Cabinet of Curiosity Presents THE CABINET Theatre Review – Sounds of Horror

Cabinet of Curiosity Presents THE CABINET

Cabinet of Curiosity Brings Classic Story To Life Through Sound

We hear the crazed talk of asylum patients and the excited babble of a carnival crowd…
Calming sounds of birdsong…
Nauseating squelches of murderous stabbings…
And, the creaking noises of a cabinet door…

For 46 minutes, we feel as if we’re right in the middle of the action.

Cabinet of Curiosity Presents THE CABINET

This is The Cabinet, the inaugural performance from Cabinet of Curiosity’s new department, Phonophobia, bringing an adaptation of a classic 1920s horror film to our ears and imagination. In this story, a sleepwalker (somnambulist) is compelled to commit multiple murders by a mad scientist, Dr. Caligari, who controls his patient with hypnosis.

We, like Cesare, whom Dr. Caligari manipulates to do his evil bidding, dangle in a state of confusion that hangs over the entire show. Cesare only tells us what he vaguely knows and understands about his condition. He wanders amongst the muffled voices of the awakened, as he explains it, in a perpetual slumber and nightmare. We are left questioning—Is this reality, or is it a dream state?

We are there as Dr. Caligari’s experiments confirm that someone as vulnerable as Cesare is easily manipulated.. Once Caligari harnesses Cesare’s true power and uses it to his own ends, we’re engulfed in an eerie soundtrack: frightened screams, wavering voices, footsteps on cobblestone, and crows cawing. In this writer’s view, this radio play version of the silent film is gripping. Like this writer, those interested in adaptations of classic pieces will likely thoroughly enjoy listening to The Cabinet. Anyone who enjoys thrilling, eerie psychological horror stories should not hesitate to tune in to Phonophobia’s first production.

Cabinet of Curiosity Presents THE CABINET
Cabinet of Curiosity Presents THE CABINET


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Colm Reilly (Cesare)
HB Ward (Dr. Caligari)
David Stobbe (Male Lover)
Lindsey Noel Whiting (Female Love Interest)
Diana Slickman (Mother and other roles)
Samuel Taylor (Ward and other roles)

Creative Team

Directors: Frank Maugeri, Mickle Maher, and Mark Messing
Writer: Mickle Maher
Sound Designer and Composer: Mark Messing


Through May 22nd




Access provided for 24 hours after purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit the Cabinet of Curiosity website.

Note: An excerpt of this review appears in Theatre in Chicago.

Images courtesy of Cabinet of Curiosity, of the original production based on the 2005 Red Moon Theater adaptation. 

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