It takes a lot to get your Creepy Theater editor to write a Variety-style header for a review, but Macabre Mambo Mayhem — the music, burlesque and one-act melange that played so recently at North Hollywood’s Belfry Stage — was just the show to do it. Featuring the talents of Mambo Diabolico (with Lena-Marie Cardinale, Richard Elfman on congas, Aaron “Radioactive Chickenheads” Cohen on organ, Steven Sarmiento, AL-E.N. Hansen and Ego Plum), Tas Al-Ghul, Sebastian Munoz, Michael Guthrie, Jahel corban Caldera, Brett Gustafson and Anastasia Elfman, Mambo ran for three nights in the delightfully intimate underground setting of a blacked-out attic theater in a church. And it was fun!
The show was a surreal showcase of classic burlesque, hip-swingin’ mambo music and bizarre theater (Richard Elfman’s “Suddenly Last Dimension, or Dead Man’s Boner,” and Andy Shultz’s “The Voodoo You Do”) that felt like the natural godchild of the great old days of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and the infamous underground film FORBIDDEN ZONE. You got white trash weirdos, kitschy comedy, offbeat but pitch-perfect performances and the reanimation of the recently dead. Yep, creepy!
It would be impossible to single out just one performer in all the cast, because it really was an ensemble evening. But it would be a crime to overlook the tech team of Vincent Miller, Cara Vilencia and Kyle Schriver for their hard work in helping turn a tiny space into a gateway into a sixth-dimensional hellzone.
Here’s hoping that we can look forward to a revival of the show, or even an expansion. Keep up on what’s going on with the Macabre Mambo Mayhem folks by checking on the website for Force of Nature Productions. And watch out for Bad Uncle Bob!