Fed up on gore? Savor dark wit, flavor of ‘Stories’
Special to The Commercial Appeal
The deliciously dark “Gorey Stories” at Germantown Community Theatre is a welcome break from the routine fright-fests of the season.
One can only take so many “Halloween” films or “Saw” sequels or zombie blowouts. One’s brain — if it hasn’t become a delicacy for the undead — needs some wicked wit, sinister songs and villainous verse.
Jason Spitzer’s direction of “Gorey Stories” is a high-energy spin on the amusingly macabre works of illustrator and writer Edward Gorey, who liked to refer to his work as “literary nonsense.”
From the opening lightning flash that reveals the mischievous cast, we descend into a series of sketches that sustain us with dark whimsy, a terrific cast (each member taking on various roles) and beautifully creepy music.
The set illustration is a wonder. Done by graphic designer L.D. Beghtol, it evokes Gorey’s style and complements the action.
In fact, the various departments smartly combined to bring off the production. Music director Jason Bell served up the tunes with precision, lighting designer Chris Swanson illuminated the scenes perfectly and the reliable Kerry Strahm handled technical direction with his usual attention to detail.
Costumer Caroline Redfearn nailed the Victorian/Edwardian flavor of Goreyworld and choreographer Mandy Lane did splendid work keeping up to nine cast members spinning on the tiny GCT stage.
You may well find yourself leaving the theater with a spring in your step and just exactly the right amount of dread in your heart.