For my money, gothic horror — which blends elements of romance, emotion and terror together — is the most subtle and rewarding kind of scary story. Over the years, authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and Shirley Jackson have all turned in masterpieces in the genre, and these are the kinds of stories Victorian Horrors brings to life at the Molly Brown House Museum.
And while COVID-19 has changed how the 27th annual event will look, it isn’t stopping actors and storytellers from bringing the best examples of the form to life at the museum. And audience’s homes.
“We’re not trying to create a haunted house experience. It’s about great stories that we combine with wonderful actors and turn into performance art that people get to experience in this great house,” said Andrea Malcomb, Molly Brown House Museum director. “We know that two things make the event successful - being in this fantastic house, and our amazing actors.”
This year’s Victorian Horrors at the museum, 1340 Pennsylvania St. in Denver, will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 and 29, and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 30. There are two options for guests: they can visit the museum and take an audio tour inspired by creepy radio broadcasts of the past and see a livestreamed transmission from an actor. When they get home, they will have access to six actor-performed stories filmed at the museum. Or guests can just purchase the six films to watch at home. Advance ticket purchase is required for the in-person option, and masks must always be worn while at the museum.
Stories this year include “The invisible Man,” “Frankenstein” and “La Llorona” - a traditional Spanish tale that will be presented in both Spanish and English.
“Performers are so grateful that the Molly Brown museum was on board with trying something different to keep this event going,” said Julie Payne, an actor who has been a part of the performances since its inception. “Everybody who performed last year was able to come on board and was willing and excited to try doing it this way. It was really fun to go in there and make the videos.”
Those who decide to visit the museum will be treated to an atmosphere that is authentically eerie, thanks to a partnership with Denver oddity dealers The Learned Lemur and Atomic Folk Art. The result is a candle-lit house featuring all manner of creepy decoration and touches that will absolutely add to its mystique.
“We’ve decorated the house to go with audio experience and support the stories we’re telling at the same time,” Malcomb said. “We also like people to understand the origins of Halloween, so the decorations they see make sense.”
Whichever way people decide to experience the horrors, it will be steeped in top-notch seasonal ambiance. And they’ll have the opportunity to see some of the metro-area’s best actors do work designed to heighten that unsettled feeling.
“It’s one of most unique and rewarding performance experiences an actor can have,” Payne said. “It’s much different than being on the stage - it’s environmental theatre.”
Call 303-832-4092, ext. 16 for tickets or visit www.mollybrown.org.
Miners Alley hosts Virtual Variety Fundraiser
Golden’s Miners Alley Playhouse is presenting Live from Miners Alley Playhouse: A Virtual Variety Fundraiser at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30.
Hosted by Len Matheo, executive and artistic director, and Lisa DeCaro, board president, the event will feature live and recorded entertainment from previous performances like “Once” and “Cabaret.” Viewers can also expect guest appearances from Broadway to Hollywood, improv comedy from Scriptprov and an online auction. Plus, there will be specially-curated meals available from local restaurants Bella Colibri and Mannie and Bo’s.
Get your tickets at minersalley.com/get-involved/virtual-variety-fundraiser/.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - 14th annual GO Gala
This year’s 14th annual GO Gala - which supports the GO Campaign and its efforts to ensure children have access to as many opportunities as possible - will be virtually held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Hosted by Lily Collins, Ewan McGregor, and Robert Pattinson, the evening will feature performances from HAIM, Judith Hill, McGregor and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as well as David Foster and Katharine McPhee. It is free to stream, but tickets can be reserved and donations made at www.GoGala2020.org.
Streaming style - ‘Eli Roth’s History of Horror’
October is the quintessential time to delve into horror films, and for those of us who love the genre, “Eli Roth’s History of Horror” explores the themes and history of the often-misunderstood film category.
Each episode focuses on a theme — everything from ghosts and monsters to haunted houses and slasher flicks — and Roth lines up filmmakers and experts to chat about the movies. The result is fascinating and might even give you some new films to check out.
The first season is available on demand and season two airs on Saturday nights on AMC.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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