‘Vampire Lesbians’ returns for ArtScene at The West Side Show Room

Online Staff Report

The West Side Show Room announces SCENEscene, an all-day cabaret of short performances coinciding with the Rockford Area Arts Council’s ArtScene.

Open 5-10 p.m., Friday April 11, and 4-10 p.m., Saturday April 12, SCENEscene features short plays, storytellers, music, stand-up comedy, and a stage combat demonstration. Both day’s events culminate with a free performance of the wildly successful burlesque comedy Vampire Lesbians of Sodom at 9 p.m.

In addition to Vampire Lesbians, SCENEscene will include the following acts: Up With (Some) People, a short play by Joshua Conkel; storytelling/monolgues by Adrienne Gunn, Michele Mancuso and Misha Sanders Lentz; stand-up comedy by CREAM of the Rock; music by Firmish Skirmish; and a stage combat demonstration by Erin Philpott.

We are excited to be a part of Spring ArtScene 2014,” said Mike Werckle, the artistic director of The West Side Show Room. “We are opening our doors for people to get a taste of the kind of exciting performances we are bringing back to downtown Rockford.”

SCENEscene performances will occur all day on the half hour, with time in between for socializing and learning about The West Side Show Room. At the end of both days, Vampire Lesbians will be performed in its entirety for free. Werckle encourages visitors to “walk down to The West Side Show Room after visiting all the great ArtScene locations and see our hilarious little play.”

The cast of Vampire Lesbians includes Carolyn Cadigan as nosy gossip columnist Oatsie Carewe. Carolyn is the former drama instructor at Keith Country Day School and co-founder of Rockford’s celebrated Artists’ Ensemble Theater. Veteran Chicago performer Erin Philpott stars 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. 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.

According to Busch’s website: “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom tells the saga of two fatally seductive vampiresses whose paths first collide in ancient Sodom. Their bitter rivalry as bloodsuckers, but more importantly, as actresses, endures for 2,000 years with stops along the way in 1920’s silent movie Hollywood and contemporary Las Vegas.”

With outrageous humor, flamboyant cross-dressing, and ridiculous sight-gags, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom is a satire of Hollywood stardom done in a burlesque comedy style.

The West Side Show Room was founded by a diverse group of theater artists who are committed to bringing exciting, locally-produced theater back to downtown Rockford. Vampire Lesbians of Sodom was their inaugural show.

The West Side Show Room is at 410 Mulberry St. in downtown Rockford. Visit www.thewestsideshowroom.com for more details.

Posted April 9, 2014

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