Gorey Stories

A musical entertainment adapted by Stephen Currens

Music by David Aldritch

Based on the work of Edward Gorey

Featuring a special encore mini-concert tribute to The Tiger Lillies

Directed by David M. Jenkins

Oct. 24 – Nov. 18, 2012

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $28

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

This show is dedicated to the memory of Rachel Lisi who loved both Jobsite and Edward Gorey.

Not so much of a return as a reboot, Jobsite revisits their wildly popular 2007 production that enjoyed a sold-out four-week run.

Gorey Stories is a compilation of stories, poems and limericks – a neo-gothic vision of the world as dark, mysterious, and yet simultaneously hilarious. In the mix are unusual creatures, curious landscapes, insanity, religious fanaticism, murder, catchy tunes and a deep appreciation for all of the arts.

A unique, odd, perverse and engaging entertainment. It is not an evening you are going to easily forget.

N.Y. Post

Not so much of a return as a reboot, Jobsite revisits their wildly popular 2007 production that enjoyed a sold-out four-week run.

Gorey Stories is a compilation of stories, poems and limericks – a neo-gothic vision of the world as dark, mysterious, and yet simultaneously hilarious. In the mix are unusual creatures, curious landscapes, insanity, religious fanaticism, murder, catchy tunes and a deep appreciation for all of the arts.

One of the many changes to Jobsite’s 2012 staging of the show is the addition of an encore mini-concert of songs from the album by The Tiger Lillies with Kronos Quartet, The Gorey End. Gorey shared a box of unpublished stories with The Tiger Lillies before his death that they turned into a concept album, and Jobsite will be staging songs such as “Gin,” “The Weeping Chandelier,” and “The Hipdeep Family.”

Other changes to the show from Jobsite’s 2007 production include new takes on the costumes, set, props and make-up along with the introduction of video projection and puppetry, new arrangements of the music with different instruments, and a cast of six now performing a show, which was originally done with a cast of nine.

“We had such a blast with this show the first time through, and even as successful as the show was, we all had ideas on how we could really take it to the next level if we had another crack at it,” offers director David M. Jenkins.

“Those who saw the show before will find plenty of new things to enjoy while falling in love with a favorite all over again, and those who missed out the first time are really going to be in for a treat. We’re really excited about the puppets and marionettes. I just saw the plans for a full-sized Osbick Bird marionette which has me feeling like a schoolboy. Also, we’re going to be able to do some really fun stuff with video and with making the cast and band much more interactive with one another this time. It’s a rare thing to get a second chance at a show like this. We can’t wait.”

Jobsite’s past Halloween blockbusters have included sold-out runs of Dracula, The Night of the Living Dead, The Pillowman and Mindgame.

Age recommendation

14+ Contains some adult subject matter and situations.

Jobsite believes the show to be suitable for most, though always recommends patrons do their research. The dark but playful material has the occasional bit of entendre and is certainly darkly sardonic, but the amusing results are suitable for those who already love Lemony Snicket or the worlds of Tim Burton.

About Edward Gorey

The late Edward Gorey (d. 2000) illustrated and wrote short stories, poems, prose and plays based in an eerie and macabre world full of odd characters (often children) that experience strange fates and mysterious demises. Among his best-known works are dark delights like The Gashleycrumb Tinies, The Hapless Child and the titillating tale The Curious Sofa. His illustrations resemble Victorian-era woodcut drawings with a bit of Goya, Aubrey Beardsley and Charles Addams thrown in for good measure. His illustrations were animated for the introduction to the PBS show Mystery!, and he provided production design for popular Broadway productions such as Dracula (for which he won a Tony for Best Costumes). He also illustrated T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the basis for the musical CATS.

Most are not aware that Gorey was ever responsible for a musical, and that’s due to the fact that it closed the same night it opened – Oct. 31, 1978. Around the turn of the century, the play found a second life in black-box theaters who have concentrated on the unique storytelling and the brilliant characters in a more intimate environment.

Katrina Stevenson and Jason Evans in Jobsite's Gorey Stories
(Clock. from top) Michael C. McGreevy, Jason Evans, Katrina Stevenson, Summer Bohnenkamp, Amy Gray and Spencer Meyers in Jobsite's Gorey Stories. (Photo by Pritchard Photography.)

Media

Previews

USF professor brings “Gorey Stories” to stage – USF Oracle

2007 Previews

The Gorey Makings of a Hit – St. Petersburg Times

Gorey Galore – Creative Loafing

It’s the Perfect Time of Year for a Gory Tale or Two – Bradenton Herald

3 Theaters Delight In Deathly Doings – Tampa Tribune

2007 Reviews

“True to the illustrator-author’s tongue-in-cheek humor, the vignettes depart from the innocent play of bygone gentility and turn toward the dark side. Nursery rhyme monsters, orphaned children and murderous adults collide in an energetic improvisation of the undead … Through spoken word, song and dance, the cast portrays willful carnage and debauchery with lively humor. They seem to revel in the chance to perform as unsupervised, naughty children in a Lord of the Flies underworld.” – Tampa Tribune
“By the end of the play, fans will find themselves caught up in the debauchery of Gorey’s stories, gleefully singing along and wishing there were more than 26 letters in the alphabet.” – The Oracle
“The production at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is amply amusing, full of Gorey’s dry wit and benignly disturbing characterizations. But by far the most striking elements are visual … The effect is ghastly, humorous and strangely beautiful. It’s a collision of Dr. Seuss, Charles Addams and Edvard Munch. Combine that look with Gorey’s morbid but jaunty stories, verse and songs, and you end up with a memorable theater experience.” – St. Peterburg Times
“It would be unfair to compare a local production to the Broadway version of the same play unless – as is the case here – the homegrown show holds its own. Part of the credit goes to the exceptional potency of the play, but major props are due to the Jobsite cast and crew.” – Tampa Tribune

Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director
  • Robert Jarosh – Music Director
  • Matthew Ray – Stage Manager

Cast

  • Summer Bohnenkamp – Mona
  • Jason Evans – Earbrass
  • Amy E. Gray – Ortensia
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Harold
  • Spencer Meyers – Hamish
  • Katrina Stevenson – Lady Cilia

Musicians

  • Jeff Temple – Percussion
  • Alan Thomas – Bass
  • Parker J. Wilkson – Piano

Crew

  • Amanda Bearss – Puppet Designer
  • Christen Hailey – Props Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer
  • Greg Newcomb – Poster Artist
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic & Lighting Designer

2007 Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director
  • Angela Lakin – Music Director
  • Jennifer Longmuir – Stage Manager

Cast

  • Summer Bohnenkamp – Mona
  • Jason Evans – Earbrass
  • Steve Garland – Jasper
  • Jaime Giangrande-Holcom – Ortensia
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Harold
  • Spencer Meyers – Hamish
  • Roz Potenza – Mary
  • Katrina Stevenson – Lady Celia
  • David Valdez – Henry

Musicians

  • Christina Chen – Cello
  • Angela Lakin – Piano
  • Zi Ning – Flute/Clarinet

Crew

  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scene/Light Design
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costume Design

Patron Reviews

2007 Patron Reviews

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