Sunday, October 31, 2010

Show #58 "Tales of Edgar Allan Poe" at Lakewood Playhouse

For a fundraiser, it was pretty good. Clever, relatively easy to produce, minimal rehearsal necessary and (I am guessing) low overhead costs. Oh...and did I mention the raffle and wine at intermission?

The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe was performed last evening as a radio play. Three microphones were set on the stage and a group of actors entered, dressed in 1940s style clothing, carrying scripts in their hands.

What we were treated to was a re-creation of a radio show, complete with commercial breaks (mostly for Camel cigarettes) and live sound effects. Three of Poe's works were presented, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven and The Murders in the Rue Morgue.

A company of eight actors provided all the voice characterizations and effects for these stories. These effects included the jingle for Camel cancer sticks, oops, I mean cigarettes....which, by the way, sounded pretty nice.

So, what was this whole event about? This was a fundraising weekend to celebrate Halloween, the Lakewood Playhouse Friends Fund and Artistic Director Marcus Walker's birthday. The show ran two nights, Friday and Saturday. I hear the Friday night crowd packed the house. A good time was had by all.

I came on Saturday night. We were a bit smaller crowd, but enthusiastic nonetheless.

The actors were fun to watch, or should I say, listen to. As a radio play, I found the show was much more effective when NOT being watched. I either closed my eyes during the show, or looked down at the floor. Imagining the whole experience as though I really was listening to my radio was just the trick needed to really be caught up in the stories.

My friend Corrie and I sat with great attention and interest in the front row of section I. You see, both Corrie's husband Joe and my Randy were actors in this event. This was not the first time Corrie and I watched our husbands perform together at this theatre. But it was the first time I enjoyed one of their shows while looking as though I was asleep.

Afterwards, some of the actors asked me if I was bored during the show. They noticed my "sleepy" eyes and wondered. I told them they did a good job, but when I STOPPED looking at them, their performances improved!

I guess that's the way of radio. It's a treat for the ears, not the eyes.

Thanks to cast member David Philips for this photo

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