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T H E A T E R   R E V I E W  -  Gorey Stories  -  Sacred Fools Theater Company 


HOLLYWOOD, CA - There’s something to be said about a play where every cast member is killed at least three times.  The latest production of Gorey Stories, arriving in time for the Halloween season, promises that and then some at the Sacred Fools Theater. It’s morbid. It has a freakishly creepy script. It’s pure fun.

Adapted for the stage by Stephen Currens and based on the works of illustrator Edward Gorey, Gorey Stories brings to life a collection of stories and songs for the morbidly twisted. There are accidents, murders, and many inventive ways to achieve death.

Among the tales showcased in Act One is the Elementary Primer of death, ‘The Gashleycrumb Tinies’, in which the ABCs are taught in a no holds barred grisly manner. ‘The Willowdale Handcar’ sends three chums on a rail ride of no return. ‘The Blue Aspic’ tells the story of an opera singer and the obsessive fan who stalks her. Act Two delights with ‘The Unstrung Harp’, a story within a story where a fading author’s attempt to complete a story is distracted by thoughts of characters from totally different storylines.

Directed by Pat Towne, Gorey Stories shines with a talented ensemble cast. Henry Dittman, Joe Fria, Jennifer Hamel, Kelley Hazen, Joe Jordan, Paul Plunkett, Ryan Templeton, Pat Towne, and Lola Ward put in solid performances. With so many doomed and twisted characters on the stage, the actors happily sink their teeth and other assorted objects into their roles.

The band on the sidelines, consisting of Kat Edwards, Douglas Lee, Graham Jackson, and Gary Viggers, compliment the actors extremely well. The music by David Aldrich isn’t stand out memorable however it succeeds in adding an eerily vibe and remains faithful to Gorey’s words. There were just a few instances where the singing lyrics became hard to comprehend in the ensemble numbers. No doubt continued performances will vanquish that irregularity.   

The set design by Joel Daavid is top notch and any Masterpiece Theater fan would smile with appreciation.

Be warned, this show is not for simple minded children or the weak heart. That being said, Gorey Stories is a wickedly entertaining must see. - Adrian Rennie

Produced for the Sacred Fools Theater Company by Michael Franco, Paul Plunkett, and Tina Gloss-Finnell, Gorey Stories performs at the Sacred Fools Theater, located at 660 North Heliotrope in Hollywood, CA. Running through October 31, 2005, performances are Fridays and Saturday at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm. General admission is $20.00.

There will a special closing performance on Monday October 31, 2005, themed as The Contested and Clandestine Closing Night Party. This gala will include the show, a party complete with food and beverages, and a costume competition. Admission for this event will be $30.00.

For more reservations and info, please call (310) 281-8337. Online tickets are also available.

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Pat Towne, Lola Ward 

and Joe Fria



Pat Towne(l.), Ryan Templeton, and Paul Plunkett



Joe Jordan and Ryan Templeton




Ryan Templeton(l.), Jenifer Hamel and Henry Dittman


Adrian Rennie, staff writer and editor for Maestro Arts & Reviews, is an actor and Los Angeles area playwright. Having received great reviews for his plays, The Seven Lessons of Life and Only a Phone Call Away, he continues to write and act in Los Angeles Theater, Television and Film. 

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