Dueling "After Dark" Productions

Here is an interesting development: There will be two "After Dark" productions this Halloween season featuring live performances of works by Edgar Alan Poe. One is Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey, which will be appearing at the Portico Art Space instead of their usual location, the Huntington Gardens in Sierra Madre. The other is Huntington After Dark, which seems to be Huntington Gardens' attempt to do their own version of Drama After Dark.

Drama After Dark has been an annual event at Huntington Gardens for many years, but (as reported earlier) the venue decided "to present a different format" for its centennial anniversary. Like Drama After Dark, the new Huntington After Dark will include readings of Poe's stories in various indoor and outdoor locations, but instead of stories by Edward Gorey, Huntington After Dark will include operatic excerpts and scenes from Shakespeare.

Huntington Gardens is presenting Huntington After Dark as if it were a rebranding of Drama After Dark, calling their event "a perennial favorite...with a new name." There is considerable overlap in the programming,* and two or three members/former members of Drama After Dark's stock company will perform. However, Drama After Dark is not involved.

Huntington After Dark takes place on October 26, starting at 6:30pm. In addition to tales by Poe, the event will include "Tombs, Brooms and Tunes" performed by members of LA Opera and excerpts from Richard IIIRomeo and JulietHamlet, and Macbeth performed by the Independent Shakespeare Company. Get more information here.

Drama After Dark takes place on Saturday, November 2, from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. This year, there will be only one set of "Gorey Stories" (instead of the usual three) plus the all their usual Poe performances. Ticket prices have not been announced. Follow their Facebook page for updates.

What this means for the future is an open question. Huntington After Dark could be a one-off event. Drama After Dark hopes to return to Huntington Gardens next October. Time will tell.

Top of page: the mausoleum of Henry and Arabella Huntington at Huntington Gardens.

Footnote:

  • Both events will include "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Cask of Amontillado," "The Fall of the House of Usher," and "The Black Cat."

Steve Biodrowski, Administrator

A graduate of USC film school, Steve Biodrowski has worked as a film critic, journalist, and editor at Movieline, Premiere, Le Cinephage, The Dark Side., Cinefantastique magazine, Fandom.com, and Cinescape Online. He is currently Managing Editor of Cinefantastique Online and owner-operator of Hollywood Gothique.