Bride of Blood Review – A Halloween Spooktacular

Steven Schub as King Solomon in BRIDE OF BLOOD - Photo by Thomas Hargis

Move over, zombies and werewolves. Let’s see what the Bible offers for monsters. Written and directed by Amit Itelman and presented by Trepany House, BRIDE OF BLOOD is a Mondo Bibliodrama, an unconventional Biblical drama based on Apocrypha and fringe Jewish folklore featuring heavenly and demonic entities, horror, comedy, time travel, special effects, and even puppets. Just campy enough to add zing to the Halloween season.

Tom Ballatore – Photo by Thomas Hargis

Famed as the wisest king in all the world, King Solomon (Steven Shub) is drawn into occult Hebrew mysteries, which could just be his downfall. For he finds himself drawn into a bizarre and magical world of angels and demons, including Asmodeus (Tom Ballatore), a clever and manipulative three-headed helper, an angel (David Brooke and Robert Miller), and “The Beast” (Andy Chavez, Kayla Chaves, and Hunter Jackson).

LaRose Washington – Photo by Thomas Hargis

A disoriented King Solomon has to divide himself between his mystical pursuits and his 700 wives and 300 concubines – no small task. Of course, the Queen of Sheba (LaRose Washington) may be his favorite – although their twin offspring will surely cause some problems for him. Meanwhile, Solomon finds himself challenged by Exodus 4:24, a confusing message suggesting that Moses, his wife Zipporah, and their child were endangered by the wrath of God.

Virginia Rand and Edward Buchanan – Photo by Thomas Hargis

The ridiculously complex plot meanders through different epochs of Jerusalem history with just enough clever bombshells to keep the audience attentive and chuckling. The wobbly scenic design developed by Dominik Krzanoski, Gina Farina, and Paul Wee is a joy to behold as curtains open and close (mostly) and lightning bolts shoot from the principals’ fingers while black-hooded invisibles wander in the background.

Miles Taber and Steven Schub – Photo by Thomas Hargis

The pages of the Bible were never interpreted quite like this. Virginia Dan’s funky costumes are highlights of the production. And let’s not forget Randy Woltz’s bombastic organ chords – adding just the right punctuation to the piece. FX artist Frederick Fraleigh has outdone himself with very special special effects. BRIDE OF BLOOD is clearly weird fun. If you are a fan of the strangely fascinating and oddly compelling, BRIDE OF BLOOD is for you. AUDIENCE ALERT: This is definitely an R rated production and not for the kiddies.

BRIDE OF BLOOD runs through November 8, 2018, with performances at 8 p.m. on Thursdays (November 1 and 8). The Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 N. Vermont Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90027. Tickets are $20. For information and reservations, go online.

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