Ends Feb 12

Albatross

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging
78
Critics
72
21 reviews
Members
80
33 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.

 
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Reviews (54)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
72
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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"

81
During previews
Exciting literate intelligent tour de force

See it if One man delivers a sprawling narrative of all aspects of the voyage in the poem -- what Coleridge wrote about and what he did not. Grabs you

Don't see it if Benjamin Evett gives his all. Fascinating but slow at times. Read the poem for context before you see the play. Little of the poem in script

79
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You want to hear an intense story. You wanted to be immersed in an intense story of a mariners plight. You like simple yet effective staging

Don't see it if You don't like one person performances. You don't want to hear a mariners story. You like elaborate staging and productions.

Also This performance was intense and well executed. The performer did a gr... Read more Read less

79
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Riveting

See it if you enjoy one-man shows with minimal sets and props. What little there is is used well, and the actor was convincing in his intensity.

Don't see it if you're put off at the idea of an 85-minute monologue in a British accent, or don't like having the 4th wall randomly broken during the tale.

86
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if you want to see one man with minimal sets, lighting and sound evoke a whirlwind epic retelling of a harrowing tale.

Don't see it if you are bothered by smoke, flashing lights, and F-bombs. You are squeamish about brutal word pictures. you want a classic recitation.

Also I have a particular affinity for Coleridge and remember listening to m... Read more Read less

77
During previews
Ambitious, Intense, Indulgent, Great staging, Clever use of props

See it if You have a great attachment to the original poem and care about the backstory/future of the mariner. Enjoy clever staging, really evocative

Don't see it if You dislike one person plays, Period pieces that incorporate contemporary asides. dislike gory or disgusting stories (graphic descriptions)

92
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You are a fan of the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Even if you are not it is a gripping tale told by an incredible actor. Impressive

Don't see it if You want to see a big show with elaborate sets. The set design and lighting is incredibly clever and evocative but it requires imagination.

78
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Entertaining

See it if If you know The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and want to see the story brought into vivid life. You like one man shows.

Don't see it if You don't like one man shows, you don't enjoy gross out stories for effect, or you get bored easily. The story is good, sometimes it is flat

65
During previews
Dark, Ambitious, Intense, Unusual, In-your-face

See it if you know and love Coleridge's poem; this is an imaginative, visually-rich rendering. The material is ambitious, but flawed.

Don't see it if you dislike constant swearing, flashing lights, gross-out tales, and aggressive direct address. I did not enjoy Evett's performance.

84
During previews
Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You have an interest in poetry, especially the British Romantics. You like plays that reference history. You want to see great acting.

Don't see it if You hate poetry. You don't know what poem the title is referencing. You want a play about contemporary subjects.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you're interested in a contemplative piece of theatre in a small venue, were disappointed by The Encounter but like better/similar shows

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows or monologues, you don't enjoy pensive plays or want more of a spectacle

Also Benjamin Evett is excellent and lives in his role. Despite the small s... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you enjoy great storytelling and big themes (the nature of evil and art vs reality).

Don't see it if you prefer multi-character performances and get bored listening to one person for 90 minutes.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy great storytelling and visual effect.

Don't see it if you don't like one man shows; don't want to be preached to.

95
During previews
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if extraordinary storytelling, exquisite acting, sound effects and projections, convey the destructive effect of men on environment (albatross)

Don't see it if like more polished entertainment, since this is a story of mariner who is at times course, scary, but always thought provoking.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a fine dramatic presentation of a classic epic poem with additional materials added to enhance both the story and the presentation

Don't see it if you dislike one-man shows; you have never heard of Coleridge's epic poem and may not understand the plot in full; don't like staged smoke.

Also I was overwhelmed with the power and force of this show; it brought th... Read more Read less

94
During previews
Funny, Epic, Intense, Masterful, Great singing

See it if So intense that the audience incredibly breathes as quietly as possible so as not to break the mood. Truly hypnotic performance mesmerizes.

Don't see it if You abhor one man shows.

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.

94
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if A brilliant show, powerful, moving and I'll say it again, brilliant show. Benjamin Evett performance worthy of a Tony, no doubt.

Don't see it if Subject relating to old verse, literary references...one man show.

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

78
During previews
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Riveting, Great staging

See it if a play that talks about the life of a sailor. Intense acting by a solo performance. Great job!

Don't see it if Want to see a musical

80
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like one-man shows and are not turned off by graphic descriptions of gory scenes, if you are familiar with the poem want further depth

Don't see it if you dislike one-man shows, British romantic poetry, and are sensitive to swearing and gory scenes.

80
During previews
Ambitious

See it if u r into Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and curious about what an imaginative theatrical rendering of the poem'd be like

Don't see it if don't like one man show with unstoppable monologue