Sunday, January 14, 2018

Coldharts at the Timucua White House.

The Timicua White House (2000 South Summerlin, Orlando, FL 32806) is usually host to musicians.  The evening before the home hosted a Composer's salon.  However on this rare, dark and sinister night this became a place to stage some intimate theater, in a two person show titled, "The Coldharts: Edger Allen" created and performed by The Coldharts, Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan, two theatre artists based in Brooklyn, New York. They create American Gothic-inspired, devised, music-theatre.

The actors are US and Canada Fringe Festival audience favorites bringing this modern classic piece of theater to the Timucua stage immediately after a four-day run of “The Legend of White Woman Creek” at the Orlando Fringe Winter MiniFest. This was a two­-person, darkly comic musical inspired by the childhood and short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.  This is an astounding piece of intimate theater that can generate laughter in one second and a gasp of shock in another.

Katie began the evening performing on ukulele.  She played the part of a young Edger Allan who bragged of his dominance at an all boys school.  His supremacy was challenged when another boy entered the school and started answering questions intended for him.  The new boy spoke is a loud whisper.  The two discover in the school courtyard that they share the exact same name.  The young Edgar Allen gives every conversation a dark and brooding hidden meaning.  Rather than stay mortal enemies, the new Edgar Allen proposed they become friends.  After much deliberation Edgar Allen agrees.  However the best of intentions takes a twisted turn for the worst.

The scenes play out with exaggerated gestures worthy of a vaudeville act.  The inner working of a young boys mind are clearly sinister.  Children can be cruel but this takes misguided intentions to a new level.  The simple brick walls of the White House were a perfect backdrop to the drama that unfolded and bricks played an important part in the final act.

This piece was a stark reminder that amazing things were happening over at the Shakes at the Winter Fringe MiniFest.  I am a bit sad that I missed what were likely some amazing sketch opportunities.  Katie and Nick will return to Orlando in May for the Orlando International Fringe Festival with another Poe inspired piece, and I want to see what they come up with next. 

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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