Sunday, June 7, 2009


OMFG! This play left me with a lump in my throat half way to the car. A standing ovation that lasted several minutes through a curtain call finished an incredible evening of entertainment. Powerful singing, terrific costumes, dancing, a great chorus, clever writing, comedy, tragedy ... I'm speechless.

I almost missed this ... a friend posted this link on his facebook, and it looked intriguing. I checked it out and decided I really wanted to see it. But I slept late today (can't still be a Florida hangover, can it?) and left late for the Gatineau, where I had planned to try some mild hiking with photography. Something simple turned into a few extra stops in the park at the lookouts and I left there quite late in the evening.

I tried right after I got home to get hold of a friend to see if she wanted to see it as well but no answer (million to one shot late on a Saturday anyway); then TicketMaster stopped showing tickets .... I called and they left me on hold until 8:20, after which I hung up. Moment of truth .... I decided to go without a ticket.

Zoom zoom zoom .... I managed to avoid a ticket as I jetted down the 416 and then the 417 and got there with about 10 minutes to spare -- aided no doubt by the magic of Steve Earle's CDs Copperhead Road and Jerusalem. Picked up my ticket, popped into the Studio Theater and managed to score the lone open front row seat at stage left, one of two closest seats to the stage, along with it's partner at stage right. The silver lining to going alone I suppose :-)

That closeness allowed me an unusually intimate experience, where the main narrator stood 6 to 8 feet from me for the first several minutes and thereafter different speakers / singers stood that close. At times they used a slash of light at 45 degrees across the stage and pointed directly at me, with Edgar walking that line looking straight through me. Eerie ... yet exciting ...

The play was two hours including a short intermission. They chronicle Edgar Allan Poe's entire life from birth to death and if this is even remotely accurate, the poor bastard. Constant, unrelenting mental torture and sadness. Everyone he loves seems to die. No wonder he was so attuned to the macabre.

I left the parking area with Alan Parson's Tales of Mystery and Imagination blasting (those who have been in my car know what that means :-) out of open windows. What a treat ... reliving Poe's life through the play and then his work through one of my favorite albums of all time ...

Sadly, the play has finished its run at the Magnetic North Theater Festival, but if you get a chance to see it, do not miss it! This was commissioned for Magnetic North and put on by the Catalyst Theater from Edmonton.

Did I mention that you should not miss it?

Update: Dana wrote me that the play will be in Toronto on June 11 through 13. Go!

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