You may be tired at this point of reading raves about Unbound Productions’ extraordinary horror-themed theater Wicked Lit offerings, but you can’t be tired of seeing their shows — even this year, which revives a couple of plays previously offered in somewhat workshop-like reading performances, is a joy to see. As the producers point out, you have to walk and sometimes stand to keep up with this immersive dark fantasy performance, but it’s all worth it. The question isn’t whether you should go see their shows — you should — but which of this year’s three one-acts is the best? Or is it the wrap-around narrative that shapes the anthology that’s the best part?
They make these questions very, very difficult things to answer…
While you’ll have a lot of creepy laughs with the interactive “Camp Mountain View” wraparound narrative (well directed by Paul Millet, with in-joke continuity with past Wicked Lit productions, to boot! And don’t miss your chance to try some archery…), and Trey Nichols’ adaptation of Lovecraft’s “From Beyond” is tone-perfect and adroitly acted by its cast, the real challenge is deciding whether you like “The Shadowy Third” or “Anansi and the Demons” better.
As it turns out, the choice is excruciating — Hannah Whiteoak’s Charlotte is an absolute marvel as Mrs. Maradick in “The Shadowy Third,” but she’s edged out for best performance of the night by Jacquelin Schofield’s sinister, funny, devious portrayal of Anansi in “Anansi and the Demons.” The casts of the four shows-within-a-show are all wonderful (and if you’re a fan of Wicked Lit, don’t leave early in the closing part unless you want to miss a great follow-up on a previous year’s show), but Schofield and Whiteoak are utterly electrifying.
Theater in a century-old historic mausoleum and cemetery, with lavish production values and adroit adaptations of horror fiction — what more could you want? Hie thee hence to Wicked Lit, where you can expect the best and most frightful good time you’ve had in ages. It’s running through November 12 at Mountain View Mausoleum & Cemetery, and you can get tickets right here.