Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Fashion Show at The Castle of Blood"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2005 by Tony Annicone

"Fashion Show at The Castle of Blood"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Whodunnit Murder Mystery Theater's current show is "Fashion Show At The Castle of Blood"a fun filled mystery for Halloween audiences. In a dark mansion, a group of eerie characters gather for a fashion show. But before the fashion show can begin, some frightening creature is leaving an array of bloodless corpses in its wake. The survivors including the audience members, must call upon their knowledge of vampire lore to keep from becoming the next victim. Ann Waterman's clever script is filled with campy characters from old horror shows including "The Munsters" and Young Frankenstein". Director Brian Ottaviano chooses the best 8 performers to fill these roles, blocking them wonderfully and giving them some clever schtick to do during the dialogue and some riotous songs to delight the audience all night long.

The Burnside mansion is where the fashion show will be held. Laurie Lavalle plays Buffy Burnside, a madcap heiress who wants to have her own fashion line and is devoted to her "Young Frankenstein" type husband, Biff who is played by Mark Sokol. Complete with a green face, Mark mumbles and grumbles his lines as the character, giving him an eerie quality. Laurie wears a black wig during some of the show making her look like Vampira and gets to show off her lovely soprano voice in a take off on "Memory" where she sings of the tragedy that has befallen her family. Her fight scene with Pepper is hilarious as Pepper holds her back by putting her hand on Laurie's head. Eric Crosby is a hoot as Pepper Aupoivre, the fashion designer with questionable talent in that area. He is dressed in drag all night long and he towers over everyone. Eric sings the lead in "Begin the Beguine" imitating Cher while doing so. There is a section of the song where the performers dance with the audience and one of Eric's victims was Whodunnit's regular audience member, Peter Boranian who played along with merriment. Eric towered over Peter (who isn't small in stature) while doing a seductive dance and nuzzling him while doing so, invoking laughter from the crowd. Brain Lamothe plays Mrs. Castle, the maid with a high pitched voice while dressed in a frumpy woman's outfit with balloon size boobs. The character is always yelling at the children and insulting everyone with some funny ad libs. The naughty Burnside twins, Chip and Coco who just turned 21 are played very well by Bill Doherty and Karen Tulli. They keep playing pranks all night long trying to get their mother to throw them out of the house. Bill and Karen keep things lively and help explain the events to the bewildered guests when the time is right.

The Burnside's doctor from Transylvania, Dr. Van Pires is played by veteran actor, John Los. He wears a black cape and appears to be interested in blood. John gets to show off his singing voice with Eric in the Beguine and gets to solo as he prances about the room while singing "Puttin on the Ritz" with new Halloween lyrics while the cast dances the Macarena.

The southern belle assistant to Pepper, Mary Lou is well played by Desiree Andre. Pepper heaps abuse and scorn upon but she accepts things bravely and carries on. Desiree's southern accent is perfect and she remains in character all night long whether in the show or during the table walks. She also gets to show off her singing voice in the Beguine song and in her solo number done to "Strangers in the Night" called "Vampires in the Night" about the scary deeds which have occurred. The whole cast closes the show with "There's No Vampire's Like Show Vampires" bringing the show to a satisfying ending for the audience. The dinner of chicken or fish, includes a salad, rolls, veggies, mashed potatoes and chocolate cake for dessert. So for a delicious meal mixed with some Halloween hi-jinks, be sure to catch this latest Whodunnit show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

"Fashion Show at The Castle of Blood" (1 - 29 October)
Crowne Plaza, 801 Greenwich Avenue, WARWICK RI
1 (401)447-7126

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide