The Call of Cthulhu
Reviewed by Lovell Estell III
The Visceral Company at the Lex
Through Dec. 7
Following on their success of last year’s Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite, The Visceral Company and director Dan Spurgeon mount an impressive adaptation of one of Lovecraft’s best known works. This is not one of the author’s more reader-friendly compositions, but Frank Blocker’s adaptation brings the horror-tale to life and does convey some of its dread-filled resonance. Blocker is also an impressive performer, channeling multiple characters spanning several decades.
The story concerns the primordial God Cthulhu, the cult that worships him, and the apocalyptic event he is to initiate. It begins when the nephew of a dead archeologist accidentally discovers mention of the God while rummaging through his uncle’s papers. From that point on, he is immersed in a perilous quest to unearth the truth about this strange, terrifying Deity. The finale dishes up a slice of the hokey when some rubbery tentacles emerge from a small door on stage. Even so, this is a well-wrought production that is powered by superb acting, which proffers an unsettling glimpse at madness and obsession.
Joshua Silva’s lighting and sound schema add the right touch of the macabre. Especially well done is Blocker’s impersonation of a Norwegian sailor and his wife, when the sailor recounts his terrifying encounter with Cthulhu.
The Visceral Company at the Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 pm.; Sun., 3 pm.; through Dec. 7. www.thevisceralcompany.com