Kelly Moore, Eric Frantz, and Tony Dingman in An Evening of Poe.
Photo courtesy The Frazier Museum
An Evening with Poe
Directed and conceived by Frazier History Interpreters department
Works by Edgar Allan Poe
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2015 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
This is the time of year when the air is getting colder and night grows nearer. It’s the time of year right before the holly jolly season when the wind moans and leaves lose their color and begin to fall. With the onset of autumn, Louisville’s favorite up and coming tradition makes its return. Of course I mean An Evening of Poe at the Frazier History Museum.
This year marks the sixth season of An Evening of Poe and after viewing this showcase of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories and poems one time, it’s an obvious choice for Halloween traditions to come. Kelly Moore, Tony Dingman and Eric Frantz are the interpreters who bring Poe’s words to life. As storytellers, these three actors turn the classic works into monologues and soliloquies with spellbinding dramatic flair. Poe’s works focused on the mysteries of life and the supernatural elements contained therein which lends itself to these dramatic interpretations.
Dingman displays the intense emotional range found within “Morella,” as a man haunted by the grief and guilt of a dead wife and unnamed child. Moore reprises her eponymous role in “The Raven”, as she nearly floats around the stage with birdlike movements. Here, Moore’s lack of emotion, gaze and head positions are extremely creepy, yet satisfying for the piece. Frantz delivers “William Wilson” with great sleight of hand in both delivery and in his deck of cards.
The second act includes a choral reading of “The Bells” followed by “The Pit and the Pendulum.” Closing the production, this piece proves that less is more. Frantz serves as narrator and Dingman as the prisoner, along with incredibly clever staging involving Moore as a masked figure. This piece is worthy of Edgar Allan Poe with its isolation and despair with building suspenseful turn and swing of the pendulum.
The Timberland Trio, comprised of Mick Sullivan, Amber Estes-Thieneman and Rob Collier, provide beautiful renditions of Appalachian music, including songs like “Red Rocking Chair” and “Hard Times Come No More.” As Tony Dingman said in his pre-show speech, the music was added because, “…Poe was meant to be taken in small doses.” And with Halloween just a week away, I’d say that this showcase was just the right dose for the season.
An Evening of Poe
October 22, 23, 25, 26, 29, 30
Doors open at 6:30 and performance begins at 7:30
Tickets are $18 for general admission/ $15 for museum members.
The Frazier History Museum
829 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40203
Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for Leo Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading!