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TheaterThursday, July 12

Two actors assume the personalities of eight distinct characters in Charles Ludlam's campy homage to gothic horror, The Mystery of Irma Vep. The story revolves around Mandacrest Estate, an isolated moorland manor house that's plagued by all manner of disturbing mysteries beginning with the death of its first mistress. Lord Edgar Hillcrest — a career tomb raider and lord of the house — has remarried and his new wife, Lady Enid Hillcrest, is having trouble adjusting to her new surroundings. To make matters worse, her husband doesn't seem to be entirely over his dear departed wife, the housekeeper resents Lady Enid and seems more than a little suspicious of her, and a sharp-toothed intruder won't leave her alone. With nods to numerous horror flicks, from Alfred Hitcock's Rebecca to The Mummy's Curse, and a script that reuses dialogue by Ibsen, Shakespeare, Poe, the Brontë Sisters, Omar Khayyam and Oscar Wilde to great comic effect, Irma Vep is sure to entertain. Karla Hartley directs the Stageworks production. July 12-29, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., Shimberg Playhouse-Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, downtown Tampa, $10 preview (July 12)/$19.50 and $24.50 general (half-price tickets for students available 90 minutes prior to curtain), 813-229-7827,

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