Saturday, May 21, 2016

Phantasmagoria brings horrific tales to the Orlando Fringe.

Phantasmagoria: Wicked Little Tales fills the Fringe Orange venue at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, (812 E Rollins St, Orlando, FL) with horrific whimsical tales of horror, Phantastical dance, music, stage combat, large scale puppetry and storytelling. Before a complete run through of the show, actors practiced a sword fight that they had just learned the day before. The swords were real, so there was a true there a of danger as they parried.  Other actors on the stage had to be warned to stand clear. Though rehearsed at quarter speed, the adrenaline still pumps an they had to b coached to slow down.

The show commence with a grand flair. The whole acting troop crouched around the ring master as he enticed the audience to listen in with a grand flourish. Once a story begins it must be told until it is finished. The tales come to life and the horrors pose a real threat to the tellers. The first tale was one of my favorites, The Tell Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe. To recreate the hideous beating heart, the entire (2 beat their palms on the stage floor creating a deafening thump.

Another memory tale was of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Two dancers acted as the horse with grace and style. Actors and actresses would more into the audience during the telling of a tale, and you never knew if a sinister laugh might ring behind you, sending chills down your spine.

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein brought to life a giant skeletal figure that threatened it's creator. The creature demanded a bride and when that hope was gone the monster turned on his creator and master. Love lost is the most horrific motivator for murder.

It was good to see this at in troupe in such a large venue. With so many act of and actresses, they easily utilize every inch of the deep space. If you have a taste for the macabre then Phantasmagoria is the show for you.

Phantasmagoria shows are on May 21, 22, 28 and 29.
Tickets are $11.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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