Here’s what the critics had to say:
The Seattle Gay News review
“I expected to be moved, but I wasn’t expecting to be dazzled, and I was both. Theatre22’s world premiere of their new musical, The Hours of Life, is a triumph of talented people making smart decisions that inform the play from every angle, from set to staging, script, cast, singing and score. I was hooked from the opening moments when the chorus streamed onstage from all corners for their opening number, singing ‘The Machinery of Man,’ looking and sounding like a Broadway production…”
Read the full review here:
Drama in the Hood’s review
“The world premiere of The Hours of Life, a musical about Edgar Allan Poe by Paul Lewis shines with loving attention. Directed by Corey McDaniel, this presentation by Theatre22 at the tiny Cornish Playhouse Studio at Seattle Center delivers the goods…”
Read the full review here:http://www.dramainthehood.net/2014/12/the_hours_of_life/
Director/playwright Kathy Hsieh’s review
Show #170: Theatre22’s “The Hours of Life” by Paul Lewis, directed by Corey McDaniel, musical direction by Julia Thornton. A musical about the romance between Edgar Allan Poe and Sarah Helen Whitman. What an undertaking! A brand new locally developed world premiere musical by a brand new company. I loved it and predict a grand future for it. Not only is its leading man an iconic figure, but the musical does an incredible job of weaving together three storylines involving love, vengeance and longing into a cohesive tale. I also appreciated the orchestration of cello, guitars, piano and drums; the thematic refrains for Poe and Whitman were especially haunting and lovely. Admittedly, I am a huge fan of historical fiction and of course after the show, spent hours doing research on Poe & Whitman. This only made me appreciate Lewis’ work all the more, realizing how much artistic selection and crafting of the real events went into the making of this piece. Featuring Meg McLynn, Brian Pucheu, Michael Ramquist, Victor Matlock, Macall Dunahee Gordon, Jennifer Ewing, Sarah Trowbridge, Pamela Haines-Ainesworth,Amelia Meckler, Doug Knoop and more! #SEAthtr
Seattle Actor’s review
“The new musical, “The Hours of Life” by Paul Lewis is an almost perfect definition of a contemporary chamber musical. That’s especially appropriate because this relatively large cast in a relatively small space achieves just the sort of intimacy and authenticity needed to tell the story of the deeply personal love life of a widely known man, the great 19th Century writer Edgar Allen Poe. Although this production, finely directed by Corey McDaniel, has a very brief run it is the result of more than three years of development, and I feel confident that the show has a good, long life ahead of it…”
Read the full review here:
Copious Love’s review
As a staff member for a theatre company that exclusively produces original works, it isn’t a stretch to say that I am thoroughly excited by seeing performances blossom at their inception. The Hours of Life is no exception. The play was a musical rendition of Edgar Allen Poe’s career misfortunes and love affair with Sarah Helen Whitman. I had the pleasure of seeing this original new musical by Paul Lewis on its opening night and was stunned into submission by a wealth of talent from the cast and crew on this Theatre22 production.
Director Corey McDaniel exhibited a brilliant use of a very small space by utilizing the ring around a circular clock platform in the middle of the thrust at the Cornish Playhouse Studio. The original music was haunting and jarred the audience at times with its minor scales and unique blend of piano, cello, electric guitar(with distorted feedback appropriate to a song about American industry), acoustic/electric bass and drums. Accompanying the rhythm of the drums were instruments that harkened themes that made Poe famous. The woodblock echoed the tapping of the raven as well as the sinking and the swelling of the bells.
Brian Pucheu gave a stunning performance as the macabre poet, Poe, with delicate delivery of sensational and poetic lines. He was matched with powerful performer in Meg McLynn as Sarah Helen Whitman, another poet and eventual love interest of Poe’s. Michael Ramquist and Victor Matlock gave exciting and fantastical life to a pair conniving German profiteers set on getting revenge on Poe for publicly denouncing their livelihood. Other strong performances worthy of mention were that of Riley Donahue as Poe’s new found foppish friend and fellow poet as well as Sarah Trowbridge who played Poe’s cousin/wife who is is stricken with consumption.
I strongly recommend catching this wonderful musical and finale to Theatre22’s inaugural season which runs through December 14th.
Poe Forevermore’s review
“THE HOURS OF LIFE is the new musical about Poe that had its world premiere in Seattle at the Cornish Studio Theatre on December 5, 2014. The Theatre 22 production was written by Paul Lewis and directed by Corey D. McDaniel. The show opens with cast members filling the stage in song, all dressed in beautifully tailored period costumes. The intimate feel of the 100-seat theater was immediately felt with the characters literally standing at your side. After the rousing finale of the first of 17 songs, the ensemble disperses and the play gently unfolds…”
Read the full review here: