Execution at the Wonderland Theater – Cages Returns to Downtown


Transport yourself to another world. But don’t dare get too happy about it. Cages Returns to the Arts District’s Woolf and the Wonderland Theater. 

That’s because Cages’ immersive theater performance exist in the land of Anhedonia where emotions are forbidden and showing any type of passion ends with your public execution.

CJ Baran and Benjamin Romans, creators of Cages, once told DTLA Weekly they wanted to offer something new for people who do not typically attend musicals, and they have overly accomplished their like minded mission. 

Sign up to receive our popular Get2DTLA Newsletter!

“We made a musical inspired by the music we listen to, not limiting ourselves to traditional arrangement, vocal style, choreography, or the restraints of physical set design. We wanted to dress it as peculiar as the fashion we love and apply the magic of movies to the live stage.” 

As equally wonderful, the cast and crew  work through choreography to enhance the story line using groundbreaking illusions and environmental storytelling. Moving in unison within layers of projections that play tricks on the eye, often times commanding the powers of invisibility and allowing the cast member to disappear before your very eyes.

Intermission holds a place very dear to our caged hearts, where mixologist blend concoctions of LOVE: VULNERABLE + BLIND TO CONSEQUENCE, LUST: TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN and ANGER: YOUR DARKEST DEMON. 

Our team wasted no time and took a few whisky neats to get the blood flowing.  

Mixing and mingling within the Wonderland Theater are all the characters portraying the epitome of emptiness, lending to the atmosphere and creative set design as we relished in the monotone interiors and stares from fiendish faces. 

As newcomers we felt compelled to express a bit of glee while asking a silly question to one of the masked watchmen. Instead of answering the youth hurried us into a place where dead trees lent shadow to a young fair maiden. 

Drenched in dark drab she stood almost motionless holding one very sharp iron arrow in one hand and a dingy cloth in the other. As we neared closer to see what she would tell us, she directed our attentions to the cloth, which after closer examination revealed itself to be 

heavily spotted with blood. 

As she slowly continued wiping at the arrow’s tip, while keeping her cold dark eyes on us, instead of a warm welcome, we felt shriek of fear down the back of our spines.

Okay, let’s not talk then…. Intermission is over and it’s time to rejoin the execution… uh we mean the show. 

CAGES is groundbreaking in the development of the art of theater. Using every aspect of modern technology and musicality CAGES  shines a light on the human soul in its everlasting search for love and to be free.

Venue: Woolf and the Wondershow Theatre, 1926 E. 7th Place, Los Angeles, CA 90012. www.cagesdtla.com

Author: Keri Freeman

Military mom and proud parent, artist, writer, musician and film maker. Cocktail connoisseur. Publisher of DTLA Weekly.