Wicked Lit: A Cemetery Plays the Stage

Atmospheric October-y plays return to Mountain View Cemetery and Mausoleum.

Cemeteries and graveyards have long been settings for drama moments. The churchyard and skull of Yorick from "Hamlet" is one oft-cited example, but any fictional moment requiring a bit of dread, moonlight, and a few webs -- either of the intrigue or spidery sort -- tends to find its way to a clutch of tombstones.

But those tombstones are often made of foam and the churchyard gates of plywood when a cemetery scene is set on stage. One prominent exception to this is Wicked Lit, the annual October play series which is actually staged in -- wait for it -- a real cemetery.

And mausoleum. The Mountain View Mausoleum, to be exact, which you may know to be in Altadena. It is quite atmospheric and beautiful, and thus makes a memorable arena for the classics that the Unbound Productions players land upon every year.

This year's choices include "The New Catacomb" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "The Lurking Fear" from H.P. Lovecraft, and The Masque of the Red Death Experience. Intriguing. The company takes on the adaptations, deftly weaving in the elegant and appropriate setting into the scenes.

Which means that sometimes, as an audience member, you're standing outside, under the stars and on dewy ground. Some moments move indoors. In short? This is not a static, sit-back production.

All of this rich and baroque play-experiencing happens, on select nights, through Saturday, Nov. 2. Bring a wrap, both for the night chill and the chill.

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