By: Josh Taylor
Have you ever been to a vampire party? Well, neither had I, until I was invited to see HOLLYWOOD & VAMP, an immersive vampire show at the Bourbon Room in Hollywood. Upon arrival, I was greeted by several vampire actors. Some were looking to lure me into the bar, while others wondered how I learned of a secret vampire hangout. The show quite literally started at the door, with the woman who gave me a 21+ wristband for the night, and told me to blend in. For the first hour of this immersive experience, I wandered the bar area, not knowing who was a vampire or who was just one of the guests. It made interacting with people a fun and interesting experience. Guests were questioning each other, while vampires danced around us. I wondered how long it would take before I became a target for a vampire, and before I could finish my thought, I could see I was being eyed down and snapped at by a gogo-dancing vamp. The bar menu had a few specialty drinks. I had one called Daywalker, and was told by the bartender to meet a man named Reagan on the opposite side of the room. There, he would finish my drink. He did, in fact, add something extra to my drink, as he explained what it was like to be a vampire and how he longed to, once again, be a daywalker himself. I made a deal with him that may or may not cost me my life later in the night, but I was willing to go with it. He checked in with me later in the evening as well, but, luckily, I did escape with my life to write this review.
I watched as people were “bit,” and dragged away. I, myself, was sniffed by several vamps, talked to as if I was a piece of meat, and flirted with by a few fanged creatures. Then the queen of the vampires provided a toast to the evening. It was easy to get swept up in the act, believing that you’d entered some underground vampire party. Even the band was full of vampires. After the first hour, we were asked to enter a separate room, the 200-seat theater of the Bourbon Room. Here, I took a seat to the side of the stage, and quickly found myself being entertained and seduced by a Rock of Ages-style show with a horror twist. There were dancers, singers, and actors who wandered the seating area. Guests were pulled up periodically, and even waitstaff got in on the act. The show really continued to blur the lines for who was part of the show and who wasn’t. Anyone around me could have been a vampire, and I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised. Maybe I was a vampire? You really start questioning things, and it only made the overall experience better. The music was fitting for the Hollywood bar, taking advantage of the LA legacy of 80’s hair metal bands: a mix of Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Guns & Roses. This was as if the movie From Dusk Til Dawn took place at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, rather than in a Tijuana gentlemen's club.
This entire immersion from beginning to end was truly one to remember. The actors involved were fantastic to interact with, creating consistent moments throughout the night. The Bourbon Room is a perfect setting for an immersive experience like this, too. It’s intimate, cool, and feels like a place I want to hang out. It only added more allure to the show at hand. The wait staff, entertainment, and venue were all cohesive and top notch. If you are looking for a horror-themed night out that will sweep you up into the story and show you it’s fangs, this is a perfect evening out for vampires and humans alike! HOLLYWOOD & VAMP is running select nights through the end of October. Find more information and tickets at HollywoodandVamp.com.