PRESS RELEASE 01/17/2014
The West Side Show Room Extends Hit Show Vampire Lesbians of Sodom
The West Side Show Room presents:
Vampire Lesbians of Sodom
a play by Charles Busch
After an initial two week run with sell out crowds, The West Side Show Room is extending it’s 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 of The West Side Show Room. The group is bringing on a few new cast members and is also adding musical numbers to the show. \
Werckle found a treasure trove of early twentieth century sheet music in a box from his great-grandmother and decided to weave the songs into the play. “These early twentieth century songs are rarely heard and add to the old time music hall feel of the play.” 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, Carolyn 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. Mike 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 two thousand years with stops along the way in 1920’s silent movie Hollywood and contemporary Las Vegas.” With outrageous humour, 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 is their inaugural show.
Mike Werckle (Artistic Director). Rockford native Mike Werckle completed the intensive Foundation Acting Program at California Institute of the Arts, and received his BFA in Character Animation in 1992. After a long career in the video game industry, he went on to earn his MFA in Film Production from The University of Texas in 2006. Using his mastery of both animation and film, Mike became a sought after Previsualization Animator and Visual Effects Artist, working alongside top directors to design thrilling sequences on films such as Superman Returns, Live Free or Die Hard, I Am Legend, Tropic Thunder, Machete, and Predators. Mike recently helped design the dinosaur sequences for Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life (Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival, 2011) and worked with The Wachowskis on their upcoming sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending. Mike is currently the Owner and Creative Director of Animcorp, a full service animation and video production company which recently produced spots for Big Papa’s Barbecue, and Johnny Pamcakes.
In 2013, Mike opened The West Side Show Room in Rockford with the goal of bringing exciting, locally produced theater back to downtown Rockford.
Venue: The West Side Show Room, 410 Mulberry Street, Rockford
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, starting January 24th
Ticket prices: $8 in advance, $10 at the door
Advance Ticket Sales: www.thewestsideshowroom.com/tickets