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BWW Review: Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabre

BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabre

One of the writers who inspired me to pursue a career in teaching high school English is the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, who left us with many chilling stories and poems before departing the physical world at age 26. So when the Halloween season rolls around every year, most assuredly I will be attending a performance of Poe's greatest works, thrilled to be in the presence of the troubled soul who inspired so many of us to pursue careers in writing.

So when I heard actor, director, writer, teacher and filmmaker Duffy Hudson was bringing his renowned solo show Edgar Allan Poe to the Actors Workout Studio in NoHo, I knew I had to be there! BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the MacabreBut imagine my surprise as the lights dimmed in the very small theater (with incredibly comfortable, armchair seats) and footsteps were heard coming from behind the audience as I fully expected the Master of the Macabre to be entering the space to tantalize our imaginations with his musings of a tortured soul trying to escape the bonds of overwhelming despair and sense of loss he suffered during his entire, short life.

But Hudson emerged from the darkness as himself BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabrewith nary a trace of his Poe essence to be seen. Soon he opened the suitcase placed on the stage and as he shared how his adoration of Poe's work began, he transformed himself before our eyes into the Master of the Macabre in all his glory. And by the time Poe's signature long black coat graced his frame, the actor was no longer there and before us stood the physical essence of Edgar Allan Poe.

To entertain us while watching him don his costume, BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabremake-up, wig and mustache, Hudson began by telling us how at 9 years of age, his father walked into his bedroom and began to read Poe's masterpiece "The Raven" to him in very dramatic fashion. "It was quite a spirited performance and though I had never taken an interest in literature before, I found the poem to be haunting and sad - and a bit scary."

I remember having similar feelings when the atmospheric masterpiece was first read to me in a classroom with darkened lighting, a single candle lit on the teacher's desk as he read the poem to us. I was hooked from the first "Nevermore" and have remained so ever since. In fact, I often repeated that experience with my own students and hope to have inspired many to love the imagination created in all forms of literature and Science Fiction in general, just as Poe did for me.

Back to Duffy Hudson who after a brief blackout, BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabrebegan the rest of his 70-minute show as Poe, sharing how the loss of his beloved mother, stepmother and close childhood friend at such an early age inspired his overwhelming sense of sadness in so much of his published work. Then, as Hudson disappeared and Poe took over, his performance made me realize why the talented artist has been honored to be the voice of Edgar Allan Poe at the Poe House and Museum in Fordham, NY where Poe had lived his final years.

Three of Poe's masterworks were presented during the course of the evening: BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the Macabre"The Tell-Tale Heart," "Annabel Lee," and of course, "The Raven." So fascinating was Hudson's delivery of not only the words but the all-encompassing emotions expressed that I found myself getting lost in the spirit of wonder and imagination Poe's words bring to my soul. And even though he has performed the show thousands of times, I truly believe each time he shares them with an audience is just as exciting for him as the first time he heard his father read it to him.

Celebrate All Hallows' Eve with Duffy Hudson as the Master of the Macabre himself, BWW Review:  Duffy Hudson Inhabits the Essence of EDGAR ALLAN POE The Master of the MacabreEdgar Allan Poe, presented by Force of Nature Productions' Artistic Director Sebastian Munoz at the Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA 91602. Performances take place at 8pm on Sundays, September 29, October 6 and October 13, 2019. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at www.fonprods.tix.com Be advised due to the small number of seats in the theater, my advice is not wait to purchase tickets at the door!

I guarantee you will be treated to an evening of tales and mystery that will live forever, shared from beyond by Duffy Hudson as the masterful writer himself as he reveals secrets behind the work he left behind which has haunted us for over a century, long after his tragic death at such an early age.

One last thought, sharing my favorite Poe musing which continues to haunt me: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?" Indeed.

Official Website: https://www.fonproductions.com/edgar-allan-poe-2019.html

Photo credit: Carlos Hernandez


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From This Author Shari Barrett