Edgar Allan Poe: The Musical

Edgar Allan Poe: The Musical

Once upon a weekend dreary, while I typed, all warm and cheery
Sitting inside behind my computer, thinking of the night before.
I traversed to New World Stages, hadn’t been there for what felt like ages,
To see a show I heard about, about a writer I adore.
“It’s about Edgar Allan Poe,” I mused. “Whose stories I adore;
     Like The Raven.” Nevermore.

The show depicts the life of Poe, and his mysterious death from long ago.
Though not everything was what it seemed (one theme at the show’s core).
A group of players confront Poe - about his mom - he wants to know
More about her because she left - left, but not by way of the door.
Edgar Poe’s mom (an actress) had tuberculosis, of which there was no cure.
    A recurring plague that would affect more.

Little Edgar grew up alone; his brother and sister at other homes.
This pushed the future writer to make his life into something more.
It wasn’t easy for little Edgar, practically becoming a beggar
Asking for money from Jock Allen. Jock Allen, who owned a store.
(He technically was a merchant, but I needed something to rhyme with “more”)
    But anyway, back to Nevermore

The show tracks Poe’s life from child to author. He never did become a father,
Though he left behind a legacy that no one can ignore.
His poems and stories are legendary, not for the fainthearted or the wary.
In truth some scenes were really scary - scary but not because of gore.
There were giant monstrous creatures that rocked me to my very core.
    Not just ravens. Something… more.

The production felt Tim Burton-esque. Dark and macabre; slightly grotesque.
I mean that as a compliment. High praise, I assure.
The costumes were largely black and white. Perfect contrast of day and night.
They were… exaggerations - exaggerations of haute couture.
Stripes and straps and hats and boots moving across the theater’s floor.
   Could be called “Funeral” by Dior.

The small ensemble was committed to their roles that seemed fitted
Perfectly to their strengths (as many of them had done this show before).
Scott Shpeley played Edgar Poe as the wide-eyed youth that we watched grow
Into the wide-eyed writer - writer of stories woven into our lore.
His vulnerability was endearing, especially in those scenes with his amor.
  Her name was Elmira, and not Lenore.

The set was sparsely decorated; some see-through panels acted as gated
Means for the actors to enter and exit scenes through the oft open sliding door.
The music was quite captivating, the notes and lyrics left me waiting,
To find out what would happen next - next in the book and score.
My favorite moment, not surprising, was when they sang “Nevermore.”
  A beloved poem, forevermore.

Nevermore’s at New World Stages, an Off-Broadway musical for the ages.
(But not all ages, as you need to be at least twelve to get in the door.)
Nightmare Before Christmas fans should love it - same with fans of Mrs. Lovett
There’s no meat pies, but there is a heart - a heart beating beneath the floor.
Okay, there’s no floor-heart, but there is plenty of heart at this production’s core.
  Intrigued? Then check out Nevermore.

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