Monday, October 29, 2018

TCHF VII: A Morbid History of Sons and Daughters

Show: A Morbid History of Sons and Daughters
By: The Vincent Hovis Experience

Eep. Kids in masks. Yikes.

Genre: Music, Psychological

What's It All About:
"There's a sickness in our blood. A desire for something sinister that is passed down from generation to generation. An impulse that turns into a want that turns into a need. You are cordially invited to The Ritual. Five people gather to tell interweaving tales of tendencies they have spent a lifetime trying to contain. But sometimes, we all need a little release. And nothing can make you feel more at home than seeing the light drain from a person's eyes. A Morbid History of Sons & Daughters is an exploration of lineage and the darkest recesses of the human mind.'"

What We Thought:
Even if we didn't see everything in the Twin Cities Horror Fest, this show would have been at the top of our list. Musical theater plus horror? Yes, please. Plus, this ensemble-created show features a particularly amazing ensemble: Gracie Kay Anderson, Keith Hovis, Derek Lee Miller, Amanda Verstegen and Leslie Vincent.

Keith Hovis, playwright and composer, is a master of mixing the macabre and the funny with clever, melodic songs (see Teenage Misery and Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant, coming to Park Square Theatre in June 2019). Leslie Vincent's gorgeous and unique voice is particularly suited to his work, lending a bit of sweetness to even the most sinister of songs. Add in Derek Lee Miller and director Allison Witham (who we've admired for ages thanks to their Transatlantic Love Affair work) and we were sold.

The show starts with campers telling spooky stories of serial killers around a campfire, then moves to interweaving vignettes of those killers and their victims. Darker in tone (and lighting) and less funny than we expected, Morbid History has created a world of fully fleshed-out (ha!) and interconnected tales that is pleasantly surprising for an original, ensemble-created, hour-long show. The performances are universally excellent and the songs are intriguing--I'd like to hear them again. Here's hoping this show goes on to a more developed production, but in the meantime, we'll just have to go see it again!