Hollywood Gothique
LA Theatre Gothique

Hollywood Fringe Fest Horror Highlights

The Hollywood Fringe Festival has raised a curtain on another season of weird and wonderful theatrical productions, and we are here to let you know about all the horrifying highlights. Though not fear fest per se, the fringe nature of the event offers wide latitude for the outré (what people less pretentious than ourselves would call “strange and startling”), which includes everything from zombies, vampires, witches, and ghosts to H.P Lovecraft and E.A. Poe – along with Krampus and a disembodied hand for good measure.

Past crowd pleasers include Doctor Zomba’s Ghost Show of Terror and Signals. This year’s anticipated offerings range from Bloodsuckers: A Survival Guide and Haunting Rights to Soirees Fantastique: An Hour of Victorian Enchantment and Ghosts Can’t Pay Rent. Things even extend into futuristic realms with Cadenza (a science-fiction thriller) and the post-apocalyptic Valley of Light.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hollywood Fringe Fest officially runs from June 8 through 25, but previews began on Friday, June 2. So far, Hollywood Gothique has sampled Boston Bar Bloodsuckers (an interactive comedy mystery that reimagines the TV sitcom Cheers with a cast of vampires) and The Collective, the latest effort from Last Call Theatre. Unlike their previous efforts, this one contains neither science fiction nor mutants, but fans of their previous work (SignalsAbandoned, The Showroom) will find a similar approach tohttp://new.hollywoodgothique.com/hollywood-fri interactive storytelling, which turns the audience into active participants influencing the direction of the plot turns and twists.

Most of the plays are staged three of four times at approximately weekly intervals. Performances run back to back at numerous locations in the Hollywood area: The Matrix, The Comedy Nook, and the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose, Asylum @Thymele, Hudson Theatres, Barry’s Garden of Earthly Delights, and the Limbic Arthouse on Santa Monica, and several others. Some of the venues are worth visiting in their own right, such as the Bourbon Room on Hollywood Boulevard and Three Clubs on Vine Street, both of which are nightclubs featuring great bars and and dedicated performance areas with ample space and technical facilities for staging entertaining shows. Three Clubs hosts Get Naughty! The Krampus Musical, Boston Bar Bloodsuckers, Not So Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: A Cabaret, and The Collective. Hollywood Bourbon Room will host the festival’s closing night awards ceremony.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Below is a list of this season’s productions featuring horror, fantasy, and science fiction themes. Descriptions are taken from the official Fringe website. The complete schedule can be found here. A complete list of shows can be found here. Tickets are typically $15, though individual productions may have discount performances or special deals. Shows typically run one hour.

APOKALUPSIS. Drama .Ages 18+ · 1hr · Adam, a young trans masc, is prophesied to die young and be remembered forever. In an attempt to subvert this fate, Adam meets an unnamed shapeshifter and an eclectic cast of characters who just might save him.

BLOODSUCKERS … A SURVIVAL GUIDE. Comedy · theatreghosts · Ages 16+ · 50 mins. Izzy, a Vampire, gives her version of a “TedTalk”…. and goes a little off the rails. $15 discounted pricing for double feature (running with Haunting Rights).

BOSTON BAR BLOODSUCKERS: A CHEERS PARODY MURDER MYSTERY! Immersive. · Ages 21+ · 1hr. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody shows their fangs! Say “Cheers” with your favorite sitcom barflies as you celebrate the birthday of vampire Queen Lilith, until a mysterious murder ruins the party! Look for clues, question suspects, and vote for the killer in this comedic scripted parody. Reviewed here.

CADENZA | SCI-FI THRILLER. Immersive.· Ages 12+ · 90 mins. Four humans tainted with an egregious sin are forced to work together in a deadly rehabilitation test… but none of them remember what they have done.

COFFEE, TEA, AND GIN. Solo Show, self-produced. · Ages 13+ · 40 mins. A conversation about H.P. Lovecraft simply requires a drink or two.

GET NAUGHTY ! THE KRAMPUS MUSICAL. Cabaret & Variety. Ages 21+ · 90 mins. Tis the season.. to get naughty! It’s Christmas in June and we are ready for the naughty list! Enter the wondrous Rock n’ Roll world of everyone’s favorite anti-Santa, Krampus! Indulge in your naughty side with the world premiere workshop of a rock musical for adults only!

GHOSTS CAN’T PAY RENT. Comedy, Ages 16+ · 1hr. A wisp, a witch, and a waitress all learn to live in an apartment where the souls are as overdue as the water bill. This sapphic saga of loving and loathing in a world of occultic observations proposes the query, just what or who are we willing to endure through life, death, love, and regret?

