“Ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not … Hedwig!” With those iconic words the audience is taken away from their normal lives and dropped off into the manic, rock star world of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”! [Read more…]
A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been one of William Shakespeare’s most accessible works. It tells the story of four lovers lost in an enchanted wood while being pranked by the fairies that live there. [Read more…]
Adapted from the movie of the same name, and based upon the play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan,” “Finding Neverland” tells the story of playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to write a new play. [Read more…]
By Andy Haynes
The Red Fish Theatre company with their partners at AntiGravity Orlando have created a production of the Rocky Horror Show that defies expectations.
Before I go any further, I need to emphasize that this show is definitely “adults only.” The language and themes of the Rocky Horror Show are not appropriate for children, but that shouldn’t stop those of appropriate ages from enjoying this wonderful production.
Presented at the AntiGravity Orlando theater on Highway 192, the production ramps up the classic musical through the integration of Cirque Du Soleil style acrobatics. “The cast is a blend of AntiGravity aerialists, local theme park performers and local theater professionals,” said Red Fish Theatre’s artistic director Adam Graham. “Together we’re taking a traditional classic and letting our audience view it from new, different angle. Sometimes quite literally.” And he certainly isn’t wrong.
During any given number, performers might be spinning on wheels, leaping off trampolines or flying through the air above you. The stunt work in the show was breathtaking and apparently performed by professionals who teach the same acrobatics during the day at the facility. I was worried that the stunts would feel “tacked-on” but, in the crazy world of Doctor Frank-N-Furter, they fit right in and added to the show. The rest of the cast were equally talented in their singing and acting abilities.
Working in theme parks means artists don’t typically get to show their full range, so when an opportunity comes to see them really open up, it’s worth taking. Unfortunately, the production I saw was marred by some technical issues with some of the microphones going in and out, which was especially disappointing considering that when we did hear the performers they were amazing across the board. These issues can be chalked up to the growing pains of a venue putting on a production like this for the first time.
This show appears to be a sign of things to come for AntiGravity as they look to begin incorporating more theatrical style productions into their future. With a prime location in the tourist district of Kissimmee, the AntiGravity theater could be just the thing to bridge the gap between tourist attraction and classic theater. By combining the spectacle of stunt work and aerial performers with traditional stage productions, they might have found a winning formula. With more productions in talks for the future, hopefully this new theatrical outlet is here to stay.
The Rocky Horror Show has a final performance Oct. 24 at 9 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit redfishtheatreantigravity.ticketleap.com.
By Andy Haynes
Catharsis is an all new immersive haunted experience currently unsettling guests in the Orlando area. The experience was created by Pseudonym Productions, the company who brought us “When Shadows Fall,” and indeed, takes place in the same venue. Without giving too much away, there are even some references to the story of When Shadows Fall throughout Catharsis.
Catharsis bills itself as “unlike anything Florida as ever encountered” and for me at least, that was definitely true. It’s hard to talk too much about it without giving away any spoilers, since not knowing exactly what to expect is the crux of the experience.
After we arrived at the venue and signed in, we found our way to the deadly sins bar to enjoy a drink and sign a wavier. We were then summoned to the back and our trip through Catharsis began. The whole experience from arrival at the venue to unceremonious departure lasts about an hour, after which you are asked to leave immediately. This makes sense due to the attraction’s fast turnaround and the limited parking available at the venue.
Without going into detail, the experience itself involved a lot of uncomfortable situations and invasion of personal space all of which served to underline the unsettling nature of Catharsis. There is a story that underscores the event although on our trip through we were a bit confused about exactly what it was and left wondering if we had missed something. It was ultimately unnecessary though as the individual moments in Catharsis are what made the experience unique. Again, I don’t want to spoil it, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten quite that up close and personal with actors as I did at Catharsis!
Due to its location and immersive features, Catharsis will definitely draw some comparisons to When Shadows Fall. Although similar, the two events had very striking differences. The open-ended freedom to explore that was offered in When Shadows Fall doesn’t show up in Catharsis, as you are led by the hand (sometimes quite literally) through the structured environment. This leads to a loss of control by the audience and actually allowed greater enjoyment by those seeking a more passive experience. That’s not to say you won’t be moving around and getting your hands dirty, but just that most of the active decision making that defined When Shadows Fall is absent from Catharsis. Another unique feature of the attraction is the ability to go through in small groups or even alone. This is in sharp contrast to the conga line style of Halloween Horror Nights and the free-for-all feel of When Shadows Fall. I do have to compliment the designers on this, as at no time throughout the experience was did I feel the presence of other audience members beyond my group. The whole event felt very personal and isolating.
