with the wheelwright’s son.
Jack Sheridan, a politically idealistic young vampire, is the man she loves.
Everywhere there is dissent. Fractious parties debate the future of the colony.
MC Skat Kat and Benjamin Franklin vie for power in the Assembly.

Straight Up Vampire is based on the book, The History of Vampires in Colonial Pennsylvania as Performed to the Music of Paula Abdul (by Nick Jones, Zak Vreeland and Peter J. Cook) and directed by Cook. It’s amazing how much of the setting and characterization is conveyed through improvised costumes and stage craft, especially on the modest stage at Joe’s Pub. The decor for Vampire included a band, music stands and chairs for the cast, who would perform their lines with scripts in hand. The script itself was the size of a photo album and at one point, Jones as the wheelwright’s son had to direct the the dark pale-faced vampire (played by Jason Quarles), who had lost his place, to the correct page. “Page 20”, Jones’ character sneered, to which the crowd laughed.

Also, while uncharacteristically sipping overpriced Pinot Grigio on the couch, I met a lovely woman named Michelle wearing realistic vampiric fangs. Apparently she had previously worked as a make-up artist in movies and crafted the fitted fangs from acrylic.

The next performance for Vampire is on March 26 at Joe’s Pub. Tickets can be purchased here.