The staging is simple. There are multi-media screens that fill with sinister silhouettes or scribbles of writing in different scenes. A raised stage in the center works to enhance numbers as the actors strut up and down the stairs in heels and bustles.
Ben Asaykwee, the show's creator, stars in each performance, while the other two roles rotate between four cast members. Julie Lyn Barber and Georgeanna Smith Wade were featured in the show I attended. Asaykwee, as always, is charismatic and creepy in equal parts. His scenes are enthralling, you can't look away for fear of missing a perfectly-timed raised eyebrow.
Smith Wade brings a wonderful tone of humor to her role. In her hands even The Raven feels fresh. Barber balances the show with an intense cold stare and eerie movements. She's particularly good in The Tell-Tale Heart. A live orchestra, located just off stage, performs the original music and provides a depth that piped in songs just can't capture. A dance sequence in the second act unnecessarily slows things down, but that's the only moment when the show lags.
Highlighting both the light and dark in Poe's work, the show embraces humor, which is essential in making it work. Truly, the show is a delight and an absolute essential tradition for theatre-goers in the fall.Don't Miss the ShowPerformances: The Q Artistry play runs until Oct. 29 on the fourth floor of the Circle Center Mall.
Tickets: Tickets are $15-20 and may be purchased here brownpapertickets.com/event/3089069.
Photos Courtesy of Q Artistry