A Dream within a Dream: A Poe Cabaret

By Heather Christie

Setting music to time-honoured pieces of history and literature—though the butt of countless sweater-set-cat-lady jokes—is quite a staple in the creative world, why else would flocks of blue-rinse biddies and burly British bros alike make the pilgrimage to London’s West End for the past 20-odd years to see those musical mammoths Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera?  

While not nearly so epic as these tourist traps, the Poe Cabaret on tonight in its last night at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, is quite pleasant to say the least. The Penderecki String Quartet, harpist Lori Gemmell and a host of vocalists bring Edgar Allan Poe’s works to the 10-line-grand-staff.   

The accompaniment is fabulous, Gemmell and the quartet gel like cherry-flavoured fluoride trays (aka, fabulously well).  Mike Ross, emcee and composer lights up the stage with some comic vaudeville while Patricia O’Callaghan’s soprano stylings bring down the house in Dream within a Dream and Conte Fantastique.  Tom Allen’s rather drab reading of The Raven could have been done without, but c’est la vie, the Penderecki strings and Gemmell picked up the slack. 

If you’re in the neighbourhood tonight, check out the Poe Cabaret.  It’s 90minutes long and will undoubtedly give your day’s RDA for culture. 

Tickets $45, 9pm
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
12 Alexander Street

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