Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!
Closed 2h 15m
Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death!

Phantasmagoria; or, Let Us Seek Death! NYC Reviews and Tickets

(5 Ratings)
Members say
Ambitious, Indulgent, Confusing, Delightful, Disappointing

About the Show

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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Show-Score Member Reviews (5)

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58 Reviews | 8 Followers
Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

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 this piece to be incredibly entertaining and clever. Not knowing anything about Mary Shelley's life, I was able to follow the non-linear plot while also abandoning myself to the sensory multi-media experience. Beautiful acting, terrifying puppets, clever clever writing. A great experience. The piece also definitely makes its political / social agenda very clear so don't see it if you're put off by overt social commentary.

100 Reviews | 64 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Great puppetry, Indulgent, Disappointing

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

14 Reviews | 3 Followers
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious

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 none were executed effectively. There seemed to be the seeds of 4 or 5 potentially interesting shows rather than one fully realized one. The puppetry was disappointing. Much of the storytelling was disjointed and difficult to follow.

6 Reviews | 4 Followers
Edgy, Ambitious, Delightful, 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.

1 Review | 0 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Indulgent

See it if .

Don't see it if .

Critic Reviews (4)

Theatre is Easy
October 27th, 2016

"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."
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Theater In The Now
November 5th, 2016

"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."
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October 28th, 2016

"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."
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On Stage Blog
October 29th, 2016

"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."
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