Saturday, August 24, 2019

Carnival of Wonder

I went to a dress rehearsal for Carnival of Wonder which is an interactive spectacle unlike any other, an immersive murder mystery produced by Phoenix Tears Productions. The audience is invited to attend Madam Mystique's Carnival of Wonder, a place full of games, fun, magic, and on this August night in 1938, a murder! It's up to each audience member to watch the suspects and solve the mystery.

A bright pop corn machine at the entrance set the carnival mood. The wall to the left was lined with carnival style games. People were invited to knock  over tin cans, for a prize of jelly beans. I was surprised that no one managed to knock them all over. A magnet might have been involved. Other games included flipping a ring on bottle necks and some game involving a fish bowl.

I was mostly fascinated by the Saoirse the Fae Fortune Teller, (Leanna Bailey) who was illuminated in a faint purple glow. She would read peoples fortunes from Cleromancy or the casing of lots. Between clients she spoke with the Dragon Handler, Tarran Rhodes, (Jason Laramee) and things got heated. Charlie (Melissa Riggins) had been demoted to being a game handler. I wondered what had caused her fall. Roulette: Mistress of Blades, (Madison Payne) gently entertained the rubes by juggling colorful silks. Mallory Sabetodos Vance, Jade Roberts and Vex Batchelder ran the games and kept the rubes in line. Elaine Pechacek of Dragonfly Studios also acted as the consummate hostess.

Madame Mystique (Kathy Romero) in a top hat ran the carnies with an iron fist. Late in the evening the Masked Magician (Kate Murray) entered and was much loved in comparison. A hula hoop performance on the main stage by Lil Red (Jacquelynn Allene Powers) gathered the crowd for what would ultimately be the main event. I went in anticipating a murder and had a suspect in mind from the first moments when I began the sketch. Though a wild guess my artist instinct was correct. The person who guesses the killer correctly got to keep the computer 3D printed murder weapon as a prize.

The last show of Carnival of Wonders is Saturday August 24th at 8 PM
Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.
Dragonfly Studio & Productions
133 W Mckey St., Ocoee, Florida 34761

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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