By Matt Harris
Just in time for the holiday season, Gary Peterson’s “Supernatural Dark Christmas Show” at the Encore Theatre on the border of Sun Valley and North Hollywood is a dazzling display of illusions, magic, and spooky fun for both older children and adults. From the moment the theatre darkens, audiences are treated to a fantastic light show, great music, and awesome choreography from the ghouls and vampiresses that compliment Gary’s assortment of fiendish personas. His illusions are completely mesmerizing. These are not just ordinary elves appearing and disappearing from the Doll House Illusion. You may even get bitten under the mistletoe by these mischievous sprites.
The stage design surrounds the audience with vintage posters, candelabra, and a vast assortment of mad scientist laboratory equipment. Gary and his assistants seem to be in a constant state of movement – with ample costume changes, unexpected musical cues, and large, custom-made stage props spinning and swirling around the stage in a hypnotic pace.
One really fun aspect of the performance is watching Gary’s personality and rapport with the audience. He has a genuine knack for balancing the tongue-in-cheek sinister side of his stunts with a heartfelt warmth that wins over the audience. This allows everyone to get a true sense of his passion for magic.
The show does have its evil, gory elements. Some of the stunts are definitely scary and intense, especially for small children. Overall, the show is very entertaining. Gary’s talents and skills at making bodies levitate, disappear, and then suddenly reappear are quite impressive. You’ll be asking yourself multiple times “How did he do that?” ‘Tis the season to be astounded!
“Supernatural” is a great way to describe many of Gary’s favorite things, aliens, ancient civilizations, and mysteries of the unexplained.
“Adding Dark Xmas to our Supernatural theme gives us a chance to play with the characters we know and love, vampires, ghosts, spirits, and sprites while adding Xmas elves, magical gifts, and mistletoe!” says Peterson. “The response to our Halloween show was phenomenal. This time around there are new illusion additions, new costumes, and new dance numbers to keep things fresh and to get into the Xmas spirit.”
Gary Peterson’s “Supernatural Dark Christmas Show” will be performed on Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, & 29. On the Saturday dates shows are at 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. For the Sunday dates there is one show at 3 p.m. For tickets, visit encoretheater.com. The Encore Theatre is located at 8818 Lankershim Blvd. in Sun Valley.