What an incredibly...insane show. Red Eye is advertised as a musical looking at the last distraught days of Edgar Allen Poe. And as one would expect from a musical about a strange man, the musical was very strange in its reflection. Beginning with an amiable, charming gentleman dressed in a Ranger suit (Ranger Steve), he introduces himself to the audience as a tour guide from a Philly museum about E. A. Poe, and that he was asked to come to the Workshop to tell us a few facts about the poet himself. I couldn't help but fall in love his "simple man" charm, and he may have been one of the best devices I've seen to give an audience a bit of background info, although one of the oddest narrator devices.
But then things started getting weird as soon as our friendly Ranger Steve began reading us a poem of Poe's, that led him into a deep and haunting melody that opened the magnificent red curtains with gold fringe (that I helped sew on). All of a sudden we were whirled into the highly disturbing mind of Poe, filled with dreams and hauntings of his dead wife/cousin, Virginia. Virginia haunts him from the very beginning of the musical being silent, mischevious, bird-like and so inhuman in her dance and movements (her first entrance seen below). At times, Virginia is a small fragile girl, and at others she's an 8 foot tall temptress dancing a furious tango with Poe in stilts. Meanwhile Ranger Steve plays all other characters in this story, some from real recorded accounts and some imagined. Poe was a tragic and tortured character, battling with alcoholism, poverty, the loss of his wife who haunts him, and the heartbreakingly futile attempt at selling what he considered his greatest work, Eureka, to a crowd that only wants to hear him recite the "Raven".
Click on the button below to check out what the Times had to say about the show...
For this show, I helped make that suitcase you see Poe sitting on above, I stapled some faux leather onto some chair seats to make them look older, I helped sew the aforementioned fringe onto the grand red curtain, I bought clarinet stands, and at one point I brought the director his notepad he had left in the lobby.
Pretty soon I will be done with this incredible internship which started my adventure in NYC. I made some good friends, and learned from some great professionals on how to be a professional. I learned how much creating theatre actually costs, and every once in a while I got to feel badass and use a drill or staple gun. It was a new perspective into theatre, and was a great place for me to take my first steps toward being a theatre professional. I've seen how a great production team works together to create truly fantastic work, which will be helpful one day when I'm directing with an incredible team to support me.
I'm very grateful for having this opportunity. I'm grateful for being in this city, with the incredible people who support me every day in this terrifying adventure.