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Hollywood Fringe Review: Boston Bar Bloodsuckers

It is a novel idea if nothing else: Boston Bar Bloodsuckers turns the characters from TV’s Cheers into vampires, transforms the situation comedy into an interactive murder-mystery, and stage the action inside a performance space attached to an actual bar, The Three Clubs in Hollywood. (As if being in a real nightclub were not enough, the fictional bar in the stage area serves themed drinks to both characters and customers.) The cast flawlessly capture the personas of their televised counterparts, and the mystery features some clever clues and a satisfying solution. Unfortunately, the play recreates sit-com humor a little bit too faithfully, resulting in some tired jokes suggesting a weaker episode of the source material.

Setup casts the audience as attendees at the 200th birthday of Lilith (Ana Zimhart). The regulars at the bar trade one-liners and banter for the first half, until a murder takes place, after which the audience is pressed into service to sift through clues and question suspects until the killer’s identity is revealed.

Along the way, the vampire element is underplayed to the point where it almost seems like an add-on gimmick. Sure, it is mildly amusing to turn a character named “Lilith” into a 200-year-old undead seductress, and vampirism does narrow down the possible methods of murder (e.g, holy water, sunlight). However, all the characters are pretty much as we remember them from the show but now wearing fangs; there is not much evidence of blood-drinking or anything else that goes along with being undead. At least Clive has motive: revenge for being turned into a vampire, which lost him his job as a mailman (because mail is delivered during daylight hours).

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What Boston Bar Bloodsuckers needs is funnier material during the sit-com half of the show and a depiction of the characters that illustrates how vampirism has changed them from what they were or at least hints at their struggles to remain the same. That would give a little edge to the comedy and make it more credible that all the suspects had the potential for homicide in their blood, so to speak. As it is, Boston Bar Bloodsuckers may interest Cheers fans and would-be detectives eager to solve an interactive-murder mystery.

Boston Bar Bloodsuckers rating

Rating Scale

1 – Avoid
2 – Not all bad
3 – Recommended
4 – Highly Recommended
5 – Must See

Boston Bar Bloodsuckers has an interesting idea: turns the cast of Cheers into vampires and involve them in a murder-mystery. However, the weak humor does not sustain the first half of the play, and the vampirism element seems almost incidental to the plot. Things pick up in the second half, when the audience is enlisted to figure out who done it.


  • Janson Lalich: writer-director
  • Lena Valentine: producer


  • Jennie Fahn as Carol
  • Adam Chisnall as Franklin
  • Ana Zimhart as Lilith
  • Will McFadden as Clive
  • John GLoria as George
  • Trip Langley as Buddy
  • Jordana Lilly as Liane
  • Sean Will as Dan


Boston Bar Bloodsuckers continues at Three Clubs as part of the 2023 Hollywood Fringe Fest. Get more info here.

Boston Bar Bloodsuckers Photo Gallery

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.