Saturday, August 4, 2018

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2018: "Eddie Poe"

Day: 2

Show: 7

Title: Eddie Poe

Category: Comedy / Drama / Horror

Created by: Katie Hartman & Nick Ryan

Location: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Summary: An innovative retelling of young Edgar Allen Poe as he falls in love, goes off to University, and begins a life of drinking, gambling, and swindling (aka diddling).

Highlights: Everyone raved about The Coldharts Edgar Allen at past Fringe and TC Horror fests, so I decided to check them out. This is the second in an as yet unfinished trilogy and covers young Eddie's teen years (a quick look at Wikipedia confirms much of the facts). Nick Ryan plays Eddie as a somber emo teen, while Katie Hartman exhibits a frenetic energy as a number of other characters, a nice balance. They use music (banjo, ukulele, and voice) to help tell the story, with quirky and catchy songs. The rest of the audience found it funnier than I did; not to say I didn't enjoy it, but I found it to be more of a sweet, sad, and sometimes amusing play rather than a laugh out loud comedy. Perhaps it's the audience laughter that caused them to go over their allotted time, cutting them off before the ending (Fringe doesn't mess around with the schedule). Or maybe it was the playful banter with the audience, or moments that are held to great effect. The period costumes (by Marge Ryan) are great and help to establish character(s), and they do some cool things with lighting including a stunning shadow card-playing scene. They also make great use of the space at the Ritz, going out into the audience (I recommend sitting in the back section if you don't want to crane your head around to watch them). Eddie Poe casts a haunting spell, one that I was rudely awakened from. If you see it, please tell me how it ends.

Read all of my Fringe mini-reviews here.

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