Well the Missus and I trundled downtown last night to catch Red-Eye to Havre de Grace at the Paramount Theater and, say, it was totally swell.
The ArtsEmerson production comes compliments of Lucidity Suitcase International, which first staged the play at Philadelphia’s Live Arts Festival in September, 2012.
The basic plot:
On September 27, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe set out on a lecture tour from Virginia to New York. Days later a train conductor saw Poe in Havre de Grace, Maryland, wearing a stranger’s clothing and heading south to Baltimore where he died on October 7.
What follows is a brilliant, inventive staging of Poe-etry, with Ean Sheehy as the tortured genius, Sophie Bortolussi as his dead wife Virginia (who also choreographed the eye-popping action), and Jeremy Wilhelm as tour guide Ranger Steve, who sings beautifully and plays soprano saxophone soulfully.
It’s an absolute tour de force.
But don’t take our word for it. Consider Charles Isherwood’s 2012 New York Times review .
Suddenly There Came a Clapping
‘Red-Eye to Havre de Grace,’ a Musical About Edgar Allan Poe
The last, distraught days of Edgar Allan Poe are charted with spellbinding vitality in “Red-Eye to Havre de Grace,” a highlight of the theatrical offerings at this year’s Live Arts Festival here. At times funny, at times heartbreaking, and from quirky start to haunting finish a feast of entrancing visual allurements, this exquisite show is among the most original musical theater works I’ve seen in years.
You have tonight and tomorrow night to catch this stunning production.
You’re well-advised to do just that.