If Rocky Horror Picture Show, Moulin Rouge, and Twilight had an orgy, Bite Me A Little: A Vampire Musical would be their love child. Book, music, and lyrics are all by local musician Arlie Conner, who says, “It began with the music, I really just wanted to write some gypsy jazz-style songs. Then out popped [musical number] "Taste of Blood" and I realized I had crossed the line into musical theater. Always a bad sign if you want to have a normal life.” Somehow I doubt Conner had a normal life in the first place, because this new musical is lots of freaky fun with serious potential.
A film-noir detective is investigating a series of murders (all young girls with their throats ripped out) and his search leads him to Dr. Hurt’s Palace of Fun. Meanwhile, Joe, a wide-eyed boy in a sweater vest, is convinced by Dr. Hurt’s transvestite minion to host his high school reunion at the Palace of Fun. Joe falls for the star of the kinky cabaret, Raven Hurt, played by Sydney Weir (who looks exactly like Jessica Rabbit come to life).
It’s a very sweet boy-meets-vampire girl love story with lots of camp, sex and spanking thrown in for good measure. Don’t take camp to mean cheap in this case—the musical score was both catchy and sophisticated, with a New Orleans Jazz groove and spooky cabaret pulse throughout.
I could see a full production of this musical catching like wildfire among cult-fans, especially those in the S&M scene. You can imagine with, songs like “That’s the Way She Likes It,” “Take Me To the Dark Side,” “Relax Babe,” and “I’m in Charge.” The reading was a bit rough, but everyone enjoyed themselves, if you know what I mean. Get to Mississippi Studios tonight to catch the last Fertile Ground showing, and keep an eye out for this one in future festivals.