In the end, I will say I enjoyed Catharsis. I would recommend this for someone looking for a more immersive experience and something different from the jump scares of a traditional haunted house. I think experiencing it alone is definitely the way to go since having less people in the group heightened the attraction. Wear comfortable shoes and prepare to be pushed outside of your comfort zone!
Catharsis runs select nights through Oct. 30. Tickets are $24 for standard entry and $34 for the private experience. For more information or to make a reservation, visit fearcatharsis.com.
By Andy Haynes
Escape Goat, an all new escape room experience, is now open in Winter Garden, Fla. The Escape Goat (a play on the word ‘scapegoat’) follows the typical escape room style, locking players in a puzzle-filled room and giving them an hour to find their way out. Attendees are also encouraged to try and complete special achievements such as finishing a room under a certain time or not using any hints.
Family owned and operated, the attraction currently features two complete rooms with additional rooms planned for the future. Each room contains a variety of puzzle types ranging from math and word problems to complicated mazes and mechanical devices. Also present is an attendant who remains in character to provide hints and additional story elements.
The current room offerings, themed after Sherlock Holmes and a haunted summer camp, feature state of the art light and sound effects as well as practical effects such as moving walls and scenery. Their upcoming room, themed around Area 51, will feature props and scenery created by some of the designers and craftsmen who have previously worked on Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights.
To book a room at the Escape Goat or to find out more, visit their website at escapegoatroom.com
Guests at Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point can now experience “The Battle for Cedar Point,” an interactive, competitive gaming experience inside the new Cedar Point mobile app.
The free game allows guests to compete against each other in a fun new way as they walk through the park, wait for a ride or sit down to enjoy a meal.
Guests who choose to play The Battle for Cedar Point will first join one of five “clans” on the day of their visit – Valravn, GateKeeper, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster or Maverick. Each clan is signified by its own unique character avatar, along with a custom battle shield.
They will then “battle” against other guests inside the park that day as they earn points by scanning select ride signs, T-shirts and game symbols located throughout the park. Once scanned, these items will come to life on the guest’s Apple or Android mobile device, enabling them to see characters, animated signs and achievement symbols as they appear to co-exist with the real world. They can then share these interactive experiences on social media, encouraging others to join their clan.
In addition, players who ride the new Valravn dive coaster will have the opportunity to earn even more points by unlocking the “Secrets of Valravn” as they walk the queue line. Hidden clues are located along the path; the more secrets that are found, the more points players will achieve. Points can also be earned by answering park trivia questions inside the game.
Throughout the day, guests can scan park maps located throughout the park to see which clan is leading the battle. They also have the opportunity to purchase their chosen clan’s souvenir pin, located at select gift shops, once they reach a specific point level. Guests in the clan claiming victory at the end of the day can purchase an additional “victory pin,” signifying that they reigned supreme from the day’s battle. A special T-shirt is also available for purchase. When scanned inside the game, the front of the T-shirt will appear to transform, adding even more points to the selected clan’s total.
The victor of the day’s crusade will be revealed nightly at the park’s Luminosity show. The Battle for Cedar Point will reset each operating day.
“Cedar Point is once again redefining what the guest experience is like. The Battle for Cedar Point is interactive, it’s immersive and most importantly, it’s just plain fun,” said Jason McClure, Cedar Point’s vice president and general manager. “Guests have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional day at the park, or, they can take their visit to the next level by playing the game in our new mobile app. It adds a unique twist to their summer visit.”
The Battle for Cedar Point is now available inside the new Cedar Point mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
An all new Shanghai Disney Resort gallery is now open in the China pavilion at Epcot. At the gallery, guests can view artwork, props and more from the recently opened Shanghai Disney Resort. [Read more…]
The Shanghai Disney Resort has officially celebrated its grand opening. [Read more…]
A tragedy occurred on Tuesday evening at Walt Disney World when, while playing in the water near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, a two-year-old boy was reportedly grabbed and dragged into the water by a large alligator. [Read more…]