review by Andrew Moore
|Lara Fisher is Hemophelia, the ghoul of cool and hostess of Hemophelia's House of Horrors, an all-new horror-themed comedy/variety show now playing at the Lex Theatre through June 8.|
Lara Fisher is Hemophelia, our host, our sexy Crypt Keeper-ette. She fills the space between the sketches with songs (Matt DeNoto has composed some truly funny stuff here) and goriously bad puns, but most importantly keeps the show moving along. Her name is in the title, but Hemophelia (like all good emcees) knows the show isn't just about her. We get just enough of her dark wackiness that we want more.
"Habeus Corpus," created and directed by Jana Wimer, is a trippy piece of puppetry magic. A disembodied head and hands dig through a trash can, pulling out bits and pieces of garbage to assemble a body. Spooky and fun with a startling ending. Like "Organ Grinder," it's not the sort of fare you would expect in a sketch show, but the otherworldly eeriness contributes to the overall vibe of the night.
"Karmic Retribution" exemplifies what this troupe is capable of with straight up sketch comedy. A genre-twisting take on the "axe-wielding maniac" trope, three survivors lock themselves in a cabin and let their true feelings be known about a fourth friend who was slaughtered offstage. Casey Christensen, Cloie Wyatt Taylor, and Cynthia Zitter play up the imperiled campers, giving a more dimensional portrayal of the victim archetypes from conventional horror. The piece builds tension through its staging, releasing bits of that tension through humor until the grim and hilarious end. It is delightful.
This show is a lot of fun, and I recommend braving the horrible parking to take it in. (Parking is a nightmare. Get there a little early, expect to do laps, and pay attention to the signs before committing to a spot. You may have to park a few blocks away from the venue.)
Hemophelia's House of Horrors opens its doors Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30 pm through June 8th (there are no performances on May 17th or 18th) and may also be visited during Hollywood Fringe Festival on Tuesday, June 11th at 8pm and Thursday, June 13th at 10:30pm. The Visceral Company is in residence at The Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Avenue in Hollywood. Nearest cross street is Highland.
Tickets are $15 via Brown Paper Tickets, but you may use the code "HEMO" at check-out for a $5 discount. More information may be found on The Visceral Company website.