The Cask of Amontillado 

Thursday, Sep 22 2011
Heady helpings of malice and spite flow like flagons of the fine sherry mentioned in the title of this classic Edgar Allen Poe vignette. Halloween, Edgar Allan Poe and the craftily imaginative stylings of the local director professionally known as Zombie Joe are such a natural fit, you really suspect they ought to meld them all into a brand and call it "Zombie Edgar Allan Joe." Zombie Joe's production is less a standard "play" than it is a harrowing, performance-art dramatization of Poe's short story — the creepy tale of a gentleman's psychotic vengeance against oafish Fortunato, who stops off at Montresor's palazzo for a nice glass of the bubbly and is instead immured in a dank, skeleton-filled catacomb. A cast of eight Venetian mask-caparisoned performers narrate the story, essentially reciting the Poe tale as a script, but fleshing it out with ghoulish gusto and maniacal glee, wriggling like graveyard worms as they describe the filthy catacombs in which Fortunato is to meet his horrific end. The murkiness of the Zombie Joe Underground theater and the clownishly cheerful, Tom Waitsian musical accompaniment by guitarist-keyboardists Shayne Eastin and Michael Maio artfully craft an eerie graveyard atmosphere that's as full of despair as it is hilarious. ZJU Theater Group, 4850 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m.; through Nov. 5. (818) 202-4120, zombiejoes.homestead.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 14. Continues through Nov. 5, 2011
click to enlarge 7433439.t.jpg

Location Info

Related Stories

  • A Lesbian Vampire Play

    Long before vampire mythology was reduced to twee Hollywood allegories about tween sexual angst, 19th century gothic writers like Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu employed it to explore the psychological no man's land between their era's forbidden carnal desires and British society's tyrannical puritan repression. Carmilla, David MacDowell Blue's...
  • L.A. Weekly Theater Awards

    @ Exchange LA
  • In Pieces, Zombie Joe's Underground Delivers a Grisly Valentine About Mad Love

    Leave it to the French lyric imagination to make compulsive homicidal erotomania sound romantic. Leave it to Zombie Joe's Underground to make Pieces, writer-director Adam Neubauer's grisly evening of amour fou, a venomous Valentine to broken hearts everywhere. Pieces begins with a roar of anguish - well, call it an...
  • How to Make Horror and Sci-Fi Theater Work

    One man is dragged, screaming, down a portal to hell. A boy takes a baseball bat to his abusive father. A mysterious body stuffed into a trunk provokes the most unsettling metaphysical questions. Happy holidays. Perhaps not every theater company, in casting about for the perfect yuletide show, settles upon...
  • A Christmas Carol

    The Yuletide Lords of Misrule at Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre are presiding over a "turbocharged," nontraditional version of the Dickens classic, which means you can expect a lot of fun and laughs. The opening scene sets the impious tone with an offering of familiar carols performed with sardonic menace by...

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending