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'Nevermore,' biographical play about Edgar Allan Poe, travels to Baltimore

December 17, 2009 | 11:56 am

Combs It only seems fitting that a play about the life of 19th century writer Edgar Allan Poe should eventually find its way to Baltimore.

"Nevermore," which ran at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood earlier this year, will have its East Coast premiere in Baltimore at the Westminster Hall, which also happens to be the site of Poe's grave. Performances of the play, which was written by Dennis Paoli, will take place Jan. 23 and 24, and will be co-presented by the Edgar Allan Poe House.

Poe, whose dark poetry includes "The Raven" and who is regarded as a forefather of horror fiction, lived in Baltimore and is buried on the grounds of  Westminster Hall. Each year on the anniversary of his death, an unknown person leaves a bottle of cognac as well as roses on the poet's grave site. (The tradition is known as the Poe Toast.)

"Nevermore" will star Jeffrey Combs, the actor of such sci-fi and horror cult hits as "Re-Animator" and Peter Jackson's "The Frighteners." Combs originated the role of Poe in the play's production at the Steve Allen Theater.

"Suffice to say that Combs’ performance is definitive, so full-blown he does not seem to be so much playing Poe as channeling him," wrote F. Kathleen Foley in a Times review of the Hollywood production.

Promoters said that plans are underway to bring the play to Chicago though no dates or venue have been announced.

-- David Ng

Photo: Jeffrey Combs. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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