All the actors layed down on the floor and they were covered with black blankets. John warned, "We have a full house tonight with 98 people. Check your extremities, don't leave anything sticking out." A female voice boomed over the sound system, "Five minutes to house open." Members of the cast shot back, "Thank you five." The room grew deadly quiet and then the audience walked in to find their seats. One actor rose quietly, the blanket still covering him to strike a ringmasters theatrical pose. As the blankets were lifted off, the actors came to life in their costumes of blood red and black. The costumes designed by Jennifer Bonner were lavish and stunning. A scrim behind the actors often acted as a screen for projections of animations and titles.
Each of the acts were built around horrific folklore and poetry. Edgar Allen Poe's "Masque of the Red Death" resulted in the whole cast dancing, celebrating and then succumbing to the pestilence of the red death. No one was spared. Phantasmagoria was a whimsical and horrific poem by Lewis Carol.
- “Allow me to remark
- That ghosts have just as good a right,
- In every way to fear the light,
- As men to fear the dark.”
Music of Eric Satie played during an elegant and beautiful aerial act. Tiny Gina Makarova performed on a suspended hoop while Mila Makarova and Dion Smith performed suspended in silks. Satie's music expressed the melancholy inner yearning of the creative spirit and the women floated weightless in its ethereal embrace.
The most stunning puppet was the Jabberwocky from Alice in Wonderland. An actor on stilts acted as the hind legs of the creature and a long silver spine snaked down from head to tail. The head was immense being controlled by a strong puppeteer. A small army was needed to control the beast. I wish I had been fast enough to get a sketch. This show is the perfect Halloween treat.