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Albatross

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging
78
Critics
71
23 reviews
Members
80
53 reviews
 

The Poets' Theatre, Inc. presents a multimedia solo show inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.'

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Written and performed as a rollicking sea yarn, 'Albatross' is about Mariner, an 18th-century sailor cursed with immortality who is thrust into the modern world. Full of privateers, storms, battles, spirits, and penguins, it's a thrilling adventure story that also delves deep into urgent questions about violence, mindfulness, and our impact on the natural world.

 


Reviews (76)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
71
Avg Score

40
The New York Times

"A piece that cries out for simplicity and gets digital distraction instead. Oh, Mariner, those overly literal visual aids fight you for our attention at every turn, breaking the mood in the bargain...It all registers as a lot of visual noise. The sound design is not quite as obtrusive, but it, too, is part of a layering that suggests that the director doesn’t trust the script. As for Mr. Evett, he is best when the production leans on him, not on design." Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

“A gripping one-man show…’Albatross’ is an exciting and dramatic portrayal of a mariner's extensive journey…Benjamin Evett's solo performance as the mariner is stunning as he captures the drama, tension, and occasional humor of the show. He masters the physically and emotionally demanding role…The creative team has done a wonderful job of bringing ‘Albatross’ to the stage…’Albatross’ is a riveting and affecting theatrical piece that you will long remember.” Full Review

45
Lighting & Sound America

“Evett is a powerful presence with oceans of technique at his disposal, but his performance would be infinitely better if he cut the intensity level by at least thirty percent...His full-throated, aim-for-the-balcony approach becomes wearying, then assaultive…'Albatross' seems to exist entirely to give its leading man a workout—and the result is something of an ordeal for the audience. All the additional detail only has the effect of making one appreciate how neatly Coleridge told his tale." Full Review

85
Theatre's Leiter Side

“Spengler and Evett created an intense one-man play around Coleridge's poem, famous for its place in the early history of Romanticism. Evett himself performs the title figure in a tour-de-force of acting chops and physical stamina...The 85-minute play, perhaps 15 minutes longer than it has to be, makes demands that test his endurance and, when the rains begin pouring down on him late in the play, you're happier for the actor than the character that he's finally got water, water, everywhere.” Full Review

78
Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s definitely an attention grabbing opening, and one that doesn’t let us down moving forward...Through the vessel that is Evert and the direction of Rick Lombardo, we are given a rowdy and engaging telling of this tale of guilt and remorse...It’s an exciting tale, shocking, moving, and arresting. Magically and effortlessly told, Evert grabs us and yanks us willingly throughout this 85-minute monologue, leaving us fulfilled and uplifted on the shore of our newly acquired awareness." Full Review

75
Woman Around Town

“The only thing amiss with this script are repeated, thoroughly annoying references to the present, which rip us away from the power of the chronicle and back into our theater seats. A big mistake…Benjamin Evett brings terrific physicality to his role…It might serve the piece to vary emotional level a bit more. Starting aggressive/maddened without respite means we’ve less far to go. Mostly, Lombardo needs to keep an eye on his star. Production values are simply marvelous." Full Review

90
TheaterScene.net

"Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett have turned this very long story poem into a fascinating drama featuring Mr. Evett as the narrator, the mariner and every other character. As directed by Rick Lombardo, this 'Albatross' is uneven in its storytelling, but still totally involving, mostly due to Evett's tireless performance. This dramatization of the famous, previously much maligned poem, strips away the clichés and finds its dramatic heart." Full Review

85
Theatre is Easy

"Matthew Spangler and Benjamin Evett’s script revives Coleridge's ancient poetry and makes this 18th-century stock character relevant. With humanity’s negative impact on nature and cruelty to animals, the Mariner’s story deserves even more urgent attention...My one critique concerns the projections, which become more of a distraction than an enhancement...Yet they ultimately do not prevent 'The Albatross' from being a stirring production centered around a masterful performance." Full Review

75
CurtainUp

"Visually rich for a drama featuring only one actor...The play quotes Coleridge's verse and its antiquated language, but most of the text is lively prose that's easy to follow and accessible to the contemporary ear...As a performer, Evett has no difficulty holding spectators' attention for the play's 85 minutes. His high energy never flags; his demeanor is at once dauntless and natural...At certain points, the theatrics and the molto agitato tempo are more distraction than enhancement." Full Review

90
Let's Talk Off-Broadway

"Benjamin Evett gives us a surpassing performance in a magnificent play…It’s a tragic story with a possible, ambiguous redemption–redemption here less clear than in Coleridge’s poem. What courage to take on a famous, iconic poem, what confidence of vision! These contemporary authors meet that challenge fully. This play is written with a passionate, raw, vernacular poetry of its own that makes the telling of the story near-to-overwhelming." Full Review

85
ZEALnyc

"The story is classic, but through the use of modern technology, multimedia projections, strong sound effects, and a multipurpose set, the play feels of the moment...And there is no better actor to create this world than Benjamin Evett...It is a raw and emotional role to play, and Evett does so flawlessly by putting his whole heart and soul into the role...Hats must be tipped for what is a top-notch performance, but what also must be an exhausting one." Full Review

