Published on November 12th, 2012 | by Greg0
Warehouse of Horror: Ugly Rhino’s Gowanus Time Warp
Experimental theater meets Halloween, with a few interesting cocktails included: it seems like a recipe for fun. Especially considering that New York City didn’t really get to celebrate a Halloween, this show was a chance to capture a bit of the holiday spirit. Airing at the lovely venue Brooklyn Lyceum in Gowanus, this production ran from October 12th to November 1st, though we didn’t get to check it out until the last night of the show.
Nonetheless, with a name like Warehouse of Horror, we were excited to see exactly what Ugly Rhino had in store for us. They do some interesting work- we previously saw their sold-out run of Centralia, and they clearly learned some lessons in structuring the event to better handle the crowds and achieve consistent cocktails. Instead of selecting your own cocktail at various points in the performance, this time they had the a specific interesting beverage ready to go at the bar- no waiting for mixing or hassling with menus. And the drinks were better- still fun recipes, one including edible glitter- though all of them were iced and the venue was incredibly chilly, to the point where sipping or even holding a cold liquid was unfortunately difficult.
Attendees were ushered in to a large room and told to watch out for their guide- and minutes later, a few distinctive individuals showed up, with leather jackets or blue hair. For the next couple of hours, we followed our guide through the various rooms, learning a theoretical history of the building. At each room, we’d watch a few actors in a sort of re-enactment of what had happened one fateful period in 1973. The story was remarkably solid: it’s hard not to love a good mobster tale that includes an underground rave, hookers with hearts of gold, and even mind control drugs. It all spools out nicely; even if the end isn’t particularly suspenseful, you find yourself caught up in the journey.
Non-traditional storytelling combined with some haunted house elements- it works best with actors that stay in character, and are a little over-the-top. And cheers for the cast, some of whom had some challenging roles to play overlooking the group of twenty people gawking mere feet away. Actors included Michael Bernstein, Denise Dumper, Cori Hundt, Jaime Lamchick, Kaitlin
Lawrence, Jennifer McVey, Brittany Parker, Anna Perczak, Lauren Roth,Jodi Savitz, Lia Tamborra and Harrison Unger.
Perhaps it was the storm or the cold or the fact it was closing night: but the energy for a truly, memorably scary production wasn’t quite there. Entertaining, interesting, but not quite an experience that fully gelled. But it’s not to appreciate Ugly Rhino’s Warehouse of Horror, the trio of drinks for the very reasonable $20 ticketing charge, and a very New York experience. We look forward to seeing what else they have in store for us: whether the improv theatrical drinking game tomorrow night (11/12) or the Cinematic drinking game with live jazz scheduled for next month, all at the Brooklyn Lyceum.