The wonderful Lights OUT Productions is back to beat the Halloween rush with their new production FUN HAUS. More of a queer-forward immersive experience than haunt, Haus is a deep dive into the loud, bawdy, and bizarre populated by a collection of eccentric characters that aim to entice, engage, disturb, and entertain. This experience is not at all for the prudish, nor for those expecting extreme scares. Presented in the familiar space of Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre, this adventure features an inventive layout and use of space, above-average performances, and an overall good time for those looking for something VERY different.
We approached the familiar ZJU storefront on Lankershim in North Hollywood and were greeted by the friendly makeup artist and box office manager who immediately grouped us into the line, awaiting entry. Our time came and our group of five were ushered in the door and into the first scene. A carny-dominatrix MC introduced herself and welcomed us to the FUN HAUS. We were invited to spin a wheel, dictating what level of degradation we may find within the maze of sin. We ended up with “Very Dirty” and yes, expectations were met.
Our intrepid group of 5 encountered frighteningly aggressive leather-clad beauties, puking party girls, a lesson in self-love, and in easily the best scene, we were read for filth by a ballroom drag king. The experience was fun but not without faults that I would attribute to opening night jitters.
First things first, the entire cast slayed. This was an off-the-wall queer funhouse-style experience that depended a great deal on the actors and their ability to not only sell their part but to engage and hopefully entertain hundreds of guests a night. The show that we experienced was overall smooth but unsteady at times. I also have to give props to the creative layout of the maze and the inventive transitions between scenes. There were some solid moments that had me gagging.
Overall I would say that any member or ally of the queer community would have a blast. With a bit more polish this would easily be worth the $25 admission. This is a large cast, a fully built set with lighting cues, sound, full costume and makeup, folks we are back in Immersive theatre territory, and we are living for it.
Faire warning folks, this is a legit adult experience. No one under the age of 18 will be allowed in. PERIOD. Too, this is a cash-only show. In order to get in you must make your reservation then you need to bring $25 cash to be granted entry.
Z.J.U. 4850 Lankershim Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 91601