I waited and waited this year for the debut of this year’s Halloween Haunt and Kings Island and its not because I like to be scared. In fact, I hate it. I like the immersive theming that the park does and I admire their dedication to the craft . . . but haunted houses, mazes, etc. just aren’t my thing.
What is my thing is the live entertainment at the park and specifically the show “Hot Blooded.” Its a little risqué, a whole lot bloody, but most of all it features some of the best classic rock songs of all time sung by some of the most talented people I know.
Stepping into the role of the Male Vampire is Jeremy Braley who has the vocal chops to sing these songs with conviction. His lanky physique, lip ring, and creepy mannerisms all contribute to a successful character. His experience on Cedar Fair stages shines through as he leads this cast.
His Queen of the Night is played by Marisel Lopez. As the night went on Friday (I watched all four shows), she seemed to be settling in quite nicely. Her facial expressions in the last show were especially good. The best thing about her is her belty voice. She nails this part and she definitely had big shoes to fill from last year’s phenomenal Paige Dobkins.
Speaking of Dobkins, her younger sister, Haylee, is playing the part of The Girlfriend this year. Originated by Nancy Corsmeier, whose vocal prowess is undeniable, Haylee just owns this part. Her very blonde hair sets her apart visually from the rest of the cast but her stage presence, vocal ability, and charisma are what truly makes her stand out. This girl has a bright future ahead of her! I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone her age show this much maturity.
Nathan Turner is back this year as the Boyfriend and his vocals soar as usual. He’s another very talented performer and the emotion he conveys in his singing and body language throughout the show are quite good.
Finally, there’s Zach Warner. I find Zach to be perhaps the most underrated performer at Kings Island. His versatility and dedication to playing a “character” in all the shows that he has been cast in is honorable. In Way too Much TV, I found him charming. In American Country, I thought he was superb. But in Hot Blooded, he shows that he is a force to be reckoned with. Its a fearless, bold, and amazing performance . . . and I can’t wait to see what they come up for him to do next!
The dancers in this show work very hard in very difficult conditions (blood on the stage floor, chilly to downright cold temperatures, and other demanding technical and special effects) and they are committed to their performances and are all great to watch. The crew works very hard, as well, and I find the whole show to be a great way to spend my evenings while I avoid the scarier fare at the Haunt.
You should take time to see it while you’re there.
Hot Blooded plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8, 9:30, 11, and 12. There is a show on Saturdays at 7 PM, as well, if you’d rather see it before the sun goes down. This show contains mature themes and suggestive elements and is not recommended for children or for those faint of heart.