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Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!

Members say: Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent, Disappointing, Delightful
64
Critics
65
4 reviews
Members
61
5 reviews
 

La MaMa presents the world premiere of this horror-themed puppet spectacle, conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Randolph Curtis Rand.

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A rainy night in a Genevan castle. Debauched poetry and too much wine. A teenage girl writes a spooky story. On the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s creation, 'Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus,' 'Phantasmagoria' assembles a swirl of puppetry, biography, and storytelling into a market of ghosts. Part of La MaMa's 2016 Puppet Series.

 

Cast & Creatives (16)


Reviews (9)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
65
Avg Score

85
Theatre is Easy

"Gives Shelley the attention she so rightly deserves...The cast members prove themselves to be talented at taking on multiple roles, using puppetry, and providing differing voices and sound effects...The truly unique 'Phantasmagoria' provides plenty of spooky fun, but, through its discussion of Mary Shelley and her work, also plenty of brain food that will leave you cerebrally stimulated long after the actors have taken their bows." Full Review

40
On Stage Blog

"Overall, 'Phantasmagoria' is messy. It doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s blessed with good (and pleasingly diverse) actors, but cursed with a script that’s having an identity crisis at all times. It manages to both over-explain and under-explain, to do several things right, but also to do many things wrong. Some of the puppetry is good, some terrible. It’s insightful and yet also painfully non-self-aware. It is self-contradictory in almost every facet of itself." Full Review

75
Theater In The Now

"The story comes to life onstage through ten-foot-tall puppets, ghastly projections and voice modulation that is still giving me the chills on a nice, warm day...Much research has gone into this interesting production. As the characters suggest, they were indeed embracing what today would be called free love and non-monogamy. A modern and fresh feel comes from the cast: youthful, handsome in Kima Baffour’s costumes, and ethnically diverse." Full Review

60
The Reviews Hub

"The entanglement of the narratives works well in the second half of the show, however the first act has some trouble finding its feet...As the play becomes more ephemeral and ethereal, with heavy ambiance and puppet work, the story finds its pace and drive. Perhaps with a little more time, 'Phantasmagoria' will develop a first act that performs to the level of its second. The promise of a strong ensemble cast and compelling design has the potential for a spectacular spectre-driven experience." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
61
Avg Score

55
Ambitious, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Great puppetry

See it if you don't mind sitting through a lot of confusing dialogue, you know the story of Mary Shelley and Frankenstein

Don't see it if you expect a lot of puppetry (it only comes out in Act 2), you want something easy-to-understand

80
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to be transported by a visceral experience; you don't mind not "rationally" understanding everything as long as you are entertained

Don't see it if you need linear storytelling, or only appreciate "traditional" theater that can be squared away by your rational mind.

Also I have very little experience with experimental theater, yet I found t... Read more Read less

25
Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you know a lot about Mary Shelly and want to see aspects of her life on stage.

Don't see it if you're looking for a either a cohesive biographical play or retelling of Frankenstein.

Also There were a number of potentially interesting ideas here, but sadly n... Read more Read less

77
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Indulgent

See it if .

Don't see it if .

100
Ambitious, Delightful, Edgy, Quirky

See it if you love science fiction, ambitious puppetry, a halloween mood, eerie lighting and lots of haze.

Don't see it if your plays must have linear storytelling.