BWW Review: Greasepaint Youtheatre Presents NEVERMORE

NEVERMORE - THE IMAGINARY LIFE AND MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF EDGAR ALLAN POE is not a work for the weak and weary. Jonathan Christenson's ingenious musical, which was originally produced in 2009 by Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton, Canada and ought to get a lot more play than it has, is the perfect opiate for those who thrill over the edgy, the weird, and even the macabre.

And the thrill is alive at Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale where a gold mine of talented teens, led by Bennett Wood's mesmerizing performance as Poe, is delivering an exhilarating and riveting presentation of this theatrical gem.

Notwithstanding his ultimate fame and notoriety as poet and writer of the macabre, Poe's life was a series of strokes of bad luck, whether with caretakers, siblings, or lovers, all of which are depicted in NEVERMORE with well-crafted allusions to his writings and characters plucked from his tales. It's the stuff of melancholy that is said to fuel the mind of literary geniuses and definitely fuels the energy of this show.

In every respect, from April Rozier's brilliant choreography and Curtis Moeller's vivid musical direction to the ominous tones of Chase Budden, Erick Beeck, and Peter Bush's set design, the production benefits from the keen and discerning eye of its director, Peter Bish. For a work of such intricacy, that this is Bish's directorial debut is a remarkable feat worthy of special mention.

All of which is to say that this is an exceptional must-see show.

NEVERMORE continues its run at Stagebrush Theatre in Scottsdale through August 5th.

Photo credit to Durant Photography

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