October 27, 2003

 

Phantazmagoria,
A Halloween Dream

reviewed by
Lynn Trenning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more about Lynn Trenning, please visit her main page.

Hardin Minorís Omimeo Mime Theatre proves that mime is more than actors wearing black clothes and white faces. In Phantazmagoria, fluorescent candy corn meanders in mid-air, ropes whip themselves into floating spirographs, and characters disappear in front of our eyes as a little girlís Halloween adventure whisks her from bed to a fantastic dreamland.

Special guest artist Lavinia Plonka slips a piece of candy under her pillow after trick or treating. Her sleep is interrupted by mischievous pillows and a wiggly sheet, and she embarks on a dream that is a brilliant piece of stream of consciousness. The girl explores the power of masks, plays with trolls, and takes part in a makeshift vaudeville production that involves audience members. Her first encounter with a strange old man turns into a game of transformation.

And then he is gone, and two rocks magically appear, and Plonka is flying through a dark abyss, then walking on a tightwire, until she is approached by two trolls in rubbery, blubbery masks. They metamorphose into skeletons, and then into a wizard with a steaming cauldron who swallows fire and morphs into a jester, to the tune of "The Sorcererís Apprentice."

Drew Nowlin, Lazaro Memije and Eddie Williams fill out the supporting cast. Black lights are the heart of Eric Winkenwerderís lighting design. The magical illusions are flawless. Linda Minorís costume design is impeccable, from the girlís flamingo colored hair to the jesterís diamond patchwork suit. Phantazmagoria is a carnival for the eyes, with enough thrills and chills to make Halloween as special as children expect it to be.

Lynn Trenning, October 31, 2003

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