Bruce Nelson, a longtime Baltimore favorite on the stage, goes macabre for his latest role — the title literary giant in "The Completely Fictional — Utterly True — Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe."
We'll give you a break after reading that. Still with us? The play, running now through Nov. 25 at Center Stage, focuses on Poe's weird (of course) final days before his mysterious death (again, of course) in Baltimore. And since he's playing the rascally Poe, we had some rascally questions of our own. Thankfully, he brought up Poe marrying his teenage cousin on his own.
1. The title of this play is very intriguing and a bit confusing. What words would you add to make it even more intriguing and yet still confusing?
The Totally and Completely Fictional — Utterly True — I Mean, Really True — Final Strange Tale of That Guy Who Wrote the Raven — Edgar Allen Poe(t).
2. To what lengths did you go to ignore John Cusack's performance in "The Raven" to prepare for this role?
I built a bunker underground to ignore all people.
3. What part of Poe's life do you relate to the most? Please make this as creepy as possible.
Drinking, passing out, and coming on to 14-year-old girls, then marrying them.
4. You teach improv. How do you explain the longevity and success of Wayne Brady?
He has a great editor that can piece together all the good stuff.
5. You once portrayed 35 parts on stage. I'm a bit disappointed that you're only playing Poe here. You couldn't fit in at least a black cat or a raven?
Late in the third act, I fold my arms behind my back and let out a caw!
6. You were recently again named best actor in Baltimore by the City Paper. Just how bad have you been rubbing that in?
It prefaces everything I say these days.
7. When Poe was found in Baltimore before he died, he was wandering around drunk wearing someone else's clothes. Did you go "method actor" with this part of his life?
I once woke up in Akron, Ohio, in garters and a tiara.
8. What did you find to be the perfect way to take care of a Poe mustache, which I think was the source of much of his literary power?
Shampoo and condition with Finesse.
9. If Poe wrote a poem about your portrayal, what would he call it?
"Something Wicked This Way Comes."
10. Will this role lead to another for you — as the Poe Toaster? Or are you not allowed to answer that?
Uhhhh…can't talk now, gotta go, bye!Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun