Musical Interprets Poe’s Work and Life

From now until March 5, Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va., will be showing Nevermore, a new musical based on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Nelson Pressley of The Washington Post called it “an intermissionless fever dream about the near-demented Poe and the women who haunted him.” And J. Wynn Rousuck, of The Baltimore Sun, wrote that “the macabre atmosphere” captured “the dark essence of Edgar Allan Poe.”

The songs, written by first-time composer Matt Conner, are basically Poe’s poetry and short stories set to music. The book, written by Grace Barnes, interprets Poe’s work in a Freudian fashion, showing Poe as a man defined by the women in his life and tormented by the search for a mother who died when he was very young.

Connor was inspired to set Poe’s work to music because he felt a connection with the work. “Trying to find someone to understand your work,” he said, “or who you are as an artist, I think is very challenging.”

The production is directed by Signature Artist Director Eric Schaeffer. “It’s a bold, exciting new musical that breaks boundaries, challenges audiences, and brings Poe’s passion and obsessions to life in a most extraordinary way,” he says. “What’s particularly exciting about Nevermore is that it breaks many musical theatre conventions. It doesn’t have a linear story. I like to describe the show as a cross between an American musical and Cirque de Soleil.”

Special Event Discusses Poe and Nevermore
On Feb. 13 at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, Schaeffer and Conner will lead a discussion about Poe and his life. Cast members will also be there to sing some of the songs from the musical. Tickets to a performance of Nevermore, which includes a post-show discussion with the entire cast, are available for a discount when purchased in conjunction with the event at the gallery.


January 10 – February 26
Signature Theatre
3806 South Four Mile Run Drive
Arlington, Va.
Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:30 pm
Thursday through Saturday, 8 pm
Sunday, 2 pm and 7 pm
Tickets: $31 and $55
Tickets are available by calling (800) 955-5566 or
online at
Discounts are available for students, seniors (60+), military and groups of 10 or more.

Corcoran Gallery Discussion
February 13, 7 pm
500 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tickets: $15 (Corcoran members) and $20 (general public)
To order tickets call (202) 639-1700.

Nevermore with Post-Show Discussion
February 21, 7:30 pm
Signature Theatre
3806 South Four Mile Run Drive
Arlington, Va.
Tickets (includes gallery event): $47 (Corcoran members) and $52 (general public)
To order tickets call (202) 639-1700.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.