Cabaret Poe is a macabre delight that has become an annual tradition for Indy theatergoers. For the first time it has moved from its Irvington home to Theater on the Square on Mass Ave and has a more elaborate set. This was my first time seeing the show, so I can't compare it to previous productions, but I can say the current version is a must see.
The entire original musical was created by Ben Asaykwee, and uses Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry and infamous short stories to create a collective work perfectly suited for October. At times the cast performs a scene, at others they recite poetry. There's a wonderful balance of variety. There's also live music on the stage enhancing every scene.
Each performance features a cast of three people, but Asaykwee is the only actor featured in every show. The remaining two parts rotate between four women. The performance I saw featured Jaddy Ciucci and Renae Stone. Asaykwee could bring on a chill or a laugh with a single raised eyebrow. This is his show in every sense of the word and he brings the whole thing alive.
I'm a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, so I was looking forward to seeing what pieces would be incorporated into the production. Each one was instantly recognizable, The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and so many more. The costumes are gothic steampunk creations, intentionally tattered and coming apart at the seams. They give the entire show a ghoulish atmosphere of things about to unravel.
One element that completely surprised me was the humor woven throughout the show. The cast provides sarcastic commentary, breaking the fourth wall in the opening sequence. Poe’s work is packed with dark subject matter, and while the musical keeps the creepy level high as one would hope, the cast infuses humor throughout.
The show is a complete delight. It’s not too dark for the faint of heart, but just right for a Halloween treat.
Don't Miss the Show
Performances: The Q Artistry play runs until Oct. 31 on the Christel DeHaan Main Stage, 627 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis.
Photos Courtesy of Q Artistry