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Kensington Arts Theatre Nevermore

By • Mar 23rd, 2007 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Kensington Arts Theatre’s production of Nevermore [MP3 5:01 1.4MB].

Laura: Sunday evening we saw Kensington Arts Theatre and their production of Nevermore in Kensington, Maryland.

Mike: Nevermore is a musical with music by Matt Connor. The book is by Grace Barnes. The lyrics were based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Nevermore focuses on the life of Edgar Allan Poe by looking at his obsession with the important women in his life.

Laura: Edgar Allan Poe was kind of a freaky dude. I was reading his biography. He had some problems. The show was good. It was pretty dark. Some of the scenes were a bit graphic, but overall it was a good show. The singing and the music was very good.

Mike: This was a good show. I enjoyed watching it. There were some graphic scenes as Laura mentioned. The music, the singing, the staging, the set design. Everything was just very nicely done.

Laura: The role of Edgar Allan Poe was played by Evan Hoffman. He did a very good job. This was an intense show. He was onstage for the entire 90 minutes so he really had to project. His emotions were very real. You could feel the demons in his head. The flashbacks he was experiencing from his mother who died when he was very young to his wife to his favorite prostitute to some of the other women in his life. you could just feel the confusion and almost the anger. He wanted the world to make sense. He just couldn’t quite figure out how to make that happen. I think that’s why he wrote the stories that he wrote and things like that. I enjoyed his performance.

Mike: Poe’s mother was played by Brianne Cobuzzi.. She had died when he was very young so Poe had very conflicted feelings about her. Then when she would appear in his dreams or nightmares and chat with him or talk with him and try to help him. He was very angry with her. That relationship wasn’t a real lovey dovey relationship,, but I liked how the both of them contrasted, but at the same time there was a connection between them.

Laura: Poe’s 13 year old wife, Virginia, was played by Margo Seibert. She was very young, very innocent. I liked the youth that she kept and wanting a playmate and somebody to tell her stories and things like that. I enjoyed the youthfulness that she kept throughout the performance.

Mike: All of the performers did a good job. The music ranged in styles and intensity significantly throughout the evening. There were a few spoken lines, but it really didn’t distract too much. It definitely flowed from one song to the next.

Laura: The costumes were good. The costume designer was Latricia Reichman. They were colorful. They were flowy.

Mike: The set was designed by Evan Hoffman and Kevin Boyce. They definitely thought outside the box by not using a squared off stage. The seats in the auditorium were in a raked fashion leading up to the stage which started out very wide. It then tapered down to a point at the top of the stage that was a doorway shaped like a coffin. There were cloudy scrims along both sides.

At different times the women would appear behind the scrims as ghostly figures kind of remembering or teasing Poe at different times. The stage they were using was actually coming out into the audience area. There was a little bit less area than they usually have for the audience. However it was totally fine, it worked really well. The stage area was sloping as well. It was a very innovative use of that space.

Even when you entered the auditorium before the show there were spooky sounds and dark lights and lightning every once in awhile with thunder. It was very effective in setting the mood and getting people ready. The one bad thing was it kind of made it hard to read the playbill, since it was black ink on red papaer. The lights weren’t bright enough so you could read the notes in the playbill.

Laura: Nevermore is playing for two more weekends through March 31st. Friday and Saturday at 8. Sunday March 18th and 25th at 7. Thursday March 29th at 8 at the Kensington Town Hall in Kensington Maryland. This is a good show. There are some graphic scenes so probably for high school and above.

Mike: Following the Thursday March 29th performance there will be a talkback session with the composer Matt Conner, as well as members of the the cast, production, and artistic staff. So think up questions to ask them to learn more about the show came to be.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Cast

  • Edgar: Evan Hoffman
  • Virginia Clemm Poe: Margo Seibert
  • Mother: Brianne Cobuzzi
  • A whore: Caroline Angell
  • Muddy Clemm: Gilly Conklin
  • Sarah Elmira Royster: Jaclyn Young
  • Elmira Shelton: Karissa Swanigan

Crew

  • Director : Evan Hoffman
  • Producer: Ryan Manning
  • Conductor: Jenny Cartney
  • Lighting Design: KevinBoyce
  • Costume Design: Latricia Reichman
  • Hair and Make-up Designer: Jacyln Young
  • Music Direction: John La Bombard
  • Scenic Design: Evan Hoffman and Kevin Boyce
  • Sound Design: Kevin Garrett
  • Properties Design: Jenna Ballard
  • Production Stage Manager: Cynthia Zarcone
  • Assistant Director: Andrea Greenleaf
  • Master Carpenter: Kevin Boyce
  • Scenic Artist: Christine Charboneau
  • Assistant Producer: Jaclyn Young
  • Special Effects: Evan Hoffman and Kevin Boyce
  • Light Board Operator: Meng Chiao
  • Sound Board Operator: Kevin Garrett and Eric Scerbo
  • Stage Crew: Laura Clagett, Robin Covington, Doe B. Kim
  • House Curtains: Kevin Zarcone
  • Audition Accompanist: Elisa Rosman

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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