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The Devil and Billy Markham

cabaret & variety · zenith ensemble · Ages 18+ · United States

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LIGHTNING ROD THEATER certified reviewer June 25, 2013
Aaron Lyons, dancer Ruth Fox, and a rattlin' three piece band shake Shel Silverstein's epic tale with the swampy, bluesy boogie it's been begging for all these years. Not a single moment passes without you feeling Zenith Emsemble's fire-breathing theatricality. For those who've always wondered if you could out-smart Satan after being blinded by the glint in his eye, this show's for you. --Paul Hoan Zeidler ... full review
DAVID HAVERTY June 17, 2013
I'm not gay, but I after seeing Aaron Lyons perform this show with such ease and control with much sexy finess and color... I want him to F*^% me.... full review
Bad ass! Like a poetic, Neil Cassidy soujourn through the depths of the underworld. Aaron Lyons shreds this thing like a Jimmy Page solo.... full review
SENA RAMIREZ June 14, 2013
"The Devil & Billy Markham" by Shel Silverstein is a beautiful, lyrical, poetic tale about a man who tangos with the devil in all his forms. But Zenith Ensemble works sensual magic at the smoky venue, a feat done remarkably with only one man, a dancer, and musicians. Amanda McRaven's masterful direction could be felt and seen as the poem came to life. Aaron Lyons narration moves seamlessly from character voice to character voice, never stumbling over the rush of words in his mouth. How he kept it all straight could only be summed up to talent. Ruth Fox's energy & moves add atmosphere and context gorgeously. She tells the story beautifully using movement and dance. And the musicians (Kevin Katich, Hank Dougan listed) were intuitive and we... full review
JORDAN MONSELL certified reviewer June 16, 2013
Aaron Lyons is a tour de force as the Narrator, jumping from character to character, and platform to platform, like a whirling dervish of poetic energy. How he memorized this epic poem, and never lost his place, or volume over the impressive 3-piece band, is anyone's guess. Perhaps he sold his soul to the title character in exchange for these supernatural gifts. ... full review
J. ANTHONY MCCARTHY certified reviewer June 11, 2013
A man in a bar reciting a long ass poem. Doesn't sound like a great night. But you'd be wrong. Aaron Lyons shredded this recital with the help of a 3 piece live band and a beautiful cohort who danced distractingly throughout. He gave life and individuality to all the characters of the show, and was transported by the excellent musical accompaniment. As to the beautiful cohort, it wasn't distracting after all. She wove a sinuous counterpoint in movement and sound to everything the band and Aaron were laying down. Audience laughed and cheered. No one walked out without a smile. Highly recommend this experience.... full review
BOB LEGGETT certified reviewer June 11, 2013
This was the kind of performance that could only be done in a bar, as it drew from the hazy smoke, the dim lights, and the ambience of a bar to set the mood. Lyons, also celebrating his birthday, took command and performed this play as only he can. Every stanza was brought alive, as Silverstein's words and descriptions filled my mind with the visualization of every frame of this classic poem. Check out the rest of my review at full review
JULIA DAVIS certified reviewer June 14, 2013
Aaron Lyons knows EXACTLY how the poetry of Shel Silverstein needs to be heard: with a vocally skilled actor (Lyons himself), 3 musicians and one dancer. It would have been enjoyable to listen to Aaron recite the very entertaining and provocative poem. However, he takes the experience to new heights by turning it into a theatrical presentation. If there had been too many people involved, the language may have been lost, but Aaron knew just the right amount of music and movement to make this piece crackle and pop. It's a fabulous show!!!... full review

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