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TO DEC. 19
In The Gershwin Vampire, playwright P.J. Robertson plucks familiar tunes from stage and screen, and pops them into the mouths of four lovelorn vampires. His romantic comedy-cum-soap opera centers around an affair between vampire Alex and a young hottie named Brian, whom Alex took a fancy to while out on the prowl and promptly shuffled off this mortal coil. Turns out Brian has varied appetites, and the newly anointed AC/DC vampire turns a lustful eye to young, luscious Gina, with whom he exchanges immortality-bestowing jugular juice. Distraught Alex escapes his heartache by straightening out and hooking up with Lisa, a no-nonsense, New York-style vampire as sassy as Rhoda. The result: Almost everyone’s in love with someone who’s in love with someone else. This is Robertson’s first play, and it occasionally stutters with lost momentum. But snappy dialogue and laugh-out-loud jokes about shrinks and blood types make this minimal production, played out in the tiny back room of a 14th Street bar and restaurant, an amusing evening’s diversion. Washington-area theater veteran Sheira Venetianer, as Lisa, carries the show: She’s got the perfect pitch for camp melancholy. When Venetianer belts out the sweet but cheesy lyrics to Ira Gershwin’s 1954 hit “The Man That Got Away” (“The night is bitter,/The stars have lost their glitter;/The winds grow colder/And suddenly you’re older—/And all because of the man that got away”), she’s (un)dead funny. At 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, to Sunday, Dec. 19, at 1409 Playbill Cafe’s Phoenix Theatre, 1409 14th St. NW. $15 (Thursday performances are pay-what-you-can). (202) 265-3055. (Jessica Dawson)