Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group in North Hollywood never seems to miss the mark on the most bizarre yet wildly entertaining productions you can find in modern theater today, right here Los Angeles! Produced and directed by Zombie Joe himself, “The Raven” is the exact text of four of Edgar Allan Poe’s prose works, including “The Oval Portrait” written in 1850, “Song” written 1827, “Alone” written in 1829 and the classic “The Raven” written in 1845.
The tortured soul of Edgar Allan Poe is clearly heard and compassionately felt in this visually interesting ensemble emoting the words of this ill-fated and mentally disturbed prose genius himself.
Both “Song” and “Alone” are done in an interesting musical interpretation by the evening’s accompanists Christopher Reiner who wrote and performed the musical score for the entire show. The musical gave it a defiantly more haunting twist than any normal reading of the prose.
The ensemble of readers includes Redetha Deason, Donna Noelle Ibale, Orkiko Ikeda, Katie Lynn Mapel, Tim McCord and Sebastian Munoz. Their use of candles in the "Oval Portrait” was not only fluidic and haunting, but their staging was eerie and foreboding.
The two who really read the very difficult prose with such passion and clarity of articulation were Redetha Deason and Sebastian Munoz. Both Redetha and Sebastian gave it all the energy and excitement and articulation that made Poe’s words literally leap into the audience more than once.
Now “The Raven,” as read by this company of players, was defiantly a more visceral experience. The reading of each stanza was stagd to reflect the chilly creepiness of Poe’s original words. Having read the prose and now seeing Zombie Joe's interpretation of this classic, it definitely gave more passion to the already mesmerizing words of the genius that is Poe.
Somewhat long are the interludes, but what makes up for the short wait is the stylish movement and prose reading as only this company can do. This production's interpretation will leave you with a more memorable impression of these classic works. Check them out at www.ZombieJoes.com.
Photos by Zombie Joe
Photo 001: Photo 001 Katie Lynn Mapel, Tim McCord, Redetha Deason, Sebastian Munoz, Christopher Reiner, Donna Noelle Ibale, Oriko Ikeda
Pic 002 TheRaven@ZJU Redetha Deason, Sebastian Muñoz