Extremely entertaining and informative. Michael Oliver?s range was phenomenal. It was like music.
Michael Oliver truly embodies Poe! He makes surprising turns into the personality of an amazing but problematic American writer.
His movements moved me. His cosmic eulogy For a man who once Embued the Gods decidedly. I was moved. I was speechless. It was phenomenal. I never had a chance to see a one-man show like that. It was so accessible.
I saw this great review on MD Theatre Guide--Andrew L. Baughman gave it 5-Stars- July 9, 2011 "I would like to invite actor/director R. Michael Oliver to come to my house and read me a bedtime story. It doesn?t really matter if it?s Edgar Allan Poe, Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh or the phone book. He?s just such an engaging storyteller, you can?t help but get lost in his words. Oliver reminds you of a cross between your favorite college professor and a classic rock star. How is that possible? Well, in between spellbinding interludes of Poe?s poetry and prose, Oliver guides us on a scholarly tour through the troubled life of the poet ? but when he ?embodies? the work of Poe, he gives himself over body and soul to the solemn, tortured, and sometimes transcendental writing. Combined with stunning visual and sound design by Yitna Firdyiwek, Oliver, Elizabeth Bruce and composer Douglas Fraser, and Ben Levine?s ominous lighting, there are moments when you wonder if Sanctuary Theatre laced your program with something stronger than ink. The only caveat I must add is that this is not the Fringe show where you will see nudity or bawdy comedy, and is therefore not a show for the drunken or A.D.D. afflicted fringe-goer. It is highly recommended, however, if you love to experience classic literature performed by a master artist ? or if you?re one of us who jams to mental strains of Alan Parsons Project whenever ?Dream Within A Dream? is recited. Oh, boy. I just put that in writing, didn?t I? Embodying Poe information and tickets." http://mdtheatreguide.com/2011/07/fringe-review-embodying-poe/
Embodying Poe is a solid, fascinating theatrical journey into the life and mind of a major American literary figure, Edgar Allan Poe whom many of us know but few have studied. As an actor, Michael Oliver gives a nuanced performance as two characters---Poe and the teller of Poe?s story. His recitation of "Eureka" feels loike a standing prayer to Poe?s creative triumph over his demons. "Kavod", honor, to Sanctuary Theater for this solid production and to Michael Oliver for writing and presenting an illumination of Poe?s life. Timothea Howard, Director Community Engagement and Learning - CentroNi?