The Mutter Museum was the perfect spot for the telling of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, the first person account of madness and the chambers of personal hell. John Zak is straight jacketed and sequestered in one of museum’s rooms without forensic exhibits of human organs, but just eerie enough with an iron period ward cot and a padded backdrop. John acts the short story, written in the first person of a man driven to murder by his psychotic reality. This is so well done by the actor and the invisible hand of director Domenick Scudera.
A disabused American master storyteller, Poe and his work has been rescued onstage from countless camp horrors film. Scudera who has directed everything from Shakespeare to comedy revues, knows good theater text and this story just begs to be acted. Zak, such a versatile actor, just inhabits this character and we rediscover the imagery and power of Poe. It is a theater version of hearing a virtuosic pianist playing a masterpiece.