Written by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Nathania Bernabe
Imagine a post-apocalyptic world where Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets mixed racial and sexual romances with some East Van street cred in a New York setting. Oh, and let’s throw in some fishnets, chokers and leather anti-hero gear. Mix the concoction well, and you’ve got yourself an ‘80s throwback with a slight overdose in swear words. In other words, welcome to Soul Samurai at this year’s Fringe Festival.
Dewdrop (Nathania Bernabe) is a Filipina vampire slayer with a thirst for revenge. Bernabe encapsulates the character well with her passionate expressions and rough vocals. We see her transformation from an innocent academic to a badass bitch after her lover is stolen from her from the vampires. The entire plot circles around her need for revenge, with some predictable twists in between.
you’ve got yourself an ‘80s throwback with a slight overdose in swear words
Another notable character is definitely Cert (Lou Ticzon). His boyish puppylike charm brought forth laughter time and time again from the audience, enhancing the overall entertainment value of the play, despite some cheesy dialogue. Cert sticks to Dewdrop the moment he meets her, regardless of her apprehension.
As Dewdrop journeys across New York with her sidekick, her past –along with her foes’– unfold in various mediums. From Dewdrop’s storybook animated encounter with her lover, to the “very uninteresting” tale of the head honcho Vamp, the production value seemed to move the play forward more strongly than the script. And the multiple fight scenes? Really well rehearsed; you could tell the cast had to be quite fit to play their roles. Although the fight scenes were a bit extensive, they made the overall show worthwhile.
Bernabe really was the star of the show. Not only was she the lead actress, but also the director and co-producer. Her passion and commitment to Soul Samurai were clearly embedded in every scene. I look forward to seeing Bernabe’s skills in the arts evolve, and those of her teammates.
The 2017 Fringe Festival (Sept 7 -17) is underway and LINK has been busy checking out select shows. In the festival creators’ own words, “The Fringe strives to break down traditional boundaries and encourage open dialogue between audiences and artists by presenting live un-juried, uncensored theatre in an accessible and informal environment.” Follow along with us and be sure to check out this year’s festival.