I would like to invite actor/director R. Michael Oliver to come to my house and read me a bedtime story. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh or the phone book. He’s just such an engaging storyteller, you can’t help but get lost in his words. Oliver reminds you of a cross between your favorite college professor and a classic rock star. How is that possible?
Well, in between spellbinding interludes of Poe’s poetry and prose, Oliver guides us on a scholarly tour through the troubled life of the poet – but when he “embodies” the work of Poe, he gives himself over body and soul to the solemn, tortured, and sometimes transcendental writing. Combined with stunning visual and sound design (by Yitna Firdyiwek, Oliver, Elizabeth Bruce and composer Douglas Fraser), and Ben Levine’s ominous lighting, there are moments when you wonder if Sanctuary Theatre laced your program with something stronger than ink. The only caveat I must add is that this is not the Fringe show where you will see nudity or bawdy comedy, and is therefore not a show for the drunken or A.D.D. afflicted fringe-goer. It is highly recommended, however, if you love to experience classic literature performed by a master artist – or if you’re one of us who jams to mental strains of Alan Parsons Project whenever “Dream Within A Dream” is recited. Oh, boy. I just put that in writing, didn’t I?
Embodying Poe information and tickets.