Theater and Lovecraft. Perfect Together.
I had the amazing fortune of being at the opening night performance of this great show: Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite, performed by Molotov Theatre Group. The venue, District of Columbia Arts Center, is one of my favorite local Washington DC spots, having discovered it after seeing Evil Dead: The Musical there in 2009. (That's a favorite show of mine. I saw it three years in a row at various locations, including in Vegas during my bachelor party weekend.)
It was incredible to have two of my loves, theater and the work of H.P. Lovecraft, come together in one beautifully maddening performance. (Find out more about my love of Lovecraft here.) It could only have been better if they broke out in song! A little musical Lovecraft next year, perhaps? ...wink, wink, nudge,nudge...
In an attempt not to give away any spoilers, I will keep this short and sweet. After walking up the flight of stairs, the first thing our eyes fell upon was the Raven Beer being offered on site. I, of course, went with the Tell Tale Heart IPA, and it made me squeal, as my Lovecraft vs. Poe T-shirt peeked out from under my sports coat. Who knew all my outfit was missing was the perfect accessory?
The actors were excellent. The performance distilled the essence of Lovecraft's stories and presented them to a modern audience in a very accessible way, even adding a bit of gender diversity to Lovecraft's stories and some additional insight. No small feat for this Lovecraftian. Overhearing some of my fellow patrons, it was clear there were novices to the cosmic horror there too. All seemed to enjoy the show. There was a perfect use of lighting which accented the small performance space and increased the intimacy of the setting, adding to the atmosphere. The projections onto the white sheets made me feel a bit like I was watching a film from the 1920's. My favorite two stories presented in the show were The Outsider and Nyarlathotep. In short, it was a really fun show, and one that I'll probably see again before they close.
A note of warning: The show runs 75 mins and no intermissions. With a couple of beers, be warned . . .
Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite runs through November 8 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 pm). DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009.