Despite my tremendous crush on Shaun Cassidy (???!!!??? – Parker was so much hotter, no?), I was always more of a Nancy Drew kid. Therefore, as I got older, it was quite easy to shift my love for Pamela Sue Martin onto various courageous and vibrant horror queens and final girls.
Currently, Chicago’s Wildclaw Theatre is doing guys like me a big favor by presenting a industrious, young female as the lead in their thrilling adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Playwright Scott Barsotti transforms the story’s male narrator into an inquisitive lass named Regina Olmstead with smashingly fun results.
As creatively and passionately enacted by Brittany Burch, Olmstead finds herself drawn to the strange town of Innsmouth. Researching urban decay in Arkham, a town near Innsmouth, this crafty femme soon discovers that titular city holds personal history for her. As her curiosity grows, she soon finds her body transforming physically – resulting in a certain knowledge that something fishy is truly going on.
Barsotti and skilled director Shade Murray bring out many mysterious shades here, reminding intense cinema-philes of such works as City of the Dead and (even) Psycho.
The cast works together well to create a sense of unusual intrigue and gill-like dread. Particular shout-outs belong to Jude Roche’s slowly gulping bus driver, Brian Amidei’s informative town drunk and Mark Pracht as a harbinger of doom.
Yet, this is truly Burch’s show and she draws you, fully, into the proceedings with her character’s questioning determination.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth runs through Sunday, January 2016 (2014) at Athenaem Theatre, 2936 N Southport in Chicago.
Further information can be culled at http://www.wildclawtheatre.com.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan