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Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

  • Theater, Drama
  • 2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Nevermore: Theater review by Helen Shaw

Ravens are notoriously smart birds. They use tools, they play tricks on foxes and solve some laboratory tasks faster than chimpanzees. They also—this may be their crowning achievement—refrain from making musicals about the life of Edgar Allan Poe. Sadly, humans (such as writer-director Jonathan Christensen) cannot say the same. Yet the temptation, I understand, is intense…

On a Thursday, dark and snowy, I was fighting snores most showy

Listening to repetitive notes of four.

Weird this musical e'er existed, rhymed in quatrains, so hamfisted—

Really, syntax was ne'er so twisted:

Thus the dreadful Nevermore.

Oh, the costumes nouveau cirque; steampunk, black, quite lovely work.

Hail Bretta Gerecke, bring that designer to the fore.

And actors, boasting Weimar pallor, moving on the stage so shallow,

The lights as dim as candle-tallow:

These the strengths of Nevermore.

But the dull singsong incanting, Christensen's tunes all disenchanting,

And nowhere Poe! Only new words— thousands of 'em, all a bore.

Story-theater (hence narration) gives the show no real foundation,

We find ourselves sans concentration,

And plan to go there—Nevermore.

New World Stages (see Off Broadway). Written, composed and directed by Jonathan Christensen. With ensemble cast. Running time: 2hrs 30mins. One intermission.

Written by
Helen Shaw


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