Fantastic Fest is upon us, a time when the whole city explodes into a mess of zombies, serial killers, and sweaty horror fans, making their way to this film festival, the biggest of its kind in the entire region. You may be asking me, “but Ryan, you’re a theater critic, why are you telling us about a film festival?” I’m glad you asked, hypothetical person. Fantastic Fest is not just for movie fans, but also has plenty to offer for fans of the stage as well, and over the course of the next few articles I’ll be showing you a number of fantastic shows that theatre fans are sure to love.
Nevermore…A Night with Edgar Allan Poe
Stuart Gordon may not be a well known name in the theatrical world, but anyone who’s ever wandered through the horror section of the video store will know his name quite well. He is the mad genius beside such cult classics as From Beyond, Dagon, and his most famous work, The Re-Animator, and he also come to the attention of many with his fine works on the show Masters of Horror. The director has made a career with clever homages to past masters. He has shown in recent years an admirable for poet and short story author Edgar Allen Poe, and it’s from this love that the idea for his latest project has sprung, a one-man show called Nevermore…A Night with Edgar Allan Poe.
Gordon’s constant collaborator Dennis Paoli wrote this play using the collected diaries, articles, and monologues of the famed horror writer, creating an intimate experience that’s said to be so authentic, you’ll think you’re right in Poe’s living room, listening to him recount the story of his life. Taking on the role of this writer is Jeffrey Combs, who is most famous for his lead performance as Herbert West in the Re-Animator and its sequels, as well as his recurring roles in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the 4400. He previously gave an amazing performance in Stuart and Paoli’s entry into the Masters of Horror series, “The Black Cat”, in which he played a tortured Edgar Allan Poe, in search of inspiration for his next great story, and finding it in his lover’s devious feline. Having played the literary genius once already, he’s more than qualified to take the main spot in this production, which should make for an intriguing night of theater for Fantastic Fest audiences.
When it first premiered last year in Los Angeles, it was met with massive critical love, being called “a must-see for anyone interested in tales of horror or the supernatural” by metromix, as well as being hailed by LA Weekly, who said “GO …a gorgeous rendition of a tragic clown whose heart has been cleaved open by loss and regret… beautifully directed by Stuart Gordon”. After the rave reviews in LA, they made their way around the country, wowing audience after audience, before finally making their way to the Alamo Drafthouse stage, where they will surely put on a show to remember.
Those lucky enough to get their hands on Fantastic Fest badges can catch the show Wednesday, September 29th at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Those who weren’t able to find passes, but still want to enjoy Stuart Gordon’s masterpiece, can always make your way out to any of the performances on September 30th and October 1st. No matter what day you choose, you’ll find yourself in the midst of what just might be one of the most memorable theatrical performances of the year.