By Robert St. Martin
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 9/16/23 – Friday night in downtown Los Angeles at the famous old movie palace The Los Angeles Theatre, was the opening of an hour-long piece of immersive theatre – “Angel of Light,” produced by ODEON and Fever Productions. The Los Angeles Theatre, built in 1931 and in fine condition, is one of Los Angeles’ hidden treasures in the way of movie palaces. The theatre has been transformed to use of the more than 20 spaces in this huge theatre complex as an immersive performative experience. We entered into the spacious entry hall with its grand staircase and were greeted by a collection of odd characters played by actors and looked over by a set of ghoulish figures on a raised platform in the middle of the hall. We wandered through various spaces and narrow labyrinths peopled with some 60 actors dressed in ghoulish attire, often with bloody necks and outstretched fingers.
In the labyrinth, strange figures played by actors popped out of nowhere, calling on us in warning or uttering statements of the sort we have come to expect of occupants of an insane asylum. Emerging from these labyrinth passageways, we ended up in the former bar where a man and woman in 1930s formal dress were looking for each other and sometimes dancing. In an adjacent next room (near the classic old restrooms) was a mad actress preening in a mirror and another room supposedly that of a child – occupied by a leering 7-foot giant of a man and also a wandering dwarf. The restrooms themselves are another story. We enter a room occupied by the strange figure of a woman who seems to be a ghost and then observe a short film projected on the wall which tells her story – and ends with her being dragged away from a stage and a strange funeral ritual being performed in a candle-lit chapel by Orthodox priests. This seems to be a foreboding of what we will experience later.
We passed through some more labyrinthine corridors with plastic pillows buffeting us and happen upon a hanged man and more ghoulish creatures (played by actors). Down yet another staircase, we were ushered through a set of rooms that seemed like actors’ dressing rooms – full of strange people who laughed like lunatics in a madhouse and others appeared to be the living dead. Through more passages and up an exterior staircase, we entered and into a large hall that resembled a cemetery complete with gravestones and priests in cowls chanting. One strange Orthodox priest mumbles a warning about a woman named “Rota.”
Crashing sounds and bright white lights blind the audience and the stage is suddenly filled with some 16 other dancers who emerge on stage. The glamorous outfits of the dancers are ripped off to reveal minimal attire as their bodies writhe in an orgiastic dance as if possessed by a demonic force: the Angel of Light is perhaps Lucifer, but one is left to wonder about the meaning of this sudden transformation. After visiting the cemetery room, have we entered Heaven or Hell? The dancers are excellent and a surprising end to an amazing immersive experience in a theatre from the Golden Age theatre of movie palaces.
The imaginative minds behind this ethereal outing include ODEON, the immersive experience and technology group and Fever, the company’s collaborative partner. “Angel of Light” will serve as a real-life prequel to “Hex,” a 2025 film from Parma Pictures written by Chris Anastas, the co-creator of “Angel of Light.” Sound designer Mark Binder is a creative partner on both the immersive experience and the movie. “From our original recordings of late 20s and 30s music to the unique custom soundscape creation that spans over thirty rooms of audio, which includes notable Dolby Atmos experiences, audiences will delve into the chilling depths of horror and be immersed in a world that blurs the line between reality and nightmares,” Mark Binder, “Angel of Light” co-creator shared.
“The second guests step through the threshold of the theater, they will be fully transported back in time to relive the chilling tale of the ‘Angel of Light’ curse,” said Chris Anastas, fellow co-creator of “Angel of Light.” “Through a captivating fusion of technology and classic theater with live-actor interactions, our goal is to create a truly innovative, unforgettable immersive horror experience.”
This was opening night and the show runs through Halloween (Oct. 31) – Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Reserved time slots begin at 5:30 and roughly hourly until midnight. Tickets are $59.99. No children under 13.
Go to: feverup.com for tickets.