Adventures in the Arts: Drama After Dark

I’ve had a lot of fun adventures around town lately. Here is one recent highlight:

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Signs guide you towards your first destination.

Drama After Dark: A Night of Gorey & Poe at Huntington Gardens

You arrive at Huntington Gardens and swap your ticket receipt for a map of 20 minute performances and where on the grounds of Huntington Gardens to see them. There is some hot cider and cookies next to the signs in the image above. If you’re smart, you bring a flashlight. For although it doesn’t seem quite dark enough for a chilly Poe monologue recited by excellent actors when you start at 6:30pm, by the end of our first encounter, nature has set along with our characters’ sanity.

There’s no way to see everything. I chose Imp of the Perverse, Pit and the Pendulum (the only offering inside a room for reasons that become frighteningly clear five minutes into one man’s Hell), Gorey 1 & Gorey 2, Berenice (one I urged my group to see because it is such a subtly frightening story) and Masque of the Red Death. It’s such a fun time and encapsulates so much of what makes a successful live theatrical experience: timely (near Halloween), unique, an audience choose-your-own-adventure, high demand and just plain fun.

Yes, it is this dark and fun

Yes, it is this dark and fun

Any complaints about performance from previous years are either much tighter or I chose more wisely this year. One gripe that I believe is out of the producers’ control: Keep the Huntington Gardens Gift Shop open after the show. Better yet, sell Poe & Gorey items from a cart while people gather back at the exit. You’ll more than make your money back for having to pay a staffer overtime.

Follow on Facebook & Twitter (though they aren’t incredibly active). I always hear about it through actors Corey Blake and Kendra Chell (no guarantee they’ll be in it every year, but both are worth following regardless). Next year I’ll try to give you a heads-up before tickets go on sale. Event also sponsored by AJS Costumes – lucky them!

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