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October 20, 2015

Phantasmagoria - The Darkness Returns

All Photos: Barry D. Kirsch
October is a beautiful month. Autumn is in the air. Mother Nature begins to display the tiniest morsel of mercy. Everything suddenly emerges with a pumpkin-flavored variety or a cinnamon scent. Halloween is the climax of the entire crescendo. And... let's not forget all of the themed celebrations throughout the month - Biketoberfest, Rocktobierfest, Beertoberfest, etc. Here in Central Florida, Phantasmagoria performances are among the best reasons to love Orlando in October. (Or should I say, Phantasmatober?)


This year's performance, Phantasmagoria VI: The Darkness Returns is 90 minutes of non-stop enchantment. The Mandell Theater at Lowndes Shakepeare Center hosts performances Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from October 9-31, as well as two Mondays - the 19th and 26th. The venue is positively perfect for a performance of this nature. Phantasmagoria is more of an experience than a show, and Mandell Theater allows guests to be more than mere observers. If there's one word to summarize the experience, it has to be transcendent.
The Darkness Returns features 21 players of multiple talents. It's a macabre performance variety show intertwining storytelling with song, dance, and aerial acrobatic displays. Our beloved troupe portrays an ageless band of gypsy-esque performers trapped in a stifling existence in 1918 Berlin. As they struggle to accept a series of rippling fateful misfortunes, their natural urges emerge and classic tales erupt from within them. 

"Once a story is chosen, it must be told.
Once a story is begun, it must be finished."
Phantasmagoria does not rely on elaborate sets. When furnishings are needed, the cast falls into formation. They are symbiotic in every sense of the word, and every piece of this ensemble puzzle lends its own undeniable pizzazz and color to the canvas. Suggestive and devouring, the troupe embodies artistry in a manner that combines an expanse of personal expression. From their flawlessly exquisite wardrobe and makeup to their expressive deliveries, Phantasmagoria is a mesmerizing, tranformative experience that tantalizes the eyes, ears, mind, and soul. You may have heard the stories before, but when Phantasmagoria presents them, you feel them, and they become a part of you. 
General admission tickets are $25 ($15 with student, senior, or military discount). VIP admission (including early seating, post show performance, photo op with cast and glass of wine or soft drink) can be reserved for $35 ($25 with student, senior, or miliatry discount) by calling 407.328.9005 or online at www.OrlandoAtPlay.com. Follow Phantasmagoria online at Facebook or Twitter to stay informed on their performances and special appearances throughout the year.