This amusing parody about the recent financial meltdown and uber consumerism gives new meaning to the expression “blood bank.” Henry Reynolds (Sam Golzari) is a middle-school teacher with a yearning for some of the finer things in life, so he visits the Dream America Bank to secure funds, but is immediately caught up in a sort of Kafkaesque nightmare. The “staff” of this institution aren't button-down business types but ashen-faced vampires, all of whom are prodded on in their bloodlust by the bank president (Fidel Gomez, in laugh-a-minute Bela Lugosi mode). Soon after, Henry is caught up in a surreal world where he visits a queen's banquet, is thrown in the slammer and encounters aliens, nasty cops and rapping gangbangers. It gets messy and difficult to comprehend, but the rambling plot doesn't detract from the laughs or fun. Directed by Vault Ensemble members Aaron Garcia and Gomez, the cast performances, if not entirely polished, are energetic and engaging. Ensemble member Jasmine Orpilla provides a suitably creepy musical score. Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., dwntwn.; Thurs.-Sat., 9 p.m.; through April 21. (866) 811-4111, thelatc.org.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 9 p.m. Starts: March 29. Continues through April 21, 2012

LA Weekly