Monday, May 23, 2016

RADIOTHEATRE: Edgar Allan Poe Festival: Review by Polly Guerin

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Fasten your seat's going to be a macabre night. Radiotheatre invites you to enter into the mysterious darkness of the 160 year old St. John's Sanctuary, into the world of the grandmaster of psychological horror, the poet and author, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49). His demons and macabre stories are metted out in the candle lit sanctuary with a stellar cast of performers who appear to relish their dramatic delivery in a radio broadcast setting.  
    This is not the first time that The Edgar Allen Poe Festival takes New York City by storm. Now in its l2th year, Radiotheatre present 16 terror tales that will grip your attention, guaranteed to chill the marrow in your bones in a Festival that runs to June 11th. (M27, 28, 29, June 2 4, 5, 9, 10, 11. at 8pm). The stories are dapted for the stage by Dan Bianchi,  as well as sound and lighting design, and music with Wes Shippee.  The atmosphere is riveting with dramatic bumps and grinding sound effects, and smoky sinister vapors.  Under the direction of Frank Zilinyi and R. Patrick Alberty the performers are convincing storytellers, who appear to thoroughly enjoy the craft of make believe.
      On May 21 I attended the Poe story adaptations of Ligeia, The Sphinx, Hop Frog and the Fall of the House of Usher directed by Frank Zilinyi and the show did not disappoint but kept us glued to every moment's dialogue with the detail of the sound effects and music. Indeed, I found myself drawn into the web of intrigue, mystery and the macabre. Cory Boughton's captivating performance was  tantalizing as was Frank Zilinyi's dramatic repartee, while Melissa Roth and Ellen Bryan proved their metal with spellbinding narration and discourse. 
       The landmark St. John's Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher Street, located in the heart of old Greenwich Village, is the ideal location for a tribute to Poe's remarkable works that have gone on to inspire millions of writers, artists, filmmakers and horror story lovers of all ages and cultures. Edgar Allan Poe, incidentally lived in old Greenwich Village and penned some of his most famous works there. To his honorable credit, Poe is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. In the annals of great men he was a foremost American writer, editor, and literary critic best know for his poetry and short stories, particularly these tales of mystery and the macabre.
     Be ready when sparks fly. As always, Radiotheatre productions come complete with breathtaking performances by stellar craftsmen and women, original orchestral scores, and enough of sound FX to keep you riveted to your seat. Just bring your imagination!!! And as they say Enjoy the Show!!
     What's up next? Indulge yourself in Poe mania: From May 27-29 Morella, The Tell Tale Heart, The Oval portrait, MS Found in a Bottle; June 2-5 Berenice, The Cask of Amontillado The Case of M. Valdemar The Pit and The Pendulum, June 9-11 The Black Cat, the Masque of the Red Death, William Wilson, The Premature Burial.   For further information:  Tickets $20-$10 students and seniors.
Order through or 212 868 4444.
     Ta Ta Darlings!!! Whew after a night with Poe, I'm glad to be back on terra firma. Fan mail always welcome at I'd love to hear from you.  Check out Polly's Blogs on, just click on the link in the left-hand column to poetry, fashionhistory,  womendeterminedtosucceed and visionarymen.

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