Self-aware but not snarky, self-referential but never self-loathing; the Poe of the show’s title is remarkably loveable…for a morbid poet with borderline necrophiliac erotic fantasies whose best friend is a sometimes chatty, sometimes terse bird of prey. It is that loveability that drives the evening and that makes it work so well that you leave the theater wishing there really WAS a Poe Show.
Ed Goodman’s intelligence, his sense of the absurd, his warmth and self-deprecation and (most of all) his comic timing recall Johnny Carson in his primetime glory. Goodman’s Poe would have made a fine guest on Johnny’s couch. It’s a beautifully-realized character that fits the actor like a glove. It is beyond brilliant; what it really is is genius. One can’t help leaving this performance thinking that Ed Goodman should be a star.
Thankfully, he is – the star of The Poe Show, a funny, literate and rather hypnotic evening of theater that I’ll see again anytime, and will forget never more. Highly, highly recommended.