It is the season of the witch. Pumpkins are on sale at the farmer’s market, the days are crisp and sunny, and the nights are chilled. Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood. It’s time to get thrilled and scream like a little girl. Of course it’s always better to watch someone else experience madness and murder than to experience it yourself, and that’s why we go to the theater! We play a game of “what if” when we sit in the dark and watch as a little girl goes to Hell – literally. And that is why The Tragedy of Maria Macabre is so much fun.
Rachel Klein has conceived, directed, choreographed, designed, and produced a hellish eighty minutes that describes in dance one little girl’s descent into the underworld. She dances with the king and queen of the dead and all their court in a diabolical round, and she learns in a series of acts that no, this is not all a bad dream. The dancers include the lovely Abigail Hawk, who is a pleasure to view even when she’s not moving, and Megan O’Connor, whose china doll features and willowy graceful movements send shivers down your spine.
The music, a blend of Philip Glass, Mozart, and the Tiger Lillies, is remixed by Sean Gill into a catchier, more upbeat version of Night on Bald Mountain. The lights and costumes evoke Edward Gorey and Tim Burton. If you’re a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas or Corpse Bride you’ll like the ambiance of The Tragedy of Maria Macabre. Like those movies, this performance is more entertaining than terrifying. As long as you’re not looking for some soul crushing existentialist meditation on mortality, you won’t be disappointed.
The Tragedy of Maria Macabre
The Wild Project
195 East 3rd Street
Through October 30th