It’s back. It was 15 years ago when area residents last saw it in an old barn.

Now, with ghosts and goblins multiplying everywhere in our quiet towns, it’s ready to reappear in a darkened Lewiston school auditorium Oct. 29-30.

“Dark Tales” is billed as Halloween vaudeville for the whole family. It’s filled with skits, comedy, magic, illusion, imaginative characters, nightmares and ghosts.

It was nearly 20 years ago that “Dark Tales” emerged from Leland Faulkner’s mind and took form at Celebration Barn Theatre in South Paris. He and his talented theater company are reviving three Halloween weekend performances of the show at Lewiston Middle School auditorium.

“It’s greatly expanded,” Faulkner said. “There’s a lot of new magic and special effects.” He said families looking for an alternative to trick-or-treating will find that this show is just the ticket.

But, be warned.

There are ghosts, and you’ll not only see them you will hear and feel them, Faulkner said. The show is fine for elementary schoolchildren who understand it can be fun to be spooked. Younger children might find it’s too scary.

Faulkner owned Celebration Barn Theatre in 1986 when he wrote and produced the first “Dark Tales.” He presented it over the next four years to appreciative audiences, but it hasn’t been seen in this area since then.

The popular Oxford Hills theater was well known for the work of famed mime and juggler Tony Montanaro, and “Dark Tales” draws upon that tradition.

“Everything is done with tongue in cheek,” Faulkner said. “This is an amazing production that will make you giggle, laugh, scream, think and check under your bed.”

Faulkner and Company is a world-class theater company starring Leland Faulkner, Michael Trautman, Karen Hurll Montanaro, Emil Lamprecht, Amanda Huotari, Karen Pulkkinen, and Nika Faulkner. Besides their work, this production of “Dark Tales” features accompaniment by acclaimed ragtime pianist Glenn Jenks.

I have a great cast for “Dark Tales,” Faulkner said. “Karen Hurll Montanaro, Tony Montanaro’s widow, is a great performer in every way. She has been a prima ballerina with Portland Ballet.”

Trautman is a former lead clown with the Big Apple Circus and Lamprecht, now in his mid-teens, was Tony Montanaro’s youngest juggling student a few years ago.

Huotari, a regular with the Odd Company at the Oddfellow Theater in Buckfield, “is our psychic,” Faulkner said, noting: “We’ll have a 1940s-style seance and conjure up some ghosts.”

Lighting is by Marc Rubenstein and the set and stage design are by Michael Luphardo.

Faulkner said he took “Dark Tales” with him to Santa Barbara, Calif., a few years ago when he went there to study at Brooks Institute. He received a degree in motion picture studies and he also presented “Dark Tales” at Centerstage Theatre in Santa Barbara in 1998.

His visually rich animated film, “The Sky God’s Dance,” has been seen at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, The One Reel Festival in Seattle and others.

Faulkner’s work in California led to making a short film, “Mort and the Stiffs,” which will be part of the Lewiston shows.

Theater tours in recent years had Faulkner appearing at Arts Carnival 2000 in Hong Kong, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Center in California and the Equitable Center in New York City. In 2003, he did an extended tour of Japan for the Kageboushi Theatre Company.

The cost of tickets is $10 general admission or one pint of blood. “Dark Tales” is co-sponsored by the American Red Cross and blood donors get a free ticket. Tickets were given at a Red Cross blood drive at the Auburn Mall on Oct. 21. Anyone who missed that drive can call the blood services at 1-800-482-0743 for an appointment and a ticket.

To purchase a ticket in advance, call 761-4598 on go online to www.lelandfaulkner.com.

“Dark Tales” will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Lewiston Middle School, 75 Central Ave., Lewiston.



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