The Devil and Billy Markham

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

Add Your Review

certified reviewers


all reviewers


all press

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
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
DEIRDRE MURPHY certified reviewer June 20, 2013
Exactly what I was hoping for. Drinks, a band, the talented Aaron Lyons hopping between entertaining characters. Shel Silverstein. I had no idea he wrote this for Playboy. We always forget how subversive that man really was. I'm rambling. Go to the show. It's sexy and cool. ... full review
AARON KOZAK certified reviewer June 20, 2013
Shel Silverstein has always been a favorite author of mine, and you rarely see anyone take on his plays. I have never understood why that is because they are so funny, and at times, mind blowing brilliant. The way Billy Markham ends is one of those moments. It is the perfect ending that makes the most sense, but yet, it's so silly and unthinkable that you never see it coming. The band was excellent, but this is show is about two men, Shel Silverstein and Aaron Lyons, who commands the stage, a fearless performance, with an exceptional handling of the verse. I honestly thought at times the music could be a little quieter. A piece like this is so much about the text, it felt like that needs to be priority number one. That is a very picky cr... full review
MICHAEL SHAW FISHER certified reviewer June 20, 2013
A backwoods beat poetry noir performed among the clink of cocktails and the blanket of throbbing red lights and leering shadows. A sort of ritual with no purpose but dig and dig and dig, and as the search opens to rhyme and the rhyme falls into rhythm, the strange man in the fedora and a bottle in his hand leads us to wonder and marvel at both the maddening syncopation of his craft and the false duality of heaven and hell. It's common knowelege that Aaron Lyons already was a devil, a growling, horn-headed trickster drunk on Theatre Row and cackling at the meek light of stars, but in The Devil and Billy Markham he proves that he is a devil with a heart an closes us in that blanket of light and shadow. Congratulations on this labour of dark... full review
ERIN MOORE certified reviewer June 24, 2013
This play was meant for Aaron Lyons! He gives incredible life and depth to the Shel Silverstein poem. Complete with a live band and a dancer, Aaron takes you on the journey to hell and back with Billy Markham. He effortlessly switches between characters and truly embodies each one. Make sure to catch a performance of this one. You won't be disappointed!... full review
SCATHACH COTTER certified reviewer June 25, 2013
This has set the bar for epic poem presentations for me. I was drawn in from the first word to the last. Having it preformed at a cocktail lounge where I could sip bourbon while hearing about the Devil was pure genius. You can see my full review here. full review