Poe was not the funniest of writers, but the irreverent way the librettist treats the story combined with the entirely new electro swing music makes the show a knee-slapper and a toe-tapper from start to finish.
An adventurous fellow (Fitz) in Poe’s time and place (Baltimore, 1850) gets a message from a colleague, inviting him to come and view a genuine ancient mummy. Fitz arrives at the home of Dr. Ponnanner, the owner of the mummy, and is joined by two other colleagues. After a good bit of poking and prodding, they see the mummy come alive, after which a number of hi-jinks take place. The most important thing they learn—particularly Fitz, who is captivated by the notion—is that the strange creature could be mummified alive, then pick up, right where he left off in ancient times, once he is awakened. The upshot of the tale is that Fitz determines to have this done on himself, so that he may be alive, well into the future.
Poe/Gliddon: Baritone, age 20s-30s
Usher/Fitz: Tenor, age 30s-50s
Man/Silk: Bass, age 20s-50s
Annabel Lee/Rosalita: Soprano
Ponnonner: Tenor, age 30s-50s
Count Allamistakeo: baritone, any age (mummy)
Breakdown of Characters
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Mr. Usher
- Annabel Lee
- Operetta Proper
- Throckmorton FitzSpitzenkoff (Fitz) – A well-to-do merchant with a passing interest in archaeology and a greater one in food.
- Rosalita von Doyberger FitzSpitzenkoff – Fitz’s long-suffering wife.
- Doctor Ponnannor – A self-proclaimed scientist with a somewhat shady reputation.
- Decius Brutus Gliddon – A friend of Fitz and the Doctor.
- Silk Buckingham – Yet another friend.
- Count Allamistakeo – A most non-conformist mummy
Depending on tempo choices and optional numbers, 1 hour 15-20 minutes
The mummy needs to be encased in a Russian doll-like oblong coffin that can be opened in stages. Various wires will need to be connected from a battery to the mummy via clips.
To achieve the proper sound, the organist needs to capable of creating as ‘theater organ-like’ sound as possible. The drummer needs to have a hybrid acoustic (jazz) and electronic kit. A generic synthesizer/electric piano with synth sounds will suffice for the synthesizer voices. Richard deCosta is available to consult on all technical details regarding the instrumentation.
For a minimal musical production, a piano alone will suffice.
Producing, marketing, & publicity
The cast will be in late 1800s clothing and all props and sets should have a Victorian-era feel to them. The show and its marketing materials should reflect the overall feeling of tom-foolery and catchy dance music that permeates the show.
- Minimum: One organist/pianist
- Ideal: One organist, one drummer, one synthesizer/bass player
- Costumes for ten characters (could also be done as a concert opera)
- Sets: Minimal kitchen/living room/doctor’s study