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
"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...
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. ...
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....
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 Examiner.com....
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!!!...
A gripping Bollywood Musical about a love story struggling to survive in the war-torn valleys of Kashmir. Through action, dialogue and dance, Radicals tackles Islamophobia and the trauma of warfare on innocent lives.