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REVIEW: THE EDGAR ALLAN POE DOUBLEHEADER

The Tell-Tale Heart + The Cask of Amontillado

REVIEW: THE EDGAR ALLAN POE DOUBLEHEADER

REVIEW: THE Edgar Allan Poe DOUBLEHEADER

The Tell-Tale Heart + The Cask of Amontillado

If you have yet to reach your fright limit for the Halloween season, you still have two chances to experience chills of the dramatic variety at THT Rep at the BrickBox Theater in Worcester. Reprising the production she created for small, socially-distanced audiences of 20 in the early days of the pandemic, Artistic Director Livy Scanlon is performing The Edgar Allan Poe Doubleheader in front of 290 stadium-style seats. The 60-minute solo show is staged as a séance that conjures up the narrators from The Tell-Tale Heart + The Cask of Amontillado.

It is slightly deceiving to refer to the play as a solo show because Scanlon vividly brings to life multiple characters, notably the duo at odds with each other in Amontillado, and her brilliant portrayals are enhanced by the stellar work of the creative team. Chelsea Kerl's costumes evoke a straitjacket for the first-person storyteller in Tell-Tale, and carnival attire appropriate for the protagonist and antagonist in Amontillado. As one might expect in staging a haunting play, Brenda Shepard's lighting effects and Steve Shepard's sound design work overtime to create a palpable ambience. While there is no credit given to an aroma designer, I could swear that the other elements combined to let us smell the fear and agony experienced by the unfortunate victims in Poe's tales.

Scanlon wears numerous hats in this production (she also directed herself, not an easy assignment), and never falters. She goes from being a murderer trying to convince us that she is not insane, to full-throated mania, and cold-blooded narcissist feeling entitled to his revenge as he toys with his trusting, prideful victim, unaware of what is about to befall him. She employs a serviceable Italian accent for the former, and authentically conveys the latter's ill health with repeated coughing jags.

THT offers tiered ticket pricing, ranging from $8 - $110 depending upon your ability to pay. At any price, the Poe Doubleheader packs a lot of excitement and fun into an hour spent with the spirits.

Photo credit: Erb Photography (Livy Scanlon)

THT REP at BrickBox Theater

An initiative of Hanover Theatre & Conservatory presents

The Edgar Allan Poe Doubleheader: The Tell-Tale Heart + The Cask of Amontillado

Created and performed by Livy Scanlon

Creative Team: Chelsea Kerl, Costume Design; Brenda Shepard, Lighting Design; Steve Shepard, Sound Design; Jane Siebels, Production Stage Manager; Lisa Hackman, Production Manager

Performances through October 29, 2022, at Jean McDonough Arts Center (JMAC), 20 Franklin Street, Worcester, MA; Box Office 877-571-SHOW or boxoffice@jmacworcester.org



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