Friday, October 28, 2011

Wicked Lit: Halloween Performance

(Wow, my second time traipsing around a mausoleum and cemetery this month. Where is my life heading?!)

Back in June, I posted about seeing a Wicked Lit production at the Biltmore Hotel. It was a trial run for the Halloween season, and I planned then to see this year's series. As you may guess, it was wicked fun!

Big picture overview: our location is the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, and everything takes place on these grounds. There are two sets of productions, each with three different performances retelling a horror story. You see the performance in your set, then rotate to the next until you've seen all three. Yes, that means that six performances are going on at any time around the mausoleum and cemetery! But, each performance may or may not take place in the same space, so instead of having a set change, you move to the next scene.

I chose the B set, and my three performances in order were "Casting the Runes," "A Ghost Story" (a revamped version of what I saw in June), and "The Body Snatcher." I won't be a full-on spoiler, but "Casting the Runes" was about a magician literally cursing an editor who dismissed his manuscript, and how the curse was removed. That one took place inside the mausoleum, and we moved to a number of creepy spaces as the story unfolded.

"A Ghost Story" took place in one space and was a fun revision of the story I already enjoyed. Here you see our "host" for that performance, dramatically reading "The Raven" after being completely mute - well, except for "myeh" and other grunts - throughout his storyline.

"The Body Snatcher" focused on finding cadavers for the Edinburgh School of Medicine students, and the shocking depth one woman went to keep her job there. For this one we went to the lab, then watched while a corpse was being collected....

I'll stop right there as the effects for these shows was amazing! We imagined what was happening as opposed to having to see it, which was actually more powerful. (Remember the scene in "Shallow Grave" where they are sawing up bones? I do, because you see nothing but shadows and hear the sounds. My mind did all the work!) I'm trying to wrap my head around the master flow chart for six productions, multiple rooms and spaces for each, timing so that they were about the same length, plus lights, sound, and props galore, and so it goes. Holy cow!

I'm considering doing the other set before it ends on November 6. Anyone interested?!

Click here to go to Wicked Lit's Web site.

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