Boston literary enthusiasts and fans of the macabre will get a double whammy of fall fun this October—as a companion event to the Edgar Allan Poe Bronze Bust Project, which will be unveiled on October 30th, 2014 at the Boston Public Library, Boston-based filmmaker Izzy Lee and the Poe bust sculptor, Bryan Moore, are bringing Dennis Paoli’s play “Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe” to the Somerville Theatre on October 31, 2014.
Starring beloved character actor Jeffrey Combs, the one-act play is set in 1848—one year after the death of his wife and muse Virginia, and two years before Poe’s own death—and begins and ends with the lighting and extinguishing of a candle. Combs inhabits Poe’s persona seemingly as easily as he breathes—Combs runs the gamut from congenial to hilarious to tragic—all in 90 minutes’ worth of expertly delivered monologue.
“I can’t express how thrilled and honored I am to be invited to perform ‘Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe’ in Boston. Not only was Boston Poe’s birthplace, but throughout his professional life he had, let’s say, a colorfully contentious relationship with the city’s literati. I simply can’t wait to step onto the Somerville Theatre stage on Halloween night.”
Having toured North America in years past, Combs has widely received standing ovations. The Austin Chronicle had this to say: “Combs, normally known for his angular, vulpine looks, is immediately recognizable as the moon-faced Poe. He lets his face droop into the lethargic, booze-fueled but brilliant visage that stares out of every portrait of the author. Then there’s the voice: In the opening minutes, it’s a bombastic flurry, as the ever-florid and over-dramatic Poe orates to the audience. It’s a breathless introduction to a powerhouse performance, as the barriers between Poe’s sense of the dramatic and his own overbearing tragedy come crashing down like the House of Usher into the deep and dank tarn.”
Los Angeles Times stated: “The true test of Combs’ talents lies in his rendering of such Poe standards as ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ and ‘The Raven;’ pieces so arguably overdone that one dreads hearing them even one more time. However, until you hear Combs do them, you have never heard them before.”
“Jeffrey Combs’ interpretation of Poe is not so much an acting job as channeling the spirits of the unquiet dead. There wasn’t one minute where I felt that I was watching the man play a role,” mused Film Threat.
Boston-based filmmaker Izzy Lee, who is producing “Nevermore” at the Somerville Theatre, said this: “When Bryan asked me to be involved, I forgot to breathe. Poe is a personal hero of mine; his work helped me get through a lot of dark times in my childhood. I’m absolutely thrilled to help bring a life-size representation of Poe to the Boston Public Library, one of my favorite places in the city. This event led to talk about bringing ‘Nevermore’ to town; I first saw the play in Montreal at Fantasia in 2010, and was blown away. It’s been a dream of mine to be able to bring Jeff and ‘Nevermore’ to Boston since then. Anyone who attends the unveiling and the show is going to get a very, very special treat this Halloween.”
Poe sculptor Bryan Moore states: “I’m honored to be working with my dear friend Izzy Lee on the Edgar Allan Poe Bronze Bust Project as well as bringing the incredible show ‘Nevermore’ to Boston. Izzy is a filmmaker of note; her cinematic niche is hard-hitting and uncompromising in its dark vision; Izzy brings that same dedication and panache to her arsenal as a great producer. When it comes to delivering the goods, Izzy Lee takes no prisoners.”
The bust unveiling is slated for the evening of October 30, 2014 in the Boston Public Library’s Abbey Room, and “Nevermore: An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe,” will be performed (one night only) at the Somerville Theatre on October 31, 2014.
The Edgar Allan Poe Bronze Bust Kickstarter fundraiser will be launched very shortly.