Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Fall of the House of Usher. It was about a lady who went to see her school friend named Usher because he has sent a letter to her telling her to come and see him. And her friend has changed so much that she hardly doesn't recognize him. If you were a kid when you last saw someone then they should have changed a lot, but Usher shouldn't have changed this much. And, to show that changing, they have everybody in the cast (Halena Kays, Tien Doman, Christine Stulik) play Usher. And not just Usher but the other characters: the maid, the sister, and the friend/narrator. The play is about how you can change in this house and how it falls to the ground. This play is true to the story in some ways. It is not true to the story in all ways because the friend is a boy in the story and there is no lemon and gin. I liked it better than the story though because I thought they added a lot of cool things to the story that Edgar Allan Poe could have added if he were still alive. It is fuh-scarious, which means scary and fuh-larious combined into one.
The set (by Joey Wade) makes me think about what Usher's house looks like; it is so dirty, and the lamps have fallen down, and there is a drip. There were all these bookstacks with fallen books all over. It makes you feel kind of unsafe and there are some books pinned to the wall which shows you that after his sister dies he doesn't like reading books maybe because he liked reading them to his sister. There is a staircase indicating that it is a very big house, but it doesn't feel big when you are in there, so that was a good idea. It sets you into a scary mood that makes you feel like you are not completely safe. It is a scary way to feel when you are at a play, but it is still fun because sometimes you feel like you need to be scared, like on a roller coaster you go there to be scared but not to actually be in real danger.
My favorite scene was the drip scene. The drip scene was all about this drip. The scene starts with the maid coming in a going, "drip, drip, drip, drip, drip." And she's put down a bucket which gets some dripping into the bucket. And then Usher and the friend come in and he has this speech about how the rain is so unearthly. And then he pushes the friend to the window and says, "Look at this unearthly rain!" and then she says, "Excuse me but I'm getting dripped on." The drip, I think, is one of the cool gadgets they have in the show. It is like a tap that is hanging from the ceiling and is like a drip in a wall. It was super funny because of the maid coming in and saying in a Scottish accent, "drip, drip, drip."
In the book Usher is really grubby and disgusting, but in the play he is not very grubby and disgusting, he just has a beard, which I think was a good choice because you only want one of the characters to be grubby and disgusting and then it would be kind of hard because all of the actors are playing the character and it would be hard to make someone disgusting before the show if they are not playing Usher first. I think how they played Usher kind of made you see the different ways Usher changed back and forth. Halena's Usher seemed older than the other Ushers. Tien's Usher seemed more threatening, and Christine's Usher seemed more interested in marrying his friend.
The friend is not usually a girl; she is usually a boy in the book and in other plays of this. I think it was a good decision that Sean Graney made to make her a girl because it changed the relationship with Usher. It changed it because there was a romantic tension in it. There is tension in the book too; it is between Usher and the sister, but it is kind of not the best idea to do that because you cannot marry your sister. In the play, Usher likes both of them. I know that because he kisses them both on the lips. Christine was the fanciest of the friends. Halena's version of the friend was more concerned for her friend Usher. And Tien's was more British and more worried about messing up her clothing.
The sisters were all basically the same because they all were kind of a creepy sister. And one of them, Christine's, only had to fall through a door on her face. It was creepier to see it in real life because you thought, "This house is going to fall on top of me!" Tien's was the one that sang the most and did creepy songs. Christine's did the most falling on her face. I think Halena didn't play this part, but I might be wrong. I might have just lost track.
They used other Edgar Allan Poe stories three times that I recognized. 1.) There was a song called "Annabel Lee." "Annabel Lee" is about a kingdom by the sea with a beautiful girl called Annabel Lee and she dies because of these stupid angels, and she has a boyfriend that is sad that she died, and he keeps thinking he sees her everyday. 2.) Usher says he hears a rapping at his chamber door, which is from "The Raven" which is the most famousest poem that Edgar Allan Poe ever did. 3.) "The Cask of Amontillado" is the story the friend reads. They just talk about a wall being boarded up over a friend, but they don't say "For the love of god, Montresor!" which is my favorite line because I think it is funny because it is under-dramatic. He should be saying, "Get me out of here or I'll kill you!"
People that would like this show are people that like Edgar Allan Poe, funny drips in walls, and having gins with lemons. People should see this twice so then you can see it from both angles. There are some things that you can't see from each angle, like some people turn other ways so you can't see their faces. I think they did that so it can be more of a mystery, but then the audience can come back again and solve the mystery when they see it again. This might be scary for some kids. They should read the book first, so they can see if they can handle it on the stage.
Quoth the Raven, "Review some more!"
Photos: Matthew Gregory Hollis