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The Vampires

Writer-director Chris Berube's play works best as melodrama detailing several love stories. It has a great twist: The audience ends up rooting for the vampires because the drama is largely told through their embattled point-of-view. The latest group of vampires to be attacked by the Slayers motivates vamp Armon (Berube), head of his clan, to send young lovers Evie (Lisa Younger) and Bik (Paul Romero) to look for survivors. Bik is killed by Professor Klaxon (Tommy Wilson O'Brien) as Klaxon’s two assistants — lovers, of course, Jonathan (Seth Harrington) and Elizabeth (Liz Jamieson) — look on. The captured Slayers are taken to the vampires' underground lair where Jonathan is immediately set upon by the Brides (Morgan Buck, Amanda Jones and Shelly Hacco). Professor Klaxon is dispatched with great humor, but a more serious challenge develops when Lucius (Ben Trimm), a survivor from another group of vampires, vies for control of the clan. With no elaborate scene changes, director Berube keeps the action moving at a galloping pace, although there were some dropped lines and quick recoveries on the night this critic attended. THE NEXT STAGE, 1523 N. La Brea Ave., Second Floor, Hlywd.; Sat., 8 p.m.; thru Jan. 26. (323) 850-7827. (Sandra Ross) Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Dec. 29. Continues through Jan. 26, 2007


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