The butterfly effect

(Edmonton has served up some rich treats as of late)

Long ago, in a time not so and yet oh-so very far away, a dancing partner made some dashing moves.

That was a different city, in a different place.

Chaos theory: everything affects the other, there is no choice, butterfly effect. Life being a series of pre-determined and unavoidable pathways. Being there only led me to being here, which is probably true but almost impossible to prove.

That fateful dance floor, and everything in between, somehow accumulated to an Edgar Allan Poe romance story.

Nevermore: The Brief, Tormented Life of Edgar Allan Poe.

“I think now we’re starting to be confronted with the falsity of the myth that we can control our own destinies. I think it’s a very deep kind of human impulse to do whatever we can to keep at bay that sense of mounting chaos that could at any moment overtake our lives. I think Gothic material really subverts that sense of control, and confronts us with our deepest anxiety with being out of control. It reminds us first of all of how delicate and fragile our hold on life is, and maybe in the process of doing that make us feel that much more alive and appreciative of what we have.” (Taken from Berry’s Vue Weekly article on Nevermore…, as linked above)

Catalyst Theater’s production, housed and staged in a mock silo on Gateway ave in Edmonton, Alberta and various other theater spaces across the country. A macabre musical, dark and fantastical.

The events of this unorthodox poet’s life are twisted and woven into a tapestry where much is missing but the whole is more then the sum of its parts.

References dribbled here and there, some more obscure then others, though don’t make the mistake of assuming all theater goers have an extensive knowledge of Poe. The Tell Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado were particularly thrilling for myself.

Is it gaudy to give a review? I feel that way. Though the impression I hope to leave here not one of a critical eye but one of longing, a desire to express what I saw and felt, how my heart jumped and dropped, how my palms became moist and my mouth dry.

There is much unexplained in Poe’s life, much which was said and then swiftly discounted. Much that had been rumored although likely untrue and much that happened seemingly out of bad luck, terrible luck.

The truth is only that Poe, like so many of us, suffered from a case of destiny control. To try and manipulate one’s environment around them, rather then manipulate themselves to their environment.

A consistent theme: A Poe is a Poe. But what if a Poe became a Plaskett? Or an Atwood? Would a Poe be a Poe? Is there a life line to a family or is your character your own? Will six months ago change what is now happening? Or will it only make it that much more likely?

Or is it all, in his own infamous words “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe runs Friday May 1st to Sunday May 17th.

Saturday Matinees May 9, May 16 @ 2pm  Pay-What-You-Can

Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays @ 8pm
$30/$25 for students and seniors

Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm
$35/$28 for students and seniors

*No performances on Mondays or Tuesdays

Contact Catalyst Theatre at 780 431 1750 for further information.

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