The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings







Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
A CurtainUp Review
Alice in Slasherland

Man, that's some straight-up slumber party bullshit.— High School "hottie" Duncan
Alice in Slasherland
Amy Kim Waschke in Alice in Slasherland
(Photo: Jim Baldassare)
It's refreshing to be in a packed downtown theater with the audience laughing often, and boisterously. Vampire Cowboys Theater is as much a theater company as it is a pop-culture deluge— from the familiar rock-songs, to the graphic novel-like fight scenes, to the teen movie sarcasm, and horror film content. One would not — should not— attend Alice In Slasherland for a deeply moving evening of theater. However it does provide a colorful, action-packed story that gives more than one nod to the mainstream culture that generation Y grew up on.

The storyline is familiar and fun: Endearing (yet dorky) teen Lewis (an appropriately cast Carlo Alban) heads off to a Halloween costume party with the hopes of finally telling his longtime friend Margaret his true feelings for her. Things go awry when the high school hottie Duncan shows an interest as well, and out of frustration, Lewis fulfills a dare to look in a hand mirror and repeat one of those spooky horror movie phrases. What ensues has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland (a point which writer Nguyen is happy to have his characters self-reference). A Mysterious semi-dead, semi-alive girl, Alice, takes a liking to Lewis, saving his and Margaret's lives many times from the various demons that have been accidentally released. There's even a talking teddy bear that turns up, claiming Alice is his girlfriend. He, too, comes along for the ride.

There are many fights with demons, and many killings onstage by the demons— all complete with a pop-rock score, and plenty of fake blood. There is a purposeful B-Movie feel to these bloody action scenes, allowing the audience to laugh along with the performers and production crew. And after all, who wants a super-realistic killing to happen ten feet from their face?

Co-Artistic Directors of Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company, writer Qui Nyugen and director Robert Ross Parker, have been working in this sci-fi comic genre for some time. Alice in Slasherland may be a bit of a high point for the company. The production value (overall look) is solid, the story is not too convoluted, the dialogue is snappy, and the direction crisp. From other VCTC shows I have seen, Parker and Nyugen seem to have learned from their past productions — which were also entertaining, though a bit clunky-er. All of the performers are seasoned Vampire Cowboy company members, and it shows in both their fight choreography ability and understanding of the show's aesthetic.

This is not to say that you'll enjoy Slasherland no matter what. If you don't get a kick out of X-Men, or dislike Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you probably won't feel any differently about VCTC shows. The play does also make use of stereotypes (does the teddy bear really have to talk like that AND be played by a black actor?), and includes an unnecessary girl-on-girl make out scene for male fantasy purposes. But the good news is, this is the perfect vehicle to take those friends to that "never like theater," yet can't stop watching Spiderman.
Alice in Slasherland
Created by Qui Nguyen and Robert Ross Parker
Written by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Robert Ross Parker
Cast: Carlo Alban, Sheldon Best, Tom Myers, Bonnie Sherman, Andrea Marie Smith, Amy Kim Waschke
Set and Lighting Design: Nick Francone
Costume Design: Jessica Shay
Original Sound and Music: Shane Rettig
Puppet Design David Valentine
Fight Direction: Qui Nyugen
Video Design: Matthew Tennie
Production Stage Manager: Danielle Buccino
Assistant Stage Manager: Marina Steinberg
Producer: Abby Marcus
Press representation: Jim Baldassare HERE Arts Center, 145 Sixth Avenue , 212 352 3101,
Through April 10, 2010
Thursdays - Sundays @ 830pm, April 10 at 4pm .
Reviewed by Amanda Cooper based on March 21, 2010 performance
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of Alice in Slasherland
  • I disagree with the review of Alice in Slasherland
  • The review made me eager to see Alice in Slasherland
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.

You can also contact us at Curtainup at Facebook , Curtainup at Twitter and at our Blog Annex
Subscribe to our FREE email updates with a note from editor Elyse Sommer about additions to the website -- with main page hot links to the latest features posted at our numerous locations. To subscribe, E-mail:
put SUBSCRIBE CURTAINUP EMAIL UPDATE in the subject line and your full name and email address in the body of the message -- if you can spare a minute, tell us how you came to CurtainUp and from what part of the country.
South Pacific  Revival
South Pacific

In the Heights
In the Heights

Playbill Broadway Yearbook


©Copyright 2010, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from