Presenting a spooky poem
to celebrate Halloween!

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven as performed by Montreal’s Catherine ‘Cat’ Kidd

By Byron Toben

In 1845 or 176 years ago, Edgar Allan Poe penned his famous poem, The Raven. Although set in a bleak December, it resounds with October’s Halloween in eerie spookiness. It has also been a calling card for some of the great theatrical voices to recite, many now available on the Internet. Heretofore, they have been exclusively male voices.

Catherine 'Cat' Kidd

Catherine ‘Cat’ Kidd – Image: Sabrina Reeves

Vincent Price has one solo and one with Basil Rathbone. Price also has a composite with three other famous voices, each of whom had prior solos of their own – James Earl Jones, Christopher Walken and Christopher Lee. An animated version of The Simpsons lends a more comedic touch. Homer is voiced by Dan Castellaneta.

Of this group of seven, only three are still alive : James Earl Jones at 90, Christopher Walken at 78 and Dan
Castellaneta at 64.

Just released, a lone young female has joined this old boys club, and who should it be but Montreal’s favourite spoken word performance artist, Catherine ‘Cat’ Kidd.

Cat, a one-time biology student whose Dr. Seuss-like recitations, often inspired by animals like Sea Peaches, Iguanas and Hyenas, now has gone to the birds with her clever version of The Raven seen below.

Out, out, damned virus, visit our doors nevermore so that we, unencumbered, can again enjoy Cat and other talents live evermore!

Byron Toben

I have no knowledge of the production costs, but I would guesstimate that it was less than Can $500, say, $200, whereas the other stars above probably ranged in the US $10,000 to $100,000 range. In any event, Cat’s version holds up well. Here ’tis.

I add my own Shakespearian invocation to bid COVID farewell

“Out, out, damned virus, visit our doors nevermore so that we, unencumbered, can again enjoy Cat and other talents live evermore!”

Feature image: Ravens by Pkspks, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

More articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h 4836 boulevard St-Laurent Montréal QC 514 840-9362 galerienoelguyomarch.com

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