BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT Brings Spooky Literature to Life Inside Mountain View Mausoleum

BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT Brings Spooky Literature to Life Inside Mountain View Mausoleum

If you're a fan of Live Theatre, love the spirit of Halloween and are intrigued at the thought of great pieces of literature brought to life, then Wicked Lit might be the bubbling cauldron for you! The horror story adaptation series takes place within the creepy and beautiful walls of the Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena and even ventures into the stillness of the cemetery. Yup, you'll really be surrounded by actual dead people all night.

The past 5 years have indeed been remarkable for Unbound Productions and I salute the group's co-artistic directors (Paul Millet, Jeff G. Rack, and Jonathan Josephson) on their ability to weave classic literature into such entertaining and immersive theatrical experience. I wonder how they managed to get permission to perform inside the mausoleum and cemetery and found myself reading the names on gravestones and wall plaques, wondering what the spirits think about the whole thing and thanking them for sharing their space with me. But you don't have much time to think about these things as you as whisked from location to location at rapid speed, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress warmly as most of the evening is spent outdoors.

Wicked Lit 2013 is comprised of world premiere adaptations of H.P Lovecraft's The Lurking Fear, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The New Catacomb, and the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired The Masque of the Red Death Experience as well as a revival of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

Upon arrival, the audience is divided into 3 groups by the color dot on your program which determines the order in which you will experience the productions. While waiting to be escorted to each of the plays, the audience is treated to an entre-act entertainment presented in the courtyard of the vast mausoleum vaults entitled The Masque of the Red Death Experience - Inspired by the short story by Edgar Allan Poe, which features a talented group of singers, dancers and improvisational actors who surround you in their macabre masquerade to prepare you for your immersive journey through the mausoleum and cemetery. Especially noteworthy are cellist Jennifer Novak Chun and soloist Bianca Gisselle as Lenore who sings musical adaptations of Poe's poetry The Bells, Annabel Lee, and The Raven. Susannah Myrvold is a treat as the accordion-playing clown who also honored me by painting the raven on my cheek.

Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow adapted by Jonathan Josephson and directed by Jeff G. Rack. The beloved tale of the good-hearted schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane, and his deadly encounter with the Headless Horseman transports the audience back to upstate New York in 1790. Presented almost entirely outdoors, this was a best-developed and presented with sound effects truly making the headless horseman seem just around the corner or behind the tree in near darkness so close by. Shawn Savage was a marvel of raw swashbuckling sensuality as Brom Bones, rival with Ichabod (Eric DeLoretta) for the attention of Katrina Van Tassel (Ilona Kulinska).

H.P. Lovecraft's The Lurking Fear adapted by Jeff G. Rack and Jonathan Josephson, directed by Paul Millet. A gruesome and otherworldly thing is murdering women and it must be stopped no matter the cost. Set in the Catskill Mountains in the 1930's, the Western shoot-em-up action started in a small chapel with guns drawn and knives pointed right next to our seats. When we finally reached the vault, the creepiness escalated when the doors opened and out poured steam and smoke. .

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The New Catacomb adapted by Jonathan Josephson, directed by Douglas R. Clayton. Two best friends make a life-altering discovery in the depths of a long-since forgotten Roman crypt putting their friendship and sanity to the ultimate test of survival. This was by far the creepiest episode of the evening, taking us down into the maze of crypts in almost total darkness to follow the two men as they search for the what could be their claim to archeological fame. At one point, we were told to follow the string so as not to get lost, and then in total darkness it was pulled away from us. Had someone not come for us in a few minutes, I am sure there would have been screaming. During our trip through the crypts, we stopped in a very impressive and eerily lit Gothic church.

The Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery make for the perfect setting for this Halloween-themed evening. I can see why the shows sell out every year!

