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Halloween creatures appear in The Play Group's "Monster Project"

Staff Writer

Much of what you need to know about “The Monster Project” is right there in the title.

As we approach Halloween, it shouldn’t be a huge spoiler alert about what this comedy produced by The Play Group and playing at Fort Lauderdale’s Empire Stage through Oct. 20 is all about: a vampire, a demon, a werewolf, an alien, a murderer, etc.

The four one-acts by Hollywood-based playwright Brian Harris do tend toward the monstrous, but with an intriguing, “Twilight Zone” feel that, when it is all working, suggests a B-movie mien trying to break free. Three of the four playlets need condensing.

But this at best raffish production also needs to be much cheekier and sillier. I imagine it’s better on the page than it is on the stage, but that may be due to the wildly disparate acting skills of the cast. Yes, that’s about as nice as I can put that.

And yet there is something noncomplacent about Harris’ scripts, here directed fuzzily by Joyce Sweeney, that is clever..ish. After all, for two hours, including a 15-minute intermission, he keeps you ticking right along with some truly inventive setups.

 “The Monster Project” runs through Oct. 20 at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler St., in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25. Call 954-678-1476 or go to

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