Sunday, October 30, 2016

Phantasmagoria VII, "The Cards They are Dealt"

The brand new PHANTASMAGORIA VII “The Cards They Are Dealt” thunders on to the Mandell Stage at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center with all new stories of terror! Live performers, “Phantastical” dance, explosive stage combat, large scale puppetry, aerial performance and haunting storytelling combine to create a tapestry of macabre and whimsical horror! Phantasmagoria’s evocative troupe of steam punk storytellers, dancers, and chorus  embark on their newest journeys through literary tales of terror, horrific folk stories, legends, and myths from around the world. They present  dark tales from the likes of Poe, Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde, Ambrose Bierce, and M.R. James, as well as Arabic folklore, whimsically macabre German fairy tales, and so much more – all to set the tone for a truly Phantasmagorical Halloween season!

I arrived early to watch the fight call. The swords looked threateningly red and even at quarter speed, the swashbuckling action seemed all too real. Dancers stretched and limbered up on the suspended hoop. Right before the house opened John Di Donna had all the N circle up on the stage. He reminded everyone to breath and since it was a smaller house, he let everyone know the still needed to maintain the is momentum. "Throw your energy out there!" "We get to collapse after wards" he said. Regarding the fight sequence, ever one was advised to keep their focus. "lets sling some steel!"  the actors shouted.

An unexpected twist to this evenings presentation was that John's character managed to bring a mortal, namely Alice, out through the looking glass to join his story telling troupe. The Phantasmagoria storytellers are eternal an they resented a mortal in their midst. Alice however was a very good storyteller. At the height of a brawl she screamed and the specs on volume knocked everyone down. It turns out she had powers beyond everyone's expectations.

Once a story is begun, it must be completed. These storytellers live the tales often to a menacing effect.  They take a fiendish delight in each tales macabre humor and drama. In Some ways they are like a circus Sideshow troupe, but each Story fully consumes them. the re was d wonderfully choreographed waltz dance that had all the actors paired up and dancing with delight. Each year new stories weave their way into the tapestry, making Phantasmagoria a show that can be revisited each Halloween season. One member of the troupe wanted to explore the darker side of the sinister tales. to do that he would ha to splinter away from his family roots and forge his own path.

Remaining Performances are October  30 and 31 (The 100th show!) Box office will open each night at 7:15 / doors 7:50 / Curtain at 8:00pm - VIP After show follows immediately after in courtyard Regular Student/Senior/Military - $15.00 / VIP Student/Senior/Military - $25.00 Regular General Admission - $25.00 / VIP General Admission - $35.00 (VIP includes Pre-Seating, VIP post show performance, photo op, souvenir, and a glass of wine or soft drink post show)
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: WILL CALL/CASH ONLY AT DOOR reserve by calling our hot line at 407-476-5121 (Leave name/number/date of performance and number in party – you will be called back only if there is a problem with your reservation) CREDIT CARD PREPURCHASE – For further information contact our box office email:

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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