35
Stage Buddy

"The corn in the husk, Evett‘s acting, coupled with some dramatically psychedelic effects, offers a number of niblets to nibble on throughout. The problem is the husk. The lumbering exposition that takes up so much of the play adds little of any substance to the figure of the Mariner...'The Albatross' doesn’t really interpret Coleridge’s poem or engage with it in a meaningful, personal way; it more or less just adds a lot of unnecessary fat to the haunting skeleton of the source material." Full Review

40
Theater Pizzazz

"The venture becomes muddled, beginning as something of a parody and ending as a fairly faithful adaptation of its source material...Evett is fully equipped to hold us at attention throughout...His stamina and consistency as a performer are tested by the script’s inability to decide what it wants to do with the mariner’s story...Whether intended or not, it doesn’t come close to capturing the terror of reading Coleridge’s poem silently." Full Review

60
Epoch Times

"We should all be so lucky to have this man’s energy, at his age...Evett has converted this story into an environmental tale...A tremendous, if obvious, message...Do you want to go hear this message handed to you, heavily? Heavy-handedly?...Evett’s got gale-force power; it’s a bit much for a small theater. Black Dog in a black box? Biting off pieces of someone’s shoulder, swallowing them, and then blowing chunks? 'Is it too much?' You be the judge." Full Review

80
Boston Globe

for a previous production "The framing devices do go on a bit long...The piece reaches full speed once the mariner’s yarn reaches South America, and there’s a wonderful sense of growing dread...Evett imbues this piece with a Bard-like sense of man’s ability to observe, but not alter, the inexorable progress of fate. Evett’s charisma forges the sense that 'Albatross' would be just as captivating an experience if he stood atop a sea chest and recited it in broad daylight on Boston Common." Full Review

80
British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "It's a stirring piece of theatre, inventively staged with rigging and ragged sailcloth strewn about the stage to great effect, while Evett himself makes use of ladders, ropes and all to spin the yarn. It does, however, have a slight misstep of a moment, as several references to modern life are well-intentioned but feel somewhat forced, especially as the message is well enough captured in the actions of the Mariner himself. Overall, this is a show well worth the admission." Full Review

80
FringeGuru

for a previous production "A visually enthralling saga…Evett dominates the stage and owns it completely. From the shockingly coarse tongue of a true-blue sailor to the smooth recital of Coleridge’s poem, the narration flows easily and naturally…The second half of the show is profound…The ending is sublime…The first half hour is slow, however. It takes a while to ramp up to the actual story...But director Rick Lombardo has brought new life to a familiar poem." Full Review

85
Broadway Baby

for a previous production "This piece zips by due to its combination of masterful storytelling, beautifully simple yet visually stunning effects, and an acting performance of real quality and stamina-induced intensity by Evett himself...The truthfulness of his performance makes the entire spectacle truly absorbing…While arguably the piece might be shortened slightly, with its opening perhaps the weakest part as the character is established, it is Evett’s tour-de-force performance which is the real champion." Full Review

85
90.9 WBUR

for a previous production "'Albatross' offers us as much history as it does poetry, and as much earthy expression as transcendence of language…Evett’s performance is spellbinding, Rick Lombardo’s direction is dynamic and focused, and the finely attuned production design serves as a living argument for the poetic possibilities of the theatrical form." Full Review

90
Wicked Local

for a previous production "A wild ride of gripping theater, performed solo by the remarkable Benjamin Evett…Evett is powerful and mesmerizing, as is the unique play…Backing up Evett's spectacular and physically demanding performance are marvelous special effects…There is nothing static about this one-man tour de force…It seems surprisingly relevant in today's world…Put this show on your must-see list." Full Review

90
The Arts Fuse

for a previous production "A strikingly dramatic text, one that demands the power and versatility of an actor of Evett’s calibre. Leaving aside his impressive vocal performance, Evett’s physical dexterity is dazzling. He effortlessly shifts from the bawdy clowning of the Italian jester to miming the agonizing strains of a seaman’s labors…The production’s design elements and storytelling are nimbly integrated." Full Review

65
edfringe review

for a previous production "Alongside his boundless vigor and flawless recital of his script, Evett’s performance is at times astounding…But such is the nature of one-man plays that the story gradually becomes a little flat. As Evett’s character narrates his own painfully slow death of thirst aboard his ship, some audiences will begin to long for a different form of story telling, or at least a new narrator…Ultimately, it is difficult to fault the performance and production. For this alone 'Albatross' is worth seeing." Full Review

85
edfringe review

for a previous production "The style is captivating; the storytelling transcends the fourth wall with fantastic energy. Whilst remaining utterly true to the rough, ready and foul-mouthed sailor that he is, Evett's performance exudes professional polish, incorporating impressive variations of tone and staging. Evett's dynamism is undeniably the focus of this one-man show…With touches of human honesty, 'Albatross' draws on Coleridge’s symbolism delving into the depths of disbelief, sin, suffering, sorrow, and God." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
80
Avg Score

70
Great acting, Confusing, Slow

See it if you enjoy well acted one man shows which are a bit unusual and require the use of you imagination.

