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Tainted Love: A Zombie-Human Love Story

By Stacy Sims · June 2nd, 2012 · Fringe
Truth be told, zombies aren’t my thing on a good day. And on a day when there are several true-life "bathsaltacular" face-eating and/or porn start zombie stories on the news, it was harder to settle in to a zombie romp. This particular romp is by local playwright Alan Jozwiak and was adapted from a short story he had published in a zombie quarterly. Directed by Kevin Crowley and gamely acted by a cast of 10, including a quintet of mainly high-school-aged zombies, it is beyond harmless and moves toward the genuinely charming.

In short, an L.A. actor who plays dead guys on TV loses his girlfriend to zombiehood and V86, the zombie virus, after he fails to protect her and another zombie bites her. The always watchable Christopher Dooley and the funny Emily Fightmaster play doomed lover Steve and Cassie all the way to the bitter, bummer of an upbeat ending.

They are joined by Zombie Cure Researcher Tyler (Derek Evans) who looks and sounds a lot like Hayden Christensen circa Shattered Glass, a bonus in my book.

He is also quite funny, and his bromance with love-struck Steve is good stuff.

At least half of the nearly full house on first night thought most of the silliness was laugh-out-loud funny. I chuckled for real in a few places: Michelob Ultra Pomegranate Raspberry, the last beer you can get in Los Angeles after the Zombie Apocalypse, is just funny. And I also really loved Cassie, as zombie, succumbing to flattery. I was less enthralled with the celebrity and political zombie jokes but I seemed to be in the minority.

In the end, I was surprised to find I actually wanted more zombies. If Tainted Love: A Zombie-Human Love Story goes up again, I would like to see more from the young zombie quintet than playing zombie celebrities. Or at the very least, I would like to see dancing and singing zombie celebrities.

For a night of good clean, family zombie fun, check out this play. With its backyard acting and good-natured take on the zombie apocalypse, there is plenty to enjoy and you can support some young zombie actors while you are at it.

 
 
 
 

 

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