HAUNTING RIGHTS. Comedy, · theatreghosts, · Ages 13+ · 1hr. Every theatre has its ghost. This one has four; all vying for the title of resident theatre ghost… There can only be one. Tickets $15: discounted pricing for double feature (running with BLOODSUCKERS… a survival guide).

KILLER PREGAME! Two Person Show, Ages 17+ · 40 mins. A new, dark, buddy-comedy about two girls hosting a Halloween party when an unexpected ghoul ends up on the guest list. A real hot-girl play. TW: language, discussion of SA

LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING-EXTENDED ED. P. 1. Solo Show ·Ages 16+ · 1hr. Actor/comedian Riley Smith brings to life Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- Extended Edition Part 1 in this breathtaking, heartbreaking, exciting, and sometimes even funny, re imagining of Peter Jackson’s Re imagining of J.R.R. Tolkein’s masterpiece.

LOSING YOUR HUMANITY (A ZOMBIE MUSICAL). Musicals & Operas  · Ages 13+ · 90 mins. What do you do when the worldwide outbreak of a brain virus hits your town, causing people to attack each other? Your dad is gone, your mom is in denial, and your brother might be a zombie. Could you do what needs to be done? Would you sing about it? World Premiere Musical!

NOT SO FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM: A CABARET. Comedy · ventriloquist · Ages 21+ · 35 mins. A maladjusted magical creature comedy cabaret for these troubled times (because nobody is completely happy anymore).

POE-ETIC LICENSE. Cabaret & Variety  · Ages 13+ · 45 mins. Experience Edgar Allan Poe’s signature dark, dismal, and depressing side. And also his little-known humorous side, when we take poetic license in imagining him doing parodies of himself! Also includes live music, a song about Poe, a clown raven dream dance, and Poe’s tribute to … Bob Dylan??

THE NETHER. Drama · Ages 16+ · 90 mins. In the near future, adults can log into The Nether, able to live in the fantasy world of their choice. When a young detective discovers a disturbing Victorian-era “Hideaway”, the line between reality and imagination dissolves.

RAISE YOUR HAND… FROM THE DEAD!! Comedy · Ages 12+ · 45 mins. Ten years after a string of unsolved murders, P.I. Shaker brings in the disgraced former Animal Control Detective Palmer for questioning. Little does Shaker know the murders have begun again and they were committed by a living, disembodied HAND! Terror and Hijinks ensue in this B-Movie opus!

THE RED CURTAIN PLAY. Drama · Ages 18+ · 1hr. A woman takes up witchcraft while going through her divorce. A writer procrastinates on his Eulogy. A tooth fairy punches a child the teeth. Experiences and chaotic scenes move and bob, grow and fold.

SOIRÉES FANTASTIQUE – AN HOUR OF VICTORIAN ENCHANTMENT. Cabaret & Variety · victorian magic · Ages 13+ · 1hr. Take an enchanted journey, back in time! Victor Ian Élan, the GREATEST 19th Century Conjuror and Clairvoyant ALIVE TODAY performs as magician, mind-reader, and mystic in this time-traveling show. Join us and witness demonstrations in… …DELIGHTFULLY DIABOLICAL DRAWING-ROOM DECEPTION!

VALLEY OF LIGHT. Musicals & Operas · fables and rumors · Ages 12+ · 2hrs. Valley of Light is a legend at the end of the world. The earth has crumbled, and civilization has been reclaimed by flowers and creeping vines. Mars and Fable set out on a future folk journey into the great unknowable world to find their missing mother and save her from the beast.

VAMPIRE NIGHTCLUB, 1983. Solo Show · Ages 13+ · 25 mins. A tale of eternal love, blood, guts, and gothic nightclubs. A solo show by Audrey Valcourt.

WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT HANTU-HANTU. Solo Show · Ages 14+ · 1hr. With the infamous Pontianak, a most feared female ghost, lurking close by, a Malay-Muslim woman, Chomel, navigates the hantu-hantu (ghosts) of her mother, her grandma, and herself. As the stories of the women in her family unfold, the Pontianak also reveals her own horrific tale.

WITCH HAZEL: AN ANXIETY PLAY. Solo Show · Ages 18+ · 1hr. A dinner party, The Hobbit, and a house of vengeful house plants leads Witch Hazel down a spiral regarding her identity and if she really is the person that she presents to the world or just an imposter. Content Warning Flashing lights and disorienting sound elements. May cause anxiety

WOOING THE DRAGON. Comedy  Ages 13+ · 90 mins. Four unlikely characters discover themselves trapped in a tower by an angry dragon. Each has a secret that they must divulge for their own survival, or end up dragon chow! In the end, they all learn that love has sharp teeth and it bites.

Get more information at hollywoodfringe.org.

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.