Written and Directed by Kevin P. Hale
Produced by Playlab NYC
Part of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Puppetry
Runs through 8.26.16
VENUE #11: 64E4 MAINSTAGE, 64 East 4th Street
by Michael Rock on 8.22.16
Scott Michael Morales and Aprella Godfrey Barule in Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway. Photo by Maxx Serpica.
BOTTOM LINE: A campy tribute to horror-themed variety shows of the 1960s.
Not all plays require a deep, complex script as the main source of their entertainment value. Kevin P. Hale’s Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway relies less on plot and more on short films, puppetry, and props. The show focuses on Ernest Headstone (Scott Michael Morales) and his vampire companion Ima Knotgoth (Aprella Godfrey Barule), both residents of the hideaway from which the show takes its name, as they try to prevent the “Blood Banshee” from killing other inhabitants of the hideaway. Aside from an unnamed actor and puppeteer credited only as “The Mad Creeper,” who plays Headstone’s intern and the many other inhabitants of the hideaway, Barule and Morales are the only members of the cast.
Some of the more memorable segments include the death of hideaway resident Jack Dromedary (an obvious parody of former Camel Cigarettes mascot Joe Camel), two short films featuring puppets, and an inverted version of the classic Halloween party game in which an audience member is blindfolded, asked to touch gross body parts, and told that they are food.
The show’s sound design by Jeanne E. Travis is well done, making extensive use of both creepy noises and retro music played on an electric organ. The many props used throughout Hideaway are well-crafted, and it's enjoyable to watch them being used. While Morales’ costume fits his character perfectly, Barule’s could have been more reminiscent of the horror genre. Despite Hideaway's strong aesthetics, more could have been done regarding the plot character development. That said, while Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway is hardly a theatrical masterpiece, it certainly is fun.
(Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway plays at VENUE #11: 64E4 MAINSTAGE, 64 East 4th Street, through August 26, 2016. The running time is 1 hour 10 minutes. Performances are Sun 8/14 at 2:30; Thu 8/18 at 3:45; Mon 8/22 at 9:15; Wed 8/24 at 5; and Fri 8/26 at 7:45. There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit playlabnyc.org.)
Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway is written and directed by Kevin P. Hale. Sound by Jeanne E. Travis. Lighting by Jennifer Linn Wilcox. Stage Manager is Jessica Pecharsky.
The cast is Scott Michael Morales and Aprella Godfrey Barule with “The Mad Creeper.”