The Blood Brothers: Raw Feed
I’ll level with ya. My usual world class, infallible critical acumen is generally not dialed up to 11 when I attend Nosedive’s (usually) annual Blood Brothers offering. I go with the same spirit I usually bring to the amusement park: predisposed to have a pleasant time, and am never disappointed. That all of the plays in these evenings of horror one-acts are by actual (and excellent) playwrights and directors is an added bonus, which tends only to hit me whilst I’m in the middle of watching it.
The Blood Brothers are Pete Boisvert and Patrick Shearer whom, between them directed most of the plays. They host the proceedings as a sort of undead, serial killing vaudeville comedy team…and my brainstorm of the morning is I want to book them in a vaudeville show sometime to do just that! The Brothers achieve new levels of hilarity this year, with a dense, very (darkly) witty patter devised by themselves and Mac Rogers. As an added bonus, this year Nat Cassidy (who also wrote and directed plays in the show) made an appearance made up as a sort of singing, guitar playing third Blood Brother…we’ll call him Zeppo.
The eight plays presented in this edition are all real stories ripped from internet news feeds…stories so outre and bizarre they seem fictional (and so tragic you’ll wish they were). High points include Cassidy’s Joy Junction, in which Roger Nasser (in one of the best performances I’ve ever seen him give) plays the star of a Christian children’s show who makes ventriloquist dolls out of his victims; and Mac Rogers’ Kittens in a Bag, about a porn star who graduates from asphyxiating kittens to victims of a more headline-grabbing nature. And I am always partial to Stephanie Cox-Williams contributions. As the special effects mistress, in the grand old Grand Guignol tradition, she devises her plays around effects, and the pay off is a hoot (who wouldn’t walk fifty miles in the rain to watch C.L. Weatherstone disembowel himself? What? You wouldn’t? To hell with ya!)
But my lasting takeaway has to be James Comtois’s Bachelor Number One, directed by Cassidy, about real life serial killer James Alcala, who was a contestant on The Dating Game in the middle of his killing spree. Thanks to Comtois, I am now officially obsessed with this (especially with everybody’s teeth):