As the earnest narrator Geest, Brian Pastor proves himself to be an engaging storyteller, injecting a fair amount of humor into his careful recounting of the familiar story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. Director Stephen F. Murray has Pastor make elaborate use of the various props lying around the cluttered basement-like set (designed by Matthew Cummings) throughout what is essentially a one-man show.
But the live original music (composed and performed by Matthew Bivins) and sound effects (Shawn Goudie) create the ambience that makes this show truly noteworthy, with memorable interpretations of passages from Bürger’s “Lenore” and Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” and an especially grim version of the spiritual “Dem Bones”—paced to the sound of banging pots and paired with darkly dramatic lighting (Christine Ferriter). It’s a Halloween show that’s eerie without being frightening though it contains enough spooky moments to give younger kids the chills. (Zach Freeman)
City Lit Theater at Edgewater Presbyterian Church, 1020 West Bryn Mawr, (773)293-3682. Through October 31. $25.