CAST
Chairman Barnes (Burger ~ The New Catacomb)
Jennifer Novak Chun (Cellist Masquer ~ The Masque Experience)
Stephen Davalos (Masquer - The Masque Experience)
Eric DeLoretta (Ichabod ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Bianca Gisselle (Singer ~ The Masque Experience)
Jaclyn Friedlander (Masquer ~ The Masque Experience)
Eric Harris (Bo Willis ~ The Lurking Fear)
LizAnne Keigley (Deputy Becky Trask ~ The Lurking Fear)
Eric Keitel (Duro Jones ~ The Lurking Fear)
Ilona Kulinska (Katrina Van Tassel ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Richard Large (Deputy Rick Tobey ~ The Lurking Fear)
Carlos Larkin (Kennedy ~ The New Catacomb)
Brandon Massey (Masquer ~ The Masque Experience)
Susannah Myrvold (The Buffoon ~ The Masque Experience)
Katie Pelensky (Mary ~ The New Catacomb)
Brian David Pope (Sheriff Arnold Trask ~ The Lurking Fear)
Michael Prichard (Baltrus Van Tassel ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Teena Pugliese (Masquer ~ The Masque of the Red Death)
David Reynolds (Ensemble ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Shawn Savage (Brom Bones ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Tory N. Thompson (Adam Munroe ~ The Lurking Fear)
Jonah Zimmerberg-Helms (Masquer ~ The Masque Experience)

DESIGNERS
Christine Cover Ferro (Costume Designer)
Drew Dalzell (Sound Designer)
Noelle Hoffman (Associate Sound Designer/Sound Engineer)
Angie Hobin (Choreographer)
Julie Pound (Make-Up Designer)
Ric Zimmerman (Lighting Designer)

PRODUCTION TEAM
Jacqueline Adorni (Production Manager)
Mary Lansing (Stage Manager ~ The New Catacomb)
Aurora Long (Stage Manager ~ The Masque Experience)
TaShaunna Peterman (Stage Manager ~ The Lurking Fear)
Vincent Sanchez (Stage Manager ~ The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)

PERFORMANCES:
October 3rd - November 4th (Thurs-Sun) 7pm curtain. All remaining performances for 2013 are SOLD OUT. If you want to try and get in, there are waiting lists at http://unboundproductions.org/standby/

VENUE:
Mountain View Mausoleum 2300 N. Morengo Ave. in Altadena, CA 91001

Photos by Daniel Kitayama

BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT Brings Spooky Literature to Life Inside Mountain View Mausoleum
Katie Pelensky and Carlos Larkin in The New Catacomb

BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT Brings Spooky Literature to Life Inside Mountain View Mausoleum
Ilona Kulinska and Eric DeLoretta in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

BWW Reviews: WICKED LIT Brings Spooky Literature to Life Inside Mountain View Mausoleum
The Lurking Fear with Richard Large, Tory Thompson, Eric Keitel and Brian David Pope.

high res photos

More Los Angeles!
Go to the Homepage


Comment & Share


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
Shari Barrett Shari Barrett, a Los Angeles native, has been active in the theater world since the age of six - acting, singing, and dancing her way across the boards all over town. After teaching in local secondary schools, working in marketing for several studios, writing, directing, producing, and performing in productions for several non-profit theaters, Shari now dedicates her time and focuses her skills as an independent publicist to "get the word out" about smaller theaters throughout the Los Angeles area. As a founding member of the LA Stage Alliance Leadership Council Task Force, she and reps from theaters throughout the city work together to articulate a vision for the theatre community of Greater Los Angeles. Shari has received recognition from the City of Los Angeles for her dedication of heart and hand to the needs of friends, neighbors and fellow members of society for her devotion of service to the people of Los Angeles. Shari is honored to serve her hometown as a contributor to Broadway World.


 
🔀LOS ANGELES SHOWS
Sweeney Todd in Concert in Los AngelesSweeney Todd in Concert
(Runs 10/24 - 10/25)
Once Upon a Mattress in Los AngelesOnce Upon a Mattress
(Runs 9/26 - 10/25)
State Fair in Los AngelesState Fair
(Runs 10/23 - 10/25)
Once Upon a Mattress in Los AngelesOnce Upon a Mattress
(Runs 10/17 - 10/26)
CARRIE the musical in Los AngelesCARRIE the musical
(Runs 5/1 - 11/2)
Enrique´s Journey in Los AngelesEnrique´s Journey
(Runs 10/17 - 11/7)
Jesus Christ Superstar in Los AngelesJesus Christ Superstar
(Runs 10/3 - 11/9)

View All | Add Show | Auditions

Message Board

BWW BLOGS