UCB mines dark horror-comedy classics and covers
them in gore for holiday hilarity
the UCB Theatre’s annual Halloween show (seen October 29), is a Rocky
Horror-inspired production with a tone that is like a more perverted set
of Edward Gorey drawings or version of Little Shop of Horrors.
Zach Woods is near perfect as the dour ringmaster of the gory
proceedings, as “Thornbrush,” a strange man with a lust for blood who
wreaks punishment on the wicked but unsuspecting, in a succession of
gruesome vignettes. The tales of what happens to these victims when they
enter Thornbrush’s house are framed by the torment he is also inflicting
on the equally perverted “Merrick” (played by Chris Gethard), who is
paying Thornbrush to eat him alive.
Several of the UCB Theatre’s regulars play Thornbrush’s unwitting
victims. They don’t always get the chance to stand out, but a few get
just enough lines to do so, like Kate Spencer’s “Food Addict” and Matt
Fisher’s porn star, “Dusty Taintwood.”
The production also has other dimensions to it, both subtle and
unsubtle. Woods and Gethard exchange asides between the gory scenes as
the stage is cleared or cleaned somewhat (at least of the expired
actors), filling you in about their disappointment as actors having to
play in such a grotesque piece.
The unsubtle aspect of course, is the torrents of stage blood that the
actors let fly in explosive fashion with each death, to the delight of
the audience, primed to anticipate this by being handed cheap ponchos to
wear as they enter, which brings the audience right into the fun the
performers get to have with this stuff.
By the end, Killgore gives you the feeling of attending the UCB’s own
Halloween party with this take on dark horror-comedy built on the
foundations of similar predecessors from stage and screen.
Killgore runs 8 and 10 p.m. Oct. 30 and 8 and 10 p.m. and midnight on