The Edgar Allan Show won my heart the moment the house opened and I entered into the snug little Two Roads Theatre in Studio City. There on stage a vigorous young woman (Nika H. Mabson) was tapping her heart out with shuffle-hop-step-fa-lap-ball-changes and a delightful array of many other well-known terpsichorean routines. In my enthusiasm, I called out for wings, and by God, she gave me wings! I could never do wings. Then she called on those seated to participate in a series of exercises, to which a giddy audience, including this gob smacked critic, complied in full.
With sublime silliness, writer/director/song writer and performer Ari Stidham creates a Python-esque spoof of the most famous works of that dark-hearted American scribbler, Edgar Allan Poe. Compulsively absurd, the players (Kimia Behpoornia, Jordan R. Coleman, and Nika H. Mabson), shred, and, in their own way, truly honor the great American writer with studied ineptitude. Creator Stidham joins the cast on stage, briefly, about two-thirds of the way through the eighty-minute show and delivers some pretty slick singing. The fifth member of the cast, co-producer Jimmy McCammon, creates chaos up in the booth with lights and sound. The company does damage to the history of Poe’s life and lost loves while satirizing The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher and more.
The Edgar Allan Show is written by Ari Stidham and Edgar Allan Poe, directed by Mr. Stidham, produced by Mssrs. McCammon and Stidham, along with Kate Hendrix, with songs by Stidham and Louis Ramsey.
The Edgar Allan Show runs through October 19 at The Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City.