West Side Show Room extends hit show ‘Vampire Lesbians of Sodom’

Mike Werckle (from left), Chad Brazzle and Liz Newman in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. (Photo by Jim Hagerty)
Mike Werckle (from left), Chad Brazzle and Liz Newman in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. (Photo by Jim Hagerty)

Staff Report

After an initial two-week run with sell-out crowds, The West Side Show Room, 410 Mulberry St., downtown Rockford, is extending its play Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

We were overwhelmed with the positive response to Vampire Lesbians, so we decided we’re going to keep doing it as long as people want to see it,” said Mike Werckle, artistic director at The West Side Show Room.

Shows will begin at 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, beginning Jan. 24. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.thewestsideshowroom.com/tickets. Visit www.thewestsideshowroom.com for more details.

The West Side Show Room is bringing on a few new cast members and is also adding musical numbers to the show.

Werckle found a treasure trove of early 20th-century sheet music in a box from his great-grandmother and decided to weave the songs into the play.

These early 20th-century songs are rarely heard and add to the old-time music hall feel of the play,” Werckle said.

Selections include “The Laughing Vamp,” “I’m Hungry for a Little Bit of Love” and “I Wasn’t Born to Be Lonesome.”

Joining the cast as nosy gossip columnist Oatsie Carewe is Carolyn Cadigan, former drama instructor at Keith Country Day School and co-founder of Rockford’s celebrated Artists’ Ensemble Theater. Trained in theater at the University of Massachusetts, Cadigan brings a wealth of experience, including a long residency at the renowned Lamb’s Players Theatre in San Diego. Her most recent role was “City Her” in the musical Gifts of the Magi at Artists’ Ensemble.

Veteran Chicago performer Erin Philpott is coming on board as the “glacial and terrifying star of stage and screen” Madeleine Astarte. Erin is a certified Fight Instructor and choreographed the fight scenes in the original Chicago production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

Returning are original cast members Genny Bonavia, David Mortenson and Liz Newman, who performs with local bluegrass band The Stragglers. Werckle will also be reprising his role as the hideous succubus La Condesa Scrofula de Hoya.

Written by Charles Busch and directed by Werckle, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom is one of the longest-running off-Broadway plays of all-time, and provides an opportunity for this young, innovative theater company to perform the kind of raw, no holds-barred theater that is rarely experienced in Rockford.

From the Jan. 22-28, 2014, issue

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