Don't see it if you prefer a clearly developed story not solely dependant on the actor and some stage tricks.

65
Ambitious, Great acting, Dated, Long, Impresive

See it if you're a fan of one-person shows as well as The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows or aren't too excited about a sailor telling a story

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Great writing

See it if If you love tall ship culture. Mr Evetts performance is stunning and riveting as a kidnapped navigator on a pirate ship. Amazing Performance

Don't see it if If you don't love me one man shows

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Slow, Great staging, Overlong

See it if you enjoy accomplished one-man performances. The actor commits entirely and is appealing in the role.

Don't see it if you'll get annoyed that it runs 90 minutes but only holds your interest for about 60. Or if you don't like the poem it's inspired by.

73
Solo performance, Compelling, Energetic, Earnest

See it if This one-act retelling of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner humanizes the protagonist and reminds us of personal responsibility & culpability.

Don't see it if It is a little raw (we're with sailors) and it is a one actor production, but mostly you'll enjoy it. Could use a bit of editing, too.

75
Great acting, Intense, Raw

See it if An intense experience. All out performance brings new perspective to old poem ("The Rime of the Ancient Mariner") Knowing the poem helps.

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows. This unsanitized version may be unsettling for some. Not for the faint of heart.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Great staging

See it if You enjoy an intense one man show in an intimate theater. If you like a classic poem reenacted with added material.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy one man shows, profanity nor can tolorate graphic descriptions of violence. You do need to use your mind.

Also If your not familiar with the poem. Read it before you attend.

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Riveting

See it if Amazing acting. Outstanding theater at its most basic

Don't see it if Looking for light entertainment or a happy evening

86
Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Great lighting, sound, staging

See it if want to see the rime about a sailor and albatross revealed in a vivid way. Evett was masterful as he switched characters to tell the story.

Don't see it if if you are not ready to pay attention to the script as you miss some of this mostly dark story; or if you don't like one man shows.

Also Evett was flawless on stage, moving around changing characters seamles... Read more Read less

50
Great acting, Intense, Slow

See it if You like intense one-man shows without intermissions. Emotional and raw acting.

Don't see it if You don't care for unnecessary background, loud wooden chest noises, and lengthy and sometimes confusing narrative. Actor was great, but.meh

90
Absorbing, Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like superbly acted intense one man shows that take you on a dizzying and totally captivating historical narrative

Don't see it if you don't want to watch one man totally enthrall you with well stitched storytelling for 90 minutes

91
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging, Great lighting

See it if you like beautifully lit solo shows that tell a heart-breaking story.

Don't see it if you are bored by solo shows or are offended by vulgar language.

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to laugh at times. The actor was amazing!!!

Don't see it if You don't like the small theater experience.

92
Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Heartbreakingly beautiful

See it if You appreciate engaging, well-told, and emotional stories.

Don't see it if You prefer action-heavy performances or aren't a fan of one man shows.

95
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if You enjoy creative re-imagining of a classic tale

Don't see it if One-man shows are not your thing

100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Exquisite, Great acting

See it if People who know what The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is.

Don't see it if You only like happy musicals.

75
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense

See it if You want to be drawn into an intense 90 minutes of storytelling, you like the original source story and want to hear it fleshed out.

Don't see it if you're bothered by swearing or descriptions of dark, near-death situations. I have a high tolerance found this intense.

76
Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Intense, Masterful

See it if you like retellings of old stories. It takes Rime of the Ancient Mariner and makes it easier to understand and connect with.

Don't see it if you don't like projections, fog, or strobe effects. Or swearing. He swears like a sailor. Can get a bit slow in places.

83
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense

See it if If you like an intense, one-man show.

Don't see it if You are looking for something light and has a big cast.

82
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You're interested in maritime history, or just to see a man give everything in a solo performance.

Don't see it if you need a lot of action or sets to keep your attention. This is straight storytelling so you just gotta listen.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Bravura acting, great set design. Loved the conceit of translating the Ancient Mariner to stage in this way.

Don't see it if you want a story line, plotting, etc.

75
During previews
Clever, Slow

See it if You enjoy solo shows based on great literature.

Don't see it if You want something light and quick-paced.

91
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy engaging, poetic, exhausting fabulous one man shows.

Don't see it if you are looking for something uplifting or light and fluffy. This will knock the wind out of your sails.

72
During previews
Ambitious, Unique, Classical

See it if Like reimaginings of classic literature, solo shows and poor/found theater, know the original Rime but wouldn't object to changes

Don't see it if Have sympathetic acrophobia, expecting to hear the original text, need a "why"

78
During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You like intense 1 man show w/bizarre theme, creative staging & an actor who has an agenda other than performing before an Audience

Don't see it if You want a feel good performance with a traditionally staged show