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Freak show brings freaks to Tucson

EVAN CARAVELLI/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Pearry Teo and his partner Mike Peterson of Disinterred Productions put final touches on some of the grisly details for the Halloween freak show that will open tomorrow.
By Georgeanne Barrett
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 22, 2004
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A man with fish scales and decomposing Siamese twins are a few of the gruesome characters UA students will portray for a Halloween freak show downtown tomorrow.

Disinterred Productions, a local production company, will bring Hollywood-style makeup and effects to a local theater to create a freak show modeled after a 1920s carnival for the next two weekends.

Pearry Teo and his partner Mike Peterson of Disinterred Productions have brought their knowledge of Hollywood-style effects to create a gory, scary and realistic freak show.

"The freak show recreates the rules of a haunted house," Teo said. "For this freak show to be truly scary we needed a form of realism."

Teo, who is in charge of the show, said actors will wear gruesome realistic costumes and masks that took months to create. He said the masks were created from molds of the actor's faces, so they move with the actor's face to make the "monsters" look as real as possible.

"This is being done because we love doing it, and we love people enjoying it," Teo said.

Shanna Brock, a history senior, will perform in the freak show's secret gory final act. She said though she has never done any work for something like this before, she has worked with Teo and Peterson before and is excited to be involved in the freak show.

"I am excited about the show because it will be graphic and grotesque," Brock said. "Also, it is wonderful to work with very talented people."

Brock said she is excited about the show because it is the first freak show she knows of that has been in Tucson.

"I think it's great, we don't always get the coolest things in Tucson," Brock said. "This is going to be pretty gruesome."

A ringmaster named Artimus will lead the freak show, and some of the acts are a fishman, a one-armed child playing with a jack-in-the-box and a pair of Siamese twins, one of which is dead and decomposing.

There will also be a house of oddities that includes, among other things, preserved dead animals, Teo said.

The freak show will also feature a "Living Hell," an exhibit which Peterson said is more like a traditional haunted house, and of course, all the acts will have excessive blood and gore to add to the scary, freakish effect, Teo said.

Teo said harsh lighting will add to the dramatic mood of the freak show, and carnival food, tarot card readers and palm readers will also be at the freak show to make it as much like a real carnival as possible.

"All of the exhibits require heavy prosthetic makeup," said Peterson, who has done effects for movies like "Van Helsing," "The Passion of the Christ" and "Hannibal." "People doing other haunted houses don't know the applications of these effects."

Peterson said he is grooming UA theater and media arts students to do these kinds of special effects and makeup.

Gabriel Moreno, an education senior, is also a performer in the freak show. Moreno will be playing the part of "fishman," a half human half fish creature.

Moreno, who sings in a local band, said he got involved in the freak show when a friend saw him singing with his face painted like a clown, and recruited him for the show.

"My only previous experience in performance has been with music," Moreno said. "I am totally jazzed about the show and the throwback to the early 20th century. It will be fun times for Halloween."

The freak show debuts tomorrow at The Muse, 516 N. 5th Ave., at approximately 6:30 p.m., or sundown.

There will be a second show Saturday night and two more shows Oct. 29 and 30. Teo and Peterson said there could be a possible encore show Halloween night.

Admission for the freak show is $5, and the show's Web site is

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