Nevermore OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 25, 2015
    Closing:
    March 29, 2015

    Theater: New World Stages / 340 West 50th Street, New York, NY, 10019

    Synopsis: 

    Beautiful and bizarre, playful and perverse, Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe is a whimsical and chilling musical play about the enigmatic writer who has fascinated the world for more than a century. With haunting music, poetic storytelling, and stunning stagecraft, Nevermore blurs the line between fact and fiction, nightmare and waking life. Equally engaging for fans of Poe and for those who know little about him, Nevermore is a unique theatrical experience that takes audiences on an unforgettable journey.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Nevermore

    Deep Into That Darkness Peering

    Alexis Soloski

    January 26, 2015: Exquisitely stylish and excessively bleak, the new musical Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe, at New World Stages, takes the sad facts of Poe’s life and makes them gloomier still. Written and directed by Jonathan Christenson, artistic director of Catalyst Theater from Canada, it opens with Poe (Scott Shpeley) on a steamer bound for New York City just days before his death. His fellow shipmates are a troupe of traveling players, who politely offer to perform his biography, from his father’s abandonment to his mother’s tubercular death to his foster mother’s demise to his fiancée’s jilting — and that’s only the first act. “What a tragic life,” I heard a man say to his companion at intermission. “And it gets worse.” It does. As the lead player announces in the first song’s first lines, this is a tale “of mystery and horror/And of unrelenting woe.” Just when things seem to be going all right for young Edgar, someone coughs up blood, or someone else goes insane, and there he is, wretched again. The bare truth of Poe’s haphazard life and early death would seem sufficiently horrible. Mr. Christenson renders it that much worse. (Though, for decorum’s sake, even he leaves out a couple of the most unsavory details, like the age of Poe’s cousin Virginia, just 13 when he married her.) Into the historical record, he weaves origin stories for Poe’s tales and poems — most of the famous ones, as well as a few obscurities. So a ticking clock inspires “The Pit and the Pendulum,” a once beloved pet becomes the horror of “The Black Cat,” his foster mother’s dottiness calls forth “The Imp of the Perverse.” There’s plenty of puppetry, all of it terrifying.

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