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Event Review: Orlando's Phantasmagoria 'Hauntingly Romantic Tales'

images c/o Xoey Dillman-Giewont
images c/o Xoey Dillman-Giewont

By: Jaimz Dillman

For those of us who aren't among the masses celebrating Valentine's Day with wine and roses, I offer you something a bit more dark and devilish.

Orlando's own Phantasmagoria - Central Florida's Original Victorian/Steampunk Storytelling Troupe - has an all-new macabre night of romance conjured up by a smaller cast. These are powerful pieces by recognizable authors, such as Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, and Edgar Allen Poe, with a couple of musical numbers thrown in from Irving Berlin and Glen Campbell.

Intrigued? I'll go on. Unlike their large 30+ person shows during spooky season, this paired-down group of seven storytellers provides plenty of gooseflesh-inspiring tales led by ringmaster, and master of impressive dialect switches, Dahlia.

The dark side of passions told throughout the "Hauntingly Romantic Tales" takes us through Porphyria's Lover - convincingly portrayed through Braulio and Eiyla - and into John Charrington's Wedding, - Hawthorne, Erzebet, Braulio, and Elsbeth bring this one to life, er... death?

Time goes by quickly as the cast keeps things clipping along through several more ghastly scenes. A couple fun cheeky songs by Momo add some fun to the mix, and an encore of Captain Murder whips the conclusion into a frenzy of chaos and laughter - from cast and audience alike - as all are asked to participate in the repeated chorus of the story.

“Hauntingly Romantic Tales” returns to Maxine’s on Shine (Orlando) Feb. 17th for a three-course dinner and show, Theatre West End (Sanford) Feb. 18th and 19th, and final show next week at Melon Patch Players (Leesburg) Feb. 26th! Extend your celebration and spend a truly Phantasmagorical Valentine’s Month with storytelling, song, and dance!

Visit for details and links to ALL venues.

images c/o Xoey Dillman-Giewont
images c/o Xoey Dillman-Giewont


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