After three fantastic nights at home in Orlando, Phantasmagoria is preparing to take their “mini-show” on the road. This test run will be the first of many for Orlando’s popular Victorian- horror- steampunk troupe, as 2016 promises to see the group on a widespread tour. Narrowing down their standard routine by nearly half of their full cast for this traveling show has done nothing to slow down their triumphant performance, which was greeted by consecutively sold out shows at John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center.
“Wicked Little Tales” is a sort of ‘best of’ conglomeration, bolstered by five favorite verses interpreted and delivered by the 16 member troupe. Musical, dance, and acrobatic routines are woven in between stories. Featured stories presented in “Wicked Little Tales” include original tales by Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Thomas Preskett Prest, and Lewis Carroll – as well as the traditional “Tale of the Bantu”.
To watch the stories unfold is much like delving into the collective mind of a creatively horrifying think tank in action. Movements, thoughts, actions, and words are in startling unison with nary a misspeak or misstep. This is a group that is unified in all ways essential – and it shows. If one of them even breathed at the wrong time, it could throw the entire routine off kilter, but this hardly seems concerning when you consider the congruence that exists within them as parts of the whole seamless tapestry. Combining horror, comedy, and grace – Phantasmagoria is the most complete package that any live show could ever reveal.
Guests who opt for the VIP package (just a $5 upgrade for these shows), are treated to a pre-show, as well as after-show extras. The after-show was an epic testament to the enormity of their talent, as they performed an additional “story” that three-quarters of the performers had not yet read. Even under these impromptu conditions, there wasn’t a hint of a stumble or snag. They’re natural talents, and brilliantly engaging. While each individual member adds their own unique peppering of showmanship and skill to the show, the expressive, vibrant displays by Sara Costello (Alice Liddell) and Joshua Geoghagan (Leon Krantz) were especially mystifying and captivating.
Following the additional verse, the troupe invited guests to join them for an outdoor demonstration of another of their famed talents – the fire display!
Phantasmagoria VI will be a full Phantasmagoria show. If you missed the chance to catch them this time around, plan to attend “The Darkness Returns” October 9 – 31. If you’re in the Atlanta area, you still have time to get your tickets for Phantasmagoria’s July 31 – August 2 shows.