Archikulture Digest

Wicked Little Tales

Wicked Little Tales

Best of Phantasmagoria

Created by John DiDonna

Produced by Phantasmagoria Orlando and DiDonna Productions

Orlando Shakespeare Center, Orlando FL</strong>

Just as Christmas marketing creeps up earlier and earlier each season, so does Halloween. This distilled version of Phantasmagoria picks up the best and most popular recitations and dances from the past five years of shows, making for a more compact and consistent show at the expense of reduced puppetry and swordplay. The cast and crew remains large as does the feel of the show; there are Fight Directors and Fire Captains and Choreographers of all ilks making this show fly; and fly it does. The house was packed and turning away people with cash in hand, and the real purpose of this show was a warm up for an out of town tour.

We enter the space with a tableau of frozen actors on stage, then a stage manger enters and begins counting in German. He can get to three and he knows some common profanity, but I think two digit numbers might stump him. He’s interrupted by an assistant who dusts the actors; they respond by giving us a few mild frights and giggles. Once the show begins in earnest we hear the likes of Poe’s “The Raven” and a creepy African piece “A Tale of the Bantu” and a very thrilling Dickens piece “Captain Murderer.” The Captain is a cannibal and misogynist and a chef as well, but he IS very convincing. In between are dance numbers; there’s a very funny rendition of the old school yard number “The Hearse Song” (that’s the one where “the worms play pinochle on your snout”). Belly dancing and aerial work fill in, and the stage is in constant motion. There are rules: once a story is chosen it must be told, and once it begins it must be completed. They violate this rule at the end, but nothing bad happens; maybe they just get a theatrical parking ticket. This show draws a steam punk crowd; there were more than few pair of goggles in the audience as well as other quaint pre-cellular accoutrements. While the show has its racy elements it’s generally family friendly – as long as your family name is “Addams.”

For more information on Phantasmagoria please visit: https://www.facebook.com/PhantasmagoriaOrlando or www.phantasmagoriaorlando.com/


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